As a homeschooling parent, you have the opportunity to dictate your child’s schedule. It’s up to you whether the schedule is the same every day, or changes based on the day of the week, or gets shaken up every week. It’s up to you what your kids learn, when they learn it, and how they go about learning it. You can choose to follow the same schedule as your local school, or you can choose to do what “works” for you and your family. You can take a break…or you can skip the break and keep right on working.
Which will you choose this year?
Benefits of fall break
Fall break is a time to rest, recharge, and…well, in general, take a break! For some families, it’s a time to take a vacation. For others, it’s just time to enjoy the world around you—perhaps to take a field trip or two to a location that you wouldn’t be able to visit during a typical busy school day, or to kick back and relax at a park, on a hike, or a day at the zoo.
As an added bonus, after fall break—or any break, for that matter—kids are much more likely to be willing to dive back into their regular schedules, including things that they might normally fuss a bit more about. They will often fight with one another less, fight with you less, and in general be much more pleasant for at least a few days after returning to work. In addition, they may be much more actively engaged in their normal lessons than they were prior to taking a break.
Fall break is also a chance for you to play catch up. Are you behind on looking over papers? Overwhelmed by the amount of work that your child has completed and in need of some time to spend just on that aspect of homeschooling? You’ll get a chance to do that over the course of the break, without adding more work to your growing pile.
Reasons why you might want to pass for now….
Just because your local school is on break next week or the week after doesn’t necessarily follow that it’s the best time for your family to take a break. You might be in the middle of a unit, having failed to realize that break time was approaching until it was on top of you. You might be preparing a family trip or other event later in the month that will take up a great deal of your time. Or, your child might be working a little slower than you would prefer at the moment, and need the extra time to catch up on her schoolwork.
In addition, many high needs children do not react well to a disruption in their routine. Taking a week off may mean a chaotic week filled with bad behavior and constant parental management. Coming back to a regular school schedule after the break is over may require much more effort, because high-needs children do not always settle back into routine well.
Ultimately, you have the power to make the decision that works best for your family. Take a break now, take a break later, or skip it altogether—the choice is entirely yours. Whatever you decide, however, make sure that you take a few days out of this beautiful season to simply look around and enjoy.