When homeschooling first started, there was a general misconception that kids could sleep in late, work in their pajamas, quit when they wanted to and basically have a lot of freedom. Each of these can be a true statement depending on the individual but the best approach has always been to have a schedule that everyone in the home agrees to for several reasons. Kids need a designated structure whether they are sitting in a classroom at a public school or learning at home through an accredited home school portal. This ensures they are aware of the expectations, standards and how to successfully meet deadlines which are part of the homeschooling process.
For some families, a homeschooling schedule has them working all year with breaks intentionally scheduled to coincide with job schedules, holidays and vacations. Others prefer the traditional school calendar so that kids can hang out with their friends and participate in sports and other activities scheduled around this format. Once you have decided, then the next level is to plan a week and then day schedule which can be fluid or specific depending on what is going on and the family’s personal dynamics. If students are able to get their work done in 3 longer days instead of using several hours each day of the week because it works with a parent’s job schedule then this is the benefit of homeschooling. The fact is that every family is unique which makes the schedule customizable and successful so long as everyone is aware and in agreement.
Parents have intimate knowledge about their children which puts them in the perfect position to create a schedule that gives the student a great opportunity to do their best work. This may be the same for the entire set of kids or could be slightly different for each one based on personality and age. Some children do better when they get more rest in the morning so their school day can be scheduled to start and end later than someone who is an early riser and does their best work first thing in the morning. It is also important to keep in mind that this schedule may need to be adjusted as students transition from elementary to junior high and then high school as physical needs change and the work evolves from concrete to conceptual. The online student portal provides this level of flexibility since the student can log in whenever and complete their lessons without affecting anyone else. Recommended lesson completion on the course’s internal planner is an excellent resource for parents and students as a visual guide for when the work needs to be done.
Setting a schedule helps students develop organization skills such as time management, self-discipline and working within a designated time frame, all of which are needed in the work force. Homeschool education is about more than just what they can learn in the textbooks, but also becoming familiar with external expectations and standards that exist in traditional college classrooms and jobs in any industry. This is part of a parent’s job, to help set them up for success by teaching them at a young age how to set tasks, work in a system and develop their own personal study habits and accomplishments.
An accredited home school program engages the student to pay attention to the material but a schedule helps to keep them focused since it acts as a divider in the day. Students who jump on and off the portal can’t develop a rhythm or pace to study the lessons and retain the information which can make exams more challenging. By working with the child to identify specific start and stop times for the school day and possibly for each ‘class’ subject, they have a mental understanding of priorities and can leave schoolwork behind to fully enjoy social activities with friends. There is a necessary balance between being flexible and working within a student’s learning abilities/personality and holding them accountable to getting work done in an organized and timely manner. Online homeschooling provides the tools and resources to help but parents have a direct impact and guidance when it comes to structuring the environment and the schedule at home.
Studies have shown that students who have a routine schedule to follow tend to do better in their studies as well as transitioning into long-distance learning programs in college. This is because they have learned how to organize their day, adjust for unexpected events, plan around vacations and modify their workload to keep it balanced. As elementary students, the parents are the primary governance over this but as they enter high school, it is a good idea to let the teen make these decisions for themselves so they can become comfortable with the evaluation and responsibility. Give your family the organization it needs with the flexibility it wants to spend time together and get the work done.