Do you take a Christmas (Winter holiday) break?

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Do you take a Christmas (Winter holiday) break?

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1MrsLee
des. 27, 2007, 2:38 pm

Our family does. I know families who take a break from Thanksgiving to New Years, but the breaks are filled with activities such as sports, choir, baking, volunteer work or traveling.

What do you do?

2DaynaRT
des. 27, 2007, 3:49 pm

We don't observe holidays, so we find ourselves actually doing more during the winter (mostly computer/internet related stuff) since the weather is usually awful. Cabin fever is a real threat here in the Lake Michigan snow belt!

3MrsLee
des. 28, 2007, 3:31 pm

I would gladly work through some holidays, but my kids put up such a fuss, "But mooooooom, all my friends are off school nooooooow." Which, truth be told, is sometimes the reason I would rather my kids weren't off! But, I do see their point, too.

4monicabrandywine
gen. 23, 2008, 7:30 am

we took two weeks between Christmas and New Years. I can see talking a larger chunk when we are out of the basic math and reading stage. Right now to skip lessons for a long period of time means we have to play catch-up later.

5MrsLee
gen. 23, 2008, 4:59 pm

Do you school all year? Or do you take a summer break? My husband hates the summer break, he feels as if he spend the first two months of school catching them up to where they were when they left off. Oh, but I need that break!

6homeschoolmom
gen. 24, 2008, 8:39 am

We usually take the summer off. Last year we took an extended summer break to go back to the states. I paid for it this fall. My son had all of his multiplication facts memorized and it took months to rememorize them. I banged my head against the wall. However, I was pregnant and hubby was gone and I sooo needed the rest.

This year, will be different. We're taking breaks at different times of the year. I'm trying to do six-eight weeks of school and then one week off. I hope to homeschool during the summer, only half days and only four days a week. We're going to focus on math, reading and a unit study. It will probably only take two-three hours a day (I hope). The units I hope to study this summer include American Indians, Africa, and Australia. Basically, I want them to learn about them and have a ton of fun doing it. I need to bring the fun back into school. We've been "book" learning for to long now and we're not being productive. I'm even thinking of rescheduling our day to work history/science early in the day to work on projects and fun stuff before lunch instead of after. My only concern is that they will get so involved that I will not be able to refocus them after lunch to do reading, math, and spelling.

Any suggestions?

7MrsLee
gen. 24, 2008, 2:44 pm

#6 - We used to do the fun reading and other basics four days a week, then plan the field trips, crafts, explorations, movies, etc. for the remaining day. By the time the fifth day had come, our reading had given us lots of information for experiments, etc. Are you using Konos curriculum? I just wondered because I think I remember those three cultures being studied in it. If you need ideas for activities, I could probably look some things up in Konos if you don't have it.

8monicabrandywine
gen. 24, 2008, 5:42 pm

we do three weeks on, one week off, year 'round. my kids need the structure, I like the routine it gives to the day, and we don't have to relearn math flashcards. having said that, we do break from that three week-one week pattern if needed, but I try to be faithful. sometimes it just doesn't work out. I'm also a firm believer in Mommy Mental Health Days. that's when my mom takes the kids, I go to lunch alone, maybe Borders (yes, always Borders, who am I kidding?), and I get to THINK. aaaaahhhhh bliss! :)

9tebowfamily Primer missatge
gen. 28, 2008, 8:39 am

It was interesting to find another home-schooler in Asia, we're in Thailand. We are also planning a 6 month trip back to the states starting in April and I am planning to not do much "serious" school while there (some science - outdoor stuff - we'll be at a lake cabin!, art and try to keep up on Latin for my oldest). Am I crazy to leave off math for that long? My kids are fairly ahead of schedule with it now so I think I will take my chances at having to backtrack some.

10MrsLee
gen. 28, 2008, 11:03 am

I think it might be a matter of personal preference, tebowfamily, about the math break. If you are aware that you will have to backtrack, and don't expect to start up where you left off, and if your children are also aware of it, I think you will be fine. In most schools, teachers know that they will never finish a textbook in one school year and that they will spend probably the first quarter of the year re-teaching. In fact, the textbooks are geared that way. It is just my opinion, but I am one who feels that a brain vacation is a good thing. It allows for moments of boredom, which is when the brain gets creative (hopefully encouraged to positive creativity, not negative :D ), also, having time to ponder nature, the world, etc., is a necessary part of childhood, IMHO. Six months is a long time, but if you are like most of the homeschooling families I know, you will still be pretty busy, active and involved in life during that time.

11tebowfamily
gen. 29, 2008, 3:30 am

Thanks for the confirmation, MrsLee. We haven't had many long breaks this year preparing for this fun time so we are ready! We have been reading Swallows and Amazons out loud so we are looking forward to time outside on the lake and maybe some island camping...
One of the great things about homeschooling is the flexible schedule for families that travel a lot.

12monicabrandywine
gen. 29, 2008, 8:30 am

Yes, being able to travel on the off-season is fantastic. We went to the Outer Banks of NC right after Labor Day. The beaches and outdoor pool were deserted; the water still warm enough for swimming. And there was another HS family across the street for the kids to make friends.

13MrsLee
gen. 29, 2008, 8:44 pm

Disneyland in January or February during school hours. :) Or any other amusement park.