Friday, March 08, 2013

Our Schedule 2012-13

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We began a new schedule at the beginning of this school year. Everyone's been asking me about it, and its a little hard to explain. BUT, if you're looking for a way to spice up your homeschool, this is it!

Here's the thought process: (the only way I know how to explain it)

We've always done the usual public school schedule, mainly because daddy was a teacher and it worked for us to be off school when he was. Daddy no longer teaches, and last summer, amidst a drought and 100+ temps, my kids sat inside day after day because it was just too miserable outside, except for brief moments in the pool. 

Why am I doing this to my kids? In April, September, and October, when the temps here are comfortable and the days are long, we are stuck inside working. I sat down with a year long calendar from Donna Young's printable site, and two highlighters (different colors). 

I thought about the year: holidays, weather, special events. I allow more time off for those occasions. We are doing a total of six-6 week sessions, which will allow us to log the legal amount of hours for our school work. Between each session, we take a break. Sometimes only a week, sometimes a whole month-again based on the important things going on in our lives. 

How's it going?

We started our year in August; this is March. We are getting more done this year than ever before! We have finished a whole History and Science curriculum by January. The way I have it planned out, we should actually get close to finishing the entire Abeka math curriculum by the end of our year. If you're familiar with Abeka, you know that is an amazing feat! No, finishing curriculum has never been a goal for me, and I don't judge effectiveness by it, but its just an odd thing to even think about getting this much in.

If you're still confused....

Here's a look at my calendar. I wrote things in the sides that I would like to do. The idea in my mind was during those break times, to fit in more art, music, field trips, and things that we usually don't have time to do. I have found that it also give me a chance to regroup, work on grades, and plan out the next 6 weeks (I'm a planner). I am getting so much more done!
The Calendar...dum, dum, dum

So, we started school the last week in August(2012), and are currently working our way through the months. The yellow highlighted days are hard to see on this pic, but this is when we are out of school! You can see I wrote ideas for special activities off to the sides of the calendar. July 24, 2013 will be our last official day of the year. We will probably take just a short break and start right back in August, because August is a pretty miserable month (weather-wise) here in Southeast Missouri. I'd rather be inside in August, and outside in September or October!

My sixth grader loves our schedule and looks forward to the breaks. I had him sit down with me in the beginning and help plan our schedule, so he had a hand in this too. This has been a really great year of learning for him. It seems like you have those great years, then you have those okay years. With God's guidance we made some great curriculum choices, and our schedule has pushed us over the top. 

It's not for everyone, but might be worth a try if you're looking for something different. 

Here's a recap of instructions if you're thinking of trying this:

1. Print out a year long calendar. (you may want to print extras in case you mess up-don't ask me how I know...)
2. Make a list of important dates, holidays, & preferred long breaks for the year.
3. Highlight each 6 week session in a certain color. 
4. Make sure your plan meets state requirements. 

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Ecc. 3:1

Lets use the time God has given us wisely!

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