Monday, February 23, 2015

Sabbath Week Schooling

Did you know that every homeschool schedule looks different?  Really.  There are no right or wrong ways to homeschool as long as you are following the laws of the particular state you reside in.  I know people who unschool, those who school classically, and some that love unit studies.  I know families that love textbooks and some that have never cracked open a textbook in their lives.  And believe it or not, we have done a little of all of that to some degree through the years.

When you have been homeschooling for over 16 years, you tend to change and morph what your schooling looks like.  Add to the fact that you have 4 kids with different learning styles and personalities and yes, we have changed our ways more than several times.

This year is another example of that!

For a while I had been hearing of this Sabbath Week Schooling idea.  It intrigued me so I spent some time doing some research on it.  I am a homeschooling mom, after all.  Research is important. ;)

What I found was that there were no clear rules for Sabbath Week Schooling, but a lot of ideas and thoughts.  The basic was this - school for 6 weeks at a time and then take the 7th week off.  Repeat.

Quite honestly, I am not really sure I could have told you what made me decide to try it initially, but due to our current situation I now know it was a gentle nudge from God!  We needed this schedule at this time in our journey and I am happy to say that God's plans are best!

For several years we schooled based on my college student's schedule.  When she was on break, we were on break.  It worked.  But since we were no longer tied to that kind of schedule, I was free to try something new.

Because I knew that I wanted to have the week of Thanksgiving off, I actually started my schedule there and counted backwards to determine when we would "start" our new year.  Keep in mind, we tend to school year round but we do use a lighter schedule in the summer and begin a new grade in the fall.  We began August 25th, schooled for 6 weeks, took a week off and began again.  The only hiccup we found was that once we got to December we only schooled 3 weeks before I wanted to take a break.  No biggie.  We took a few weeks off and then started again with week one in January.

Here's why I like Sabbath Week Schooling-

  • It gives us a time for rest.
Watching a movie together

  • It gives the kids something to look forward to.  Yes, they can tell you what week we are on.
  • It gives me time to lesson plan and re-evaluate our school plans.

  • It gives us a free week to schedule outside appointments, (think dentist, haircuts, oil changes in the car, doctor appointments, etc.) and keeps us at home more during school time.
  • It gives me a week to concentrate on the house and other projects that are harder to get to during schooldays.

  • It gives us time for play!  Like this past week when I took the kids out of town for the night to shop, eat out, play in a pool, and sleep in a hotel.  Just a simple 24 hours, but one that gave us a break in the normal action, allowed us some quiet family time, and rejuvenated us to begin again today with school!

No matter how you decide to school, I would encourage you to take a break from your schedule occasionally and just enjoy family time.  One of the reasons I love homeschooling is that we can spend time together as a family for extended periods of time.  Making sure we do that outside of "schooltime" is important as well!

Enjoy your families!

My Joy-Filled Life

I Choose Joy!



  1. We did this 2 years ago although, I didn't know it had an actual name to it. It was wonderful and I'm not quite sure how I got off track doing it! I have been thinking about doing it again.

    Lately I feel so behind always. When I did this it seemed to help me catch up on those little things I keep putting off. My little things are adding up and stressing me out. It was also a great time to play more with the kids.

    I am glad it is working for your family. Thanks for the reminder of something I need to do again.

  2. I like this idea. I may implement it next school year. We've been using a 4 day school week, but often we play catch up on the 5th day, so we end up not having that light day to refresh and recoup. I take the first Monday of every month off as a teacher day. Then I can reevaulate schedules and take care of my home as needed. Soemtimes the kids are assigned to work on individual work that day, but I don't teach.

  3. That sounds like a nice schedule. We homeschool 4 days a week to meet with my husband's schedule. We also take sporadic vacation days here and there.

  4. I love this idea. I've read about people doing this before, and I think it would work well for us too.

  5. I have never heard of this before. I have a feeling there would be no objections if we were to give it a try.

  6. I need to come up with a better plan than we have now. We tend to tie to my daughter's schedule, but I would like to see if we can have more spread out days off.


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