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I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my daily digest via email or RSS feed. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sabbath Schooling: The Simple Schedule to Save Your Sanity

Sabbath Schooling: The Simple Schedule to Save Your Sanity-tips for how and why to schedule the homeschool year using a sabbath calendar

Time. T.I.M.E. Four little letters that hold our entire lives. Time is a leveler, you know. It makes us all equal. There’s no other commodity in life that doesn’t care about status or title or bank account. Time is no respecter of persons. We’re all the same when time is handed out each day. The rich and the poor, the famous and the ordinary, the brilliant and the average…all have the same number of moments in a day. Barring God takes us home to eternity, we’ll all wake up tomorrow morning and be gifted the same 24 hours. Once a moment is spent, that’s it. It’s gone. You can’t win it back. You can't earn it back. You can't buy it back. Time is the currency of life. And I don’t know about you, but I want to spend it well. Especially when it comes to the time I have with my children.

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)

I don’t want to end my days with them feeling burdened, overwhelmed, unsettled. I don’t want to live in a constant state of animosity with Monday morning…like a hamster on a wheel, running at full speed, but getting nowhere fast. My time is limited, but my task is great. I have to order my days so that I can spend them all well.

Enter Sabbath-Schooling.

What is Sabbath Schooling

Similar to the year-round schooling model that has become quite popular with both traditional and home schools, Sabbath schooling spreads the learning out over the entire 52 weeks but with a bit more purpose and planning. It is a calendar modeled after the pattern of work and rest found in the book of Genesis. 

Way back in the garden, God ordained the idea of six periods of work and one period of rest because in His wisdom, He knew that this plan was not only good, but good for us. With that same GOOD in mind, you can design a pattern of six periods of work and one period of rest for your school year. Here's how.



Creating a Sabbath School Calendar

Using a year-at-a-glance calendar -- the kind that typically comes in a traditional school planner, determine when you will start the school year. For this particular example, let’s say you plan to start the last week of August. (There’s nothing magical about August. You could certainly pick any date you wish. August is just normally the time when summer activities are winding down anyway, making it the perfect time to launch a new routine.)

Sabbath Schooling: The Simple Schedule to Save Your Sanity-tips for how and why to schedule the homeschool year using a sabbath calendar

From that last week in August, schedule a typical 5-day-a-week school schedule for six weeks and then schedule one entire week of rest.

Then, resume school for another six whole weeks.

Repeat this cycle until December. 

Sabbath Schooling: The Simple Schedule to Save Your Sanity-tips for how and why to schedule the homeschool year using a sabbath calendar

At this point, with the frenzy of the holiday season, you can choose to take the whole month off or just plow through with determination until the week of Christmas. 

Sabbath Schooling: The Simple Schedule to Save Your Sanity-tips for how and why to schedule the homeschool year using a sabbath calendar

Continue this pattern until you have completed six cycles of work-and-rest bringing your total completed school weeks to 36, the typical length of a school year according to most states.

The Benefits of Sabbath Schooling

Not only will this calendar method provide you with some much-needed rest scattered throughout the year, but it will also afford you nearly two whole months of summer vacation -- the last 3 1/2 weeks of July and the first 4-ish weeks of August. 

Sabbath Schooling: The Simple Schedule to Save Your Sanity-tips for how and why to schedule the homeschool year using a sabbath calendar

The six Sabbath weeks that you've scattered throughout the bulk of the school year can be used to regroup, repurpose, and breathe deep, just as God’s Sabbath day does. You can use this time to get caught up on house work, prepare for the next six weeks worth of lessons, or take a family vacation.

As an added perk, Sabbath-schooling wards off much of the “summer slide” that happens to most kids during a traditional three month vacation. It’s estimated that parents and teachers spend nearly two months at the start of the school year re-teaching previously learned material because so much information gets forgotten during the idle summer months. Since the Sabbath Schooling calendar model shortens the length of summer vacation while still providing an equal amount of rest, it allows for more retention.

Having a clear “rest” period in sight will help you to push forward the last week or so of that long six weeks. You’re less likely to experience burn-out when you see rest on the horizon.

Choose the right planner

When scheduling a Sabbath Schooling year, it's not only important to use a planner specifically designed for homeschoolers, I think it's also important to select one that is customizable. Towards the end of last year, I stumbled upon the Homeschool Teacher's Edition by A Plan in Place. Because I could customize not only the layout but also the planner headings. When I ordered mine, I requested that the dates be left completely blank.

Sabbath Schooling: The Simple Schedule to Save Your Sanity

Now, as I'm planning our schedule for the next full year, I can just fill in the dates that I have personally selected as "school days." Should I choose to, I can schedule six weeks of school and just bypass the Sabbath rest week altogether. 

Sabbath Schooling: The Simple Schedule to Save Your Sanity-tips for how and why to schedule the homeschool year using a sabbath calendar

Why march to someone else's cadence if you don't have to? Use a planner that lets YOU decide when you will have school. Should you opt for sanity...I mean the Sabbath Schooling method, you can create a yearly rhythm that works best for you.

In fact, if you're like me and like to only schedule "official" school for four out of the five week days, you can use one of the Plan-in-Place planners and actually skip over one entire day of each week to save space and ward off school year confusion. (You'll notice from the picture that I've planned WEEK 29 to consist of May 7th, 8th, 10th, and 11th. Wednesday, May 9th will be a catch-up-on-life day, so I didn't even write it in my planner.)

A Final Word

Weariness is the hallmark of a body in need of rest. With the Sabbath Schooling method of scheduling, there’s very little “plodding through” with one begrudging step after another because of the built in rest that resembles the rest God created your body to need. A schedule shouldn't drain you or steal your sanity. With a customizable planner designed with your days in mind and a unique Sabbath-style schedule, you will create a school year marked with simplicity.

For a video peek into my planner, head here>>>
To learn more about A Plan-in-Place, be sure to visit them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

*I was given a Homeschool Teachers Edition planner in exchange for a thorough review. I also received monetary compensation for my time spent in reviewing the product. All opinions expressed were true and completely my own. I am not responsible if your experiences vary.


2 comments:

  1. Sounds cool! My kids went to a private Christian school fro pre-K, K, and first grade; then I tried homeschooling fro 2nd grade while working PT (didn' t work for us): I retired early to spend more time with them...then they went to public school for third grade... for reasons, oh so many, back to homeschooling this coming fall. I've been all over pinterest gathering ideas and inspiration. Thanks for your post...rest, huh? What a concept! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, rest! It will help to curb the burnout that we mommas feel late winter. I hope you second time around the homeschooling block goes well!

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