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June 29th, 2011, 09:25 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: KY
Posts: 2,025
Sooo... How do you ladies do your school year??? Do you plan out your calendar ahead of time... decide when you will take breaks from schooling? Or do you just wing it? In KY we have to do 185 days and I have to account for all those days... So would it be wise for me to try to make out a calendar and decide when I want to take breaks and stick to that schedule? Also, I know this sounds like a pretty dumb question, but when you do attendance (for those of you who have to keep record of it), How do you account for days that they are sick or for some other reason not able to work on their schooling? One more thing, for those who stick to a more traditional calendar rather than year round, do you begin in August or in Sept.? I realize that it's probably going to seem A LOT shorter than a school year in the public system because there won't be any inclimate weather days that have to be made up. I feel like we are getting somewhere with this... There are just SOOO MANY details to work out (or it feels that way anyhow... This time next year I will probably look back on it and think I made it WAY more complicated than it had to be )

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June 29th, 2011, 09:47 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 8,365
We start in Aug and end in May. I lay out a tentative schedule but it is flexible. For example this year I am due to have a baby in Oct and I am scheduling fall break around my due date but we will take it when ever I have the baby. As for attendance I just mark any day that we work as a school day. Field trips count too, I also count the days we do activities with our homeschool group like show and tell day.

As for sick days if one child is working then it is a school day and the others just get marked "sick" but I do count it towards our 175 days, after all if they were in PS then they wouldn't make up those days attendance wise anyway.
Momma to :
E-10.5yrs 11/03
S-7.75yrs 8/06
A-6yrs 3/08
J-4.5yrs 11/09
K 2.5yrs 9/11

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June 29th, 2011, 01:37 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Lonestar State
Posts: 50,214
I do early/mid-Aug to early/mid-Jun. I schedule appx 200 days per year (if we do more, fine... if we do less, fine... no one will complain if they see we're doing 200 days).

First, I schedule a week for Thanksgiving, 2 weeks for xmas/ny's, and a week for spring break (spring break is flexible, but I know there will be a week in there somewhere that we'll take off).

Next, I schedule any known breaks we'll have to take (like, we're going to CO for a week in January this year, and I'll need a couple days off in Fall for work). Here's where you'd schedule things like off-season vacations, births, etc, and again, the dates are flexible as long as you document some time off in your calendar to keep yourself on track.

Third, I look at how much I plan to accomplish (like "textbook 2" in this subject and "workbooks 4-7" in this subject or "a unit study of ___"), and I break it into the number of weeks I have left. That tells me how much needs to be done in a given week. For example, I know I'm using Apologia for science. There are 14 lessons in each of two books, so I'll schedule 14 weeks in fall and 14 in Spring. I know there are more than 14 weeks, so I use the remaining weeks to catch up after a scheduling conflict or to get ahead in case a conflict arises in the future. Any remaining weeks are filled with a shorter subject like Health at the end of the year.

Last, I monitor & adjust as the year progresses. I have a pretty good idea how much needs to be accomplished in any given week because I've sheduled through the first 3 steps above. In a given week, I can then look at our ever-changing calendar to work around doctor appointments, field trips, etc. On days that we have nothing planned, we'll do all subjects and try to accomplish as much as possible. On days that we're running around, I don't schedule much. As a general rule, if you're sick enough to quit eating and just sleep on the couch all day, you're too sick for school. If you're well enough to bug me every 10 minutes to play or get a snack, you're well enough for school. The 24 hour fever-free rule doesn't apply to homeschools. Some days, a child just "won't feel like" doing school, and that's totally ok with me! I'd rather not force a child to go through the motions when their heart isn't in it (like, a friend moves away or a dog dies or they have a somewhat serious injury on the playground ... things that PS overlooks and requires you to attend anyway). If they don't feel like doing their favorite activity, they certainly won't feel like cooperating for school work.

