Sunday 18 September 2011

Homeschool Rhythms

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens,
Ecclesiastes 3:1

We have been on school holidays this past week and this got me thinking about how we came to our home school rhythm.

When we first started on our home education journey I started out by following school term dates and was really fearful every step of the way.

As we marched along the weeks doing school, home school outings, extra mural activities I found we were becoming more and more tired and the more tired we became the shorter my fuse grew and the more cranky we all became.  There had to be a better way. 

I started asking the moms around me what they all did.  A few of the mom's did a 5 week school cycle and I decided to give it a go.

Sonlight works on a 36 week school year. I took my IG (Instructors Guide) and divided it by 4 and came up with 9 four week cycles.  Added a week in between each four week cycle means that school will take us 45 weeks a year and that in turn leaves us with 7 weeks to have a long summer break over December and January.  

I put this into practice and I must confess it's the best thing we have ever done. I find that four weeks of continuous school means no one gets too tired.  One week of holidays is short enough to not get out of practice and not long enough for boredom to set in with the added bonus that it's not hard to get back into the rhythm of regular school after one week of holiday.
We have not quite settled into a daily rhythm yet and as soon as we do I will be writing a post on what our daily / weekly rhythm looks like and how we have organised our school.

So tomorrow we start back for our second round of school.  Week 5 -8 with Sonlight Core A and we will be adding in Expedition Earth from week 6.

What rhythm works for you and why do you use it ? IF you have done a blog post about your home school rhythm please add the address I would love a read.



  1. We tried using a 4 week cycle when we did more structured schooling, Chareen. I remember it helping us to avoid burnout. These days, we're not so aware of term dates because we unschool - though, we make less effort to keep busy, in the holidays, and I, probably, read aloud a little less.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of your holidays:)

  2. Thank you Vicky.

    We celebrated the last day of our week of rest by going to the zoo for a couple of hours. It was fun. Not too long to get too tired.
    I like the school holiday zones as we are not out and about and tend to be home more.
    I find it hard sometimes to balance being home and going on outings.

    How much time do you spend reading out loud ? during holidays / school times.

  3. Chareen, I guess we spend 1 to 1 1/2 hours a day reading, at the moment. It depends on how much free time I get with our toddler (as he gets older, we'll have longer reading sessions) and, also, whether the children are engrossed in another interest. During the holidays, we are more likely to carry on with the bedtime reading than the daytime one.

  4. Hey Chareen,

    I am currently FINALLY making some decisions on what I am going to do with home schooling....
    I am finding the decision making part difficult because everyone says "do what suits you".

    The 'what' is the hard part!

    With working 4 on and 1 off I am concerned I might become completely slack in those off weeks and find one week turns into two or the children resent getting back into it after a break.

    I have looked into Sonlight and was just about to commit but again I do not know EXACTLY what I am doing.

    This has become confusing and a bit disheartening as I just want to get on with it already!

    I have thought Math U See is a better fit and explode the code...

    I am sorry for such a long comment!

    I have met you once a few years ago and at that stage I had 2 or 3 children. I am now pregnant with baby number 6 and my children would technically be grade 1, Prep, 4 year old kinder (then I have a 2.5 year old and a 14 month old).

    This adds to my confusion of where to start do to us be more flexible with our initial home schooling journey.

    I would SO appreciate any advice you might be able to share!


    1. :-) Hi Katherine. Sounds like something to fix over a cup of tea Smiles.

      I will email and comment back here this evening.


    2. Just discovered an excellent post on this topic to encourage you before we chat:

      Thoughts on "Less is More" Homeschooling


I love to hear from you so please leave your comments below ♥