Do you follow a traditional school day/time/schedule/year?
This is a pretty easy question, and if you’ve read my blog for long you probably already know my answer. I will share it here, and our reasons, just for fun. No to all the above. We do not pattern our homeschool after the broken model of the public schools. Our goals are different and so our methods are different.
First, our school year does not run from September to May like the local public schools. We school year-round because learning is a part of everyday life. Each official new school year begins in June at our house. The majority of our subjects end in March, with April and May being a time to finish up or strengthen any areas we still want to work on, like math facts or spelling, or to dive into an interest like gardening.
Our schedule does not follow the ‘traditional’ breaks of summer break for 3 months, winter break for two weeks, and spring break for two weeks. We take breaks as we need or want them, often coinciding with morning sickness, the birth of a baby, or really nice weather. We have also learned that our children thrive on routine. That means that taking a few weeks off of homeschool drives them crazy because it messes with their routine. They insist we do school by the end of a week or two off. I think that will lessen as they get older and can all read well enough to learn about their own interests completely independent of mom, but we’ll see.
School time is different here as well. The local public school my children would attend for elementary has children from 8:45AM to 3:45PM. That is seven hours and then they still assign homework every night! No, I’m sorry, it simply does not take seven hours to teach my kindergarteners or my fourth grader. We finish parent-led academics for all children before lunch each day, with breaks for play and snacks depending upon age. However, learning continues all day as my children are free to follow their interests and passions. If they need a little help they just grab a parent or older sibling. As for specifics hours, right now homeschool usually starts around 9am, but it’s flexible. There are mornings where we’ve been working for an hour by that point, and occasionally days where we don’t do any homeschool until the afternoon, if we have something else going on that morning.
Again, our school day does not follow the pattern of the local public schools. For one thing, we include subjects that are not done there. We gather as a family for our gospel time - praying, memorizing scripture verses, learning hymns, and reading the scriptures. This is the most important thing we do each day, and if nothing else gets done I know we’ve done what matters most. We learn sign language together. Makayla has piano practice every morning. We have cooking classes, childcare lessons, and practice life skills like laundry and dishes (oh wait! that’s just real life). We never do our subjects in the same order every day, though we tend to get math done early in the morning.
So there you have it, those are my answers. I will be honest, the answers are often changing in the details, but one thing never really changes, we do not pattern our homeschool after the broken model of the public schools. It it’s broke, don’t copy it!
You can read my Crewmates’ answers to the same question on Tuesday here.
Until then, why don’t you leave a comment telling me how it works at your house? Do you follow a traditional school day/time/schedule/year?