By the way... I have all this in Excel spreadsheets. The left column is for the dates, and the top row is for the subjects. I fill in the blanks from there and adjust as needed. When something is finished, it can be gray'd out or crossed out.

Last edited by BensMom; June 29th, 2011 at 01:39 PM.
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June 29th, 2011, 03:54 PM
Frackel's Avatar DOh!
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: In my house :p
Posts: 1,288
We follow a typical school year. Granted OHVA(we use K12) has a schedule they follow anyway, but ours doesn't always coincide with theirs.

We will go Aug. through the end of May(though their last day of school at OHVA is always in June-we'll be done well before that, more likely early may, lol)

Breaks we take when we need/want to. They do have some specific breaks, like winter break, spring break, etc.. But last year we didn't take ours when they did(and you don't have to anyway).

You can't always plan things like breaks unless you have something specific you'd like to do(vacation for example). I like having the flexibility to say "welp, we're getting nothing done today, let's go for a walk instead". It works for us, lol.
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June 29th, 2011, 08:07 PM
Jill0924's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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It is great to hear how everyone aranges their school years. Since we are just beginning I really hadn't thought about it. I think I would like to do a year round schedual with breaks every three months, but I know the summer quarter will be much lighter than the rest of the year, so we'll see how it goes. I don't have to keep track, so I didn't think to make a calendar for our home school.

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June 30th, 2011, 07:07 AM
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 53
This is my first year homeschooling, but we will be doing year around schooling. I think this will be better for our family, we will take frequent breaks every couple of months.
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June 30th, 2011, 02:24 PM
in_mommy's Avatar I am just me
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 14,873
I guess I am a bit more relaxed in the scheduling aspect. We pick a start date and go for it. We have to do at least 180 and we are good to go. I don't really plan days off, we just take them when we want. We usually end up taking a couple of days at Christmas and 1 for Thanksgiving, but otherwise, we just take the time off when we want. I think it would drive me nuts if I had it planned exactly out and then it didn't work out and we fell behind or whatever, it just works better for us this way. I did just sign us up to try Skedtrack for keeping track of our daily progress and such instead of writing it down daily on the sheet as I had been doing. Not sure how this is going to work out, but I thought I would give it a try to cut back on some of the paper use.
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June 30th, 2011, 05:10 PM
2Corinthians10:4's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thanks for all the tips ladies, I will definitely be using them.

Thank you Kiliki for my beautiful siggy!

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June 30th, 2011, 06:51 PM
TaraJo29's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,741
I never planned my school year or the breaks before. But this year I already scheduled out all our school days and planned our breaks. I'm planning to start school Aug 15 and end the first week of June. I planned exactly 36 weeks. If I need more time, I can always take it after my planned end-date b/c technically the school year ends on June 30 for NY State.

I think I will be much happier for planning out or days... especially planning the breaks. I used to just take days off whenever I needed it (the day before a birthday to make the cake, get ready, etc) and then I would feel guilty about not doing school that day and feel like I'm getting more and more behind the more I do that. So I think it will help me to know that I planned the day off so I can actually enjoy the time off rather than feeling like a big slacker for doing so. That's just the way I am.

I'm sure I will feel like having a breakdown sometimes and take an unscheduled day off, but I will have a better idea of how far through the our material /school year we are and hopefully I won't fret about it so much.
Mom to Titus (10), Isaiah (8), Noelle (6), Joel (4), Hannah (2), and baby due Sept 10!


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July 1st, 2011, 06:07 AM
jhmomofmany's Avatar Look! A Dancing Banana!
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Location: Upper Michigan
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ya'll are so much more organized than me- it's a little intimidating! I plan for school days usually no more than a month in advance- if I plan too far out then it's inevitable that something happens to get us "off track" and the whole calendar has to be scrapped anyway. We like to take weeks off here and there, and generally keep the same non-schedule through the summer months.

