View Full Version : Start of the year

07-03-2015, 08:16 PM
Hi everyone.

We school year round-ish. It seems we never really finish a school year, we just break from it. So maybe our start date is more like a mental recommit date ;)

PS gets out around here at the end of May. We tend to take off the end of May and all of June. We start back up after the 4th of July. Summer is super sunny and hot here. Fall is dreamy and winter is pretty nice too, so we save most of our here-and-there off days for then.

I'm curious, when do you start your homeschool year - why?

07-05-2015, 09:04 AM
Legally, a school year runs from July 1 through June 30 here. But I have a separate summer term for July and August, and promote DS to the next grade on Labor Day. We don't have a break in between.

07-05-2015, 11:45 AM
We do the year round thing too, but summer is lighter, and we use it to catch up on things that didnt get done the previous Sept - June. Im not starting next year's *work* until the charter school starts back up (although we have materials from them for the summer).
And we are taking a little break now as Grandma is living with us between her houses selling / buying.
So I mentally think of the school year as starting in September.

07-05-2015, 11:55 AM
We go year round too though lighter in the summer. If they finish a math curriculum we'l wait til mid-August to start up again. We usually take a few weeks in October to travel so I try to start a little earlier. Though this year my oldest is helping with some summer camps in August so that will make it hard to start if he's not here!

07-05-2015, 12:31 PM
I start adding more things in late August when the ps kids return, though we probably aren't working our fullest schedule until late October.

07-05-2015, 01:15 PM
We took a break at the end of June and we'd finished our main curriculum. We started up again in a gentle way last week, and will ramp up over the next few weeks (FWIW!). I'm still counting days in the 2014/5 school year, and I'll start counting for the 2015/6 school year maybe at the beginning of August. We're taking most of September off to go to Europe, so we'll have another break then. We have to do 180 school days in CA, which we've already done for this school year.

It feels a bit weird as I don't feel like a big deal 'back to school', but maybe that's a good thing. I enjoyed a couple of weeks off, and I feel like we can take it easy the next few weeks. A bit of school, some fun stuff, making use of the summer activities around here.


07-05-2015, 01:28 PM
It feels a bit weird as I don't feel like a big deal 'back to school'

Yes, a big back to school does not fit with us either, since we start mid-summer. We started saving it for a 'Not Back to School Day' the PS starts and we take the day off go to breakfast and play. Works better.

Free Thinker
07-05-2015, 01:39 PM
I'm almost embarrassed to say how little we've done! I started early last year, and we were burnt out and went on vacation at the end of April/first of May. I think our last full week was the week before the first of May. Then we got back from vacation, and I just couldn't ever get into the groove. We did days here and there, but not full weeks of school. Then I decided no school for all of June- and it's been wonderful! I finally feel ready to go back. I've been prepping and ordering things the last few weeks, and plan to start back up again in Mid-July- when it's super-hot! Then we will take off a bit in October when it's nice. I guess I'm still trying to figure out what works best for us. I have kept the kids reading, but I haven't kept up w/ the math like I wanted to. Hope they remember it!

07-05-2015, 02:07 PM
When we first started homeschooling (seems so long ago now), we followed the public school schedule in the hopes that if we had (more or less) the same days off, we would encounter other kids. We usually started back to school at the end of August/first of September. We have since left the county for activities and our schedule has morphed into more what we like: VACATION.
We now always start the first Monday of August, complete 34 weeks/170 days, and finish either the last Friday of May or first Friday of June. This works out to be 10 weeks of vacation throughout the school year. So it ends up being (pretty much) one week of vacation for every month of school. Actually, that week per month and an occasional (!) stiff drink is what keeps me going.

07-05-2015, 02:55 PM
Free Thinker - this was me this year too. We usually lite school May thru June. Not this year. This year we just needed the break. And it has been wonderful. I am ready to start back up.

