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Old 03-09-2014, 08:02 PM   #1
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Organizing Your School Year

Hey Mamas,

How do you organize your school year in terms of how many weeks you do, where your breaks fall, etc?

We'll be doing a one-day-per-week program (Classical Conversations), so I think the bulk of our year will be ordered around that, but I'm wondering if we should aim for a certain start and end date, or just end whenever we finish our curriculum for the year.

How do you all do it?

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Old 03-09-2014, 08:13 PM   #2
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Re: Organizing Your School Year

I use a Charlotte Mason style curriculum with (a liberally altered) Ambleside Online. It is 36weeks long and I follow the layout on the website though I do a good bit of altering as far as which books we use. I don't use bible and I wound up not using the suggested science or history books (I know you are probably starting to wonder what I did use but I use a good bit of it actually and the philosophy is the same). I have found that a 4 day school week works best for us, Friday is my heavy cleaning day though the boys do some light school work that day too, typing and free reading plus anything they didn't finish up the rest of the week. I make out weekly planners at the beginning of the year and we just check everything off as we complete it.

As far as when we start and finish my boys are actually not on the same cycle. My oldest will be finishing in 3 weeks, my youngest has about 12 left. We try to always be working at the same time because I have them combined for history (and we used to do science together but they are doing interest based now) but all of their other subjects are separate so they don't have to be at the same point in their year. We will take a 2 or 3 year break when my oldest finishes 6th grade and then just get started again. We are year round schoolers.
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:26 PM   #3
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Re: Organizing Your School Year

We don't. That probably sounds absolutely horrible to just about everyone else (I think I have terrified a few people in real life), but it works for us. I don't think we have had the same schedule 2 years in a row. A very large part of this is because we are military. We have moved during the "school year" 3 times. A few times DH was deployed and so we went and stayed with family, which affected our schedule.

Now, we when are trying to plan a vacation that would be adversely affected by other people being out of school, we try to plan for a different time. For instance, we went to San Diego a few years ago to see Legoland, SeaWorld, the Zoo, etc, and we planned it for a time when the local kids would be in school.

Oh, and our weekly schedules vary from year to year, as well, depending on activities. For instance, this year, Wednesday is a light school day because of bowling in the morning and church in the evening. We have it set as a project day for either life skills or school projects. Fridays are also often a lighter day (English and math) due to an ongoing service project.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:43 PM   #4
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Re: Organizing Your School Year

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Originally Posted by tallanvor View Post
We don't. That probably sounds absolutely horrible to just about everyone else (I think I have terrified a few people in real life), but it works for us. I don't think we have had the same schedule 2 years in a row. A very large part of this is because we are military. We have moved during the "school year" 3 times. A few times DH was deployed and so we went and stayed with family, which affected our schedule.
It doesn't sound horrible to me, but I would like to put a tentative end date on my school year, mostly for my own sanity. We are military too, and need some flexibility, but we've been lucky as all our moves (3) so far have been over the summer. Of course, now that I have school aged kids that will probably change. :eyeroll:

For the upcoming year I'm planning on taking the "plan out our school year in one day" approach with hubby this summer, and I'm just trying to figure out when to start, when to insert breaks, etc. I guess a lot of it is going to be personal preference. Ideally, if we were staying in one place and not moving around I'd do a year-round schedule with frequent term breaks, but I don't see that being very practical for us now.
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:00 PM   #5
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Re: Organizing Your School Year

We do 4 days weeks because we have co-op classes on Mondays. I wouldn't say we plan each week for the year, but I do put together a planner without any dates on it. We school year round and actually next year a few of the parts of our curriculum are longer than other parts. We take breaks when needed with it being light schooling between Thanksgiving and New Years. We take a full month off in the summer and then do 2 days a week of school for the rest of the summer.
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Old 03-10-2014, 06:06 PM   #6
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Re: Organizing Your School Year

We have start and finish dates similar to the public schools around us, but we do a 4 day school week so our breaks are minimal. The fifth day is for catch up or for co-ops if we are doing one that year. I've probably had every schedule imaginable over the years. Year round (intentional or not ) hasn't worked well for us. I need a good long summer break from formal stuff to re-charge.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:58 PM   #7
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Re: Organizing Your School Year

We do school for four weeks, then take a week off, year round. We take a two week break end of June/beginning of July, and Thanksgiving to Christmas off as well, except for fun holiday themed schooling.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:49 AM   #8
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Re: Organizing Your School Year

kinda sorta but not realy, guess it depends..
THat was clear right?

1) We "school" year around for the most part we don't take any particular long summer break etc... at the same time though...

2) We loosely follow the PS calendar as well. DH is a college professor so his schedule does follow a more 9 month calendar. So while I dont say break school for all of the summer or stictly follow his winter break etc we do tend to take some time off when he is off. So like when he has his spring break so will we. When he had his week or two off between semesters we might take all or part of that time too. Mostly for family time and travel purposes. We will likely take the month of August off because it is too darn hot to think....

3) we school core academics 3 days a week and do a field trip/co opt or hands on project based learning one day a week and take a day "off" for what a ever else in life needs to get done day.

4) we rotate between a more classic 5-6 subjects 30-60 minutes or so of each type days to more blocked 90-120 minutes of a focus on 1-2 daily subjects depending on where we are in things.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:45 PM   #9
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Re: Organizing Your School Year

We currently school year round, but with a much lighter load in the summer. We have a 4 day week and attend co op the fifth day.
I have to say I'm liking babysniffles's 4 weeks on, 1 week off idea. I'm sure my kids would love that too.
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:02 PM   #10
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Re: Organizing Your School Year

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommy2JandS View Post
We currently school year round, but with a much lighter load in the summer. We have a 4 day week and attend co op the fifth day.
I have to say I'm liking babysniffles's 4 weeks on, 1 week off idea. I'm sure my kids would love that too.
We did a four day week last year and it worked then, but this year I am finding I need more planning time than one day a week. I spend our week off planning for the next four weeks, and then the Sunday before each week I go over that weeks plan and make any minor adjustments I might need. I also spend the 'off' week catching up on any fun stuff we've fallen behind in, like art or history, though this last week off my daughter wanted to finish off her math book and earn a new book to read.
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