Help – Our schedule isn’t working
Crafting a Homeschool schedule is difficult for many parents because the only schedule they know is that of a mainstream school. But as a Homeschooler, you can throw that schedule out the window if it doesn’t work for you! Homeschooling provides the awesome flexibility for parents to create any schedule that meets their family’s needs.
Fortunately, each State only requires that you cover the curriculum. They don’t tell you what hours or days you must Homeschool — you figure that out yourself. For instance, if a parent works, the children might Homeschool during the late afternoons on those days. Others find doing their Homeschooling each morning is a helpful way to go. The best part is you can make a plan that suits your family circumstances. Here are a few options that various parents have shared with us.
Traditional or Yearly Schedule
This type of schedule usually runs from the end of January through December and is by far the most popular. Many Homeschoolers look at the Terms and the weeks their State requires and use that as a guide. For example, they begin on the first day of Term 1 in their own State and work through the 10 weeks to ensure they line up with the regular school holidays. This can be helpful as they will get the benefit of school holidays with friends and the added school holiday attractions that are put on.
Families that use this schedule usually Homeschool four or five days a week, take days off if necessary, or for holidays. Many families like to take their own holidays mid-term to avoid the extra cost and busy traffic times. It all just depends on what works best for you and your family.
Some prefer to Homeschool year-round and they love it. They take more breaks than most traditional Homeschoolers and they do Homeschool all throughout the year. There are other benefits that come with following a year-round schedule, including:
No holiday slide: The kids continue to Homeschool during the holidays so they don’t fall behind or lose any knowledge that they gained the year before.
Flexibility: Some like to work according to the seasons. They Homeschool more in the summer and take frequent breaks in the winter while still learning.
No cramming: Year-round Homeschoolers have more time to work on challenging subjects, which means less stress for everyone.
Building a rhythm: Some kids generally keep a positive tempo all year long. The breaks they take aren’t huge so they don’t interfere with their learning momentum.
After you determine whether a traditional schedule or year-round schedule is best for your family, you can decide how you will construct your week-to-week schedule. For example, you could Homeschool four days a week and use one day as a catch-up day. Some parents Homeschool at home three days a week and join a Homeschool group for one or two days a week.
A strict Monday through Friday schedule is not mandatory. Working parents often Homeschool on weekends and provide a couple of days off during the week. You can tweak your schedule to align with your work schedule.
Block and Loop Schedules
Instead of doing math every day for 40 minutes to an hour, some parents “block” large amounts of time to focus on the subject. For instance, you could block two hours on Tuesday and Thursday for math and two hours on Monday and Wednesday for science. This allows you to focus on a particular subject and still have time for other activities and lessons.
With a loop schedule, you simply choose a few subjects that your kids enjoy and pick a day or two that you can study them. For example, if your child likes music, maybe you could focus on it every Friday. Then, each week you loop back to that subject on the chosen day. You can choose any subject and any day during the week. It’s your call.
Daily schedules vary for Homeschoolers. Some prefer starting in the morning, others Homeschool during the evening. It really depends on when you have time, especially if you have a job, and when your kids learn best. In many cases, kids learn best mid-morning, so that’s when we concentrate on the more difficult subjects. If you cover Maths, & English each day, you only have to do one other block subject each day to cover the full curriculum. Two extra subjects if in Highschool.
The amount of time you Homeschool each day will also vary. It is common to find your child is done with school in two-three hours. As your kids get older, it may take them longer to do the more complicated subjects, but you’ll never spend as much time schooling as kids do in mainstream classrooms due to the interruptions that occur there.
If you compare a Homeschool day to a traditional school day, you’ll notice a significant difference. Traditional schools have so many more interruptions during the day. As a Homeschooler, you have the luxury of providing a focused, one-on-one educational experience with fewer distractions. After all, you don’t have 20+ kids with various personalities in a classroom.