31.5.11

"Official" Days of School

It's only taken me six years of homeschooling (five years of reporting to the state) to finally decide upon the following course of action.

For a couple of years, I've been very diligent at counting days for our state reporting, and only counting days where I felt we reached a certain threshold of learning. It occurred to me several times, though, that there were days we didn't count that were probably far more educational than the end of the year celebrations at the local public schools. As it happens, I also never counted the days that EG was doing end of the year testing. We were usually done with our required number of days by that point.

I also never had a real interest in doing "year round school" in the way that many people usually mean it. I didn't want to do a three week on, one week off schedule, or a three months on, one month off schedule. Summer camps are very important to me as a parent. I'm sure I'd feel that way regardless, but as a homeschooling parent, they're very nearly sacred. Next year, PC can go to a half-day camp at the local YMCA, which means I am eagerly anticipating getting a week where I am ALONE for three hours a day, as well as two weeks where one of the older kids is the only one home with me. I'm getting off track; suffice it to say, while we do light schoolwork throughout the summer, camp is Very Important.

This past year, I did an experiment. Each year, as I filled out my "attendance report," I kept track of our running total of days. Then, I kept an unofficial count. It included things like trips out of town, field trips, and more. If it was somewhat educational, I went ahead and included it. I probably missed a few.

As of the end of May, I have 242 days of education counted for the eleven month period of July 2010-May 2011.

I don't feel bad about what I'm going to do tonight or tomorrow, then: I'm going to print out our "attendance sheets" and fill them out for the 2011-2012 school year. In advance. All 180 days. If we hold with the past year, we'll surpass that by at least 60 days.
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"A little rebellion every now and then is a good thing." - Thomas Jefferson