Yesterday was the first day of our sabbath week.
What is sabbath week, you ask?
Sabbath week is one, whole glorious week without school!
On this particular week, I also took time off work.
So our boys aren’t the only ones enjoying the relaxation that comes from this much anticipated break.
How did you come across Sabbath schooling and what is it?
To answer that, I’ll tell you a little story……
When my husband and I first made the decision to independently homeschool our boys, the task of scheduling our school year overwhelmed me.
Besides the holidays, when would we take breaks? I didn’t even know how many school days were required in our state.
It was daunting.
It was intimidating.
So I scoured the web for scheduling ideas.
I needed help from seasoned homeschool parents.
I was a sponge, soaking in every morsel of information I could find.
Then I came across Angelina’s blog.
I was hooked.
The Sabbath school schedule is based on rest.
Even God rested on the 7th day of creation.
We need rest. Our bodies and minds require it.
This concept would change our school year from 9 months of solid learning, to 12 less rushed, more relaxed months.
We would work hard for 6 weeks, and take the 7th week off : our Sabbath week.
The following is an excerpt from Angelina’s blog :
“My homeschool was liberated the day I rejected the public school calendar.
There is absolutely no educational benefit from following a nine-month school year with a 3-month summer break.
In fact, to the contrary, a long summer break creates “brain drain.”
Textbooks begin with review chapters because they assume that students have forgotten a large chunk of what they learned the previous year.
We’ve all experienced this: trying to get school started up in the fall only to discover that our children can’t remember how to add or what a noun is.”
(You can read the rest of her amazing post here. )
This blog post inspired me in ways I can’t explain.
I hadn’t gotten excited about an upcoming school year in quite a while, and yet here I was, eager to begin a fresh new year.
I immediately printed calendar pages for the year, grabbed my highlighters and pens and set to work on scheduling our first year of Sabbath schooling.
After our year was mapped out on those precious calendar pages, I went on the hunt for the perfect planner.
No longer would I have a school to keep me accountable. It was now completely up to me to track grades, attendance, curriculum and the like.
I needed a planner that encompassed all of these things.
That’s when I came across The Well Planned Day.
(I cannot rave enough about this planner! I love every bit of it, and continue to use it every year!)
Once it arrived, I transferred my schedule into its perfectly clean pages.
I added our Sabbath weeks, holidays and other breaks, and after that was done, I set to work on adding my lesson plans.
I wanted to be sure that each of our chapters and/or mini units were complete before each break, so that I didn’t feel like we had anything hanging over us during our breaks.
I wanted to be able to start fresh after our week off.
Having a “set” schedule helped (and continues to help) tremendously in our lesson planning.
If we finished a chapter earlier than anticipated, we could use that extra time to work on extended projects, watch videos, or catch up on another subject.
How do your children respond to this schedule?
Knowing they have a break on the horizon helps our boys stay on task.
They look forward to their Sabbath weeks.
While there have been times that we have had to cancel our Sabbath week (due to extended illness or such), I strive to keep to our schedule.
Our boys need their break. I need my break. We rely on it.
I always write our schedule on our family’s dry erase calendar, and I make sure to include any and all breaks.
Seeing what is in store helps to keep our boys focused. They enjoy knowing what lays ahead.
Ok, but what about my family?
Find what works for you!
Sabbath schooling has been amazing for our family, but if it doesn’t sound like a good fit for you, find what does!
We are all different. We each educate our children in different ways, and have different schedules.
Find a plan that fits you and your unique needs.
One thing I will say, we all need rest! Find time in your schedule to rest!
Once I figured that out, my life changed.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a doer. And I am constantly over doing.
I struggle with resting.
But adding consistent rest into our homeschool schedule has been a God send!
I’m less chaotic and frantic which means that our home, and our school are less chaotic and frantic.
So what do I do now?
Here is a short list of tips and tricks that have worked wonders for our family.
I still do these things when planning for the upcoming school year.
I hope and pray that these things work for you as well!
Tips For Planning Your School Year
Start planning your school year early. Give yourself plenty of time!
Decide on the length of your school year. Do you prefer the traditional 9 month school year, or schooling for 12 months?
Research the required amount of school days for your state.
Plan the entire year. It doesn’t have to be detailed. A general overview is perfect.
Print a free calendar and map your year in it’s entirety. Add school days, vacations/breaks, and holidays.
Purchase an awesome homeschool planner. Make sure it contains everything you need in a planner.
Plan your lessons, field trips, etc. according to your designated school schedule.
Plan regular breaks! You need rest, friend! Avoid burnout!
Have a break coming up? Tell your children! Keep them on task with the knowledge that they’ll soon have some time off.
Friend, however you plan out your school year, I pray that you find rest.
Homeschooling can be very difficult, stressful and overwhelming at times.
Take time to relax. Put your feet up. Even if it is only for a moment.