Yeah! Our first quarter is winding up and a good long break is here!
This year we decided to change up our family home school yearly calendar and tried a new tactic. First a little background...This summer turned out to be a dreadfully hot, unbearably long summer. It was actually too hot to even go swimming. Oklahoma set a new record for days over 100 degrees...I am not sure exactly how many we ended up with because lost track after we broke the previous record of 50 days form back in 1985. It was big news on the stations around here. Every day the news anchors would come up with some way to let us know that is was really hot..."We are one more day closer to breaking that record," " Only ___ more days to go before we break that record for number of days over 100 degrees," etc. The worst part was that we had absolutely NO RAIN.
I have never experienced a summer like this one. The fields around our area were bear where there were usually vast amounts of cattle grazing vegetation. Even the ponds were close to drying up or were dry. (Fortunately, the 2 ponds in our fields kept enough water to keep the fish alive.) However, as you travel around the region, you see the toll the hot, dry summer has played on the ponds that are empty and the grounds that are cracked. Our own yard is practically barren of grass and only has a few remaining weeds that are hanging on the for green look! We have sunken areas that were not there before and long breaks/cracks that run through our yard. That HOT, DRY summer is what helped us make the decision to draw up our new home school calendar.
Oklahoma City public schools adopted a new school calendar this year. They decided to go to the year-long school calendar that would spread the number of school days out throughout the year. It has less focus on a long summer break and has more extended breaks during the year.
Since the hot summer kept us sort of house bound this year, the kids were bored and that was when we opted to start school on July 18th and begin our quest of the year-long school calendar. Our first quarter which ends Tuesday was from July 18th to September 27th. It was a straight 9-week quarter with the exception of a Friday and Monday off for Labor Day. We will now have a little less than 3 weeks off.
The rest of the school year will look like this:
Quarter 2: October 24 to December 23 with one week off for Thanksgiving
Winter Break: December 24 to January 22 (3 week break)
Quarter 3: January 16 to March 16
Spring Break: March 17 to April 15
Quarter 4: April 16 to June 15
Summer Break: June 16 to July 29
Then we will start our school year (2012-2013) after the 6-week summer break on July 30th.
At first, the kids were not crazy about the idea of "losing" their summer break. We took the time to have a "family discussion" about the positive and negatives of the new calendar. Once they realized that they would have a long break after only one quarter, they decided that it was as great idea. They would be able to take their first break when the weather was nicer and camping out was more of an option,
Well...the first break is here. Just a bit more odds and ends to tie up in the first session, and we are done! The weather has finally cooled, and we even had a couple of inches of rain this week. The kiddos are looking forward to setting up the tent in the yard. Of course, we are still on a "burn-ban" so there are no camp fires allowed which they are a little bummed about. I have to say that I am looking forward to the break, too. (Maybe even more than the kids!) While I love home schooling, I certainly like the relaxed days of no scheduled expectations. Just good ol' sweatshirt wearin', coffee drinkin' mornings to laze around before the day really begins. Look out break....here we come!