Monday, December 26, 2011

Time off of school or not?

Homeschoolers have the flexibility of taking time off of "school" whenever needed and at various times throughout the year. Most commonly families take time off to celebrate Christmas, Easter, family birthdays, and of course summer. Some homeschool families might also follow a regular schedule of taking time off of school after completing a certain amount of school days. For example, 6 weeks of school followed by 1 week off continued throughout the year.

But what do you do if a child or even multiple children in your family do not handle a change in routine very easily? What if something as simple as taking a week off of school causes major mental and emotional stress when you try to resume school lessons?

I wish I had a steadfast and tested answer to these questions. I don't. Why? Well because I have one of those children that just not deal well with a change in daily routines. My child is not special needs or learning disabled in any way, he just functions best when he has a set routine. Does he deserve time off of school? Of course he does, just like the rest of us. We all need time to recharge our mental batteries so that we can tackle more lessons with enthusiasm and motivation. As his Mother though I am left to deal with the question of how to give this child and myself a break from schoolwork while still maintaining a sense of learning so that when we do return to lessons in earnest the adjustment isn't such a shock to my son. I don't have a clean cut answer, I wish I did.

Each time I take a little time off of our daily lessons, the break for my son who struggles looks a little different. Sometimes I think (or hope and pray) he will be ok with taking a break "cold turkey". In other words simply not doing any work for up to a week, sometimes more during the summer. Then there are other attempts at a school work hiatus when I know he still needs a tad bit of schoolwork everyday to keep his toes wet with the school routine. I haven't found the perfect fit for this child and breaks from daily schoolwork. Perhaps I never will because he is ever changing, maturing, and growing just like the rest of us. I know enough about this child though to know that what works one week will not necessarily work the next. All I can do is pray for wisdom, seek the counsel of my husband, and do my best daily.

We are on a modified schedule this week. My husband requested that the kids have a bit of a break this week from school but he agreed that our child who struggles with changes in routine will still need a bit of school work everyday to keep him at least partially in the mental game of doing school. Thankfully this child doesn't balk or complain at doing a bit of work everyday. Today was reading out loud and a lesson in math, nothing taxing or mentally draining. Just a bit to keep his mind in the school mode.

Obviously we can't do school year round without days or even weeks off of school. When I deliver in just 6 short weeks we will have to take at least a week if not more off of school so I can recover and we can all adjust to our new routines. I suppose that is the beauty of homeschooling. Even though my son struggles with a change in his daily routine, this fact doesn't detract from his long term learning. Eventually we all get back on track and learning resumes in earnest.

post signature

1 comment:

  1. Alexis, I have one of those kids as well. He is 18 now and still needs some sort of routine or he gets grumpy with others. I did the same thing that you are doing now, when he was schooling at home. He always had some kind of school work. It may not have been a big load, but it was something to just keep him in the routine. :) You are an awesome mom and I think you have done an awesome job considering everything that has happened this year! Can't wait to see pics of the new little blessing! :)



Related Posts with Thumbnails