When teaching children from the home it is necessary to have a schedule to make sure that all the legal requirements that are needed for class hours and school days are covered. There are many things to consider in setting up a schedule.
When setting up the hours for schoolwork, remember that independent study or special projects need to be figured into the time schedule. This time should still be planned within the day or week.
Check the family schedule, including vacation time, or down time when all the members of the family are home. Not every family is the same but the home school teacher should be aware of time for lunch or even for daily chores. Remember that there are times such as meal preparation that will need to be placed in the schedule. Then also be aware of the child being taught. How long are they able to go before they begin to get restless? Break times also need to be included in the daily activities. Perhaps there is a special program that is playing on the radio or television that could be used for educational purposes. This is a way of varying the educational experience. Also, if there is a baby in the family, naptime for the little one needs to be considered when filling in the time table.
To begin, brainstorm what the ideal schedule would look like. Perhaps teaching fewer days throughout the week, but more hours on the days that are in session. Maybe teaching over the weekend would work better for the family. If there are other home school families in the area, ideas could be exchanged as far as how they set up their day, week and school year.
Remember the legal requirements for completing a grade level, including attendance. Some systems require so many days to a year, or hours in the day. Ensure that the curriculum requirements are also being met in the schedule.
The child also needs to be taken into consideration when making the schedule. If the child drags in the morning, perhaps a later start to the day, or lighter subjects in the morning. These needs, including special learning needs, should be included when creating a workable day.
The number of children to be educated is important to keep in mind also. It may be possible to use multi-age strategies and combine subjects when teaching. It is also necessary to remember that one-on-one time with each of the children will probably be desirable throughout each day.
Include outside activities also, for example swimming classes, or craft classes that may be offered either through a public or private school or a YMCA. There may be a group of home schooling parents that would like to combine groups for field trips or social experiences within the groups.
Remember that if the child is going to be doing individual projects these may take longer than math review or a spelling test.
The best way to know if a schedule is going to work is to try it out. After following the schedule for a short time, glitches will appear that can then be taken into consideration when revising the schedule.