These past three years, we’ve followed a traditional school calendar. After so many years of public school, we were all used to routinely taking 2 weeks off in the winter and the entire summer off. Also, we have cousins, and lots of public schooled friends that like to plan beach days and sleep overs during the summer. It was just easier that way, or so we thought until it was time to start school in the fall, and it took an entire month for everyone to get back into the homeschool routine, and then interrupted by the two week Thanksgiving break, and as soon as we got back into it again, Christmas break came along, and so on.
This year, we’re moving to a year round homeschool calendar, with six weeks on and one week off. Both the girls and I are exited about the week long breaks in between. So before we start getting our lesson plans in place, let’s figure out when we plan on schooling, when we’re planning on taking vacation, or when we have friends or family come for extended visits.
- Know your state’s homeschool law. Some states require a certain number of days, and others do not.
- Figure out when you plan on going on vacation
- Remember holidays
- Are you expecting extended visits from friends or family members that will require you to take time off?
- Are you planning on following a traditional calendar, or schooling year round?
Also consider taking some “teacher work days” every so often. Public school teachers take these all the time. The kids will be glad to have a bonus day off, and you will have some time to catch up on ‘administrative’ stuff. I often take these to evaluate where we are, catch up on reading & preparing for a certain project, or to just have a day to make changes if necessary.
Finally, consider taking a few days a year to just play. So often we’re so focused on what needs to get completed academically, that we forget kids are kids and one of the ways they learn is through play. We declare these homeschool holidays, and head to the park, spend the day watching movies or baking all day.
Because I’m a visual learner, I need to have a printed color coded paper calendar in my planner. I use this free printable calendar from Five J’s every year.
How do you plan your homeschool year? Do you follow a traditional school calendar or year round?