MI (where we live now) doesn't require attendance, but I had to keep those records when we lived in AL. Honestly... I flubbed it. A lot of the time I'd mark a planned day as a school day even if "school" was watching PBS while sick.
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July 1st, 2011, 07:53 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: KY
Posts: 2,025
So... You think it is ok if I just make a schedule and mark the days in my attendance records that I will be ok? As long as they get everything finished for their particular grade level by the end of the year? We plan on working 5 days a week and taking breaks here and there but we are going to go with a more traditional summers off approach. I know we will probably be able to finish everything and stay on track but the idea of having to keep tabs on all 185 days seems a little overwhelming for me.

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July 4th, 2011, 08:12 PM
TaraJo29's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,741
Originally Posted by melinda12205 View Post
So... You think it is ok if I just make a schedule and mark the days in my attendance records that I will be ok? As long as they get everything finished for their particular grade level by the end of the year? We plan on working 5 days a week and taking breaks here and there but we are going to go with a more traditional summers off approach. I know we will probably be able to finish everything and stay on track but the idea of having to keep tabs on all 185 days seems a little overwhelming for me.
Sounds good to me. Just check the days off as you go (or every now and then). I was all worried about this at first but my school district has never questioned a thing. Just make sure you write down how many hours you reported for each quarter! there have been times I didn't write it down and then I was worried that if I reported some certain number of days or hours for the current quarter, it would add up to less than it was supposed to at the end of the year. LOL (This is when I had to look back at my calendar and guesstimate, too, lol). So just keep track and then keep a copy of what you reported. No biggie. And, btw, some school districts ask you to provide the hours you spent teaching each SUBJECT. But, in NY state anyway, this is NOT required by law (and usually absurdly hard to keep track of). You only need to provide the hours you spent on school TOTAL (again, in NY state anyway.. I don't remember where you are). My school district has a spot for hours for each subject, but I don't fill it in and just write how many hours total on all subjects and they have never said a word about it...
Mom to Titus (10), Isaiah (8), Noelle (6), Joel (4), Hannah (2), and baby due Sept 10!


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July 5th, 2011, 08:04 AM
in_mommy's Avatar I am just me
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 14,873
Sounds good to me as well. If your taking the more traditional approach, then are you starting when the school starts in KY? If so, then don't really worry about keeping track of days too much, you just go when they go. You could even have snow days as well if you wanted.
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July 5th, 2011, 12:20 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: KY
Posts: 2,025
Yes, we are planning on doing Aug.-May type of calendar. I am working on trying to come up with a calendar.. But it's really hard to decide NOW when to plan vacations and such. I am not sure we want to do a week off in the fall and spring like the public schools do. Maybe just take off a Friday and a Monday and have a extra long weekend? I LOVE the fact that when the weather is too bad for the public schools to attend, we will still be able to have school at home. So that will DEFINITELY keep them on track. It was so hard last year when they would go maybe 1 or 2 days a week.. For 2 months. And so the school year went a month longer than it was scheduled to.

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July 6th, 2011, 09:08 PM
kalis's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: IL
Posts: 6,523
Since she is still young and Illinois is really lax on homeshoolers keeping records, we will not have much of a set schedule the next couple of years. I am not sure how we will do it once she is actually elementary age, like I said Illinois does not require a lot.
Right now I pull out her preschool books whenever her or I get the notion. In August after she turns 3 we will start the Letter of the Week curriculum and do school time more regularly , but I will not feel bad if we skip a week or take two weeks to do a lesson. Or do 2 weeks in a week and a half if she is really motivated.
Thanks to *Kiliki* for my pretty siggy!
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July 8th, 2011, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 128
I can't commit to a set school year. For one, I can't see the future so it's just not practical to do more than "pencil in" a possible plan. We're going year round so I have a lot of time to get the require days in. I'm going for roughly a 40 week school year and I do some "pencilling in" (I actually use software - easy to delete entries ) of upcoming plans for say, 10 weeks, but day to day I record what was actually done rather than pre-entering what I plan to do. At a quick glance I can see who did school on what day. The record of day to day work is for my own benefit.
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