When I plan our homeschool calendar, I like to follow the old adage that says, “Begin with the end in mind.” I pray and ask God to direct my homeschool efforts and then I set a few deadlines throughout the year. I use these key dates to help me focus, plan, and teach. This year I’ve planned to conclude the first half of our school year on Friday, December 13. I’d like to be done at least two weeks before Christmas so our family has ample time to enjoy the season.
Once December 14 arrives, we will no longer concentrate on spelling lessons, proper paragraph formation, or the various properties of addition and multiplication. Animal classification, explanations of parts of speech, and the study of the Mid Atlantic region’s natural resources will be suspended until after the new year. For us, it will be all about Christmas cookies and crafts, preparing for and enjoying church Christmas events, and decorating the house for Christmas!
As I’ve said, prayer keeps our homeschool express on track and God gives me direction. However, sometimes the direction in which I’m led is a bit unorthodox. Lean in and let me tell you a little secret. Sometimes…yes, sometimes….we homeschool on the weekends! <Depending upon your stance on the matter, insert a gasp of horror or a sigh of relief here!>
Why do we homeschool on the weekends?
- Sometimes we fall behind. There. I said it. We don’t always get everything done Monday through Friday. A child gets sick. A doctor’s appointment takes longer than I anticipated. A family member is in need. Just a few weeks ago, the husband of a homeschool friend was suddenly admitted to the hospital. My friend needed to be with her husband, so I joined two other homeschool friends in caring for the family’s children and providing meals for them. Life happens and I frequently need to make adjustments.
- Sometimes we take an impromptu educational outing and leave our books behind. If a great educational opportunity presents itself, I’ll put planned lessons on hold so we can learn something new. Last year students at a local community college were performing a modern day version of Aesop’s fables. We hadn’t planned on attending the performance, but when a homeschool friend got sick and offered us her family’s tickets, we gladly accepted them and enjoyed a fabulous, educational show.
- My husband can teach on the weekends. This semester, Sweet Pea is taking a robotics class. Each week, the instructor gives additional assignments for practice. Explaining the use of capicators, motherboards, and voltage is not my strength, so I let hubby, the man with two degrees in aerospace engineering, take on that task. He is able to teach on the weekends because he is not away at his job.
- I have a toddler. Sometimes it’s hard to homeschool with a toddler nearby. There are times when Baby Girl no longer wants to play with her felt board, puzzles, or blocks. She simply wants to be held or listen to me read Eric Carle’s From Head to Toe six times. Though I’m pretty good at multitasking, it’s nearly impossible for me to teach a math lesson and read a story simultaneously. When those times come, I break from teaching so we can play with Baby Girl for a bit. I never want to ignore her or brush her aside.
What are the benefits of homeschooling on the weekends?
- It teaches us to work more diligently throughout the week. None of us (including me!) want to spend a sunny Saturday doing schoolwork so we strive to get assignments done in a timely manner. We realize that if our work is not done during the week, we may not be able to hang out with friends or take family day trips on the weekends.
- It gives the coming school week a neat, fresh, purposeful start. I admit it. I’m a Type A woman. Loose ends and unfinished business irk me. I don’t like to play “catch up”, so if necessary I’ll use weekends to finish up projects and review more difficult skills with a fun activity. This will allow me to begin the school week on a sound note and sets us up for success.
- My husband has an opportunity to participate in schooling. I’m home with the girlies, so I do most of the teaching. When he teaches on the weekends, JT reminds the girlies that he is an integral part of our homeschool. Sweet Pea and Sugar Plum love when their father teaches and he enjoys working with them and catching their “ah-ha” moments. Of course, I’m overjoyed too!
I don’t recommend making weekend homeschooling a habit because teachers and learners need time to rest and relax. However I do believe that weekend homeschooling has value and we do it when necessary. It works for our family and no children have been harmed in the process. Have an opinion on the matter? Feel free to sound off with a comment.
© 2013 – 2014, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.