Question: How much time do you spend on each required subject every day? I’m having trouble scheduling my year and am wondering what other moms who have kids my children’s age, do.
I’m happy to answer this question with the following disclaimer: what works for me, probably doesn’t work for someone else and vice versa. I think that one needs to consider the child in question, his age, how he learns etc. However, I will attempt to offer some thoughts and practical suggestions on scheduling that will allow you to glean something to put into your own routine.
I spend at least 45 to 60 minutes on math every day. It is the first subject we tackle in the morning. (That’s actually because my older children need to concentrate and first thing in the morning is when the twins need the least of my attention!) It is broken down into 10 to 15 minute increments following this pattern: review basic math facts, review the date, look at our weather graph, and practice counting money or making change. The next 10 to 15 minutes is spent teaching and practicing a new concept. The last 15 minutes or so is spent on math worksheets. (This is the only subject you’ll ever catch me using a worksheet for.)
Language arts can take up to two full hours. It includes phonics, reading, literature, writing, spelling, and handwriting. It’s easy to see where all that time goes. We spend much of our time reading out loud and discussing the literature we read!
It might seem funny that I include lunch but lunch would certainly be part of the school day if your child were in school. We take 60 to 90 minutes for lunch. In case you’re thinking that we’re incredibly slow eaters, let me set your mind at ease. Since it is a natural break in the day, it gives me time to pull out a special project with someone or to get a few chores done quickly here and there. Generally, my children often use at least part of this time to do a little art project or to do a piano lesson. (Note: If you have really young children and you’re wondering what to do, having this time where the older ones can do something on their own can be a life saver while trying to get little ones to nap.
Social Studies and Science
We do social studies and science on alternating days but for a few hours at a time. Generally these subjects involve a project or a lab. . .something that we want more time for. I also find that since they are my children’s favorite subjects, it is motivating to stick them at the end of the day. They are still willing and active participants because they find the subjects fun and interesting.
As I said earlier, this is what works for us and may well not work for anyone else. I do hope though that for those of you who find yourself floundering, you may be able to glean something from our flexible schedule.