Monday, August 3, 2009

When to start

When I first entered the homeschooling community, I found the idea odd that there was a beginning and an end to a school year. Although I am a former public school teacher and worked on a 190 day schedule every year (180 with students and 10 without), I still found it odd that families who educate at home were compelled to mark a beginning and end. I guess part of it is what we have learned from society. Most of us went to school 180 days a year (barring sick days and family trips) and there has always been a definite beginning and end of the school year.

When we have our children at home, we have the luxury of making that beginning and end a little fuzzier and should embrace that.

With that said, I made the mistake last year of counting days and letting the children know what number day we were on. This mainly evolved out of the fact that I homeschooled two other students with my family*. To meet state requirements and to come up with an agreement with their parents, the days had to be calculated.
This year, I am not tutoring, but the effects of last year are still being felt.

As I come to my computer and try to plan for the upcoming year, I am sure about what we will be doing. We are going to study the middle ages and possibly go into the renaissance by spring.

The difficulty I am having right now is figuring out when to start what I am calling our regular schedule. We have had so much activity this summer, that we do not have a regular schedule and as much fun as it is, it also creates a lot of stress with fluctuating bedtimes and being in different places each day and each week.

For now, it looks like we will be able to get into our regular schedule at the end of August. In the meantime, I am hoping to read "The Door in the Wall" with the kids and do some activities with it. We'll see.

* Yes, in Pennsylvania it's legal. It falls under the Private Tutoring Provision of the Pennsylvania School Code. Although, some argued with me that I could only take one student from another family, I read the law differently. My argument was that my Pennsylvania teaching certificate enabled me to teach in a classroom with children from 30+ different families at one time. Why then in my home could I only teach children from one family? Once again, I think the law is poorly written.

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