*Disclaimer: All of these plans are not because I am Miss Super-Organized Mama. These plans are because I'm a MESS, y'all. If I didn't take these couple weeks to lay it all out, I fear what our year would look like because it's a train wreck up in here.
Once we've settled on the books we'll be using, it's time to settle on the days we'll have available for teaching. I sit down with a blank calendar template and shade in the days we know we won't have in school. This changes depending on when holidays and weekends fall. Here is my calendar template. It's simple, but it's what I need and I'd love to share it if it can help you.
This year, January first occurs on a Thursday. We'll likely stay up late on Wednesday night and be too tired for much school on New Year's Day. I lightly shade in the Monday-Wednesday before this to keep in mind that we might want to just take the entire week off. Christmas is just the Thursday before this and we'll likely still be enjoying leftovers and new toys come Monday morning. When do you go back? How much break do you take around Christmas?
We'll observe Good Friday. We'll probably invite friends over for a Valentine party and a St. Patrick's Day party, so there go another two Fridays. Election Day and Ash Wednesday will be half days, with other focus. What days does your family pause for?
We'll also stop our regular lessons through all of December and replace it with Christmas School.
This leaves roughly 42 weeks that are nearly full Monday-Friday weeks. We school year round, but will still only aim for the standard 36 weeks of lesson plans. Our books are challenging and good and I don't want to rush through them. This leaves 6 weeks to fit in our Charlotte Mason-style review weeks as well as family visits out of state, spontaneous camping days, and "snow" days that beg for us to come out and sled. Honestly, these 6 weeks will mostly disappear with slow mornings of tea and read-alouds of Edith Nesbit or George Macdonald, followed by half-hearted attempts at the rest of our lessons.