Starting Out: Homeschool Planning
Those who are new to homeschooling may find the entire process a little overwhelming at first. That includes homeschool planning. Many homeschoolers design their homeschool planning around their local school system’s calendar consisting of school weeks that run for approximately nine months. However, homeschoolers don’t always have to follow this rule. After all, homeschooling allows you to have more control and flexibility in managing your family’s time. You can plan longer or shorter school weeks, depending on your preference.
What are some things you should consider when homeschool planning?
- Consider the number of days/time you need to fulfill your state’s requirements. Most parents prefer homeschooling from Mondays to Fridays. Some like to school in the morning, others homeschool in the afternoon and evenings. If you like, you can schedule your homeschool on different days and even longer – it’s entirely up to you.
- Once you have decided on the timing and length of your homeschooling, then start creating your homeschool calendar. When will your year start? When will it end? Will you follow the local school schedule in regards to days off, teacher work days, and holiday breaks? Thanksgiving? Christmas? Winter break? Spring break? Those decisions are all up to you!
- The number of hours for any given school day can depend on the curriculum you need to cover that day. Some days may be shorter while others may also be longer. You could also vary your homeschool days depending upon the age of your children. The daily schedule for early learners may start out shorter and gradually increase as your children get older and the curriculum topics increase in complexity and number.
- Homeschool laws in most states lay out a minimum number of teaching hours per school day, usually a minimum of three hours. Some schools, however, hold more than three hours of teaching for each school day. Homeschooling gives you the flexibility to maximize the time needed for teaching your child. You may actually find that your child will learn more in just a few hours of teaching at home than he/she would have in a full day in a traditional school setting.
When done properly, homeschool planning is can be extremely helpful in having a successful homeschool year. The key, though, is to keep a consistent pace and follow what you have carefully laid out in your homeschool plan so that you can achieve the best possible results.
Kelly Ling is a work-at-home, homeschooling mother of five. She has mentored many homeschooling and work-at-home moms over the past eighteen years. Kelly also owes a home-based web design business. When not doing web design, she is constantly updating some of her homeschooling/work-at-home websites – Homeschool-Articles, Homeschool Top Sites, and others.