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    Year round homeschooling with MP

    I was just wondering if we have any other year round homeschoolers on this forum? If so, what does that look like in your house? How many weeks do you take off during the year?

    Most importantly, do you continue with the next grade immediately after finishing one grade or just supplement during the summer?

    We really like homeschooling year round and have just been continuing from one grade to the next. We are wondering what the cons may be if we continue on this path. Our kiddos are currently in 3rd grade and having no difficulty.

    If anyone from MP/Highlands Latin School has an opinion, please share!

    Thanks!

    #2
    We school year round. When we finish something we do just move on to the next level/subject. We don't take a specific set of time off during the year, we just feel the year round homeschool gives us flexibility. We like to take time off when we travel and have family visit. We also like to take about a month off from history/science around Christmas. We just do the basics and focus on the holiday. This also gives us time to slow down when we need to. For example, we have been spending 1.5 weeks of Latina Christina to really make sure we have what we need memorized.

    Now, this does mean that I can't follow my wonderful MP lessons plans exactly. We tend to be in different spots for different things. But that is ok, it still works for me.

    Comment


      #3
      We homeschool year round. I don't use the grade-level packages from MP (although, they look gorgeous, and if they'd been available when my son, in particular, was younger, I may well have used them for a time).

      We do use many of MP's products: currently they include Third Form Latin, Traditional Logic I, Classical Composition (the accelerated combo pack), and Christian Studies III. In the past we've used lots and lots of things.

      I terms of our schedule ... I homeschool year round because I feel it is more beneficial to my children on an academic level. Homeschooling is just a natural part of our family lifestyle. We take time off during certain seasons of the Liturgical year. We also manage to miss a fair amount of time due to illness (my son in particular) and disability-related issues (myself) and medical appointments (lengthy, regular, all three of us). So, over the course of a year, it comes out even.

      I tend not to worry about traditional grade levels or timeframes for learning x or y or z. Mastery comes in stages, varying by the individual and the subject matter. We move on to new levels and new topics as they complete their work .... Other folks tend to like categorizing my kids by their grade-level: (it is a question that comes up So Often). I guess they're both around 9th grade. (Where we live, when registering children for homeschooling, the state does not require that they be sorted into grades on the homeschooling form).

      On the one hand, my kids will most likely 'finish' homeschooling younger than their schooled counterparts. But that doesn't mean we have to stop at that point, or that they must start college at sixteen. We'll see how it all goes :-)
      homeschooling mother to a 16yo boy & 18yo girl, both learning at the high school level, and an adult son whom I homeschooled all the way through. You are welcome to read more about our homeschooling life at my blog: link via my username. Please forgive any typos in my comments here! I'm disabled and can't always type clearly.

      Comment


        #4
        We will be doing a sort of year round schooling. I adjusted the schedule for a four day week. That adds about nine weeks to the year bringing the school year to 42 week. I think my goal will be to take off about four to six weeks in the summer to create a gap between school years. In theory at least. In practice it all ends up being flex time. Dh is in the army and we end up using our free weeks to bend the school year to fit a life that includes things like international moves (this year's entertainment.) Then I use the extra day per week to either clean the house or visit friends or have appointments.

        Comment


          #5
          Kargo,
          ( and all)
          I am so glad you started this thread, as I have enjoyed reading everyone's posts. It has actually been on my mind a lot lately, as we have still been finishing up our year (delay due to morning sickness) and I am realizing we will only have time to take a few weeks off before I want to start again.

          I have thought of it in previous years as well, because of how difficult it is to get everyone back on track after a long summer. Now, trying to plan a schedule for everyone to get everything done, I am wondering if we shouldn't spread things out more too...making a whole year make more sense.

          So I ask...for those of you who changed mid-stream from having summers off to then not having a long break....how has everyone adjusted? I myself use to appreciate the break...but now have so much less planning (thanks to MP) that I think I would be okay...experiences in making the change?

          AMDG,
          Sarah
          2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
          DD, 19, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
          DS, 16
          DD, 14
          DD, 12
          DD, 10
          DD, 8
          DD, 6
          +DS+
          DS, 2

          Comment


            #6
            I have been trying to map out year round schooling as well. I think we are going to start with a 4 day week and if we school year round we should be able to take off a week every 6 weeks with a 2 week summer break.... still trying to map it out tho...

            If we go this route we will just move on to the next thing when we finish.
            Karen
            Mom to DD-13 and DD-8.5
            3rd and 8th grade (2014-2015)

            Comment


              #7
              I LOVE all of these responses! I have gotten lots of idea of how we could change our homeschooling schedule, not that what we are doing is bad. Currently, we follow the MP grade plans (so that is a 33 week school year) with 4-6 weeks off for vacations, holidays and family visits. But that leaves 13 weeks to start the next year. Thus for 1 calander year, we can complete almost 1 1/2 grade levels.

