This week is a break week for us.
Yes, even those of us who homeschool year round need to do this to prevent burnout…not just for the teacher, but also for the kids. Our homeschool operates in 12-week terms but 12 weeks was too long to go without a break. We ended up taking the last week of the month off every month. That still gives us 40 weeks (200 days) and plenty of wiggle room for holidays and sick days.
So what does break week look like?
We still have a rhythm to our day but the morning lasts a little longer, breakfast gets made a little later, and the TV is on a little bit more. I fit in a playdate or fieldtrip to give us something exciting to look forward to, but honestly we like to stay around the house most of the week. I take on a couple of projects around the house and if I’m really lucky, I even get some more writing time in.
Academically speaking, we use this time to tie up loose ends. Sometimes we don’t actually finish everything from the term and since we never take a break from reading aloud, we use break week to complete any lingering book chapters or “term-sensitive” curriculum. I don’t require narration with these and make sure that it truly is odds and ends that we are finishing; not an entire book or 20 lessons (if we are that far gone on a book, it either gets put to the side for another time or gets assigned to the following term). I also prepare by rotating materials, books and displays for the next term.
Term-sensitive subjects include…
* History, Bible, Science & Geography
We combine these and go chronologically. We are in fact “in” an area (like Ancient Egypt) for a whole term and need to finish up before we move to a new area (like Ancient Greece) the following term.
* Picture Study
* Music Study
* Poet Study
* Handicraft project
* Memory Work
We completely break from the following subjects as we do not rush through subjects that carry through the terms.
Carry-through subjects include…
* Language Arts (Reading, Spelling, Handwriting/Copywork, Literature)
* Foreign Language
* Nature Study
* Prayers & Devotionals
* Personal Development (including sports, music lessons and other activities)
The point of break week is really just to enjoy each other and catch our breaths before we jump into the next term. We find that one week is just the right amount of time for our family to unwind without spiraling ;).
How do you work breaks into your year-round homeschool?