Homeschooling – Structure the School year

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Now that you have begun your homeschooling schedule, there are 

various questions that trouble you. Should you study continuously, 

take a number of short breaks or a long vacation? What about 

public holidays? When should you take a break?

The answer to these questions and many more like these are 

actually quite simple: Do whatever suits you best. This is one of 

the appealing benefits of homeschooling. You do not have a set 

pattern to follow. You do not HAVE to take that autumn break, or 

close shop for a prolonged summer vacation. Flexibility is the key 

here. For some practiced unschoolers, even a definite curriculum 

is not necessary because lessons are a part of their day- to-day 

life. But this may not be the case with beginners. Beginners may 

need to chart out their activities to fall into a pattern. 

Before you plan the structure of your classes, consider some of 

the most important issues. What method of homeschooling will you 

be following, what is your teaching style and your child’s 

learning style, what are the work and play schedules, what are 

your vacation plans. Some families plan small 1-week vacations at 

different times of the year. Other families prefer to go away for 

a month or more. Consult with the members of your family, and 

chart out a holiday schedule that most suits you.

There are some positive benefits in following the traditional 

summer vacation schedule. Firstly, your children can benefit from 

the various summer activities, camps and classes. Your child’s 

schedule will coincide with that of his school-going friends. A 

summer job may be possible. A longish summer break also means that 

both parents as well as children get a break from their daily 

lessons. This could also be a major drawback, as it is sometimes 

difficult to get back on track once the classes resume.

On the other hand, there are some advantages to taking numerous 

small breaks in the course of a year. Firstly, children do not get 

bored since they get time to explore other interests. You can 

cover more topics in the extra time that you save. You can also 

take family trips and vacations during the less popular periods of 

travel. This means lesser crowd and better prices. But beware if 

your child becomes restless when other children are enjoying their 

long summer vacations. 

As far as homeschooling is concerned, you and your family are the 

people in charge. Taking care of the individual needs of the child 

is the primary focus of this system. So, tailor the school year to 

suit your child’s needs. Periodic evaluation is a must. Set some 

realistic goals and see if you are able to achieve these goals. 

Most importantly, avoid burnout – both in yourself and your 

children. 

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