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Creating and Maintaining a Homeschool Calendar and Schedule

Now that you know how many days of instruction (school days) you will have in a year, when the school year will start, and when the breaks will be, you are ready to create your homeschool's calendar.

Your homeschool calendar is important for a couple of reasons. In addition to helping you determine which days of the year you will be having school, you will need some way to keep track of all the activities that are inevitably part of your family's life, both related to school and not. These include field trips, music lessons, sports, and so on.

How you maintain a calendar is up to you. You might want to use a paper calendar or you might prefer an electronic one. How you do maintain a calendar doesn't matter as much as making sure that you create and maintain one.

Even if you prefer an electronic calendar, which offers several benefits such as the ease with which you can make changes, you should create and post a paper calendar so that everyone in the family has access to it. Of course, if yours is a high-tech family, you can also make an electronic calendar available to everyone as well by posting it on the Web.

Taking your calendar of choice, start on the first school day of the year and move through the remainder of the year marking each day that will be a school day until you have accounted for the total number of school days that you have determined to be required for the school year.

Flexibility is important. It is a good idea to include several more days of school than you actually plan to do so that you can make up any days on which school doesn't happen as planned. In traditional schools, these are often called "snow days." Although you won't need to skip school because of snow, there are other reasons that you might need to skip school on a day on which you had planned to have it. If you have some of these days built-in, you can skip them when needed without throwing your entire plan off. If you don't end up using them, you can always stop school earlier than planned – no one will complain about that!

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Reproduced from Absolute Beginner's Guide to Homeschooling, by Brad Miser, by permission of Pearson Education. Copyright © 2005 by Que Publishing. Please visit http://www.informit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0789732777 to order your own copy.


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