Google The Unplanned Homeschooler: To break or not to break? Deciding on a holiday schedule for your homeschool

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

To break or not to break? Deciding on a holiday schedule for your homeschool

Winter break is just around the corner for millions of public school kids. A couple of weeks off to celebrate Christmas and the new year are a welcome break around the midpoint of the school year. But for homeschoolers, the question of whether to take an extended break over the holidays really depends on individual families.

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My family typically does not take an extended winter break from school, although we do take off on Thanksgiving and Christmas for sure. Winter is a great time for us to ramp up our focus on school work, since we spend most of our time indoors.

Taking weeks off at the turn of the year, just because that's what the public schools are doing, doesn't make sense for us. We don't like to lose our momentum just when things are getting good.

We also like to save our breaks for times when the weather is better and our friends are up for getting together outdoors. Living in Oklahoma, spring and fall are definitely our favorite times to take extended breaks because it's not too hot and not too cold.

But there are some great reasons to go ahead and schedule a long winter break around Christmas. Here are a few to consider.


A parent's work schedule


Some companies mandate that their employees take leave time between Christmas and New Year's Day so they can shut down production and save money over that week. Some parents work for schools or other employers who are closed for the holidays. If your kids have a chance to spend extra time with one or both parents who are usually working, by all means take it.

Extended family plans


If you will be traveling to see extended family over Christmas, or if your kids' grandparents will be coming to visit you for the first time in months, those plans should certainly influence your scheduling decision. Family time is important, and much can be learned during these visits, even if you put away the school books for a couple of weeks.

You just need a break


If you've been working hard with barely a break since the beginning of August, just the thought of doing school over the holidays might drive you over the edge. You know better than anyone when you and your kids are due for a break, so take one if you need it.

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However you decide to arrange your school schedule this year, do take time to enjoy the holiday with the ones you love. If you go on with school, make it memorable. Enjoy a mug of hot cocoa and a candy cane while working on math or spend time reading Dickens around a cozy fire. And don't forget to really enjoy the days off you do plan, whether they're scheduled one at a time or all in a row.