DY's XLS Term Dates Calculator

While working on the V Planner, I decided to create an xls file that will estimate the dates of your homeschool terms. A term is a portion of the school year much like a pizza slice. Terms are useful for administrative purposes.

Two common term names are Quarters and Semesters. Quarters have four terms and semesters have two terms. A common "Grading Term" is represented by the 6-term grade card. There would be six of those during any school year. In our case, our official grading terms were semesters. It was at the end of the semester that I was required to send in the children's grades. Regardless of our official grading terms, I kept a running average throughout the year and used six evaluation periods during the school year. If my children requested a "grade card" for the evaluation period, I used the one from the grades page [typical 6-term grade card]. I made that one just for my children.

The XLS Homeschool Term Calculator File

 YoungMinds

the fileXLS Homeschool Term Calculator
Click on the link above to download the file.

I formulated the calculator to return dates for up to six terms. I do not plan to alter that. You can have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 term dates returned with this calculator. I included six because that is how many terms I'm allowing in the V Planner's grading system-- and this calculator was made for the V Planner.

The Term Calculator has 6 Steps

  1. Enter the date of the first day of school. Enter a date such as : 08/01/2011
  2. Enter the typical number of school days that are in your school week. Example answers: 4, 5, or 6
    Be accurate with this number. If you officially school on a 6th day only "sometimes" do not write 6 in the box.
  3. At step 3 write how many school days that make up a school year. If your state does not have a required number of days, enter the number of days that the public school system uses. Write a number in this box, do not write "days"
  4. Step 4 If/Then

    Enter # of days based on your school week:
    For example
    If your school week equals 5 days then one week off equals 5 days off.
    So enter the number 5 for week-long holidays instead of the number 7.

  5. Step 4 is a little more complicated than the other steps. Step 4 has a table with holidays listed and other types of days that might be taken off such as birthdays or sick days. The type of day off is not important, but you can define them in this table. In some cases, you will need to guess. Go ahead and guess, you can come back later and change the number of days off. At the top of the table in "Days Off" I have written an If/Then. Please read it. I will write the very important note in more detail in the box on the right. ->
  6. At number 5, click the cell and a drop-down list will appear. Choose a the number of terms you plan to have.
  7. Step number six returns estimated term dates and the estimated date of the last day of school. The calculator takes your numbers and divides the total by how many terms that you chose in step 5. While that is a squeaky clean calculation, it is a dirty average of equal terms, terms that ignore things that we humans cannot ignore, things like that exact end date that we prefer. For that reason, I provided a tweak system. Tweak is explained in the file and I think it is easy to use. With tweak, you can add or subtract days from the beginning or ending date to arrive at the date of your choice. I included a tweak total count that warns you if you tweak out too many days.

image of tweak system in term calculator
The picture above is a screen shot of the estimated term dates and the tweak system. In the example of tweaking the dates shown in the picture, I have caused the the second term to end just before Christmas and New Year's vacation, by subtracting 4 days from the term (-4). The beginning of the third term is tweaked to start at the end of the vacation (January 2) by adding 16 days. Notice the numbers in the Days column -- 67.8, 69.8, 76.8, and 72..8. The numbers in that column keep tabs on your tweaking and help you balance the terms. By balance the terms, I mean not having one term with 100 days and another term with 50 days. The numbers in Days do not necessarily count the exact amount of days between the dates shown, but it will be close.

Donna Young, April 6, 2011

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