Jun 26, 2010

Why such short breaks?

I am on a national homeschool yahoo list and when I responded to a scheduling question I got an email asking why I felt we needed only 2 or 3 week breaks. I have been asked this in the past and thought since the year round schooling and amount of "vacation time" is always such a big topic of debate amongst homeschoolers I would post my response here as well.

We do 10 week sessions that correlate with the seasons and have two or three week breaks in between them and a week off at Thanksgiving. Whenever we are out of our routine for more than two weeks and are at home, it is HORRIBLE! KM will do nothing but watch TV, she is not terribly restricted from television the rest of the time, it is just all that she will do unless she has someone over or I suggest something else. She has no issue doing something else but won't take the initiative herself and it drives me BANANAS!!! She also starts to get really cranky and easily irritable. There are plenty of things for her to do, but again she just loses all motivation.

During our spring session which should have ended 6/11 and we would have had a 3 week break til 7/5, my dd decided to work hard and get her lessons completed two weeks early, so we have been off since 5/28 and it is getting to me at this point. We have been doing a lot of things, we spent the first two weeks of the month getting in all the field trip locations that we don't like to go during the summer because of the crowds, have spent time at the beach and with family, this week her PS friends have all been out of school so they have been doing things, but the days that we are just home "not doing anything" - cause you know there aren't any chores or projects or gardening or anything else to do around house on a regular basis - it is TV, ROKU, TV, ON Demand, TV....I think you get it.

But as far as our schedule we do the 10 weeks because we also only do lessons 4 days a week, it was 3 days last year because she was doing co-op and theater group on Mondays. We leave Fridays open as field trip day or as a catch up day if we decide to do something in the middle of the week. This ensures that our weekends stay as down days. This coming year I am doubling our ELA days to pick up some of the slack that we have had in this area to prep for High School level work next year (2011-2012).

I have also found that homeschooling year round significantly reduces review time! This allows for us to get more done as we can often skip a far amount of the repetitive work in Math and can stay on track with the flow for history and science.

Hope that clears up why we homeschool year round and take such short breaks! Every family is different, but that is one of the greatest gifts of homeschooling, customization to whatever fits your family!
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