Homeschooling Librarian
07-05-2015, 04:50 PM
This is our first year, but I planned for us to go year-round from the beginning, so it's really the availability of extracurricular activities that mark the start of the school year. September 21st is our official first day, but theater and soccer and whatnot will probably start earlier. M1 and I both like the September start - something about us doing new things and undergoing related changes as the world outside starts shifting into autumn.

07-05-2015, 05:36 PM
I also love the first day of school for PS kids. We take the day off (we school off and on during the summer) and it's kind of like our own special holiday :) Yea! We can go here or there, and most places are like a ghost town that day!

We have always basically followed "mentally" the PS calendar. But we take off here and there where needed. Summer we take two weeks off in both July and August.

As far as the "start" of the year....hmmm? We've been know to crack open a new curriculum pretty much whenever. I don't really wait for a start date......BUT now that oldest ds is starting high school type work, we will probably look more at start and end dates....

07-05-2015, 06:13 PM
Last summer we took pretty much the whole summer off...big mistake! It was horrible getting back into it. We followed the PS calendar pretty much...except we went to Mexico for a week in October :). We took off for T-giving and Xmas, too...but then schooled from January through mid-may. Then we moved, and are starting back tomorrow! She has swimming at 9am M-Th, and gymnastics/karate in the afternoon, so we will school from about 10-12 ish, then I will work 12-5ish (and 9-10). Whew! It's going to be interesting to see how tomorrow goes....want to be more relaxed during the summer, but need to get going on some things.

07-05-2015, 06:22 PM
So we are sort of taking a break, as I have been sorting things out, but now I am wondering if I'm unschooling, are their any breaks? Maybe some days or weeks have less learning than others.

We are going to Alaska at the end of the month for 2 weeks, so right now we are reading and watching videos about Alaska and the wildlife, as well as starting some of the Jr. Ranger activities that I downloaded from the NPS website. He wants to get a few Jr. Ranger badges while we are on the trip. The state of Alaska even has its own jr. ranger program. I plan on putting together a family travel journal. Less pressure that DS' own travel journal, so he can do as much or as little as he wants. He seems to do more stuff the less pressure there is to do it. :) I purchased some fun books that I plan to take on the trip about Alaska.

He also doing some project-based activities, one of them being bald eagles, so he will be able to supplement what he is doing from the trip.

After that, I plan to continue with science activities. We are taking a break from math because I am trying to figure out what I want to do. I purchased some Murderous Maths books, some fun math activities/puzzle books and math games. We are already playing math board games, I hope to get started with the activities in the books after we return from the trip.

Our schedule is reflective of my work schedule. I teach at a college so I have a similar schedule to public school, but not exactly. I get a month off for winter break and I start & end summer break earlier, so we can still take advantage of pockets of time where the ps kids are in school and we are not. Summer and winter breaks are good times for me to evaluate what we are doing and make changes as necessary, especially if they are big changes.

07-05-2015, 06:35 PM
We (me and now-adult kids) have done it differently for different years.

The new sprout is his own person so we're still figuring it out as we go along. He likes a 7-day a week schedule and was chomping at the bit to get back to lessons after my two week canning and housecleaning break.

We're currently focusing on LA and doing games based Math until the public schools start. I'll probably have to chuck Shurley English in the middle of Level One if I want to use Saxon Math again, which makes me sad, but looking at last year's plans which don't look anything at all like this year's reality kind of puts things in perspective.

07-05-2015, 07:15 PM
We have only been HS'ing two years and have schooled very lightly and sporadically all year round.
However, now that the kids are entering sixth grade I think we need to step it up a bit. (I think I said this last year too but we never increased our schooling :o) That said, I am not planning our new 'stepped up education' until late September or October first. I would like to take advantage of the empty beaches while it is still warm and we typically go on a vacation in September.

07-05-2015, 07:42 PM
but now I am wondering if I'm unschooling, are their any breaks?

Interesting question.

I used find our breaks tiring on my end because I felt like our week off was still busy for me as I was heavily involved. Oh hey kids wanna go to the museum, the zoo, read to the dogs at the library, 10 play dates??? We were not structured in our learning by any means, but we were on the go. Our off weeks were packed.

