First of all I want to preface this by saying no two homeschooling families are alike. We have different teaching styles, different learning styles, different likes/dislikes, and home schedules.
This is meant to help you streamline your homeschool by getting an idea of what works really well for us so you can tailor it to fit your specific family.
You can watch the above video to get an idea of how we homeschool in 15 hours a week, but for those who'd rather read it, here goes:
We all "do school" together at our dining room table; we start at 8am (my crazy kids are up by 6:30 every morning).
- My 3rd grader starts by practicing piano while I go through my 5th graders work for the day (that includes presenting new information and how much work they need to do today), then he plows through asking me any questions as he goes. My Kindergartner starts by playing with an education toy or app.
- Then my 5th grader practices piano and I go through my 3rd graders work for the day. My Kindergartner continues with an educational toy while she waits.
- It is about 8:40 and my 3rd grade and 5th grader are hard at work. Now it is my Kindergartner's turn. I sit with her for the next 45 minutes give or take until she is done. (I think it is SO IMPORTANT to be there with K and 1st graders to make sure they get things right the first time)
- At 9:30 the kids have a snack and take the dog out for 15 minutes or so. The kids continue working on their seat work, typing, and Rosetta stone, and reading if they have time. My Kindergartner is now done for the day and she likes to play. I pay some bills, put dinner in the crockpot, plan our together lesson for the day, etc.
- By about 10:30 we all come together to tackle our together subject. Once a week we spend an hour exploring science, art, social studies, or music together.
- 11:30 or so we have lunch and are done for the day! The kids play, read some more, or we head to a park to play during the afternoon.
- NOTE: We do not do school on Fridays (or weekends). If for some reason the kids had a hard week and did not get their work done they do have to finish it on Friday, but I think that's only happen 1-2 times. Fridays are dedicated to doing fun things together,building memories, forming strong relationships, and expanding our learning with some amazing field trips.
Homeschooling in 4 hours a day, 4 Days a Week
I consider the following to be essential in any good education (public, private, or home educated)
- Practice math facts for fluency
- Writing / Composition
- Reading Comprehension / Reports
- Bible (plus daily devotions and scripture memorization)
- Music (music education, learning about famous composers, piano)
- Art (instruction, time to create, and learning about famous artists)
- Social Studies (communities, government, US history, world history, and geography)
- Science (biology, zoology, chemistry, inventors, lots of hands on experiments, etc.)
You can see our homeschool curriculum choices here.
We also add to our schedule fieldtrips, playdates for "socialization" and exercise (gymnastics, sports teams, swimming, etc.)
You MUST teach kids to be independent learnersThe goal of every parent is to teach and equip kids to be healthy, well-balanced, happy, productive, self sufficient adults. A good homeschooling parent will home educate with that in mind!
You will need to sit next to your kindergarten and first grade as they are learning for form letters and numbers, read words, and understand math principles. But as they master the basics (in 2nd or 3rd grade) you need to encourage them to be self motivated learners.
- teach teach the concept (usually in a 1/2 page instruction)
- try it together (to ensure they "get it")
- allow them to complete the rest of the assignment on their own
- check back to help and correct their work as needed
Relationships MatterI wrote about Homeschooling Parent / Child Relationships here are more length, but basically if you don't have a great relationship it will make everything, from making their bed, clearing their dishes after dinner to homeschooling.more difficult.
If you feel like you are pulling teeth to get things done or that they aren't listening to you I suggest you take take a peak at this article for some helpful suggestions.
See our FREE printable games, worksheets, activities and more by grade: