Tuesday, August 23, 2011

School Schedules

Since my friend Ann asked...  yes, we mostly go along with the public school schedule.

If we didn't live in the middle of a neighborhood full or Really Nice Kids we like to play with - who go to public school - for sure we'd do things differently.  And to some extent we do anyway (!) but such is life.  Around here (maybe nationwide?) public schools are mandated to have 180 instructional days, so the school year runs from a day or two after Labor Day into mid-June.  The finish date tends to be a moving target if we get a lot of snow and they have days they have to make up, something we homeschoolers don't have to worry about :D

I had no idea until recently that schools in the south seem to start so early by our standards.  Seems like it would be so hot in August, who could think straight?  But maybe it's just too hot to be outside, so you might as well be schooling.  Do you all get out earlier - like May?  Schools in farming areas (up here) sometimes run on a schedule more like that - or at least they did in the past.

See, I want to be out of school for the best part of the year, weather-wise, and that's not a big window.  We get a lot of rain and wet, and that's when you might as well be schooling.  If I had my way, we'd school October through the end of June (usually rainy) and we'd take off from July through September, because it's usually dry. 

But the boys?  Well now, if we didn't start until October (and public school started in September),  sure my boys would be thrilled.  But if everyone else finished in June and we were still schooling?  Even if it's rainy and blah the boys would hate schooling when the other kids are out.  Which is crazy... but I understand it.  *sigh*

Do you guys face this?
Do your kids care what the public school kids do?
Or are all your friends homeschoolers?
Or maybe you don't have neighbor kids?

Of course, it doesn't really register with the boys that we usually only school four days a week, (although that's changing for Wyatt).  And we take a lot more vacation days than public schools.  We often go camping for a week in September after kids go back to school, and we'll usually take a whole week off at Thanksgiving.  And we'll still finish a week or two ahead of public school.  But somehow that doesn't count.  If the public schools have an Early Release day, or a teacher workday, my boys think they're entitled to a day off too.

There are times I think it would be a lot simpler to be somewhere more isolated!

So there.  That's my completely mundane thought for the day.


Ruby said...

When my older kids started and we lived out of town we were completely flexible. We had holidays when it suited Dad's work and made the most of "outdoor" days and also there were days when I just "had" to catch up with house work etc. But once those students hit about year 4 or 5 and we moved into town, they wanted to keep the same terms as the schools. Now my boys have sport seasons and music lessons which also run to school terms so we are pretty well locked in.
Sometimes I do miss living in the country with the pressure.
Hope your academic year goes well.

Q said...

Yes, school starts early here, though not sure why. They'd rather drag the local inmates back in August when it's 115 than let them start in Sept when it's 90 and work through June when it's also 90. Government intelligence?

I'm with you, I want the children to have nice weather to play, so our schedule has us off Nov-Dec. We also end up with a 3 week break in March/April or so and sometime in Jun before it becomes hell.

We don't have the 'friends' issue that you have though. The girls' friends are between 15-75 years old (from orchestra), and the boys - well I can't turn them lose with 'friends' yet anyway.

What a blessing to have a neighborhood of fabulous boys, though!

Doug Hibbard said...

We do the year-round thing with all the breaks we can take. Summer hits points around here where it's 95 with 90% humidity, so we just hunker down inside and wait it out. Doing school reduces the time spent fighting on the days where it's honestly too hot to go swimming, because the pool's 95 degrees!

Our school days are somewhat shorter than the public school kids, especially when you add the hour each way on the bus those kids are riding.

RogersUIO said...

We are pretty much all-year-long schoolers. I'm sure it helps that we live in a foreign country and don't have school-age neighbors. We take vacations when we have visitors and when we feel just plain ol' feel like it!

Ann said...

Wow - my question rated a whole blog post! I feel special! :-)

Public schools in AR start so early because they believe that more school days will help improve the system. Many AR schools rate very low according to testing scores and are on probation. So, the solution is more school days. School usually lets out the week after Memorial Day, unless there are a lot of snow days. Then it can extend to mid-June.

Rebecca D said...

We pretty much did the same thing as you do... It also helps with church youth groups, etc... In TN the schools started the second wee of August and got out mid-May. One especially hot year we started in July since we were trapped inside anyhow and I had the curriculum and we were done by April 10th. They loved it so we started doing that every year and I do admit I miss it some.
Here in Maine they don't go back until next week. Since it is starting to feel like fall, I guess it's time.

Diane said...

We do live in the South. Public school starts in August and ends in May. This year we start back home schooling in July because it was too hot to do anything anyway. We will take more breaks during the year when the weather is nicer.