Thursday, September 18, 2014

Homeschooling - Balancing School with Life

For the homeschooling family, balancing school with life is a cinch compared to trying to
balance a child's formal school day and homework with family life, friends and personal interests.

If you are just starting to think about homeschooling, the question of how to balance this with life may be a big question mark. After all, if your children have been in public or private school then the school has laid out the schedule, and your task, difficult as it can be, is one that you are accustomed to – squeezing in the other aspects of your child's life wherever you can.

Or, perhaps you've been homeschooling a while and are finding that too much of your child's day (and yours) is consumed by schoolwork. It can happen, but the good news is that you have control of this time. If you happen to be unlucky enough to live in a state that makes strict demands on homeschooling families (such as requiring mastery of specific subjects at certain ages), you may want to consider making some changes – either in where you live or by seeking legal counsel to fight for your homeschooling rights.

That said, in most cases there is a great deal of freedom in how you can balance school and life, and even if you are under the thumb of a restrictive state, you still have the say in how you plan your days.

If you're new to homeschooling, then you may be overwhelmed just thinking about how on earth you can teach for 8 hours a day, spend time lesson planning and assessing your child's work, and even have time for life!

Let's set those worries to rest. First of all, you will not need to mimic the school's hours. It's no secret the time it takes to learn at home is far less than the time it takes to learn at school. Even teachers are told in their education courses that they will spend very little time actually teaching. Most of the time is spent on "off task" matters such as getting the class to settle down at the beginning of a day, transitioning from activity to another, getting the class to settle down after recesses and lunch, dealing with numerous interruptions, doing busy work for nothing more than the sake of order in the classroom, and then after every long vacation, spending days settling down again and days to weeks in review because retention was lost.

It's estimated only 1/2 hour to 2 hours is spent on task in school. This goes along with the estimate that on average, a child can do 8 hours of school work in 2 hours when done at home.

You will also have the huge advantage of knowing your child's strengths and weaknesses and learning style. This means that when you child is stuck on a problem you will be much more able to effectively help your child figure it out then a teacher who doesn't know your child very well, if at all. This is of course another big time saver.

Given that your child may spend a couple hours a day on formal school work,
Monday through Friday, even with vacations. You may spend, depending on the curriculum used, around 1/2 to one hour daily, Monday through Friday on lesson planning, assessing, etc. If your child enjoys learning and wants to do more, then you can adjust for this.

As you can see, this leaves plenty of time for the rest of life. With many activities out there that your child may want to explore from dance to martial arts classes, just be sure that your child (and you) has plenty of free time – just for thinking, daydreaming, and just being.

If you are looking for a science project to use you can have a look at my Hub: 

Science Fair Projects, Grade One To Seven

No comments:

Post a Comment