To Snow Day or Not to Snow Day...
At this point in our homeschooling career, this problem is rarely a big deal. I didn't notice it at all until about 3 days ago. There we were, going about business as usual when I noticed that my son was spending a bit more time texting with a friend than normal during the day. This friend happens to attend public school. I'm not sure of the exact count for our local schools, but I know quite a few in the surrounding areas have been out for at least the past 8-10 days due to weather conditions. If buses can't safely navigate the roads and schools can't stay warm, public schooled kids get the day off... Homeschoolers aren't that lucky. Snow drifts don't block the route to their desk. Unless our power is out or our internet is down, we are up and learning. This creates a dilemma for homeschooled kids with public schooled friends.
Although I now expect my (mostly) grown child to handle his schedule and social needs with an eye toward personal responsibility, I thought I would share how my family dealt with this problem in the earlier years. I hope that you find my plan helpful in solving your own snow day conundrum. Take what you can use, change what you need to, and best of luck dealing with those "It's not fair!" moments!
To begin, I ALWAYS gave the first good snow a day off. We used that day to sled ride and build snowmen. We guzzled hot cocoa. We got red cheeks and cold toes. We celebrated the wonder of nature! Typically we had a lot of the area kids sliding with us because we have an awesome driveway for it! It was a great reset and me and their dad got to be the big heroes. Trust me, it is a very worthwhile morale booster.
Once the big First Snow had its day, I would print up 5 Snow Day Certificates for each of my kids. I used these certificates as rewards for staying on schedule, spending the extra time to do a really great job on a project, high scores on hard tests, or other rewards. The boys did not have to use their certificates on the same day. They also didn't necessarily need to have snow on the ground to use them. They were simply the promise of a day off. When they were young, they both tended to cash their certificates in when it snowed so we could all sled ride together, but as they grew they would occasionally take a day on their own. Sometimes they would wait for snow and explore the winter wonderland by themselves or spend time with friends who were off school for the day. Sometimes they would just use their certificate to take a personal day.
I worked these 5 days into their 180 day state requirement, so our yearly schedule actually ended on day 186. We did not discuss the fact that public schools can get a waiver for that count depending on how late in the summer they would be required to attend. Their attendance is simply not something we need to be involved in on that level.
So, that is how we handled the snow day dilemma at our house. Please share how you handle yours!
Being a homeschooling parent for 13 years and an independent author/illustrator makes a person learn quite a bit about a lot of things. Now it's time to pass it on!