The next Back-to-School prep installment from The Teaching Home!
Managing Your Time
Time management is an essential building block in the foundation of your home school.
Developing a time budget (schedule) will assure that urgent demands don’t steal time from the important things you want and need to do.
As the habit of following your schedule becomes a routine, it will allow you to handle repeated tasks and decisions without considering them over and over again.
Remember: Less is More!
• Limit your out-of-home activities.
• Limit the scheduled activities within your home.
This will enable you to do what you do better and have a more relaxed and enjoyable time doing it.
1. Set up Your Classes
Decide and list which subjects, units, and/or topics you will cover during which weeks or months to make an overall year’s plan.
For example, you could plan a certain number of pages per day in math and language, a chapter every two weeks in history and/or science, etc.
Instead of teaching all of your subjects every day, simplify your preparation and gain from your students’ focus by teaching fewer, but longer (see “Length of Classes” below), classes each day.
You can retain the same number of hours of study each day and cover the same amount of material during the year. Examples:
• Teach longer classes in language arts on two days and math on three days; do some practice every day.
• Study history for half the year and science for the other half, or each subject for two days each week with a day for art and music, etc.
Debra Bell says in her book, The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling:
“As a rule of thumb, skill areas are mastered through practice. Handwriting, spelling, mathematics, reading, etc., should be on your daily schedule.
“But content areas such as literature, history, science, etc., are better learned through fewer sessions in larger chunks of time.”
Length of Classes
• Consider that a child’s normal attention span may be three to five times his age, e.g., 27-45 minutes for a 9-year-old, 36-60 minutes for a 12-year-old.
• A child’s attention span may be increased by limiting the hours he spends watching TV and playing games on a computer.
• Longer classes can be achieved by dividing the time into sections with breaks to stretch or exercise, get a drink of water, and rest the eyes.
• Younger children in a combined-age class can be given a quiet, non-distracting toy or activity (such as coloring) while they listen.
Combine Classes for Efficiency
Teaching several of your children the same topic at the same time can be the most efficient use of your time and effort.
You can use the same materials for all and adapt explanations and assignments for each, or collect age-appropriate materials on the topic for various levels.