Any endeavor that requires organization and scheduling on a regular basis is fragile in the hands of a flawed human. Homeschooling is one such endeavor which can turn from calm sunny skies to a thunderstorm with little warning. The storms come to every homeschool family at one time or another. Yet, a state of chaos should be the exception and not the rule. If you are living in a chaotic homeschool situation, it will frustrate everyone involved, and that is does not make for a proper educational atmosphere.
Homeschooling is busy, crazy, fun, exhausting, amazing, and full of ups and downs. We need to operate in an orderly fashion with purpose and diligence to reflect God’s presence in our homeschools. Be encouraged that order can take different shapes for different families.
Write down your goals for the school year.
Make a list of priorities and core subjects for each of your children.
Make a list of extracurricular subjects you want to teach.
Make a list of curriculum that fits into the subjects you are teaching, giving preference to core subjects. Do not make the mistake of teaching too many subjects in one year.
Plug your subjects into a skeleton outline of your school year. Remember not all subjects need to be taught every term, semester or quarter, nor do they need to be taught every day.
Finally, do not forget to schedule in homemaking chores for the children and yourself.
Most states require you homeschool a total of 900 hours per year. I am not aware of any state requiring those hours being used in a certain time frame. Please always be sure to check your state laws concerning homeschooling before following advice or directions you may read. If your state does not require hours of school to be used in a particular time frame, either by hours or months of year, do not feel confined to follow the traditional school year or school hours.
Basic Scheduling Options
Traditional: Five days a week for 36 weeks and a summer break
Year-round: Four-day schedule with year-round schooling. (Take breaks as determined by the family’s needs.)
Year-round Alternative: Schooling with three weeks on and one week off
Sabbath Scheduling: Six weeks on, one week off
Block Scheduling: Fewer classes per day but longer time period for each class (You rotate classes daily, or for classes like history, art and science, you can rotate weekly.)
The Daily Routine
Preschool: Allow the child to direct the length of time spent. At this stage you are developing a love for learning and a curiosity about the world which will carry him through the rest of his education.
Kindergarten: 5-10 minutes per subject
1st-3rd Grade: 15-20 minutes per subject
4th-5th grade: 20 minutes per subject
6th-8th grade: 20-30 minutes per subject, yet giving some extra time for special or independent projects
High School: 40 minutes per subject, yet giving the time necessary to complete tasks and take on special or independent projects