Monday, February 20, 2012
Last night at church we were talking with friends and they mentioned that their kids have today off from school (they attend public school) for President's Day. They asked if we were taking the day off and I said no. I am sure Buddy Bear would welcome a day off, but we have a goal of finishing school on May 11. That means if we want to finish by then, there are no days off between now and then. Since we home school, we can plan our calendar as we want to fit our schedule as long as we are following the state guidelines for the number of days we are in school (that is our only state requirement here, the number of days in school - kind of scary, but that is a whole other topic). We always start our school year in August and end it in May. I like to have time in May to go and do activities with my kids before all of the public school kids get out so we can enjoy them before they get crazy busy. Also we always try to plan to finish right before Mother's Day because that is usually the time of year we plant our garden. Once we plant the garden, there is always a lot of work to be done outside and it is just easier if we are finished with school at that point. We still learn plenty through the summer, we just don't officially call it "school." Anyway, I started thinking about how we really don't take days off in the spring and then I started questioning myself about if we should...oh the seeds of doubt that can slip in regarding home school. The more I thought the more I decided our schedule is okay. We don't take days off in the spring, but we do have lighter load days sometimes and we take field trips that break up the monotony of school work. We do projects that are fun and full of learning at the same time (growing our garden plants from seed is a great science project). If it is really warm and spring fever is getting the best of us, we take our school work outside and work in the sunshine. I realized that our schedule works for us. We never really have taken a lot of breaks in our school year, but it works for us. We really don't have breaks in the fall either. We do take off Thanksgiving and we have two weeks off at Christmas, but that is about all the time we take off. I realized that the public school calendar is filled with a lot of breaks in our area that could probably be skipped and they would finish earlier too. So I am sticking to our schedule and we are working hard to finish on our goal date and we will enjoy our longer summer break.