As the novelty of no school wears off on children due to the Coronavirus and the vacation-like days turn into boredom, it is important to create a schedule for our new lives as homeschool parents. I have homeschooled my daughter during elementary school, and what I learned from this experience, is that we both needed a schedule to stay on task and feel comfortable.
Children that attend school are used to a regular schedule. Language arts happens at a certain time, math happens at a certain time, recess happens at a certain time…
As we move towards online learning at home and teachers provide assignments, most children would benefit from the structure a schedule provides.
There have been a lot of suggested schedules circulating on social media that you could use. Likewise, you could ask your child’s teacher for their classroom schedule. Be sure that you create time in the schedule for independent work to give yourself a break and a chance to also work from home.
One of the beauties of your new life as a homeschool teacher is that school can start at whatever time you like, for example, 9:00 am. As an educator, I am a firm believer in 90 minutes of Language Arts. Also, you don’t need to spend the same amount of time on education at home as is spent at school. A lot of time is used in transition groups of children, so you will be more efficient at home.
Here’s a sample schedule that can work for any age and grade. It works great when you have multiple children in several grade levels as well. I taught for five years in multi-graded classrooms and used a similar setup.
Another great idea I learned from working in a multi-graded classroom is to have your different aged children work as peer tutors. You learn a lot by teaching, especially with grammar.
Sample Home School Schedule
9:00 am-10:30 am: Language Arts Work: Assignments from the teacher, silent reading, oral reading, parent read aloud, journaling, creative writing, biographical writing, word work, etc.
10:30 am -11:00 am: Break
11:00 am-12:00 pm: Math: Assignments from the teacher, basic facts, Khan Academy, cooking
12:00 am-1:00pm: Lunch and free time
1:00 pm- 2:00 pm: Social studies, art, science, child-directed learning, music, gardening, foreign language (perhaps one each day)
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Physical activity/outdoor time
One of the greatest benefits of our time spent homeschooling was improving my daughter’s writing. As a school teacher, it can be challenging to provide meaningful feedback to a full class of writers. It really is a one-on-one process of individualism. As a homeschool parent, you can provide this sort of genuine input throughout the writing process.
If you are struggling as to what your child should be learning, refer to the standards set by your state. Simply reading grade-level standards may give you the inspiration to create your own lessons. It can be really fun!
With the shift to online learning, our children will be getting more screen time. Some of this will be unavoidable as the log into Khan Academy, Google classroom, etc.; however, this is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with our children’s own interests and support them in directing their own studies.