- Year-round school
- Typical August to May school
- Four weeks schooling/one week off
- Monday through Thursday school/ Fridays off
For our family, we need to have school 175 days a year. Our cover school defines school days in a way that includes teacher work days and field trips. I give myself two teacher work days before we kick-off school, one at the end of each quarter, and two at the beginning of the second semester. If during the year I need some “professional development” like a conference or a day at the library, I also label these as teacher work days but they are few and far between.
I prefer starting our school year in July when the weather is smokin’ hot and Bill starts back to work with band camp. Then, we end in April while the weather is still cool enough for the children to play outside for most of the day. I also like to take the same holidays as the public school since we know Bill will be home with the family.
So, the first thing I do is sit down with a blank calendar and a PENCIL. I mark all of the public school holidays, special family dates and any other dates I know about already which might include playdates or field trips.
Next, I pick a starting date. For me, this is relatively easy because I know we will start school when Bill starts back to work. For you, it might just be a matter of preference. I will make one note here: It is somewhat confusing for our children that they are promoted into a different grade level at home while they are still in the previous grade level in Sunday School at church. However, the church promotion does not correspond with the start of public school either so I do not feel bound by that and the children seem to adjust well regardless.
From my starting date, I begin counting out our days. I like schooling Monday through Friday with Friday being a half day because of testing and review but I will admit that this presents a problem when I need to make appointments and run errands. While I try to work around it, there have been times when we will take our school work with us to the doctor’s office.
Our last day of school is kind of flexible, as long as I have my last quarter finished by the time grades must be turned in to my cover school. Typically, we are done early.
Speaking of quarters, I have to admit that last year I did not split up our school year evenly. Since our cover school does not dictate how we divide our year, I stacked more school days during the first half of the year since we seem to lose momentum towards the end. If you prefer to be more tradtional, you can evenly divide your school year into quarters with an equal amount of days in each.
As you can see, there are many variables to planning your calendar but as long as your cover school allows, you have the flexiblity to make your school year as unique as your family.
I would love to know how you plan your homeschool calendar and what you have found works best for your family. Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments.
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