We will begin our 2011-2012 school year this coming Monday, Aug. 15. I spent time last week organizing curriculum and planning a school calendar using Homeschool Skedtrack. So far, it looks like our year will end somewhere around June 8, 2012. Although my state (Florida) does not have a requirement for number of days, I like to do the same as our public school system, and I follow their major holiday schedule as well, with a few adjustments.
Currently, I am planning for the regular holidays (Labor Day, Veterans Day etc.), but we are taking the whole week of Thanksgiving off (our local schools have school on Mon. & Tues. of that week) and we will take 3 weeks off at Christmas. I also have a week-long “Fall Break” scheduled in October, mainly because I always feel like we need a break at that time (I always felt that way, even when I was in the classroom). I also plan for a “Winter Break” sometime in February, in addition to spring break etc. I find that by planning regular little breaks into our schedule, it prevents burnout, and we still finish up within a week or two of our local public schools. All of my planned breaks are flexible, and the dates can be adjusted according to our needs!
Today, my goal is to come up with our daily schedule, and get my plans sketched out for the first 9 weeks. I like to do this, just because it gives me a feel for the flow of our curriculum. I have a lot of different resources I will be using, especially for history and science, and I want to see how they all fit together (see my previous post about curriculum to find out what we are using this year 🙂 ). To do my planning, I am using printable pages from the TOS Homeschool Planner. If you don’t have one of these, you should really check them out. They are just loaded with pages and pages of useful information, incredible printable planning sheets, calendars and more!
For our daily schedule, I am toying with a couple of different ideas. Monday will be our lighter day, because we have our co-op on Monday afternoons. I also have to plan around homeschool running club (usually 2 days per week, but I don’t know which days yet) and my kids music lessons (guitar for the oldest, drums for the youngest, once a week). We always do Bible, Math, Reading and Writing every day..but I am thinking with Science and History this year, I may experiment with a block schedule, alternating the subjects on different days of the week. I also need to add in Spanish, Logic and Typing/Handwriting as well. I am going to play with this today, and I’ll let you know what I come up with!
Our annual Back-To-Homeschool beach breakfast is tomorrow morning. Our co-op does this each year. All the families bring food to the beach and hang out and the kids do a scavenger hunt for school supplies in the sand! We are looking forward to that…I just have to figure out what I’m going to make. I’m thinking I’ll go with something easy…like cinnamon rolls 🙂