This week the topic for the Blog Cruise is: Do you follow a traditional school day/time/schedule/year? As I took a month off from blogging, I decided that writing about this topic would be a good way to ease myself back into the habit of blogging. Visit the Blog Cruise to read how other Crew members schedule their school. I am sure no two will be alike.
We have been homeschooling for 9 years now. And for 9 years I have had the dream to school throughout the summer. For 9 years it has never happened as I have planned it. I have decided to give up the idealized dream that I will be able to school through the summer and just plan to take a summer break. There are many different reasons why it has never worked out, sometimes we have taken vacation, sometimes I have worked an outside job in the summer and sometimes we have moved.
So this year we are following more of a public school “schedule”. I have to say I am following it rather loosely. We started about a week before the public school in our town started. We have taken Federal Holidays off, because my husband gets those off, and to “do school” when dad has the day off never works out. Around Thanksgiving we worked Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We left for a Christmas vacation early in December. I did pack some schoolwork and we did a modified schedule while on vacation for a week. Then took two weeks off for Christmas and then again did a modified schedule for the last week of our vacation. Now we are back in the swing of things and plan to take a Spring break in March, for another trip, and then finish up the beginning of June.
Since I have my kids work until they finish a book or program we usually just pick up with the same work after a break, unless a new book is needed. This means that they may need a new math or science book in the middle of the year. It seems to work well for our family. The only thing my kids find confusing is when people ask what grade they are in. They never seem to know, because they work at whatever level they need. So, I have begun telling each child, “Say, you are in ____ grade, if you are asked.” This works better than having your 9 year old get a worried look and immediately turn to you to answer for them when a clerk in a store or an acquaintance asks them this inevitable question.
As for a daily schedule I do not necessarily follow a public school schedule, but I do make up my own schedule so we stay on track during the day. After having three kids that were able to just go with the flow and do things as I asked, I never really had a set schedule. Then my youngest started school a few years ago and that whole “no set schedule” thing went out the window. She just could not function. I had tears and fights and fits everyday. So I re-evaluated, and came up with a daily set schedule. I use this schedule for both Rebekah (7) and Ben (9) and it works very well. For Sarah (13), I still will give her a list of subjects that need to be done and she will accomplish it. I just add in time to my schedule with Ben and Rebekah to work with Sarah. Matthew(17) is very independent. He works on his own and just e-mails me all his answers and papers.
So I guess in a nutshell I just end up “doing my own thing”. I have some basics I follow, but can change them when needed. I have not had the experience of living in a state that required a lot of documentation for homeschoolers. For New Mexico and Montana, just sending in a form with your child’s name and grade was required and here in Idaho nothing is required, so I have been able to make my own plans as I see fit for each of my children.