by Maggie Dail, M.A.
As you prepare for your next year of homeschooling, you should consider your schedule to achieve your children’s optimal learning environment. What works for others, may not be the best for your family. Here are some considerations:
Am I going to follow the traditional 9-month school year?
If you have some children in school and others at home, this could be a great schedule for you.
However, it is possible that those school children need reinforcement during the summer, so you may consider a year around schedule.
Pros and Cons for a 9-month Homeschool Year –
1. May coincide with friends of your children.
2. May coincide with some of your children who are in school.
3. Often, children are used to having a summer vacation.
4. However, it may also make going back to school difficult because some skills may have been forgotten.
5. Often textbooks review the first 6 weeks so that progress may not be continuous.
If I consider a year around schedule, how does that look?
There are several options:
o Plan a break when Dad has time off from work.
o Plan a break when trips / museums / other educational settings will be less crowded.
o Plan schedule around Unit Studies – at the end of a unit study, take a week break.
o Work for 3 weeks and then take a week break.
o Work year around but take Friday (or another day) off for special activities, a long weekend away or field trips.
How would my daily schedule look?
Dr. Raymond Moore suggests “The Moore Formula” that allows from 30 minutes to 180 minutes of Study each day; the same amount of time for Work and other times for Service. You could do study in mornings, work in afternoons and service on special days.
Those segments could be done in shorter amounts of time alternating throughout the day. (The books of Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore still provide much guidance in this area.)
Other suggestions including “chores” appropriate for different age groups are part of the Able to Teach course offered by Family Academy. Able to Teach Online Course for 1 Parent - Family Academy
The days those events meet may be your special day to do other special things (field trips, service) as well.
Those days may only include skill-based subjects that need continuous practice (math, reading, spelling).
If I choose one of these options, how will that look when working on high school graduation requirements?
Typically, high school students earn 5-6 credits a year and work on all of them each day at about 1 hour a day. While this works for many, it may not be the best option for some.
Categorize the subjects required for high school graduation (may vary in your state) into:
1. Basic Skills (English, Math) – daily – 1 hour a day each.
2. Content (History, Science etc.) – work on one at a time – probably spending two hours a day.
3. Lifestyle skills (World Language, Personal Fitness, Art / Music, or Career and Tech Ed, Electives) – about 30 minutes a day.
What other questions do you ask yourself as you consider your schedule? Feel free to ask or answer questions on this blog. Have I missed some important considerations? Let me know.