              So, we are ahead of a public/private school schedule. Not that it matters, but I'm concerned about moving from grammar to logic to rhetoric stages. Does anyone have opinions about the stages being age related? I have no classical education background (we are a medical/engineering family). What I don't want to do is get to a point where we have completed so much that we are in a standstill from their lack of logic skills.

              Are those appropriate concerns? I don't want to slow down just because it is the norm, but if there is a valid reason, I would like to know.

              Comment


                #8
                Kargo,

                I think you have raised a very valid concern, and that you are right to be questioning whether or not their maturity will coincide with where they will be academically. Unfortunately, only time will tell in that regard, I think, and will simply require that you pay attention to what is coming next for them and whether you think they are ready for it. I often tried to plan so far ahead with school, just to be able to see the complete picture right now...but then I never would have allowed room for Memoria to come along and totally change all that planning (happily).

                So I think you simply have to keep doing what you are doing...make the best decisions you can for the time being, and keep paying attention to what they need next...If you get to a point where they reach something they are not ready for, hang out at the current level for a while, adding in extra books or whatnot, and wait for their maturity to catch up.

                And I have to add that I have a friend that does the six weeks on, one week off, thing all throughout the year...and she has been really really happy with it for several years. I had forgotten about how she did that until someone else mentioned it...might be a good one to try! (leaves room for all those appointments that totally mess with a week at a time!)

                AMDG,
                Sarah
                2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
                DD, 19, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
                DS, 16
                DD, 14
                DD, 12
                DD, 10
                DD, 8
                DD, 6
                +DS+
                DS, 2

                Comment


                  #9
                  We homeschool year round and have done so since we began homeschooling three years ago. We have not always used MP products but yes, we have always just moved on to the next level when we finished the previous one. I don't think you need to worry too much about the grammar, logic, rhetoric levels. Those stages won't necessarily correspond directly to age or grade. You might find a child who is ready for the logic stage in one subject, but still working at a grammar level in a different subject. If your child runs into a wall when moving up to the next level, you can always stop and supplement with another program until the child is ready for the more challenging work.

                  My kids did attend public school for a few years and have neighborhood friends who have summers off, so they do sometimes complain about not having the long summer breaks like their friends. I just try to be patient and remind them of the weeks we take off in the spring, fall, and winter while everyone is in school. They (and me too!) really do benefit from the structure of year-round schooling. And it does allow us to take our time with difficult subjects without feeling as if we are falling behind a schedule.

                  Jennifer

                  Comment


                    #10
                    As far as learning stages- to my kids that really only mattered in math, Latin and grammar. Some kids are ready for algebra at 10-12. Others need to be closer to 14. My son is 12 going into 7th and will be doing algebra 2/geometry (Singapore Discovering Mathematics 3) so he was fine with algebra earlier, but his grammar was weak and he was not ready for analytical grammar till age 11. If you hit a wall in these subjects you can spend a year or two at the level you are at mastering it better (perhaps by using a different program. So if you did Saxon per algebra and still need a year you could do Art if Problem Solving or Life of Fred which are more supplementary programs). For other subjects it is easy to adapt to their level- only check comprehension in history rather than expect analytical essays till they are ready. You can always do more than 12 grades if school. Simply do harder and harder work as they are capable but don't start giving high school credit till age 14. For instance my son will have finished algebra, algebra 2 and some geometry before 8th grade. We will do formal geometry in 8th which I will put on his transcript as colleges like to see geometry, but his 9th grade math will be called algebra 3 (using DM 4). In 10th he will have per-calc then calc in 11th then college math (calc 2 and maybe 3) in 12th. I don't need to put algebra and algebra 2 on his transcript since it will be obvious he had them earlier. For subjects like history, lit and theology, it is easy to just do harder and harder books and require harder and harder work till they reach age 17-18. My graduating senior did high school level history and lit in 7-8th grade but just kept going harder and harder till grade 12 which gave us time to really study hard great books like Dante without rushing.
                    Debbie- mom of 7, civil engineering grad, married to mechanical engineer
                    DD, 25, BFA '17 graphic design and illustration
                    DS, 23, BS '18 mechanical engineering
                    DS, 21, chemistry major
                    DS, 18, Physics major
                    DD, 15, dyslexic, 10th grade customizednMP plus co-op
                    DS, 12, super squirmy, possible dysgraphia, MP 7A
                    DD, 6 , K- finally one who seems to like drawing and writing- first one since my oldest!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      As far as year round goes- we do a typical year with summers off as we have two that go to public school. I love summer to recharge myself, get the house clean and organized, and have down time. I find my kids are excited to start school in the fall and we have never had issues with "losing" anything over the summer. My kids start to get board at first then they find ways to be creative in their play which is very valuable to us. That said, if we did not have some in public school, we would adjust our schedule to give us more breaks throughout the year and shorter summers but still only do 36 weeks of "official" school a year. In some subjects like math and All About Spelling we go at our kids pace so they always finish a level early and we just keep going to the next level. That means we stop mid level for the summer, but we just pick up where we left off in the fall. For MP books that are less than 36 weeks we use the extra time to take a week off those subjects here and there and if they finish early they just have that much less work to do or we so other things that get neglected like typing or science experiments.
                      Debbie- mom of 7, civil engineering grad, married to mechanical engineer
                      DD, 25, BFA '17 graphic design and illustration
                      DS, 23, BS '18 mechanical engineering
                      DS, 21, chemistry major
                      DS, 18, Physics major
                      DD, 15, dyslexic, 10th grade customizednMP plus co-op
                      DS, 12, super squirmy, possible dysgraphia, MP 7A
                      DD, 6 , K- finally one who seems to like drawing and writing- first one since my oldest!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thank you all for these responses! Isn't it awesome how we all accomplish homeschooling a little differently?! I love learning from you all.

