Homeschool scheduling

Posted on December 1, 2011 by


There are four main aspects to homeschool scheduling: year, month, week, and day.

Year

Our homeschool runs year-round. We have to teach for a minimum of 180 days/year, according to the laws in our state, but we usually teach more than that. We prefer to spread it out over the year, rather than condense it into the traditional 10 months. Our schedule breaks for summer (all of August), Christmas (3 weeks in December), and Easter (2 weeks in spring).

We don’t break for any other holidays or vacations, even if we are traveling, but we do take off for illness. Field trip days are counted as school days. In total we usually teach more than 200 days/year. That said, the co-op only runs September-May, so we’re only doing the minimum when school isn’t in session. Even during breaks, we continue with our reading selections because that’s just part of our family life.

We don’t bother breaking it into quarters or semesters, we just teach straight through from September to July and then stop, and we spend August finishing up plans for the next year. There are no tests or exams to plan, as it’s rather obvious what they are or aren’t learning, and we address that immediately.

Month

Right before the new month begins I think of some month-specific things we can do. Saint’s days, holidays, seasonal activities, baking, etc. are all popular. I just make a note and stick it in our homeschool binder, and I see it everytime I look through it.

Week

Our week is split into co-op days and homeschool days. At home we’re responsible for teaching phonics/reading, math, religion, and sports. The co-op runs biweekly and our homeschool has the following topics for the remaining three weekdays:

Day 1 = homework, phonics, math, read-aloud, catechism class
Day 2 = homework, phonics, math, read-aloud, gym class
Day 3 = logic, phonics, math, read-aloud, swim lessons
On day 1 we drive to Grandma’s house and do our lessons there.

Day

We have no defined schedule for each day, and I don’t keep any detailed plans. We just “turn to the next page” in our material and do whatever is there. Everytime we have a break in the teaching year I go over the material and mentally plan the next phase, which is simple because I’m only teaching one child. I don’t have to be very specific because our school year is so long that we always finish the curriculum regardless.

We spend about one hour on our lessons, including breaks, which is typical for 1st grade. We spend 20 minutes on homework (usually history reading, discussion, and narration page) or 10 minutes on logic, 10 minutes on phonics, 10 minutes on math, and about 15 minutes (one chapter) of reading aloud from literature or the Bible. A lot of homeschoolers spend more time on math, but I don’t really see the point of that. We find that short lessons and moving quickly through the material cuts down on dwaddling and keeps him working at his mental peak.

We tend to do it all at once while my daughter is at preschool, but sometimes she’s home and then we spread it into bits throughout the day instead. Anything we forget or don’t get around to doing is finished on Saturday morning. If we get finished early on Fridays we go out for lunch as a reward. Because of this, I rarely have anything leftover for Saturdays.

Posted in: Education