In Missouri, the official school year runs from July 1 to June 30. Many homeschool families find that it is easier to either school year round or to start school earlier in the summer. This allows maximum flexibity for field trips, holidays, days off, or different scheduling options. For instance, after talking it over with my husband and children, we've decided to start earlier and have a four day school schedule each week. Usually, that will mean Fridays off. If we don't finish our work during the week for some reason, Fridays will be "homework" days. We're going to try the four day schedule for the first quarter; then, I'll evaluate our success and determine our course for the next quarter. I hope that explains our early start.