Homeschooling FAQ: What about Vacation?

What do homeschoolers do about vacation?

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This question pops up in my email with some regularity, in various forms.

“You wear your pajamas all the time. How is vacation any different?”

“Do you school year round?”

“Do you take ‘normal’ breaks?”

The answer is yes, and no.  And as you make this decision, I say, do what works for you.

We have several guiding principles regarding vacations.

1.   When Daddy works, we work.

What good is a vacation to me if Sam is working?  So for those smaller federal or state holidays that Sam doesn’t have off, we school formally.  Even if we’re still in our pajamas.  The museums are too crowded those days anyway.  It’s easier for us to stay home.

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2.   Sometimes a change is as good as a rest.

Sometimes we need a break, but an all-out vacation isn’t in the cards.  This is where a week “off” visiting museums or taking a field trip or two is just enough to recharge the batteries.  If friends have a teacher in-service day and can join us, all the better. These days I still count on the school log.

For Christmas break (and I can still call it that because it’s my school), we are taking two weeks off.  This is a concentrated time of seeing friends and lying around… although we still made a big library trip so I would know they had something to read when I say “Turn off the computer and go read a book.”

For the summer, though, we still have very light daily expectations in math and our foreign languages, just so we don’t lose all the ground we gained during the year.

3.   We like to hit Disneyworld in the off season.

Okay, maybe not Disneyworld.  But somewhere else crowded.  A year and a half ago we took a week in May, while everyone was still in school, to visit the Grand Canyon.  Two years earlier, it was Yellowstone. Rates were lower, crowds were smaller, and the mosquitoes hadn’t woken up yet.

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What is your best vacation strategy?  Please share in the comments!

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