Try a New Schedule for 2017-2018

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Marie
Posts: 405
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:30 pm

Try a New Schedule for 2017-2018

Unread post by Marie » Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:45 am

I have something for you to try -- a new school schedule! It’s a bit unusual but it’s worked for lots of families. (I posted this last July and think it’s worth posting again this year.) One year I asked all my pilot moms to try it. As the year progressed, even those who had been a bit skeptical were convinced. They loved the freedom this gave them.

Here’s what I suggest to add rest to your homeschool:

Begin your school year earlier than usual, perhaps in July. (That part’s not essential.)

Look at a calendar for the upcoming school year and mark your start date. Then plan 34 weeks of school (36 for high school), writing them on your calendar. (This is a plan, not a mandate, so use a pencil!)

Plan to teach 6 weeks at a time, then give yourself a 2-week break. Why 2 weeks?
  • The first week is school catch-up: math lessons that need to be reinforced, books you didn’t finish reading, hands-on projects you didn’t complete. This is a relaxed time - but don’t neglect the purpose. If you are all caught up, pursue any extras that didn’t quite fit in your schedule – field trips, service/ministry opportunities, more projects, more books, other areas of interest.
  • The second week is a true holiday from school work. Visit Grandma and Grandpa. Take a family vacation when sites aren’t crowded. Enjoy a "staycation" -- fun time at places near home. Clean out the closet. Pack away summer clothes and take out winter clothes. Etc.
When you begin your next six weeks of school, you’ll be caught up. You’ll feel rested and prepared. And you'll know a 2-week break is already scheduled.

Hints:
  • Adjust (shorten) the six weeks as needed to fit holiday/vacation plans. You might take just one week off at Thanksgiving (it works well to schedule the whole week off) since Christmas break is so close.
  • High schoolers are a bit different, since they are more independent. They need to complete 36 weeks and may need to factor in summer jobs. It might be best if they keep working full time during each first “catch-up” week, and only take a holiday during each “second week.”
Let us know how your year goes!

Blessings,
Marie

MelissaB
Posts: 372
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: Try a New Schedule for 2017-2018

Unread post by MelissaB » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:18 pm

Hi, Marie ~

This is really a great plan.

We've been homeschooling 10 years, and the undone "home projects" that pile up waiting for the end of the year have caused my heart much stress.

We took your plan and put it on the calendar. We highlighted six weeks green, then 2-week breaks in yellow. Even with our 10th grader's 36-week school year, we'll enjoy well over a month of "summer break" at the end of the year - - without the long "To Do" list!

My husband and I discussed it, and we're going to try it this year and see how it goes.

I already look forward to a year where we don't get behind in science or math, and our home stays in better order.

Marie, this is a blessing! Thank you very much for sharing!
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

lea_lpz
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:00 pm

Re: Try a New Schedule for 2017-2018

Unread post by lea_lpz » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:50 pm

I've been thinking about this lately. For the most part we have schooled round and taken a longer break in winter (thanksgiving through Christmas) and had wiggle room through the year, and lately it seems like an inevitable spring break because of having babies in March lol. This year we ended up taking a much longer break than I anticipated in spring due to moving and then my kids getting sick. We live in a climate where it's been quite hot in summer, heats up until around 4 pm, so it makes sense to get school in when it's hot in summer, but we have had some obstacles this year.

For one my kids are older now and have made friends with the neighborhood kids who are pretty much free to play all day. Then we have joint custody of my stepson. The kids want to be with him and spend time together. They end up staying up later then they do during the school year since it's so hot they can't really play outdoors until its cooler so often they are playing outside until its dusk and often end up staying up late hanging out in their rooms after they are sent to bed. So anyhow, because we took time off in spring I feel like we should have done "more" this summer but ended up trying to find a happy medium and focused on doing our morning time and then continuing Lang for my rising 2nd grader and math for my rising 5th grader with a bit of writing assignments here and there.

Basically, now that my kids are older I'm wondering if I should switch to following our local school district/ stepsons school calendar but I loved being able to break when we need it.

Do you think this suggestion from Marie could work for us? Would we still get some summer time off?
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TriciaMR
Posts: 1008
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Try a New Schedule for 2017-2018

Unread post by TriciaMR » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:55 pm

This would be fine, if we didn't have co-op that has deadlines. I find that I'd rather add in "catch-up" weeks when we need them. We know we take 1 week at Thanksgiving, and 2 weeks at Christmas. We generally don't take a Spring break, but we try to take an early family summer trip in early May. Then summer has camping trips and trips to see family. If we didn't have outside commitments, I might try something like this.
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MelissaB
Posts: 372
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: Try a New Schedule for 2017-2018

Unread post by MelissaB » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:36 pm

Hi, Lea ~

We were wondering the same thing. Our school year ran over last year, too, for different reasons.

I sat down with a one-year calendar (printed free online :) ). I used a green highlighter to mark the six-weeks on-school time, then a yellow highlighter to mark the two-week breaks. {I think I wrote about that in the previous comment.}

Try it out with your year-long schedule and see if it works for your family. You might mark your stepson's breaks first, if your want to try to arrange your breaks to coincide with his. For example, our daughters like to take off the 3rd week of September since both of their birthdays occur in the same week (no, I didn't plan it that way. ;)) . So instead of taking off the last week of August and first week of September back-to-back, we marked off the last week of August, then do two weeks of school, and take our 2nd week of break during "Birthday Week" in September.

Get creative, get your highlighters out & see what works!

We are now in our third week of school this year, and I'm already looking forward to that break at the end of August! Hope it works for you, too!

Blessings to your sweet family! ~
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

MelissaB
Posts: 372
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: Try a New Schedule for 2017-2018

Unread post by MelissaB » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:18 pm

O.K. ... After six weeks of school, we were a week behind in Algebra II, and one chemistry test behind. We took our first week of "break" and were able to get completely caught up! This has really been a blessing!

Thank you, Marie!
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

MelissaB
Posts: 372
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: Try a New Schedule for 2017-2018

Unread post by MelissaB » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:08 pm

May I give you one more update using the"new" scheduling method?

We're now more than 2/3 of the way through the school year. Today is a Monday, our first day back after a 2-week break. It's the end of the February, and our oldest daughter just closed her chemistry book and said, "Mom, I love these two-week breaks. Science is interesting again! I'm not overwhelmed, I'm not tired, and I don't feel the pressure of being behind."

Two weeks is all we need to rest and regroup, then everyone's ready to get back to school!

Thank you again for the idea, Marie. Our home, our schooling, and even our countenance is better! :)

Much Love in Christ ~
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

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