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Best Homeschool Scheduling Advice Episode 285
The Best homeschool scheduling advice I ever received actually came from my daughter. She said, “Mom if we are going to duplicate the school system then why homeschool?” With that in mind, I looked at the way I scheduled my homeschool year. I made time for those special events that make homeschooling stand out from the conventional school cuWhetherum. Whether it is a field trip, a family trip that is planned or one-to-one mentoring with a talented person. In this episode of Vintage Homeschool Moms, I’ll explain the best homeschool scheduling advice, ever!
Thanks to our sponsor – The Well Planned Gal!!
Questions to ask yourself before you begin scheduling!
- What are your state laws — are you compliant?
- Are you part of a support group? This network IS part of your support!
- What are your goals and objectives for the year?
- What method of homeschooling do you lean toward? If you don’t know listen to this podcast on the topic HERE PUT LINK
- How long are you planning to homeschool? 4, 5, or 6 hours or more per day? Check out your homeschool laws here if you don’t already know them: https://hslda.org/content/laws/
- Are you flexible?
- Do you like check off lists? For you? For the kids?
These questions will set the groundwork for how you’d like to set up your homeschool year. What I might consider best homeschool scheduling advice may not allign with your homeschool philosophy. However I hope you can take what you need and make it work for you! With this clearly in mind, here is some of the best advice I can share with you about homeschool schedules and ways to have a stress-free year.
Best Homeschool Scheduling Tips:
- Keep your eyes focused on your family needs. What Sally Jo uses for her kids may not work for yours.
- Look at your goals. What do you hope to accomplish this year? What subjects do you want to cover this year?
- Is it important to develop your child’s creativity and imagination and encourage them to think?
- What character qualities do you want to work on? If you want to strengthen family relationships, select reading materials or read aloud the books that will do just that. Read the Little House on the Prarie (younger) or Anne of Green Gables (older).
- Each child is unique, consider your child’s needs.
- Never recreate the public/private classroom at home.
- Don’t forget about you. Do you have help scheduled, whether that is a chore chart so everyone can pitch in, or a park day so you can visit with friends.
- Never – and that means never answer the phone while you are homeschooling. Set special ring tones for important people – others go to voice mail. This goes for checking Facebook or social media in general.
- Never and that means never -unless it is absolutely impossible go on an errand during school time. No grocery store shopping, doctor appointments – until after school or on a day off if you take one, etc.
Best Homeschool Scheduling Advice — Ever!
Tools & Supplies:
- Three Inch Binder: Use a three-ring binder. I began a master homeschool binder when I first began homeschooling and it contains ALL the must haves… First, copies of their schedules, important information: everything from blanks I could duplicate to things I always had to look up previously. I have the children’s evaluations in this binder from the beginning of our homeschooling in Kindergarten through twelfth grade! I also keep a copy of their evaluations in their grade/year notebook.
- Master Lists: Subjects, books, reading books, grade level goals, etc. I think through this once, add to it if a particular child needs more information and then file it in my book. I also have a file in a Word Doc. in my computer that corresponds. Master lists can include a supply list for school, birthdays, and a calendar of events.
- File cabinet. Throughout the years I kept files on each of the kids and work. As we ended a year, the binder was emptied, the information for the year filed under the child’s name (and grade labeled), and the binder was then ready for the next year.
- School Supplies: Notebooks: Look for sales. We get lined, spiral notebooks for less than 20 cents during back to school sales. I buy enough for all year. Use a sharpie (or a nice label from the computer) to label the subject. Notebook paper: This is one of those things we always ran out of when the children were younger. Wide-ruled notebook paper for the little kids and college ruled for older ones. Pencils: We prefer the #2 pencils and some of the kids liked the mechanical pencils, but there was one brand, in particular, they liked best that we could only purchase at an office supply store. Yes, friends, this was “pre-Amazon” days! Of course, depending on your child’s needs there are crayons, markers, erasers (the ones that fit on the pencil and the bigger ones), colored pencils, pens and sharpie and highlighters. Don’t forget the 110 lb paper to make your own dividers.
- Best Purchases: Large Dry Erase Boards and erasable markers, an electric three-hole punch, a laminator, laminating sheets, a stapler, a heavy duty stapler (to make those books kids love to make), and a heavy duty tape dispenser. I loved sticky notes and tabs to create my own dividers with 110 lb paper.
Best Homeschool Scheduling Advice:
- Know Your Kids: Do you know or have you evaluated your children? Our sponsor has these wonderful books for Placement and Evaluation.
- Organized: Get your books organized. Half the battle if finding the books you need when you need them. School supplies and additional resources. Everything has a place!
- Freebies: There are lots of sites that say you can get free curriculum, downloads, printables, etc. If you have these – organize them!
- Scope and Sequence: This states what your kids need to know and as homeschoolers you can be flexible. Here is a scope and sequence from Abeka as well as Bob Jones that goes from K-12. I’m not endorsing this one way or the other, you have to make your own determination.
- Flexibility: Build flexibility into your schedule – how can you do this? (Listen to the podcast for tips)
- Input: Get input from your older children. One year my kids wanted to study oceanography and space. Talk about diverse! Yet those became their favorite subjects.
- Routine or Schedule? What works for you a routine or schedule? The best homeschool scheduling takes into mind your lifestyle and only you can decide if you want to do things daily with a set schedule or perhaps have a routine that includes daily activities but more loosely scheduled.
- Rotate your schedule – doing the same thing all the time can be boring and cause kids to zone out. Maybe you do math every day, but what about history or science? You can do history two times a week and science two times for 6 weeks, and then change it to history three times and science two.
- 180 Homeschool Days: Get a year’s calendar and circle the days you will school each month. Yes, this can change but it is nice to have it set out before you – so you can plan. 180 days of homeschooling is what my state requires. Check your state information here: https://hslda.org/content/laws/
- Homeschool Planner: Well Planned Gal planners are my favorite – there are digital, printed and even a prayer planner. There is also a smaller size to keep in your purse or backpack!
- Use Checklists: Checklist with pictures for little kids and a checklist for you. It is an easy way to keep records.
- Breaks: Be sure to highlight birthday’s, events, holidays, and field trips. Do you have a catch-up/ planning day? If you can’t have one every week, try for one a month.
- Field Trips: Be sure to use the resources available to homeschool families in your area.
- Plan your week: Look at your books and divide the number of homeschool days or weeks by chapters. If there are 30 chapters you may need to do one per week. Etc. Some books you can take two weeks to complete one chapter.
- Teach Kids Together: Group ages and books/subjects as much as possible. Kids like working together or if they are competitive use it to their advantage.
- Projects: Plan early. Science fair ideas begin in the summer, papers signed as soon as school starts (grades six and up). I wrote the book, “An Insider’s Guide to Successful Science Fair Projects available on Media Angels Membership or Amazon here.
- High School: Planning for high school? Plan a 4-year schedule of required subjects for graduation. The scale is different for a high school diploma vs. a high school diploma with college in mind. Also if your kids are planning to attend college listen to College Prep Genius for ways to ace the SAT and ACT as well as get scholarships. If your kids play sports – know the rules. If your kids are approaching high school and have an eye to playing sports in college read up on the NCAA.org eligibility information about classes that count for high school for college play.
Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Well Planned Gal
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