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Friday, February 25, 2011

Sabbath Week

My blog is being scraped again.  If you are reading this on a website other than you are reading a stolen copy of my content. 

This week has been our Sabbath Week and I have been posting on Facebook what a blessing this is and how much we are loving it.  Well, more than a few people have asked what it is and what it's about so I thought I would just blog about it! lol  I actually thought I already had but I couldn't find it so I'll do it again. 

At the beginning of our school year, in August, I was planning out the year and as the weeks piled up one on another I began to feel like school breaks would never come.  In the years past we have made it about half way through a semester before we were all cranky and ready for a break.  Most of the time a break wouldn't come until Thanksgiving.  By then I was a mess and ready to quit homeschooling all together!

Then, I discovered this idea on another blog (can't remember which one!) and it resonated with my soul.  And not just because I was weary thinking about the weeks to come, but because it meshed with what we already knew.  We need times of rest.  As people, as families, and as homeschoolers.

So, my dh and I started praying and talking about it to see if this would benefit our lives...the answer was a resounding YES!!  I immediately re-worked our school schedule to include a week off every seventh week.

The reason?  A Sabbath rest.

In the beginning when God had created the world He rested on the seventh day.  Later He instructs His people to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.  It was to be set aside as a day devoted to Him but also as a day to rest and rejuvenate.  God knew that we would need a time of rest to slow down and re-focus on what was really important-following Him and training our children to follow Him as well. 

Doing that becomes infinitely harder when we are harried and stretched too thin.  Enter Sabbath Week into our lives.  We already kept Sunday as our Sabbath and really tried to do as little as possible on that day.  We tried to make it a day of rest and being together.  I determined that Sabbath Week would be the same.

So, with the calendar laid out in front of me I counted out six weeks and then on the seventh I drew a line through it, writing Sabbath Week across it.  All the plans for school shifted back one week.  I continued counting and marking off every seventh week and realized that our school year would be a little longer than in years past.  I decided then to just school year round and not stress about it.

My life was suddenly less stressful.  We were going to get regularly scheduled breaks that weren't going to cause us to fall behind!  Woohoo!!  I felt lighter just thinking about it. 

Rest.  What a sweet word!

So, what does Sabbath Week look like at our house?  Well for starters we get to sleep in.  That is a huge bonus since we wake up at 6:45am most days.  We sleep until we wake up and then do the little bit of school we can't stop.  That amounts to science for my oldest and the few reviews we are working on.  Usually no more than around an hour total-less if we can manage it.  We also sometimes will do history but only very loosely and not with any structure.  I try to have the school stuff done in the morning so that we can have the rest of the day to play.  The rest of the day we will watch school movies, go to the library, go shopping, take naps, read books, bake goodies, visit friends, play games, catch up on cleaning, work on special projects, take naps-wait did I say that already? lol 

You get the idea; it's all about resting and taking a break from the regular school schedule to give everyone a chance to relax.  I have noticed a major difference in our attitudes this year.  Just about the time we are getting weary and cranky, it is time for a break.  The attitudes of my children are better and school work is getting done with less attitude.  Not that it has disappeared all together mind you; but it is better because they know a break is coming.  They know that they need to hang on just a bit longer until the break comes. 

Sabbath Week has transformed our schooling.  It has helped our family not focus solely on homeschooling and lets us do other things as a family.  That is so important to the homeschooling momma.  She can tend to focus so much on being the teacher that just being the mom gets put on the back burner.  During Sabbath Week, I am the momma and not the teacher.  (mostly anyway!)  Our relationships are growing stronger by resting and playing together.  Their mom is able to be just their mom.  What a blessing.

That is what Sabbath Week looks like in our house.  Hopefully that will answer some questions about it and maybe inspire you to have a Sabbath Week in your homeschool as well!


Leat said...

I love the idea of Sabbath week Renita! I want to copy and try it around here.


Unknown said...

Thank you for posting Renita! I love this and will be implementing in our've blessed me!!!

Beth said...

This makes a lot of sense to me, I will be praying about making this change here also. Thank you so much for posting about it :0)

Susan said...

I'm intrigued by this...I may need to try it. Thank you for sharing:0)

Kristine said...

Oh my goodness, I LOVE this idea!!!!!!! If I weren't working, I'd do this in a heartbeat!!! Wonderful, Renita, I hope that a lot of families are blessed through you sharing your idea!!

Vickie said...

What a fabulous idea! I like that it is a scheduled week off, not a week off because we NEED a break!!! The title, Sabbath Week, is awesome! Thanks for sharing I think I too will be implementing this idea. Next year with having 11 plus in school....that week will be a lifesaver I'm thinking :)

God's Blessings

Marie said...

I like this idea-a lot! BUT, I don't know if I can give up my long lazy summer. Thinking maybe I could tweak it and have a long weekend every six weeks, kind of like the schools do (teacher workdays). I'm going to think on this some more...

Susan@FruitfulWords said...

What a cool idea. I love that you are making homeschooling fit your family.

Carrie said...

Sounds like a GREAT idea Renita...
Thanks for sharing!