Sabbath Schooling

Several homeschoolers I know homeschool for six weeks and then they rest on the seventh week. They call it Sabbath Schooling. I like it. I sort of do it, but I don’t rigidly stop teaching on the seventh week. Sometimes it is on the ninth week, based on what we have going on. For instance, if we are learning a new math concept and have momentum under our wings, I will not stop just because the seventh week started.

I like to take a break when I feel exhaustion coming or when the kids are burned out or when we have a family outing. Our version of Sabbath Schooling happens on a weekly basis. We homeschool six days a week and rest on the seventh. 

I don’t know why we should only school for five days a week. “Six days shalt thou labor…” says the commandment, right? Even God worked for six days and then rested on the seventh.

Even Jessie Wise, the mother of Susan Wise Bauer, says in The Well-Trained Mind that if she could do everything all over again, she would school for six weeks and then take a break.

On Friday, we still hit the books (although only for essentials like reading and math) and practice piano and violin, but we also clean the house and the yard, fold laundry and cook an extra meal for the weekend. We count it as home economics. The kids learn skills that will help them in their home life.

Some weeks, I do take a day or two off if I sense that we are all approaching the point of no return, a.k.a. burnout. We do not want to go there. We stay away from it. By the way, compassion fatigue is a real medical condition and it happens to care-takers. Homeschooling moms are not just teachers, they are also care-takers. 24/7. Unless you have a break for yourself, you will experience compassion fatigue and it can lead to some ugly behavior. Take a break! Take a Sabbatical.


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  1. Pingback: Sabbath Schooling For Real

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