Structure the School Year

Now that you have begun your homeschooling schedule, there are various questions that trouble you. Should you study continuously, take a number of short breaks or a long vacation? What about public holidays? When should you take a break?

The answer to these questions and many more like these are
actually quite simple: Do whatever suits you best. This is one of
the appealing benefits of homeschooling. You do not have a set
pattern to follow. You do not HAVE to take that autumn break, or close shop for a prolonged summer vacation. Flexibility is the key here.  Beginners should chart out their activities to fall into a pattern.   You have the flexibility to take scheduled breaks in a way that works for your family.  And, when it comes to summer, you may not shut down completely.  You can have a few activities to reinforce learning that went on throughout the prior school year.

Before you plan the structure of your classes, consider some of
the most important issues:  the method of homeschooling  that you will be following, your teaching style, your child’s
learning style,  work and play schedules,  and any vacation plants.

Some families plan small 1-week vacations at different times of the year. Other families prefer to go away for a month or more. Decide on the school and break schedule that makes sense for you.

There are some positive benefits in following the traditional
summer vacation schedule. Firstly, your children can benefit from the various summer activities, camps and classes. Your child’s schedule will coincide with that of his school-going friends. A summer job may be possible.

However, while a long summer break gives both children and parents a rest from daily activities, it  could also be a major drawback, as it is sometimes difficult to get back on track once the classes resume.

On the other hand, there are some advantages to taking numerous small breaks in the course of a year.   If there is a special event, such as a 50% off entry price at a nearby museum on a certain day, you can take advantage of it.  If there is a nearby zoo, or acquarium, or a special event coming to town, you can make it a school field trip.  It keeps everything interesting and the learning keeps happening with intelligently planned breaks.

You can also take family trips and vacations during the less popular periods of travel. This means lesser crowd and better prices. But beware if your child becomes restless when other children are enjoying their long summer vacations.

As far as homeschooling is concerned, you and your family are the people in charge. Taking care of the individual needs of the child is the primary focus of this system. So, tailor the school year to suit your child’s needs. Periodic evaluation is a must. Set some realistic goals and see if you are able to achieve these goals.  Most importantly, avoid burnout – both in yourself and your children.


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