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Do you ever hear that your local school is on break for yet another teacher workday and you get a little jealous? The kids have some time off and the teachers get a little time to regroup and recharge.
Don’t forget that you can take days off from school work for teacher work days too! (Be sure to check your state’s laws first, but most have a provision for this.) Homeschool teacher workdays provide an opportunity to reflect on what is going well in your homeschool and what you want to change. They can also be a time to look toward next year.
I haven’t always scheduled teacher work days. When we first started homeschooling, I tried to finalize details for the upcoming term as we were completing term exams and plan for the upcoming school year in my spare time. What I discovered is that I felt frazzled trying to plan school lessons alongside normal activities.
Then one day I had a revelation. Teachers at traditional schools have “teacher work days.” Well, duh, I could do the same thing!
So now I schedule teacher workdays throughout our school year. I typically include one day near the end of each term so I can plan the upcoming term. I also include a few days at the end of the year to plan the upcoming school year. You could also count attending a homeschool convention as a teacher development day.
You will probably not accomplish everything you need to do as a home educator during these scheduled teacher work days. I definitely don’t. But taking a few days off of planned lessons to evaluate your term and plan for the upcoming term/year can diminish your stress level significantly.
How can you schedule teacher workdays? There are many options and which one you choose will depend on your circumstances. Here are a few ideas to help you think about your might implement teacher work days:
- Talk to your husband about the importance of making time to plan. Discuss how you may need some time alone to think and process. Ask if you could go away for a day or a weekend or if he could take the children on a field trip some Saturday so you can have uninterrupted time to plan.
- Schedule a time when a friend can watch your children while you go to a coffee shop for a couple of hours. Then trade and allow her some time for a teacher workday.
- Find an interesting documentary for your children to watch while you complete term evaluations.
- Schedule an annual planning weekend with friends. (Tip: Set a goal of what you want to accomplish during the weekend so you can stay focused and not spend too much time talking.)
- Allow your children to have a week at the end of the school year to finish projects or work on individual interests while you plan the upcoming school year.
- Schedule a weekly time on your calendar to plan the lessons for the upcoming week. Friday afternoon or Sunday evening has worked well for me.