Here’s what I suggest to add peace and rest to your homeschool:
Begin your school year earlier than usual, perhaps early 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.
- 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.”