                        I have a lot of new ideas to ponder over the next few weeks. But you all have helped me have a peace about where we are right now. Sometimes as parents/teachers we need to have some affirmation that we are on a good course. This is a good place to find it.

                        If anyone else would like to share how their homeschool works, I think we all could benefit so chime in, please!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Kargo View Post
                          Thank you all for these responses! Isn't it awesome how we all accomplish homeschooling a little differently?! I love learning from you all.

                          I have a lot of new ideas to ponder over the next few weeks. But you all have helped me have a peace about where we are right now. Sometimes as parents/teachers we need to have some affirmation that we are on a good course. This is a good place to find it.

                          If anyone else would like to share how their homeschool works, I think we all could benefit so chime in, please!
                          I agree! It is most helpful for a newbie like myself!
                          Karen
                          Mom to DD-13 and DD-8.5
                          3rd and 8th grade (2014-2015)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I just wanted to thank everyone for joining in too...this discussion came at such a great time for my decision-making about our schooling journey right now. I was feeling pressure that we were not quite done yet, and thinking that we'd have to start again soon...I was feeling that things were just slipping....

                            But after considering what others have shared, and realizing that the standard school year format was just probably not going to work for us anymore because of how many we are schooling now...Now I feel great and excited that we have found a way to continue. (Doubt with a capital D was setting in!)

                            I have decided that we are going to start yearly schooling at the beginning of August...and do the six weeks on, one week off plan all through the year. But, in addition, to relieve some pressure from workload, we will shoot for doing five weeks of lesson plans during those six weeks of schooling. That way, if someone gets a bit behind for a day or two, or sick, or something comes up, we can always regroup during week six, and start on target again after the break week. Then the break week can be used for dentists, well childs, eye doctor, clothes shopping, etc.

                            I feel so much calmer having this plan in place versus the schedule I was trying to create....I could feel I was setting myself up for frustration and pressure (for me and kiddos). So now we simply have blocks of school time set aside, and if not everything gets done in a day, I know we have plenty of time built into the year to get to it all, albeit "eventually." And we have our priorities in place: calm, relaxed mommy, and still time each day for them to be kids.

                            Thank you all so much...
                            Blessings,
                            Sarah
                            Last edited by KF2000; 06-19-2013, 08:28 PM. Reason: typo
                            2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
                            DD, 19, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
                            DS, 16
                            DD, 14
                            DD, 12
                            DD, 10
                            DD, 8
                            DD, 6
                            +DS+
                            DS, 2

                            Comment


                              #15
                              As I'm setting our schedule for next year, I'm loving that MP is based on a 33 week school year! I can't tell you how frustrating it's been with other curriculum that is supposed to be finished in a year, but has 42 weekly lessons that you are somehow supposed to cram in.

                              I'm not finalized in our schedule, but I'm planning to do a traditional year of 4-day weeks, and then every 6-8 weeks (depending on holidays etc.) plan a "catch-up" week. That way we will know it's ok when life happens and we're slightly behind, knowing that we'll have a week scheduled in to get back on track. I'm hoping that will help with all the normal bumps of life & homeschooling that we all face, but we'll see how it goes.

                              Cara

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