> If you start in January, when does your school year end?
Well, its sort of interesting that you posed this question. My family changed our school year to begin in January from here on out. We have always been homeschoolers, so what we did was took "summer vacation" in fall. We homeschooled from January through September and took the months of October, November, and December for our "summer vacation". Why? Well, we have to take a lot of breaks during that period anyways due to holidays. So instead of breaking up the learning by missing a week here and there, we just took those months off. Plus, we start up our school on New Year's Day. Now since New Year's is a holiday, we don't really "get down to business" on that day. Instead, we have some simple assignments which are: 1) New Year's Resolutions 2) Goals for the year 3) Yearbook work.
Oh, and we don't take October, November, and December entirely off. We simply get rid of the workbooks, worksheets, etc. The boys spend those 3 months delving into "personal interest" topics. And we do have holiday related activities. For Thanksgiving they each make a yearbook page about what they are thankful for that year, and they help cook. For Christmas, we have an advent calendar that has "elf assignments". Elf assignments are holiday related activities that double as some type of learning activity or a keepsake. Some of ours are: 1) Make Christmas cards, 2) Write a letter to Santa, 3) Make Christmas Ornaments, 4) Read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" [this one is always done on Christmas Eve], 5) Make Christmas Cookies [these double as holiday gifts to grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.], 6) Read the story of the Birth of Christ [in our home, this is the "Reason for the Season", 7) Go through your toys and take out the ones you no longer want. You will give these to charity for children less fortunate than you. Remember, Christmas is about GIVING not GETTING. [this one is a tradition that began a couple of years ago to teach the boys that its not "all about me", and its wonderful for making room for the new things they will be getting that year.] 8) What is your favorite Christmas Carol? Write the words to it and find out its origin. 9) Draw and decorate a christmas tree. You can use stickers, beads, buttons, fabric scraps, etc. to decorate your tree. 10) Draw and decorate a Christmas stocking and cut it out. 11) Make a Christmas wreath on paper. Cut and glue green paper to white to make the wreath. Then decorate it with beads, buttons, fabric scraps, stickers, etc.
The drawing activities and ornaments are all keepsake items, as is the letter to Santa. With the ornaments, we put them up year after year and reuse them at Chrismas time when decorating our tree. So, each new ornament made has to have the year written on it. The paper keepsake items go in our school yearbook. Another plus to beginning school in January is that *some* of their school supplies double as either Christmas presents or stocking stuffers. For example, larger scrapbooking supplies double as Christmas presents as do their journals. Decorative pens, stamps, stickers, markers, color pencils, etc. double as stocking stuffers. We make backpacks double for Christmas too. They become gift bags! My youngest son still remembers the first time we did that. He got a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle backpack for Christmas from his nanna. We bought him a dinosaur that we couldn't wrap so we put the dinosaur in the backpack, zipped it shut, put a gift tag on both the dino and the backpack and stuck it under the tree!
Oh, and we still do homeschool evaluations in September with all the other homeschoolers in our county because although that is when their new year is beginning, its when ours is ending. So it doesn't change our evaluations or our number of days of attendance.
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