Homeschoolers need holidays too. Breaks are opportunities to grow and flourish as a family — a valuable time for exploration and rejuvenation.

While the home education timetable doesn’t have to follow allotted times for school term breaks set by the government, it is generally a good idea to keep in step with them.

We are a homeschooling family on the go.

School holidays are a chance to change pace. A chance to change gears. To slow down, and if necessary, come to a complete stop.

Time to Re-assess

Like non-homeschooling families, term breaks equate to free time for different activities.

Breaks in the term also lend time for pause.

 

They offer a moment to measure our progress, and/or catch up on any academic areas that may need more attention.

Although not the most ideal way to use two weeks off, the break provides time for curriculum catch-ups. Which, when balanced with study downtimes, are a healthy use of “free” time.

School holidays are, in sum, educational opportunities.

Growth

For our home education context, while parent-teacher meetings are either me talking to myself (as funny as it sounds) or me talking with my wife, there are no teacher development nor pupil-free days.

Not having these one-off breaks means greater time flexibility and no catch-up work.

This approach affords us room to dedicate more time to personal and professional development through extra-curricular pursuits.

In other words, term breaks are spontaneity hubs offering a timetable-free period for more outdoors, or, depending on the weather, more indoor events.

Sometimes this will look like swimming practice, garden work, or travel.

Sometimes it will look like spring-cleaning, longer walks, or a bigger haul of books from the library for reading.

Family Time

Though taken for granted — and at times misunderstood as a perk of the job for teachers — school holidays award parents and their children with the freedom to be free for each other.

This is a key reason for rethinking the purpose of term breaks.

Term breaks are an opportunity for mums and dads to invest in the irreplaceable. To better involve themselves in the instrumental, through an interaction with the indispensable.

Re-tap into the excitement at the prospect of a promised few weeks off. Then find ways to redeem the time they offer.

Term breaks break up the grind. The dull paradigm is shattered with the promise of a pause in our “regular viewing.”

To add, utilising scheduled time-outs creates a margin for the unscheduled, and unexpected.

Plan with Flexibility

In a similar way to how menu planning helps a weekly food budget create a lot with a little, planning for school holidays fosters prudence and creativity.

Note American forebear John Adams’ comments about teaching his kids in a letter to his wife, written June 29, 1774: ‘Let frugality and industry be our virtues.’

Roughly drafted expectations are guide-rails for maximising the term break.

Link in local or regional events and aim high — actioned with the knowledge that “no plan survives first contact with the enemy.”

When one school term comes to an end, another appears on the horizon to replace it. Term breaks are both a landing and launching pad. They are a rest in the midst of a reset.

As Shakespeare penned in The Tempest: “What is past is prologue.”

The healthy use of this time is only limited by attitude, imagination, resources, and career flexibility.

We cannot make time, but time can be managed, saved, and lived out to the fullest. School holidays should be time spent wisely.

This is the essence of the wisdom of Solomon, who noted,

‘For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven… a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted… a time to break down, and a time to build up… a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing… a time for war, and a time for peace.’
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

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Photo by Ron Lach at Pexels.

Published On: March 25th, 20220 CommentsTags: , ,

About the Author: Rod Lampard

Rod, his wife Jonda, and their five kids are homeschooling veterans. Rod spent 12 years in management at Koorong, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Ministry & Theology, and is a writer for the theological, politically edgy news site Caldron Pool. Rod also writes for the Spectator. Find his personal blog here.

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