Struggling with your homeschooling schedule is not new to homeschool teachers. The ideas that looked so good on paper, seldom translate equally well in to the real homeschool classroom. Yet, some schedules need to be maintained, just as some method in the madness must exist. Here are three primary means or methods that all successful homeschooling parents have employed.
1. De-clutter the Immediate Environment
The students and the teacher in the homeschool classroom need to have a clean surface to work on. It should be available for studies, art work, project making and the like. If you have a dedicated classroom, you can include a table and chairs for this purpose. If you don’t, then you must share the task of decluttering the dining table, or any other area that may be used for studies along with the homeschool students. Keep things ready to go in the morning, by finishing the tidying up at night.
2. Predictable and Rhythmic Patterns
Most younger children do better when they know what’s coming next. Establishing a pattern where you alternate between studies and a break, studies and a snack, etc can help them stay focused on the studies better. Once established, study patterns can serve the homeschooling family for many years. Of course you may occasionally want to shake things up and change a day’s schedule, but in general children are calmer and happier when they have a predictable pattern to follow in the homeschool classroom.
3. Unplug and Enjoy Real Life
Yes computers make a great learning tool, the smartphone can quickly provide answers to questions and the tablet is a great way to play educational apps, but there is a lot to be said for living off the screens. Get your homeschool students into the habit of playing with actual toys, or sports with rackets, bats and balls. This is not only good for them physically, it also helps improve hand eye coordination, and improves their self confidence when they score.
There is no one size fits all rule here. You need to figure out what your children respond to best, and then figure out a way to use that organically in the classroom.