In my last post, I alluded to the new schedule for this year that the kids and I worked out together. I’ve also tried to be very conscious of where the Lord is leading us for this school year. (I won’t even pretend that that is easy, because it’s definitely a process….)We have divided the year into 7 seven week units. Yes, I know that is more time than your “typical” school year, and we can move some at the end to next year if we need to, but I hate the idea of having more than a few weeks off at a time – too much time to get bored, into trouble, and out of practice.
The kids love the idea that every 6 weeks, they know they will get a week off of their book work. There will still be learning going on, but it will done in more unconventional ways. And an unexpected added bonus — the 6 week units are giving me a much more manageable time frame to work within as I plan out what we’re going to do next year. Another important thing about the schedule is that the weeks don’t necessarily correspond to complete calendar weeks. You probably noticed that I have the days labeled as Day 1, Day 2, etc… By doing it this way, it relieves some of the pressure and if you have to take an unexpected day off due to a service opportunity or sickness, you don’t feel like you’re now “behind.” This also alleviated the stress I was feeling about how to schedule around Thanksgiving – being that I didn’t want to necessarily take off the entire week since it’s right in the middle of a unit.
Each school week has 4 days of intensive studies covering all of the subject areas – I find that it works better for us if we do every subject every day for shorter amounts of time instead of splitting up the subjects (M/W or T/Th, etc…) There are a few exceptions, but they are very very few. Art is one…..Art is 2 days a week and Geography is probably going to be 2 days a week – but, that hasn’t been finalized yet. The fifth day is going to be Bible and History with other subjects being taught in the framework of those two subjects. This opens us up for time intensive projects for those subjects – which are the “spine” of our homeschool.
I never realized how much a workable schedule could excite the kids – they think it’s great that they know in advance what is expected of them and they know where there breaks are definitely scheduled in. This also keeps Mom from becoming too intensely focused and pushing them until they just lose all JOY in their schoolwork. Yes, yours truly has done that before and I’m hoping that this year’s plan will keep us all on target.