Friday, June 17, 2011

FAQ-How do I schedule my day? How many hours should we school?

Once again I like to refer people to the internet for the many examples of daily/weekly schedules.  No family will have the exact same schedule.  The wonderful thing about homeschooling is that you can adapt it to your needs.  Generally, the younger students do better schooling in the morning.  With older students, there has been some research suggesting that they may do better getting started later in the day.  It doesn’t hurt to try different approaches until you find what works best for your family.  Some families do school work in the evenings or even weekends! to set up a Charlotte Mason daily schedule) (click on individual names for more of their scheduling story) (free printable pages for you to fill in your schedule)  (scheduling tips and this website has lots of forms as well)  (an all encompassing planner that many homeschoolers use)

The length of time spent schooling during the day will vary.  Younger students may school for 1-2 hours per day while older students may spend 5 hours per day on their studies.  Another variable is the method of homeschooling you have chosen, in addition to the curriculum.  One piece of advice that I have found helpful (from Charlotte Mason) is to have short periods of instruction.  This serves the dual purpose of keeping the student engaged and focused as well as teaching the student the habit of attention.  If your student knows that they just have to focus on their spelling for say 5 minutes, then they are more inclined to concentrate and put a good amount of effort into those 5 minutes.  If you find your student dragging a math lesson out to half the morning, set a timer.  Currently, my 5 year old son can only focus on math for 10 minutes.  Once he goes over 10 minutes he starts dropping pencils, falling off his seat and mentally heading off into la la land.  In time, I will increase his math allotment to 15 minutes, then 20 minutes, etc.  Sometimes your scheduling must be a building process.   It’s no fun to nag or be nagged at to stay on track.  Short lessons help solve that problem.

As you can see, there is great variety in how people homeschool.  Please remember to use what works for your family.  Time, trial and yes, sometimes error, will get you to your 'sweet spot'.

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