I didn’t realize how deeply entrenched my mind was in the public school system. For years, I have been running a yearly routine similar to that of when I was in school. Then, a few years ago, a thought finally crossed my mind: I need a break!
I had always started our learning year at the same time the local schools did, right after Labor Day. I ended the second week of June, just as I had for years in my school years. We took a week for Thanksgiving, two for Christmas, and another for Spring Break.
While this routine functioned for a little bit, I soon realized it wasn’t going to work in the long run. I don’t want to take the entire summer off! I want to take more breaks throughout my learning year. (August to Thanksgiving is a really long stretch, in my humble opinion.) Basically, I needed to abandon the system’s idea of when education should take place and just come up with my own plan.
Over the course of several years, we have experimented with various routines to find which works best:
- No Summers Off – We merely change-up the routine and learn through different formats. We do less book work and more Summer Fun.
- Back to School – Instead of starting at the beginning of September, we start back at the end of July. This gives us more opportunity for breaks during the learning year and allows us more freedom to do ministry.
- Holiday Breaks – We’ve extended our Christmas and Easter breaks to better fit our needs.
This year, we’ve decided to add a few more breaks into our year. We are going to take a week off between our first and second quarter of the year; then again between our third and fourth. (No more long stretches between summer time and the holidays!)
We’ll test out this routine for the year and see how things work. If they don’t, we’ll renegotiate and try something else; just one of the many joys of homeschooling.
Time to Chime In: How many breaks do you take during your learning year?