My friend Katie linked me to this article on “Sabbath Schooling,” a style of scheduling the homeschool year so that every seventh week is a week of rest.
We have been schooling this way for nearly three years now, though we’ve never given it a name. More or less, we school for six weeks and then rest for one. I find that by the end of six weeks we’re all going a bit batty, our days seem cumbersome, and school is not so enjoyable. After a week of rest, we’re ready to dive in once again.
We also take longer breaks throughout the year. At Christmas we do “Christmas School” which is really a month-long break from regular academics so that we can intentionally fill up our days with more important things like baking cookies, cutting snowflakes, creating gifts, eating fudge.
This past year found us schooling for six weeks and then resting for up to six weeks sometimes, with the deployment and pregnancy weighing me down. But now that both are behind us, we are in what I expect to be a six week on/one week off pattern again.
Click over and read about taking Sabbath weeks. The author offers a beautiful argument and description. I particularly resonated with this quote (esp. number 3!):
I believe that the Sabbath teaches three important principles for the homeschool. 1) We are free; therefore we can rest. 2) We need regular, scheduled periods of rest. 3) My soul responds to the pattern of laboring for 6 and resting for 1.