Our school schedule is six weeks on and one week off. This gives us about a six to seven week break in the summer and takes the stress off of me during the year. I know that I have a one-week break every six weeks to work on the projects that I have been wanting to do. The kids love this set-up as well. We take a two-week break during Christmas and take off a few days for the other holidays as well. On birthdays or just plain hard days, we only read our books, and all of the other subjects, narrations included, go out the window. We have lessons from Monday to Thursday.
On Fridays, everyone looks forward to GROUP TIME. This is how we fit in all art, music, nature study, handicrafts, and other important "extras" that shouldn't be "extras" at all. Miss Mason reminded us that children should not be solely educated on books. THINGS have their place.. If your children are somehow growing weary of the wonderful literature you are giving them, ask yourself if you are neglecting these other important areas that children need to feast on as well.
Basically, this is what we do:
8:30 The children make corrections in their work (from the entire week) and have conferences with mom. I make sure they have completed everything on their personal schedules.
9:30 Week's Work: We recite memory work from previous terms together and review various school subjects. This varies throughout the year. We have sung the books of the Bible, reviewed math tables, geography terms and had map drills. We've gone over Greek and Latin roots, put old timeline cards in order, learned spelling tricks, even practiced analogies with my older students who were preparing for the SAT. We've played NAME THAT TUNE using previous composers and their music. I keep a little card file with these ideas in it because I forget : ) The kids really look forward to this.
10am Music study (we alternate each week with our folksong/hymn or composer study.)
10:30 Plutarch or Shakespeare study with the older children. Younger ones play.
11am Artist Study or Paint (alternate weekly)
12am Nature Study/Walk or Handicraft depending on the weather and time of year
4pm Tea time- we all take turns reading aloud to each other as the children work on elocution (proper pronunciation and diction). This is a favorite with the children. Each child takes turn hosting it by making the tea (with lots of milk) and scones or other sweet.
Please note that the schedules in our HUFI curriculum give suggestions for artists, composers, poets, nature walks and folk songs for each year. However, this does not mean that each child should be studying these subjects individually. If you have more than one child I strongly recommend that you study these areas together. Just pick those that you prefer and go from there. If you have older children they may wish to strike out on their own, and I encourage you to let them. Don't force group time upon them. This is a normal part of their growing independence and isn't necessarily a reflection of your teaching methods.
one step at a time...