It’s back to school time for a lot of us. Since we homeschool year round it’s really nothing special. While others are counting down the days, I get the privilege of figuring out what our school year looks like.
The fun part for me is when I get to drool over curriculum catalogs and back to school sales.
But alas, the dirty work comes first.
In Washington state, we have a requirement of 1,000 hours for the ages of 8-18, within the time frame of September 15 of the current year to September 14 of the following year.
Quick calculation: 1,000 hours is 180 days @ 5.55 hours a day.
Being a paper & pencil person, I like to print out a blank day counter page
I use this cute Counting the Days page from Walking By the Way.
Related Post: How I Organize Our Entire Homeschool Year for Under $1!
To start, I cross out the weekends,and black out any holidays we like to take off, which is usually Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas.
If a holiday falls mid-week, we just take the entire week off (except for Halloween). It looks like this year most of the holidays fall on weekends, which I prefer, since we won’t have to stop suddenly and then have to try and get back in the groove of things a few days later.
We also like to do a lot of activities during the winter, so it makes things a lot easier to just take the entire month of December off. And we take all of August off because both the boy’s birthdays are in that month, plus it’s one of the nicest times of the year in the PNW. So this way we have plenty of time off to do yard work, have BBQ’s, and just relax before school starts up again.
After all that is figured out, we have a total of 42 weeks for school.
Some of you might be going, “42 weeks of school, that’s a lot!?” Now that does seem like a lot, but if you break the numbers down, it isn’t that bad.
Quick Calculation: 42 weeks X 5 days= 210 days 1,000 hours / 210 days = 4.76 hours a day. Much better than 5.5, right?
This year it looks like our last day of school is July 31st.
For the fun of it, I decided to find out what the end date would be if we did school at the usual of 5 hours a day from our starting date of September 2nd, with all of our days off added (minus August since that’s our summer). It came out to June 22nd.
This date doesn’t matter much since we would never do that many hours a day for our kids. At least not for elementary grades.
The one thing I really have to take into account is the amount of schoolwork they’ll be doing.
Washington state requires that we have to, at some point in the year, do 11 required subjects, plus yearly assessments.
These subjects are; Reading, Writing, Spelling, Language, Math, Science, Social Studies, History, Health, Occupational Education, and Art and Music Appreciation.
Thankfully, we can choose however which way we want to teach these subjects. e.g.(a unit study about frogs that contains lessons in all of the subjects).
Related Post: 2019/2020 Curriculum Choices
Basically, if we do all the subjects in the time frame given, and our kids don’t bomb on testing, we’re good to go!
Once I’m done playing around, I glue it in our homeschool planner. As you can see from the badly cut edges, I had to trim it to fit the front cover.
Now I can just flip to it every school day and either put an X on the days we do school, or shade it in if we didn’t. Easy Peasy!
So that’s it! My year is now loosely planned out and ready to go!
Do you guys have your schedules all planned out? Let me know in the comments below!
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