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So, the family all got sick right around Thanksgiving. Then I had a cold the week following Thanksgiving. And since then, it has been sooooooo hard to get back into any groove. We don't do much each day in terms of structured hs'ing; maybe 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, including read-alouds, reading/grammar lessons, math, and history. But, the last couple weeks, I think we have been averaging 2 days a week of anything remotely looking like what I want to try to accomplish. (Ds#1 does well when we do things daily in terms of internalizing them.) So, I was talking with my best friend today and came up with a new idea to give me the month of December basically off (even when I taught public school it was very hard to keep up the motivation through December): as part of our modified year-round calendar, December happens to work out as on of our time-off times. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
See, we'll start back up at the beginning of January when dh goes back to work; we'll go through mid-February. Then, we'll take off the 2nd half of Feb. and start back up the beginning of March. We'll go through Easter time (or mid-April, depending on when Easter falls each year), and then take off the 2nd half of April. We'll hs all of May and half of June, and take a summer break for mid-June through mid-August. Chances are dh will be working community college, so when he goes back to work, we'll start back up again and go mid-August through the end of September. Then we'll take off the beginning of October, and resume mid-October through the end of November/first week of December. And then, we can take off all of December and just do fun, lazy holiday-ish and winter-ish and solstice-ish stuff. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
That way I don't have to try and muster up any motivation for more structured stuff during the month of December, we still get a decent break in the summer for vacations and such, and otherwise every now and then we get a little time off to just relax. I figure the two-week off intervals (or there about) will be more of an opportunity for the boys to unschool and follow their own paths without interruption from me for any specific lessons. *And* now I don't have to feel guilty (or conflicted) anymore about us not really doing anything structured the last two weeks! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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That's a great idea! I like it. We're taking December off, too from any structure. We all just had a bad bout of the flu and my mom is coming to visit soon. It seems like a good time for a break and to try to cut the stress of the season.
 

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So are we!<br><br>
We needed a break and are doing lots of *other* stuff during December. Anything goes!
 

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I love the idea of taking off in December, but we have taken so much time off this year, I just can't justify it. And I know we are going to have a long break in January as my oldest will be having surgery, then at the end of may or beginning of June when the baby is born.
 

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I think we'll do one more week of school and then take a break for the rest of Dec and possibly the 1st week of Jan.
 

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We actually planned to take December off. We decided to truly enter into Advent. I wanted us to have a time of calm this Advent and time to really celebrate Christmas. So we are reading lots of Christmas stories (we lay on the couch and listened to The Best Christmas Pageant Ever-- hysterical!), baking cookies, making gifts, sending off gifts to cousins, reading the Advent liturgy each day. We spent most of yesterday decorating the house.<br><br>
It is lovely. I highly recommend it!
 

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Every year since we started to hs our "schooling" in December has been what I call the Curriculum of Christmas. Baking, budgeting and shopping for gifts, making gifts and treats, picking out a neighbor or acquaintance and being their "secret santa"-making a personalized gift to give to them as a surprise, visiting with friends and family we rarely see, writing letters and Xmas cards (most of my family lives in on other continents, so that's a geography lesson in and of itself), attending local celebrations (Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan and Diwali if the lunar calendars coincide like they did a few years ago), and cleaning the house, making New Years resolutions, making personal and financial plans for the new year, as well as sledding, skating on the river, shinny hockey and curling games to watch on the river, local choir performances, reading A Christmas Carol, listening to classic X-mas radio shows, and just plain resting from the excitement of the season, and the cold or flu we invariably have.<br><br>
I see all this as completely educational, and doing "school" at this time takes ds's precious time away from the real work Xmas time. Local schools here don't take their Xmas break until right before Xmas (this year it's the 21st.) This drove me nuts when ds was in school, we had no time together to do any of this stuff, and I used to pull him out for a week or two anyway. Many other parents did the same, and the teachers often had substitutes. I think it's totally normal to want time off at this time.
 

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I've actually just revamped our schedule, starting immediately, because our days have become chaos. The only "schoolish" things we're doing right now, though, are reading books about the solstice/Yule/Christmas (our library had more books about Chinese new year than about the Solstice), and counting things in English and Spanish at DD's request.
 
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