A month or two back, I wrote about finally figuring out a yearly homeschool schedule. I needed a schedule (that is, a plan of days-on and days-off) for many reasons, most of them having to do with my sanity, and now that we've gotten through an entire term using that schedule, I can say with finality (and enthusiasm):
I love having a schedule!
Seriously, this has been such a help. Knowing where we are in the term, and in the year, is so reassuring - and it helps so much to know exactly how we're doing in keeping up with our books. For example, by working extra hard in math, we have now caught up to where we should be - and having a schedule has let me know where we should be in the first place - instead of just hoping that we were where we ought to be! It's very comforting to know that we're on-track to finish - on schedule!
This past Friday we finished our fourth term of the year. We are using a schedule of six terms per year, each consisting of six weeks. Thus, we are two-thirds of the way through our school year. We will start up again after New Year's to finish our last two terms (with a week break in between), finishing in March. Then, after a six-week "summer," we'll start up the 2014-2015 school year in May.
Having a planned vacation was also such an improvement over my usual "I'm so burned out that I can't possibly do any more, so we are now on break!" method of vacations. With the former, our vacations were unplanned and largely wasted, and we went back feeling unrested and unready. This time, we were able to spend a week or two happily anticipating our break and celebrating our finish on Friday - and I was able to have outings and projects and crafts planned for our break, so that we're ready to go and have fun - rather than collapse in a heap.
I know that one can't strictly schedule life - because life has a bad habit of happening off-schedule. Babies happen, pregnancies happen, illnesses happen - the unexpected happens. And schedules will have to be re-done and rearranged. But for the present, I love having a predictable schedule that lets us know where we are in our year and in our studies, and which allows us to prepare joyfully for breaks and holidays. In our homeschool life, this is something that works - and something that we'll keep!
Next stop - long-term lesson plans. I haven't gotten there yet, but I know it's coming. Bring it on!