Block Scheduling is an alternative to the traditional school year schedule. Many homeschoolers live in the realm of alternative scheduling so dipping a toe in block scheduling should not be too scary. My daily schedule does not resemble a traditional school year. I plan my day in a Charlotte Mason fashion of short classes yet covering a vast amount of material in one year which is divided up into trimesters. Most Block Scheduling schools operate on trimesters and cover a vast amount of work in one year. However, the classes are long and better suited for a mature child.
What is Block Scheduling?
Simply put block scheduling is a type of school or academic scheduling where a student has fewer classes during the day but for a longer amount of time. This often results in many classes being completed in one semester or extended due to not meeting daily. For example a student would have math on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 60-120 minutes and then meet the next week on Tuesday and Thursday for 60-120 minutes. There are other methods but all involved using blocks of time to learn one particular subject for an extended amount of class time.
Benefits of Block Scheduling:
Classes can be completed in less time than on the traditional calendar.
Students can complete assignments, discussions, and various types of work or experiments during one class time as opposed to spreading it out over 2 or 3 classes.
Some say that students absorb more material and have the opportunity to go more in-depth due to the extended amount of class time.
Students can take more classes in one year since many classes which would normally take a full year may only take one semester.
Disadvantages of Block Scheduling:
The class time is extended so many students find they become bored.
Some say that students do not absorb the class material as well due to boredom or being overwhelmed with the amount of work in one class.
Absences are difficult to make up for.
Having classes only last one semester can make it more difficult for a child to move ahead. For instance if a student completes Algebra 1 the first semester he will not take Algebra 2 until the first or second semester of the next year. Some say this length of time off of a subject like English, math or science can be detrimental.
While the number of classes is decreased the amount of homework is increased and more in-depth for each class. This can be overwhelming and some educators say detrimental to the student’s ability to focus and absorb material.