It’s an age-old dilemma: for generations, parents have been struggling to manufacture (without success at time of print) additional increments of time. The production of added time in the course of each day becomes especially meaningful when the homeschooling of our children is involved! But alas, according to scientists, we are forced to bend and fit our daily schedules, goals, and needs into one mere rotation of the earth on its axis. So how do we make the passage of time and homeschooling requirements work hand in hand – instead of against one another? Here’s our step-by-step approach.
Step 1. Consider Your Available Time
Realistically, please! Remember that you will still need to accomplish the items every ordinary parent handles in the course of a day, such as laundry, cooking, cleaning, health issues, appointments, and the general drama and conflict that erupts on a daily basis when children and teens are concerned. You need to budget a slot of time for these items, even if your laundry pile is manageable, as issues will surely creep upon you without fail.
If the realization that children enrolled in the public system spend nearly 8 hours of each day engaging in the “school process” gives you cold sweats, fear not. Some estimates conclude – if you subtract the time involved in bus rides, recesses, lunches, walking in hallways and visiting lockers, electives like gym and art, study halls, roll calls, and the general passing out of papers – a child schooled in a public system may only receive about one hour of valuable learning time (where information is actually absorbed) a day. That’s a number you can trounce in a heartbeat!
Tip: Check around online to find out how much time other successful homeschool families are budgeting time – but remember that each child is different!
Step 2. Consider Your Approach
Your approach is going to be affected by the number of children in your family, their ages, and their learning speeds and abilities. There is just no set formula to figuring out exactly how needs will be met before you get totally immersed in homeschooling. But the beauty of homeschooling is – it’s flexible!
Younger children learning to read and write are going to require a more intensive approach with the need for larger time increments with more built-in breaks. Older children will require a greater number of outside resources and direction, but should be able to self-direct to a significant degree. Children with disabilities or special learning needs require a different approach, and you may need some outside help too.
To get a realistic grip on what the best approach for your family will be, you must fully understand how much time it will take you to complete a number of tasks. Many parents fall into the daily trap of underestimating this figure. Even if you are only cutting yourself short on a task by ten minutes, if you complete 15 tasks a day – you are going to come up 2.5 hours short!
Tip: Take a full week to note – and write down – how long your child needs to complete specific assignments, such as spelling lists or math tables. Average the figures, then be sure to tack on a few extra minutes for good measure!
Source: Crosswalk | Jessica Parnell, HomeschoolingHelp.com