How to set up your whole school year and know all your vacation days and school days in just a few minutes of planning time.
If you are using a Homeschool Planner from Homeschool Life Press, you have a page spread similar to the one above. If you do not have one of my planners, you can draw out a grid like this in a notebook and follow along. (Or you can snag one of my planners here)
Seeing this page spread for the first time may leave you wondering what to do with it. But not to worry, it's simply a quick an easy way to get your entire school year calendar written out in just a few minutes.
You will notice on the left are rows numbered 1-31, these are your days of the month. Then at the top you have blank tabs, these are for your months. First, you will choose what month you are going to start school and write that month in the first tab, then fill out the rest of the months in order across the rest of the tabs. You have 2 page spreads like this to schedule all 12 months.
Once your months are in place, choose your first day of school and write that in. Then you want to block off any breaks or vacations during the year. How long of a holiday break would you like? Spring Break? Summer? Do you plan to take any term breaks throughout the year? I like to use a highlighter to color in all my breaks and vacations. I use yellow for holiday vacations, and blue for term breaks. I use pink to indicate any important days or events outside of my holiday blocks.
I highly recommend using the frixion erasable pens and highlighters for this process. This way you can make changes as you go and your marks will erase clean.
Once you have a general idea of where your holiday vacations will be, you can start numbering your school weeks and make sure everything fits just right. We have 36 weeks of school and they can be spread through 12 months any way you want. If you are unsure how you want to structure your year, check out this post for help.
As you begin to number your weeks you can decide where you want to tuck in any breaks here and there. In the below example, you'll see a calendar filled out with the first day of school, the school weeks numbered as well as each 6-week term, term breaks, vacations, and holidays. You'll also see the days that don't belong to a month blocked out. This is just the first six months of the year, there are two spreads like this so you have all 12 months to plan out.
It takes me only a few minutes to create my full year calendar in my homeschool planner. This is always the first page spread I fill out. Once this is done it's easy to map out my curriculum plan through the year. I can see where each school week falls, and if they are near any specific holidays or seasons that would work well for certain unit studies. In the above example, school week 7 falls just before Halloween and would be the perfect week for a fall themed unit study that also covers the history of Halloween. So when I move on to my term goals spread in my planner, I'll know exactly where to write in "fall unit study".
If you haven't seen these planners for yourself, you can check them out here!
Available in both "Original" and the new "Full Color Edition" in multiple cover styles.