In the past two years, I can attest to the fact that we need buffer time blocked into each day. In any given week, some days might have more buffer than others. Looking at the entire year, I see the entire year requires buffer time, as well. So, if you know that you are going to school 180 days, you will have to allow for 36 weeks out of the annual 52 to be blocked out. That allows for 16 weeks “buffer”. It is completely up to you how you want arrange your 36 weeks. We do not have a year-round calendar in our school, but I can see the appeal in that. If you live in a place that experiences hot, humid summers (like we do), you might consider doing school through the hot months of July and August, taking more of a “summer” break in June and part of May.
Here is what our yearly schedule looks like, roughly:
Term 1=12 weeks: mid-August to early November
Term 2 = 3 weeks between late November and late December
Term 3 = 13 weeks: early January to early April
Term 4 = 8 weeks: Mid-April to mid- June
= 36 weeks total
Our breaks include about three weeks off in November , when we travel to the mountains and/or a warmer climate. Another break happens between the week of Christmas and New Year’s Day. The last big break before the end of the school year is our spring break, when we take two weeks off to rest, travel and recharge before the final 8-week push to June. Our North Carolina weather is so beautiful in the spring! During this time are also spring break trips to Florida, and this break sometime coincides with Easter. The summer is a big time to go to the river with Andrew’s family, travel to Charlotte to see my mom and dad on summer weekends, and fit in a beach trip and sometimes a conference (for myself). I would be remiss to not mention the help I have received from babysitters and our local village. Living in town, we have had the help of many sweet families that come fully vetted in our little community. We have a preschool teacher who has opened her home to many of the families who send their children to the weekday school. Being a teacher herself, she has many crafts, story times, special snacks, and most of all, fun with friends planned for our children! I usually have her help when we are on our breaks and I need a moment to myself to plan, recharge, or do the mundane tasks of keeping things going (folding laundry, grocery shopping, etc.).