Controlling the time spent on homeschool subjects can mean the difference between quitting homeschooling and not ever coming back to it or sailing along with a few ripples that are easily conquered.
In upcoming posts I will get down to the nitty-gritty by giving you suggestions for time to spend on each subject and tips to remember. You know details are more valuable then generalities anytime.
However, before I jump into sharing what has worked for me, it is important that I don’t stress you out when I share those posts.
Posting some questions and tips to mull over before you read about specifics of scheduling homeschool subjects will help you to determine what tips will work for you, which ones you can discard and when to make changes when the time comes.
Is your goal in a subject to have your children complete the assignment or to stay within the time scheduled?
Look at this example. If a math assignment has 31 problems, is your goal to complete the whole assignment or to stay within the time frame you allowed for math?
Do you see the difference between teaching to completion of an assignment and teaching thoroughly in a time frame?
Are Time Tested Ways of Teaching Always the Best?
If a system has children studying all day for 8 hours and it is not working, do we want to follow that same mentality?
Please tell me you are not homeschooling for 8 hours straight.
Yes, I have mentored homeschoolers who homeschool for 8 hours in a day. They tell me that there is just no way they get all the subjects completed without spending that long homeschooling.
No reasoning on my part helped them to see that they are on their way to crash and burn.
Unless you are running a military camp, homeschooling for 8 hours straight can be flat out disastrous.
Learning and living naturally for the day is very different than running a homeschooling boot camp.
The longer I talk to homeschoolers who homeschool endlessly into the night I realize that most of the “learning” is not spent on project based learning, hands-on activities or interaction with other family members.
The homeschoolers I helped were panicking to complete assignments by distance learning programs, which they thought would ease the stress in their day only to be the culprit of a majority of it.
Before you can plan the length and time of homeschool subjects, you need to be in control of determining them.
It’s a simple concept that is easily overlooked.
I am always for outside help when you need it through your journey but never give up control in determining what and how much for the day your kids will need to do.
Do you know what percentage of time in the public school classroom is actually spent learning?
I don’t think you have to have kids that attend public school before you can appreciate how much time is actually wasted learning to walk the line, standing in line, sitting criss-cross, waiting on the teacher to correct the little boy who got no sleep the night before, taking the attendance and lunch count for the day to the office and recess to name just a very few interruptions.
One-on-one learning is absolutely intensive and I don’t think it’s talked about nearly enough in homeschool circles.
I have talked about this before and that is what I see when parents bring children home from public school. I am not just talking about normal kids, but kids that are high achievers too.
The common thread they share is that it is extremely hard for them to sit still and learn without wanting to take a break.
To say, that bringing them home to learn while having minimal interruptions can be difficult, might be an understatement.
It requires a retraining period at home because they are use to moving constantly for a bathroom break, talking to another student or just having a shift in focus.
So don’t fall into the homeschool trap that more hours always equal productive learning.
How to encourage the sheer delight of self-teaching?
Encouraging our children to see the sheer delight of self-teaching shifts the focus from simply completing assignments to learning thoroughly in a time frame.
Another foundation you want to build your homeschool subjects on and how much time your children spend on them is on the delight of learning.
It is one thing to savor the time our kids have learning while being mindful of a time frame and yet another to be stressing out about a schedule because an assignment is expected to be completed.
No matter what your preference is for teaching, whether you are more of a shoot from the hip homeschool mom with a minimal schedule or you have a very detailed schedule and maybe even use a timer to schedule subjects, both styles of teaching require being punctual.
Balance is always the key to homeschooling and scheduling subjects and time spent on them is no exception.
Some homeschoolers feel that being controlled by the clock takes the delight out of learning. It actually can be quite the opposite and seen as a bit selfish (ouch) if we don’t have some kind of flow to our day.
Unintentionally, we may be running late the whole day for every subject and not get to subjects that our children have been waiting all day to do. If our day is calm and organized with subjects balanced, we get so much more done for the day.
Starting from a faulty point by giving up control of when and how much to plan, following the methods of public school by schooling endlessly and into the evening with homework and not holding to a time frame to foster the delight of all subjects planned for the day are barricades to worthwhile learning.
Whether you use more of zones for your planning or have a very specific schedule for covering the subjects, do you find that you are covering each subject in a balanced way? It’s not easy for sure.
Hugs and love ya,
Grab some more points on scheduling and doing meaningful learning.
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