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How can you stay on track, even during the busy holiday season? This is how we do it…
Happy New Year!
Making and keeping a homeschooling schedule around holidays and time off can be a daunting task. If you currently homeschool, then maybe you already have a system that works for you and your family.
If you don’t homeschool, but are what I call “homeschool-curious,” then you may be wondering how parents and students can take time off around the holidays without losing all of their momentum. There are many different ways to homeschool. I’m here to tell you how the Ron Paul Curriculum has worked for us.
Taking a Day Off for Family Time
Yesterday was New Year’s Eve. My husband took the day off of work so we decided to spend the day enjoying some family time. Everyone had a lovely time and we did some fun things that we don’t normally get the chance to do. One thing that we did not get around to doing was formal homeschool.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with taking a day off. There’s nothing wrong with taking the whole week off. There’s nothing wrong with taking several months off. Even traditional schools take time off during the summer.
One of the benefits of homeschooling, in my opinion, is that you don’t have that long break in the summer to forget everything you learned the previous year, but that’s a subject for another post. In any case, when you do take time off, you shouldn’t feel like you have to “make up” for it the way that you would have to do if your child stayed home for a day from a traditional school.
Meeting Legal Requirements
However, if where you live is anything like where I live, there are minimum requirements for homeschoolers.
In the state of Georgia we must complete the equivalent of 4.5 hours per day for 180 days within the span of a calendar year. That isn’t too onerous, because once you take out weekends, there are still 81 weekdays left for you to have off of school. Of course, that is also assuming that you spent an average of 4.5 hours per day doing homeschool on those days (that’s 810 total hours for those of you keeping track), and let’s be realistic, that doesn’t always happen.
This is where the RPC videos really come in handy for my family.
We have found that it works for us to stay on schedule with the videos even when we don’t have the time or energy to do a full day of homeschool. There are 180 videos for each course. The videos are organized into 5 videos per week, which gives you a total of 36 weeks of lessons. With 52 weeks in a year, that still gives you 16 weeks that you can take off and still be on track with the videos.
Using RPC to meet your homeschool needs
Of course, you can take off those 16 weeks whenever and however you want. That’s one of the benefits of homeschooling. Our goal is to finish the videos in 36 weeks, which doesn’t have to be your goal.
Homeschool decisions are very personal. I like finishing the course with 16 straight weeks to spare because sometimes we have big things going on in our lives that mean we’ll need more time off. For example, last year we added a new member to our family! It also gives us a much-needed change of pace.
Finishing with 16 weeks to spare gives us plenty of time to assess how our homeschool journey is faring and whether or not we need to make some changes. If we finish the 36 weeks and we’re feeling confident in a subject, we then have the opportunity to start the next course early.
On the other hand, if we’re struggling with a certain subject it gives us a chance to work on our weaknesses so that we will be ready to move on to the next course when our 16 weeks are over.
How we stay on track
How is it possible for us to finish the 180 videos in 36 weeks if there are days when we don’t do any formal homeschooling at all?
Well, that’s easy!
If we know we’re going to take a day off, we’ll watch extra videos to get ahead. If we didn’t anticipate taking a day off then we’ll catch up on the videos in the following days. Saturday is also a benefit to us because we can use it as a “flex” day. For example, if we have plans on a Tuesday that will prevent us from watching the videos, we take Tuesday off and do homeschool on Saturday instead.
This time I didn’t think about getting ahead so that we could take the day off. We’ve had a lot going on in the last month due to it being the Christmas season and I just didn’t think about it. That’s okay, it’s life!
We are currently going through both of the courses for Grade 1: Math 1 and Reading 1. That gives us a total of ten video lessons per week, five for math and five for reading. Usually we watch two videos a day. We watched two videos on Monday, we took Tuesday off, and today we watched three. Tomorrow we will also watch three and then we’ll be right back on track!
There are countless ways to tailor the Ron Paul Curriculum to suit the time management needs of your family. So far our method has been working better than I could have ever imagined! I look forward to sharing more as our journey continues.