When I first started homeschooling, I envisioned teaching my children from eight o’clock in the morning to three o’clock in the afternoon, Monday to Friday, with summers, Christmas Break, and Spring Break off. Obviously I had no idea what a homeschool schedule looked like.
Over the years we have experimented with several types of homeschool calendars and all prospects have their pros and cons. Today I’m sharing these school calendars with you. Perhaps these examples will help you map out the days in your homeschool year.
SCHOOL BOARD CALENDAR
In our first year of homeschooling, I adhered to the school calendar. We had the summer off, as well as Christmas Break and Spring Break. We also had various days off scattered throughout the year so that in the end, our calendar worked our to having almost exactly the same amount of “school days” as the school system.
This calendar includes 183 instructional days.
- Holidays are at the same time as in-school kids which makes play dates / outings with friends easier to schedule.
- Accessing summer camps / day camps is easier when your children have the same days off as the children in brick and mortar schools.
- When days off coincide with the school board, field trip locations and parks are busier.
- It’s easier to burnout because there are long stretches during the school year without time off.
- Loss of information over the summer months.
- Planning time can’t be built easily into the schedule, which means weekends of preparation and planning.
The Sabbath schedule has been, by far, my favourite homeschool schedule. It’s a year-round schedule and it involves six weeks of schooling and then one week off. We take two weeks off at Christmas and three weeks off between grades.
This calendar includes about 10 flex days (above the planned statutory holidays, Christmas Break, and Spring Break).
- Field trip locations and parks aren’t as busy, if outings are scheduled while kids are in school.
- The one week off provides ample time for homeschool planning to be done. I usually plan the full 6-week block during this week off.
- You may miss having the summer off.
- Children may struggle returning to their school schedule after having a week off.
This is another year-round schedule. The 4-day week can have a fixed or a flexible day off. With this schedule, we take two weeks off at Christmas and three weeks off between grades.
- The day off allows for a appointments, chores, and outings to be done during the week as opposed to on the weekends.
- Built-in flex-time for illnesses and mental health days.
- If scheduled mid-week, it makes for a nice break in the week.
- If scheduled for Mondays or Fridays, every weekend can be a long weekend!
- Once again, you may miss having the summer off.
- Risk of burnout because it feels like you’re always schooling (especially after maintaining a schedule like this for many years).
- Prep work if not done on the day off, will fall on the weekends.
This calendar includes about 5 flex days (above the planned statutory holidays, Christmas Break, and Spring Break).
We started this year with the 4-day per week schedule but we switched back to the Sabbath schedule because I really missed my planning time.
As you can see there are several calendar possibilities for homeschooling. What calendar does your family follow? Is there a particular schedule that appeals most to you?