One of the hardest parts of scheduling for me has got to be scheduling. I don’t know how your schedule is but our’s is insane! Picking the first day of school is easy; it’s the last day and the days off that are in between that’s the hard part. But, using a few of the pages from “Girlfriend’s Guide 2 Homeschool Planning” makes it easier. I’ve used these forms for several years now and I don’t know if I could schedule without them! Here is how I schedule my school year, and hopefully it will help you with yours; even if you’ve already done it for this year.
First, print out your local school system’s calendar. Even if you don’t go by their schedule, it makes a great reference and you’ll know when your kids’ friends are out of school. Then gather as much information as you can on your children’s schedules. You’ll need: co-ops, classes, sport’s schedules, church calendar, homeschool support group calendar, etc.
Print out or use the Calendar Considerations pages. Write down as much as you can that will be going on for each month. For example: I know that basketball season will start in October and end in March. I will note that for each month so that I can remember. I know I need to plan around our regional and state championship in February. I’ll look up those dates and write them down for those months. If you know that you have a field trip in September, write that down. You can also write down holidays, vacations, birthdays and any other information you need for laying out your school calendar. Do this for each month.
Next grab some highlighters, a pencil and a copy of the school calendar page. Know how many days your required to do school and keep that in mind, counting your days as you go. Pick a start date to begin your school year. Mark out the days you know for sure you will take off from school, like holidays. Pick one highlighter color for this and use it only for holidays. Use other colors for special events, birthdays, field trips, etc. that you will take off from school. Remember to refer to your Calendar Considerations page so you don’t forget anything! Once I’ve marked my start date and any days that I’ll be taking off, I count the days that I’ll be doing for school. We have to do 180 days, so once I’ve hit that magic number, I’ll add in a few extra just to be safe and then I pick my projected ending date.
And yes, you heard right! A few extra days are built-in to our school year. Why? Because those are sick days or days when maybe we missed for some reason and I need to have an extra couple of days. You may never need them, but they are there just in case. I also do a projected end date for the same reason.
I hope this helps you with planning your school calendar and maybe you’ll have an easier time this year!