Planning Your Homeschool Year to Avoid Burnout
Until four years ago, I struggled with homeschool burnout every year, but I discovered a new homeschool year plan and left burnout far, far behind.
When we first began our homeschooling journey, our homeschool schedule looked very much like that of the public school system. We tried to stay in sync for various reasons, but that didn’t leave much time for breaks when my family needed them, therefore causing burnout. It was a nightmare! I was so tired and felt like we were always behind.
Planning your homeschool year to avoid burnout will change your homeschool forever!
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I was watching a video several years ago and heard the speaker, I don’t remember who, talk about schooling for five weeks and taking a break for a week. That schedule would carry them over into the summer, but they were much more relaxed and enjoyed their homeschool life more.
At the time, I thought it would be crazy to homeschool kids in the summertime. I have since changed my thinking.
There are ways you can move this schedule around to make it work for you. For instance, we always take major holidays off, and sometimes the week of the holiday. We also take some of the minor holidays off too, because my husband is off work. Homeschooling with Dad at home never goes well…ever.
How Long Is A Homeschool Year?
When planning your homeschool year, make sure you check your state’s homeschool laws. In Tennessee, our homeschool year is required to be at least 180 days, and we must spend at least 4 hours per day on “school.” Other states’ laws vary, but you can check your state’s laws before you begin doing your scheduling on the Homeschool Legal Defense Association’s website.
So, now that we know what we must plan for, let’s take a look at my family’s homeschool calendar.
Our Homeschool Year At A Glance
This is what our schedule looked like for the 2018-2019 school year.
We started school on July 23rd. We schooled for five weeks and then we were off for a week’s break.
September 3rd was Labor Day, Dad was home, no school.
Our schooling started back up on September 4th to October 5th, and we took another break from October 8th to October 12th.
October 15th to November 16th, we had school, but Veteran’s Day was November 12th, again, Dad was home, so we took off that day.
We took off the whole week of Thanksgiving and got started again on November 26th.
Planning your homeschool year with holidays
There are a couple of different ways to handle holiday breaks.
The first way is to take off from Thanksgiving until after the first of the year. If you don’t celebrate bringing in the new year, you could start on New Year’s Eve. We do, however, and we don’t “do school” again until Dad goes back to work. That usually means we take off until the second week of January.
Some families that use this schedule take the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s off. I don’t do that. Tennessee doesn’t get much snow and it’s mostly cold, rainy, wet, and muddy, not great weather for playing outside and my kids get sooooo bored being inside for most of the cold months.
Here’s our 2019-2020 homeschool planning calendar…
Our 2019-2020 homeschool calendar looks similar to last year’s.
This is a realistic look at what our calendar looks like at the end of the school year. I’ve made notes on it, changed up some of our days off, and calculated our dates in the months.
I won’t go through our entire calendar, but you get the idea.
Any sick days or days when school doesn’t get done are added to the end of our homeschool calendar year or made up with an occasional Saturday field trip.
Begin With The End In Mind
Tentatively, our last day of school is the Friday before Memorial Day. I try not to hold too tightly to that day because, well, life happens and kids get sick, and mom gets sick, but that’s the day we’re hoping to be finished. This gives us the entire month of June off and most of July, before beginning again the last week of July. I like to aim for getting, at minimum, one month of summer with no homeschooling.
The main thing to remember is to always get in the number of school days required by your school district or homeschool umbrella school.
I hope this has given you some planning ideas. If you’d like to know more about how we structure our days, Our Imperfect Homeschool Routine will tell you all you need to know.
As always, if you have questions or need some help, you can email me at Melanie@educatingcampbells.com.