That’s a good question I have as my title up there. Who says school has to start in September? The government? Our neighbors? The public schools? Or is is because that’s what we did growing up? Last year when I was so sick I realized that there was no reason to be stressing my self out over trying to do it all. Because if there is one thing I learned well from being ill; I CAN”T DO IT ALL. So I stopped the one thing that I could and that was school in September. Just because that’s what everyone else does does not mean it’s a good thing for our family.
Now don’t think that means we just do one month less than everyone else. No, I still have 180 days a year that I must comply with. It just means we school on a different time frame. I call it the agrarian calendar. It’s the same one our ancestors followed and it follows the harvest. Before the Industrial Revolution when life in America was more rural children were needed on the farm to work. That meant that they went to school in the summer and winter and not in the spring and fall. There would have been to many chores with planting, harvesting, calving and the like. School back then usually started in November.
For our family we start in October, or after the apples are harvested and turned in to sauce and cider. We do not live on a farm so the garden is our only work and we also do not have any animals, save for our indoor cat. This is our first year following this type of school year fully. Last year was a an attempt to see how it would work. It turns out it’s one of the best decisions we made about our school schedule.
I can tell you that it is so nice not to have to worry about book learning or seat work during the harvest. I can focus all of my attention on the tasks for the day and the children are all pitching in where they can to help. I LOVE that fact that we get to enjoy the best parts of summer as our off times. September is the best summer has to offer, cooler temperatures and sunny days. I can also tell you that I am probably the only one in my area following this plan. So when I run out for an errand at 10:00 in the morning I get even more stares and questions than usual. But best of all we are still learning and working together as a family without the added stress of one more thing.