The educational process, whether followed in a traditional setting or pursued in the homeschooling surroundings, teaches many valuable lessons above and beyond the information found in textbooks. The world operates according to a specifically defined schedule that affects everyone to a greater or lesser degree, whether we like to admit it or not. Everyone must work within the structure of 24 hours in a day, sunrise and sunset, the change of seasons; these things are not negotiable.
Traditional education environments are set up to help students learn to operate within a certain level of time and schedule constraints. That’s why the school starts at a specific time. That’s why most school days are divided into periods and most activities follow a predetermined schedule.
The traditional education environment teaches students to manage their time and to allocate specific time for specific duties and functions. This process teaches them to organize their lives both now and in adulthood in a manner that will, hopefully, allow them to accomplish everything they need and want to accomplish in a given day, week, month or lifetime.
In order for homeschooling to be successful, the environment will need a certain level of scheduling and time structure. A student educated in a homeschooling environment should still be expected to get out of bed at a certain time each day, ready and prepared to take on the tasks and assignments for that day. Homework time should follow a structured time and, of course, leisure time or some form of recess should be incorporated in the overall school day. All of this adds to the student’s growing ability to learn the steps necessary to build a well-rounded life.
This is not to say that every day must be exactly the same in terms of every day being structured exactly like the one before it and the one after it. This is not reality for anyone, and it would be a mistake to try to corral students into a totally regimented lifestyle. The whole point of operating within a schedule, even a very loosely defined one, is that it teaches a student to use time and materials wisely in an effort to maximize the time they have in their lives to achieve everything they set out to achieve.
Homeschooling is not a new concept; people have been educated in the home for centuries. It is, however, a redefined concept that offers an expanded amount of options to parents, students and teachers alike who want to maximize the impact of education on the life of the student. Learning how to manage the hours of the day is one important lesson to be learned from any educational experience, and operating according to a schedule is the foundation of that knowledge.