Two of the top questions I get from non-homeschoolers aren't about socialization, they are "when do you take off from school for holidays?" and, "do you take off during the summer?" Those questions always seem so genuine to me.
I normally follow the local public school calendar. The reason is because we usually live in a neighborhood with numerous kids who attend public school and are friends with my kids. When the neighbors are off, my kids like to play with them, plus we can see and hear them outside playing. So, that works well for us. Of course, there are kids who go to private schools,etc, and we adjust as necessary.
And the summer? We take off! I love having summers off. It seems like such a free time. That's also when I do some planning for the next school year, although some of that is done during the spring semester of school before school is out.
Thanksgiving. This year the local public school is off for the whole week at Thanksgiving. We usually have school through Wednesday and it's so busy trying to get ready for the big day. We are off this week and I love it. I think we'll continue to take off the whole week at Thanksgiving.
Luke and Josh are in New York to go hunting with Steve's dad. They return next Monday night. They've both hunted before and they love it. So, actually they are in the "School of Self-reliance" this week, improving their survival skills!
Caroline gets to spend half of the week with her best friend Katie who now lives about 2 and 1/2 hours away. Katie has the week off too.
Christmas. One of my friends takes off three weeks each Christmas. She bakes and gets ready for the holidays...and actually gets to enjoy them and not be so rushed. I would love to do that, but I haven't done that yet. Maybe if I write it here, I'll make it happen. One thing I can do to make that possible is to combine/condense some of the material.
Christmas shopping days. There are some schools that give the teachers two days off for Christmas shopping. Wow. That's another thing I would like to implement, but the need for a sitter makes that less likely.
My same friend who takes off three weeks at Christmas doesn't take off for Labor day. She says she can't figure out the sense of not working on a day that celebrates working! I agree, but we usually take it off because we take off most days that Steve is off work. That's one of the reasons he likes homeschooling is that the kids can be off when he is so we can travel, etc.
Birthdays. One of my friends gives the kids off school for their birthday. All the kids. They have 9 kids! We started that a few years ago...and I better decided if we'll do it this year because Levi turns 3 next month!