Now we just do a few out of the house things, and I let them use screens. It is what makes me feel like we have had a break.

So I guess there can be breaks as an unschooler, depending on how you feel about breaks.

IDK - your thoughts?

07-05-2015, 07:57 PM
We never quite finished sixth grade. Due to a lengthy illness, we got way off track. We didn't do formal school for several months. DD enjoyed the "break" but became restless and worried about not doing school. So while I was down and out, she started doing more on her own. She did spelling, grammar, and vocab every day on her own. I have been waiting for her to take the lead and become more independent with some subjects. So there was something positive that came out of all of this.

So to answer your question, this year is a little different. We will be continuing with math through the summer except for two weeks that we will be on vacation. We normally take the entire summer off, but DD has been reading more than usual and she is teaching herself Korean. I think that is enough. We will start up with formal school at the end of August, adding in one subject at a time. Easing into it seems to work well for us. We do go on a lot of field trips in the fall before the weather turns cold. From December on we hibernate and huddle around the stove and get lots of school done while we count the days down til Spring!

07-05-2015, 09:02 PM
Interesting question.

I used find our breaks tiring on my end because I felt like our week off was still busy for me as I was heavily involved. Oh hey kids wanna go to the museum, the zoo, read to the dogs at the library, 10 play dates??? We were not structured in our learning by any means, but we were on the go. Our off weeks were packed.

Now we just do a few out of the house things, and I let them use screens. It is what makes me feel like we have had a break.

So I guess there can be breaks as an unschooler, depending on how you feel about breaks.

IDK - your thoughts?

Reflecting on this, in some ways there are breaks. Breaks from our usual routine. Much of our year is structured, since I work. There are my vacation times, which we all go into laze-about mode or vacation/travel mode. Or some combination.

DS just asked the other day, when we were starting school again (meaning math and reading worksheets and other structured activities). He noticed that we hadn't done it for a while. I really hadn't broached the idea of unschooling with him. I was trying to figure it out for myself. When he asked, I said "What if we don't do school? What if we just play games, watch videos, read books, and do fun projects and science experiments together?" He thought it sounded great and wanted to know if we could do something that afternoon. He already told me a while ago that he liked learning, but he didn't like school. So here we are, not doing school. :)

07-08-2015, 03:28 AM
We follow the traditional sort of year for our area, which is starting in August and ending in early May. We mostly do this because my mom is a school teacher and taking time off in the summer means my girl can spend lots of time with her grandma. It's also helpful for us to be on a looser schedule because with dance recital in June comes a visit from my mother in law, and JC likes to do a summer camp in June or July.

I have been working on a schedule and planning things out, and it's sort of a... 5 or 6 weeks of school then a break for a trip and then another 5 or 6 weeks and another break and so on through the year. My goals are always to complete the things we wanted to cover during the year. If we finish early, we move on to the next thing. If we don't finish on time, we keep going until we do.

As for the first day of school, JC likes to do it the same day her friends do, but our first day means setting things up and have a fun breakfast at home and then ice cream with daddy at the end of the day.

07-08-2015, 12:00 PM
I just started updating all my paperwork with our new curriculum and filing away some records. I realised that my record keeping sheet runs out for this school year at the end of July, so I guess in August, we start official second grade!

07-08-2015, 01:28 PM
Like most of y'all we do school through the summer, it's just lighter. Right now we're just working on Language Arts in order to catch back up. We'll probably start back with all subjects around mid-August when all the PS schools start. I spend a lot of the summer planning for the next year, researching curricula, learning styles, etc.

I will admit that even though we don't really have a "back to school" vibe, all the upcoming school and office supply displays get me kinda excited. Love me some office supplies!

07-08-2015, 03:00 PM
No books with a "2" on the cover or games that say "for second grade and up" for my kidlet until the last week of August. :)

However, the folder on my hard drive that says "first grade" is kid of cluttered, so I'm in the process of moving into the one that says "second grade".

The back to school sales are making me ooh and aah because I love office supplies but I am so over curriculum.