"Oh, we don't really take the summer off. We usually school year round."
Raised eyebrows. Assumptions that we push the kids too hard. "But what about summer vacation?! Kids have to have that."
1) We live in Arizona. They're virtually trapped indoors for the majority of the summer. Why NOT have them doing work when they're already stuck inside, so they can have extra time off when it gets back down near 100 degrees? (Yes, they go to the regular summer activities just like the other kids. Without their math books.)
2) Their schooling ebbs and flows with our lifestyle. I like that.
3) We can take December off.
4) We can sporadically take weeks off just because we really feel like we need a break, without feeling a push to get those standard issue 36 weeks accomplished. (Confession: I don't keep a current count of the amount of days of weeks we've worked. Ever. It just distracts me from what's really important.)
5) We tried one of those 6 weeks on 1 week off routines once. Exactly once. The times we wanted one week off never coincided conveniently with life. We'd take the seventh week off, only to have the week after that fill up with activities and we didn't get much done anyway. Or we'd add a couple weeks so the week off would match activities better, but the kids' attitudes about school would stink for that extra time. Done with that.
We take random breaks as we feel the need. Last week we did a reading heavy week and dropped the subjects that couldn't just be read. It was refreshing, and we got some big projects done around the house.
About once a month I'll just yell "Fieldtrip!!!" and no matter what they're in the middle of books and pencils will fly and they'll race for their shoes. Fill the water bottles, climb in the van, get buckled, and then we'll decide where to go. (Half the time we end up at Half Price Books.)
Wouldn't change a thing.