Home schooling
 

Homeschooling Help

Everyone needs homeschooling help at some point in the process of setting up their home school. Here we will offer help for one of the key issues for families needing ideas for structuring their home school. As you begin to put together your homeschool format you will need to decide what kind of schedule will work for your family.

The biggest thing to remember as you determine the structure for your homeschool, is that the needs of your entire should be the basis on which you make all your decisions. This incredible flexibility is one of the stronger appeals of homeschooling, and it certainly can be an encouragement as you begin to chart out your specific course for the coming year. It can also offer an element of pleasure to your planning, knowing it will be arranged to offer the best options possible for each member of your family.

You may have uncertainties about which months you will homeschool, how many days per week and hours per day, how long periodic breaks should be, summertime schedule, etc. Answering the following questions to yourself may help provide a guide with which you can get your routine defined.

 

1. Is it important to you to be homeschooling within the hours that neighbor children are attending public school?

2.  Do you have travel in mind as part of your education process?

3.  Will Dad's work hours have an effect?

4.  Will you be using a prepared curriculum or one you created yourself?

5.  Will your style of teaching work best at certain times of day or in specific     segments of time?

6.  What ages are the children being schooled? (Ages can dictate how many classes, hours and so forth that seem advisable.)

7.  Do you think your children will learn best in many short sessions, days and weeks or fewer but longer ones?

8.  Does your family work best when taking shorter breaks more often or longer breaks less often?

9.  Do family vacations need to be figured in?

10.  What will be conducive to productive family quality times?

11.  During which season do you prefer the most free time?


Writing down ideas gleaned from these and any other questions you think of will be helpful. Getting the whole family in on the planning can also be fruitful for setting times and dates and creating enthusiasm for the entire homeschooling process. Even after the year is completely mapped out, anything can be changed at any time. You are never locked into any decision, so there is plenty of room for trial and error or changes to increase variety or interest.

In putting it all together two detailed examples may offer some homeschooling help.

SCENARIO NUMBER ONE

Mom and Dad are partners in a family business and plan to homeschool their children, ages 8 and 12. One day a week is needed for business travel, and one day per week for clients who come to the home. Both parents wish to be fully involved in the homeschooling of their children. They typically take 2 ten day vacations per year at varying times and sometimes weekend jaunts in-between. This year the main vacations will be in April and August. Their homeschooling itinerary might look something like this:

January through March, May through July and September through November will be the primary homeschooling months. There will be no homeschooling the full month in which each ten day vacation occurs (April and August this year).

Monday through Thursday of each week they will have class time and they will take off all public holidays.

No set hours as education will take place throughout the day as they will vary according to whether home or traveling.

They have chosen a curriculum already planned out for the children, since they have their hands full with the business and not enough time to create their own.

Dad and Mom have chosen these as the general guidelines but are free to change them as needed or helpful. Their agenda is relaxed but consistent, and is based on their children needs and educational goals as well as the family goals as a whole.

SCENARIO NUMBER TWO

Mom and Dad have 5 children ages 7 to 17, all of whom they will be homeschooling this year. Dad works out of the home in manufacturing and his hours are 8am. to 4pm. Monday through Friday, with paid holidays. He has 2 weeks vacation each year which the family decides how to use each spring. Mom works at home and manages the homeschooling, but wisely utilizes each child's ability in the process.

This family decided on September for their 2 week vacation and will homeschool from October 1st through June 30th, taking off all the holidays when Dad is off. They will take a one week break every other month (Nov., Jan., Mar.) as well as an extra 2 weeks at the end of the year (before Christmas  till after the New Year).

Their school week will be Monday through Friday typically from 9am. to 2pm with a half hour for lunch. Mom has taught the older children to teach the younger ones, so their homeschooling takes on a pattern something like this: Monday through Wednesday the  oldest child teaches the youngest two the first hour and a half of the day, while Mom and the other children cover their studies. Then till lunch the small children watch an educational video and Mom works with the older kids. After lunch all children do workbooks and Mom plans, organizes and maps out the next day.

On Thursday Mom schools the younger 3 children, while the older ones work independently on any projects they are doing. Fridays are reserved for family activities or educational outings and may include trips to the beach, museum, nursing home, gardening, shopping, landscaping, home repair or any other beneficial family activity. These parents have also chosen a relaxed approach, though it is more structured since they have more children and a lot to accomplish. Yet they also can easily rearrange any part of the schedule as they see the need.

One of the true beauties of homeschooling can be seen here, in the fact that each of these very different families have countless options for their homeschooling structure and have both found a style that works perfectly for them. Ingenuity, imagination, and personal preference will all be of great homeschooling help as you design a routine and set out on your homeschooling adventure.

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