HSF: Discussions between Homeschoolers

Suggestions for Scheduling Changes


I currently part time HS my three children in the evening after they attend a Catholic school. This has seemed to work well for them, and we work on rounding out areas that they are struggling in and do enrichment curriculum. Our kids will be out of school around mid-May, but will not return until Sept 4th, which is about 13 weeks of downtime for them. For my oldest who is LD, this time will kill her, as she spends the first quarter each year attempting to get back on pace with where she was at the middle of the previous school year. My husband and I decided that we will try to homeschool them straight through the summer in addition to our regular summer activities. For Liz it should at least keep her mind fresh... Anyway, I have never full-time homeschooled Could anyone offer me insight into how to schedule classes? Right now we spend about 1/2 hour on two subjects a night and alternate based on night which subject we work on, and then we do a little over the weekend if we have time (on the weekend we only HS using learning software so they don't realize they are learning LOL). Over the summer, I am planning around 4 hours a day (maybe 6...I don't know yet ... I am not sure whether they would like 6 hours of school during the summertime) of school work, and then we will swim, golf and do other things for fun. Could someone maybe email me what you use as a schedule so I can start working on mine? I would appreciate it. I only have a little over a month of planning time, and I am just wanting to do it in a fun yet educational way.

Thanks in advance!

Dr. Pepper
Personally during the school year, we only homeschool 5 hours max a day. On top of this, we do read each night aloud and then silently for 1/2 to 45 minutes. I think after that time, their little brains just turn off. I think you will have the added challenge of it being summertime and the dc might resent working 6 to 8 hours. I know I would.

Wishing you success in your homeschooling endeavors.
Are you planning to homeschool after the summer is over? I mean full time? The reason I ask, is that I would have different advice.

If you are just homeschooling for the summer, I would read, talk about the books, work on math drills and depending on their age, maybe some worksheets on a particular math topic.
I am with Karen. I guess my question would be why are you needing to homeschool in the evening if they are already spending the day at school? That would drive my kids bonkers. twitchsmile.gif We homeschool during the summer months but mostly because we are year round schoolers. We spend maybe 4 hours of schooling a day and only do it four days a week so we need to do it year round. Also, it is hot in the summer and my kids scream boredom if they don't have something to study and learn. They have been off one week and I am already getting complaints.

So what are your goals? Then there are plenty of wonderful ladies here that can help you with scheduling.
I would agree. The way you would schedule would depend on your goals, as well as what simply works best for your family. Some of us here are more traditional schoolers, some are more relaxed, and some are somewhere between.

At my house each child is different. My oldest daughter thrives on structure. We have worked out a schedule for her throughout the week. This is only a guideline and doesn't follow it strictly, but it keeps her sane. She is 9th grade. My younger daughter thrives on flexibility. She works as she is driven. She completes her assignments that I give her, but in her own good time. With the knowledge that she will not attend any activities if her work is not complete. She is 7th grade. Finally my son has determined his own routine. He hasn't really shown a preference to one way or another. He sits down to do his work after breakfast. Completes his lessons usually around lunch time. He is 5th grade. He is aware that next year will not be so easy and the hours he spends working will be increased. At that point, I will attempt a schedule with him to see how he does.
Right now we do about 1 hr in the evening of extra studies. For my girls it is mostly enrichment, to help them get caught up. My oldest is LD, so we look at things she is struggling in and work with her on those subjects. For some things she needs things broken down differently so that she can absorb it. My middle girl needs a little enrichment, but mostly she likes to work ahead, and in the 4th grade she reads and comprehends at a freshman in high school level. With my son, he *loves* school, and he actually asks to do work. He was doing sight words as a 2 1/2 or 3 year old, and he is currently about 3 grade levels ahead in his private school.

We don't do HS every night, as two nights a week they are in outdoor soccer, so on those nights we don't. We also do an hour or two on Saturdays and the same on Sunday. Normally our Saturday studies more focus on free reading and we do projects based on what they are reading so they really don't realize they are doing schooling. (My middle girl and I had so much fun when she read "To Kill A Mockingbird!".

I think I have my school-year routine down pretty well, and it works well for us. But, this summer is what I am more concerned with. I have 13 weeks of downtime (the kids school is starting late because they are finishing up the new building and renovating their current building and it won't be completed until the last week of August. and with my LD daughter, anything more than about 3 weeks off is too much for her. Due to budget cuts, private school kids no longer may take summer school classes, and we have noticed that. When she was in summer school, she stepped right into school okay, but without it, she struggles until the end of 1st quarter.

