I have decided to start a semi-weekly series called “Homeschool Moms Answer”.
For the series, I will ask homeschool moms a question that either I want to know the answer to or something that I have heard others ask.
Whether you are a homeschool mom or not, I hope these posts will help you in some way.
The first question I asked homeschool moms was this:
How do you determine when your kids get a day off from school? Do they get off when the public schools get off? Snow days? Government holidays?
Okay, so it was really a set of questions. So sue me.
I think there are some out there that have a certain idea about homeschoolers and the schedules we keep.
Some feel like we are very strict… never allowing a day off.
Others feel like we never do school. Ever.
The truth, in my opinion, is a little in between.
When I asked other homeschool mom bloggers about this, I got a lot of great answers.
Kate, from Under the Sky, said, “We always have a family holiday for each child’s birthday. This is something they look forward to all year. I know that they won’t have this in college or adulthood, but in a homeschool, we can make our own events!”
I totally love the idea of taking off for a child’s birthday. We never really have done that. My hubby is not so keen on it. We just do an abbreviated day on birthdays.
Kimberly, from Kimberly A. Vogel, says, “We love the freedom taking days off here and there. Because I have struggling learners we don’t take breaks from math or reading. We might do math games for a break but never more than 2 or 3 days unless we are out of town.”
I’m kind of like this. I don’t like taking breaks from math and reading. Not necessarily because my kids struggle in those areas, but just because I feel they are foundation for all other subjects and too important to skip!!
Laura, from Simply Healthy Mama, says, “We school almost year round so we can take off a day whenever we want. When you look at homeschooling as a lifestyle then there really are rare days that aren’t considered a “school days.” We are always learning even if we don’t have any books open!”
A year or two ago, this would have been my answer. My oldest requested we please not do school anymore during the summer, so I’ve been trying to rearrange our school calendar to accommodate this request.
And… a few more…
Janelle, of Janelle Knutson, shared, “We do school year round so that we can homeschool for 3 to 4 weeks and then take a whole week off throughout the entire year. We also take off for major holidays and family trips. Here are a few other reasons I give my kids a day off (or at least a half-day): close friends or family visiting, illness, ministry opportunities, my husband has a day off of work, we just need a day off!”
Deana, from The Frugal Homeschooling Mom, says, “We often take off on days that our public schooled neighbors are off from school. I like taking those days off because it gives me some time for planning and preparation and I often need a mental break too. But sometimes, when we’re behind or if we’ve slacked off too much, I will neglect to mention that the public schooled kids are off, and we’ll continue as though it’s a normal day! I’m usually lucky and don’t get caught, but sometimes, a neighbor kid knocks on the door and wants my kid to play, and I have some explaining to do!”
Kemi, from Homemaking Organized, says, “We do a four day week to accommodate my husband’s mid-week day off. We also take all the regular national holidays but shift our spring break to when we can get in a vacation. We don’t do snow days but more like half snow days. We used to take the same holidays as public school but now we do so much that is not on that schedule that we just have our own system that works with family, friends, and church functions. We also do field trips days (which are so fun they seem like a day off). Our summer breaks shift to whatever is going on in life.”
Brenda, from Counting Pinecones, says, “Since my oldest daughter attends public school, we tend to schedule our “off days” along with what her schedule is. Also, if my husband gets it off from the military, then the kids get it off as well.”
Katie, from Daily Life, says, “We school while taking care of my grandmother who has Alzheimer’s. Our school hours and days off all depend on her mood, appointments, and when (and sometimes if) she sleeps. We do book work about four days a week, but those days aren’t set. Holidays really depend, unless we have family plans we try to do school work when ever we get the chance. We do try to take off during the public school’s spring break and some of the summer so that my little one can get together with her friends.”
From Linda, at Homeschooling 6, “We school year around although I do have a start date in the middle of January and end date of December. Even though we school year around it helps to have a beginning and an end. With taking days off we usually go by the public school calendar because my nieces and nephews live right behind us. During the summer we take a few weeks off when Grandma and Grandpa come visit from California. Once they go home it’s back-to-homeschool. We take a winter break instead of a summer break.”
Michelle, from Faith, Family, and Fridays, shares, “This year we began a Sabbath Schooling Schedule. We do school for 6 weeks and then take a week off. Then repeat. The week off allows a time to regroup, reevaluate and have a little fun!”
Edie, at Carter Chaos, says, “We started out following the local school schedule. Then we did year round for a couple of years. This year we’ve done a 5 weeks on, 1 week off schedule (roughly). We started in late July and will end in May. We did take 1 week at Thanksgiving and 2 weeks at Christmas. This is my favorite way so far! The kids and I look forward to the breaks and taking off a whole week instead of just a day here or there makes it really feel like a school vacation. We don’t do snow days. We may adjust our day a little for playing in the snow but we still have school.”
That is probably the answer that is closest to my own.
We have done many different “schedules” over the years.
For the current year, though, we started at the beginning of August. We took off a partial week for Thanksgiving and a full week or a little more for Christmas. Beyond that, we have taken off a day or two here and there when we go out of town for a long weekend or when someone isn’t feeling well. On snow days, we play for a few hours and then when they come in to thaw out, they do their school work.
Okay… That’s the first installment of “Homeschool Moms Answer”!!!
I don’t know about you, but it was refreshing for me to see all the variety of answers!
I love that people are not so rigid that they can’t take off a day.
I love taking off for birthdays, for when dad is home, or for when public schooled or college-going siblings and other family members are off from school.
I love that we can start and finish when we say so and on the schedule that works best for our families!!
If you are a homeschooler, I hope this gives you encouragement that whatever schedule you choose for your home is the right one if it works for you. And, also that if you find it’s not working, you can always change it!
And, if you are not a homeschooler, I hope this gave you some insight into how homeschoolers plan their year!
Do you homeschool?? What is your schedule like? Do you take off for snow days?