One of the things that people ask me most is what our “homeschool day” looks like. Homeschool will look different in every home depending on:
-how many outside activities you are involved in-whether your kids (and/or you) do well with structure
-your “homeschool style” (un-schooling vs traditional)
-when you and your children work best (morning, afternoon, evening)
-the age of your children
-your work schedule (if you work outside the home)
I have nothing against a more loosely scheduled day or even un-schooling if that works for you and your kids, but for me and for my children (at least for now), we all do better with a much more structured day. No, we do not have a strict schedule that we stick to every day, but we do often make schedules when I feel like we are getting to out of control. Usually we work from lists. Over the summer I make a plan for each subject – what I want to teach and how I will teach with what resources in the year ahead. I break that up into the ten months and I work off those plans all year. Each weekend I make a list of what we will do that week and then we work from there.
In a “normal” week this past year, I assigned D a total of 27 different assignments for a week. He did seven each day on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, five on Thursday and he went to our homeschool co-op on Fridays and did one assignment at home on Friday. In the evening he also read another 30 minutes, did a page of cursive practice and one page of math facts review. It seems like a lot, but it helps that we do several shorter assignments throughout the week instead of one day with lots of math or lots of literature. Doing more frequent short assignments helps them to “stick” better for us and when projects are done in small chunks there is less avoiding of those “hard” subjects. We also take days off or postpone assignments if it gets to be too much. Sometimes a subject that I thought would be easy ends up being more difficult. Other times maybe we’re just enjoying a subject and don’t want to move on quite yet, so within all that structure, there is still flexibility. I try to leave lots of extra room in my monthly plans so that we don’t have to feel pressured.