Friday, May 30, 2014

Homeschooling Schedule Options (Find the One that Works for YOUR Family!)

Now that you've chosen your curriculum (here's my post for our 1st grade curriculum choices, and also my post about finding your homeschool style and curriculum), you'll want to decide on a schedule that works for your family. One of the biggest perks of homeschooling is having the flexibility to determine when and how you finish your lessons.

I have each lesson we'll be covering for every subject until the end of the year written out in a big notebook, and just transfer the lessons we'll be covering every week into my Daily Teacher's Planner (I got mine on clearance at Lakeshore.) Since our schedule is really fluid because of Junior's appointments, I can't schedule our lessons too far in advance since I try to avoid too many make-up days, but many homeschoolers with predictable schedules will plan lessons a month or more in advance. Either way, my Daily Teacher's Planner and Master Lesson Notebook has been very helpful in gauging our progress.

Now, you'll want to decide exactly what your school year is going to look like. Here are some good options, and of course, all can be tailored to meet your family expectations and needs.

1. Traditional
This is your typical Monday to Friday, September to June schedule with weekends and summers off. Many people are most comfortable with this schedule, and it gives kids a nice break to spend time with friends who attend brick-and-mortar schools when they're also off during the summers.

2. Year-Round
Year-Round schooling is probably the most popular amongst homeschoolers, and it's the most flexible. There are actually several year-round options I'll address specifically:
          -Six Weeks on, Two Weeks Off, Plus an Extra 4 Weeks off During the Year
               Since most curriculum is based on a 36 week workload (180 school days), dividing into 6 week increments is an easy way to school year-round without burning out, since there is always a break looming, plus you get 4 additional weeks throughout the year for vacations, sick days, or holidays.

          -Taking Breaks for Holidays, Vacations, and "When We Need It" Time
               This is pretty much what we do. When we need some time off to recalibrate, we plan some school-free days without worrying if it is an "On" or "Off" week. When Junior has too many appointments in a day to get any actual school done, we will just take the whole day off. This year, we plan to take a week off here and there for VBS, a family vacation, church camp, and possibly the entire month of December to truly enjoy the Christmas Season. This is a nice option for those whose schedules can vary on any given week, and more flexibility is needed. I just make sure to keep track of how many school days we've already completed, so we don't fall behind. (So far, we're actually quite ahead!)

          -Nine Weeks On, Four Weeks Off
               Like the "Six Weeks On" option above, this option also divides the school year into sessions. This one is 4 sessions of 9 weeks. It is basically a "Quarter System" schedule and allows a longer break between sessions. This is nice for families who want a long break for Christmas, summer vacation, or just R&R.

3. One Day a Week for Field Trips, Longer School Day/Saturday School
              While some curriculum assumes a 5-day school week for each lesson, I find those are easily consolidated into 4 day lessons, which frees us up to go on more Field Trips. We use this schedule sometimes as well. It makes for a longer school day (sometimes fitting two lessons into one day, or doing school on Saturdays), but this way the kids (and I) get a break for some hands-on learning, plus we get a chance to go to popular locations during the week when others are at work or school   
4. Block Schedule
          A Block Schedule is a way to focus on one subject at a time, at greater depth. It is usually divided into 6 week increments. Instead of having 6-9 subjects in any given day, you would only teach 2-3, but at greater depth, sometimes covering one full year of a subject in 12 weeks. This is often used for older students who spend more time researching, and less often for younger students who need as much exposure to as many different things as possible. To use it for a younger student, do your core-work (math, reading, writing) everyday, then every 6 weeks add a new subject to study at depth. One session could be Science, another could be Art, another Geography, etc.

What Homeschool Schedule(s) Do You Use? 

Browse all my Homeschooling Posts

Pin This!

Join our Facebook Community

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think? I love hearing from my readers!

Popular Posts