Guest post by Natalie Burns
Incorporating the biblical feasts and a weekly Sabbath rest into our home was met with immediate transformation in our family, including physical, emotional, and spiritual restoration. I then began to wonder about including a Sabbath cycle in our homeschool…
We began year-long schooling with a Sabbath cycle of six weeks on and one week off. Only, we quickly ran into a problem when it came to the biblical feasts — they didn’t always land on our rest weeks!
If I traded the rest weeks, I wouldn’t be following the Sabbath cycle anymore… but if I added in extra rest weeks, there wouldn’t be enough days to complete the curriculum!
Have you had this same problem?
Why I Love Homeschooling with a Sabbath Cycle
Just like how it feels knowing that at the end of your week, a rest day is coming, the seventh week of homeschool can feel like a vacation. Knowing a break is coming up can be just the encouragement needed to stay motivated to do things with full effort in the current moment!
Having a six-week set is a great amount of time to study a theme; there is enough time to explore an idea with great detail so that it can be unpacked and wrapped up again with nothing left lingering at the back of the mind during the rest week.
Starting a new six-week set is the perfect time to try something different! A change in the daily routine, a change in theme, or a change of method can be tested and tried for a time that is just long enough to get the feel of it, while still short enough that no one gets bored.
What the Homeschool Sabbath Cycle Isn’t
Following a homeschool sabbath cycle isn’t commanded.
While it is a sign of a heart inclined toward Yah to learn how to live in His rhythm, He has not asked us to work 6 weeks on and rest the 7th week. It is important to rest on the commanded Sabbath and let the homeschool Sabbath cycle be an extension of this concept. The homeschool Sabbath cycle is more about seeking to understand a Sabbath rhythm.
A homeschool Sabbath cycle isn’t for everyone.
It may not even be the best option for the same home at different seasons in their homeschool. Prayerfully consider if this is the best approach for your family. Perhaps your family thrives with a rhythm of five weeks on, one week off, or maybe a four-day-a-week routine. The best way to know how to organize your homeschool year is to have a conversation with your children about what they value and start trying a routine that fits with your family’s homeschool philosophy.
Sabbath Cycle Strategies
It can be challenging living according to a different yearly rhythm than those around us. Here are some strategies for scheduling homeschool with the feasts in mind:
- Print a year-long calendar and highlight the feasts and other days you will not be homeschooling.
- Consider how many instructional days are required in your local region.
- Start your schedule the week you return to homeschooling after Unleavened Bread or Sukkot.
- Start counting weeks, highlighting a break week every seventh week. When you run into a feast, take those additional days off as well!
- Review and check that you’ve allocated the number of overall instructional days, while still maintaining wiggle room for surprises that may come up where you may not be able to homeschool that day after all!
Remember, while following a Sabbath cycle in your homeschool may be a wonderful way to model this rhythm of life for your children, it is not a biblical command. Prayerfully consider the best way to organize your homeschool year so that your children can connect with what they are learning.
Natalie Burns is a daughter of the King, wife, and homeschooling mom to 3 children on a 2-acre homestead in BC Canada. You can find out more about how she supports homeschooling families with teaching videos and mentorship at https://natalieburnsmentorship.com.