Friday, August 17, 2012

Our Schedule, Part 1 (Yearly and Weekly)

I've been meaning to do a post about how our school schedule works all year.  Except for that I kept changing it.  Now I think I've finally stumbled upon a system that's working for us and that we can sustain even in this super crazy season of life that we are now in.  So, if you too are looking for a way to bring some order to your chaos, this is the post for you. =)

Our Year
We started out the year with a 4 weeks on, 1 week off schedule, but then I discovered that because of ME being in school part time this year with a schedule that is constantly in flux, the kids' school schedule needed to be flexible too.  So, I don't necessarily plan set times for school to be "in" and school to be "out".  I keep a calendar that looks like this (I'm pretty sure I downloaded it from Donna Young's website):

We basically take a day or two off here and there as we need it - a playdate or field trip opportunity comes up, someone gets sick (or just plain too tired), I need to catch up on other work, we go on a family vacation, whatever.  I mark on the calendar which days we did or did not do school.  I keep a running total at the end of each month just so I can stay on track and make sure that we end up with 170-180 'school days' in the end of the year.  I don't have to report attendance to anyone, but I do want to make sure that we are staying on track with the 'average' school year and avoid the temptation to take too many days off just because I don't feel like it.

Sometimes going to the park and picking dandelions wins out over school. ;-)
Oh and for what it's worth, we do a January-December school year.  This is mostly because Michelle has an October birthday, and we 'officially' started K the January after she turned 5.  She was ready for it and it seemed silly to wait until the following September to start school with her, even though that's when she would have started K had we opted to send her to a traditional school.  We're also going into our 4th year in a row of making a major move in January so it's sort of a natural place for us to take a longer break for Christmas and moving and start fresh again once we're settled.

Moments like thse are what I love about homeschooling. =)

Our Weeks
In keeping with our flexible schedule, I don't schedule our weeks as Monday-Friday weeks.  They are labelled Days 1-5.  If we take a day off, or the weekend gets in the way, we just pick up where we left off the next day so we never miss out on anything.  Day 6 is our "Project Day".   We do just our basic subjects (Bible, literature, and math practice) and spend the rest of the day doing projects that can be too time consuming to squeeze in to a regular school day - nature walks and journalling, art projects, cooking projects, French videos, etc.  This helps to ensure we don't miss out on these things (we would if I didn't schedule them) and mixes things up enough to prevent burnout, even though we don't generally take extended breaks unless we are away from home.   So...a week in our house may look something like this:

Monday: We follow our 'Day 1' school schedule.
Tuesday: Day 2
Wednesday: Papa is off school so he take the kids to the park and I get caught up on emails, newsletter, or studying.
Thursday: Day 3
Friday: Day 4
(Saturday and Sunday off)
Monday: Day 5
Tuesday: Day 6: Projects
Wednesday: Day 1
Thursday: Day 2
Friday Day 3

Now this post is getting kind of long, so I will save our daily schedule for next time. =)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing! I look forward to part 2!