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Question: Hi! We have used parts of CHC's curricula for a few years, but this is our first year using the complete program. I am loving it, but I do have a question. What do I do for holidays? I realize I could just move everything to the next day, but am reluctant to get "off schedule" because it all fits so nicely into the four day week. We have outside classes scheduled on Wednesdays (language, music) so it is difficult to move the assignments over to that day. Thanksgiving is coming up and I want to let the kids have that nice long weekend. Any suggestions? Thanks so much for all you do.
Answer:

Dear Mom,

Thank you for that timely question. To my mind you have hit upon one of the most rewarding aspects of the homeschooling lifestyle. Many families find that they develop schedules that will complement their family while not sacrificing the homeschooling efforts. I can give you a few of my personal choices for dealing with lapses in schedules or holy days/holidays.

I like to work ahead week to week when a time is approaching that I know will have the potential to set us back. There are several siblings in our family who are in college therefore when they travel home for the holidays our attentions are focused upon them. However by working ahead I can feel good about spending time away from the formal studies in order to enjoy this time with family.

There have been occasions when the children were eager to work ahead and we began what is called 'Saturday School'. My children are more than willing to work ahead on a Saturday in order to 'bank' time when the holidays approach.

One of the nicest aspects of the homeschooling lifestyle is the ease of flexibility as the situation permits. I have also found that it is easier to adapt workloads for younger children. In other words it is usually easier to 'double up' a few days with studies for a younger student. Older students may find that they prefer to work ahead each day. Some students, especially those that are able to work independently, may prefer to work longer each day in order to 'bank' the time and work load. It is very important that mom still hold the student accountable for the work that is accomplished. Encourage the student that is working independently in the amount of work he/she takes on. It is counterproductive to do too much work just for the sake of getting ahead. Remember that comprehension of the material must not be compromised.

Sit with your children and explain the challenge that you see before all of you. Ask for their input and listen to their ideas. I should think that your children would find your desire to give them a nice long break from the discipline of books a wonderful idea and therefore they would have great plans. I have found that when we work as a team, we work effectively in the homeschool.

The work of a family is far reaching. Each time that we face a challenge and work through that challenge we are teaching our children important skills that will serve them well their entire life.

Let us pray together a Hail Mary for all those families that will find that they must be separated from one another through the holy days and holidays ahead.

Sending out a prayer,

Rita Munn

   
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