So ... anyway, my goals are to help keep the girls sharp, and with my son, he just loves school anyway. We are going to build in Home Ec, and have the girls work on budgeting and planning for a menu (a week each). I am just looking for ideas as to how to schedule a day. I have never done that. Right now, we pick two subjects and work on them for an hour. Doing a whole day is totally different. I would need to be more traditional, because my ADHD kids need structure. Without it, they get really out of sync.
Thanks for the input, and if anyone else has ideas, let me know!
I agree with everyone else that 6 hours would be way too much, especially for summer! Think about how much of the typical "school" day involves non-academic stuff -- getting from one place to another, getting books, settling everyone down, eating lunch, recess, pe or other specials, etc. My friend who has homeschooled K-10th says she has never had to formally hs more than 5 hours a day / 4 days a week, except when her oldest was preparing for the PSAT and SAT this year. (Fridays are her field trip/hands on days. I love her schedule for the older ones.)

Our family is fairly relaxed and do mostly hands on stuff so she doesn't always realize she is learning. We have been more successful with activities that do not require sitting at a table or desk. We try to do sitting things (esp math) first thing in the morning (or if we get behind, after bath -- our calm times). I try to separate sitting activities with highly physical ones. I would think ADHD children would need that more so.

We are learning all the time. We don't see learning as a M-F thing or a school year thing and do a lot of impromptu stuff outside of our math/lang. If you include all the reading we do (which is how I cover lots of our unit themes, world cultures, history, science concepts, famous art/artists, etc), then we probably spend an average of 4 hours a day. Some days we do more than others.

Here is our current "good" typical week schedule (on the weekends don't do the Lang Arts hour). I hope it will give you another starting place:

7:30 am (30 min) We read three poems, work on memorizing one, and I usually read her a couple of stories (one is usually historically themed). DD climbs in bed with me first thing & we do this before anyone else gets up! My most peaceful time of the day! Then I have to face actually get up!

(10 min) Calendar activities, daily weather report & graph, go over the day's activities

8:00 am (30 min) Formal math Lessons together (we're doing Saxon 1 right now, which has a lot of hands on)

While I prepare breakfast, get the baby up, bathed, and dressed, DD completes the workbook part of Saxon on her own. She also has handwriting at this time, which she also does independently -- usually 2-3 numbers, 2-3 letters, and one sentence to read, trace, and then copy (it often reinforces our sight words, spelling, or phonics of the week). If she finishes quickly, she usually has a nature study page to label & color, a self-explanatory art project, or she likes to write "stories" in her spiral notebook. I will sometimes give her a story start or picture to inspire her, or she'll use a theme we've been learning.

9:00 am After breakfast, we have clean up, morning chores, etc. then go on to unstructured play, organized activities (gym' & swim), outings/errands, library, parks, visit family/friends, field trips (all depends on day)

12:15pm Lunch, Baby's Mommy time, & then Baby's nap -- during this time DD works on her choice of quiet activities -- puzzles, pattern blocks, tangrams, geoboard, coloring, art projects, play dough, painting, etc.

1:15pm (30 min to an hour) Language Arts -- mix of activities -- usually one or two activities from First Language Lessons, Lang Arts worksheets from the internet, then informal spelling (on the magnet or white board), phonics/sight words flashcards (if she gets them right she puts them in the "mailbox"), and writing activities. If we are all caught up for the week we just play games, build stuff, or she will opt for extra stories.

2:15-4:30pm Rest time -- she reads me a book, then I read her 3 books/chapters (these are supposed to be non-fiction or our unit themed fiction). Then she listens to books on tape while resting on her bed for approximately an hour. After that, she may read or play quietly with her toys in her room -- favorites are the playmobile, her dollhouse, puzzles, lego, coloring with markers, sewing cards, etc.

4:30 Impromptu -- usually Kitchen stuff or outside time together -- games, science experiments, art projects, cooking (measuring and following directions)

5:30 Swing set/gym bars, art projects, or computer time (with a 45 min limit, educational games only) while I cook dinner

6:30 Dinner, bath, Daddy-time

8:00 PM -- She'll read 1-3 stories to me, I read 3 stories to her.

-We also do our Spanish language program in the car twice a week, since two activities we do are an hour away.

-I don't do a scheduled structured music program because we always have classical, instrumental, folk or children's music playing in the house and car. We will dance, id instruments, tempos, pitch, repeat patterns, etc. on the fly. We have various musical instruments for them to play with, and we also try go to a live performance once every two months.

-She only watches TV on Sat/Sun mornings for and those are DVD's.

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