Types Of Home Schooling Routines
It’s an obvious cliché but many families involved in home educating their children proclaim that there is no such thing as a typical day when a child is learning at home. One of the benefits of home education is its flexibility – if a child is feeling particularly active, a day might incorporate more sport than another; if a particular exhibition or speaker or visitor is in town, the day might involve a field trip rather than classroom (or, more accurately, home classroom) based learning.
A home schooling education typically endorses the idea that education is not just schooling but learning as a part of life. Teaching ideas might be inspired by the world news the previous night, or something that a child hears on the street or sees in shops or finds on the internet. A project idea might be discovered, triggering the next week being taken up by the production of a house newspaper, or feature length film, for example! Home educators generally like to encourage such creative bursts, so they keep their timetable flexible.
Nonetheless, it is also true that new home schooling parents generally like to have some kind of timetable or structure for the day or week in order to encourage a feeling that some learning (in the school sense) is taking place. When children move from school to home school, many home schooling parents like to encourage a period of ‘deschooling’ – a completely unstructured period of time – but alternatively, others prefer to maintain some of the schooling mentality, which might involve focusing on a particular subject in one part of the day, or always doing textbook-based learning in mornings, for example.
New home schooling parents can view some other home schooling families’ routines on the internet, where many home schooling families write blogs or have their own websites to describe their experiences of home schooling. These routines and timetables can be a useful start point for a family to create their own schooling structure, but do remember to retain a flexible mentality, to avoid missing out on the kinds of opportunities (like the aforementioned exhibitions, speakers etc.) that home schooling can uniquely make available. The timetable might also be adapted as one child’s optimum learning period might be in the morning while others’ might be in the afternoon, for example. Trial and error can form an important part of the creation of a daily routine for a home schooling family.
Studying For A Qualification
If and/or when home schooled children start studying towards a recognised qualification, like GCSEs, A Levels or a diploma, usually it will be necessary to begin following a curriculum. Although students can still study at their own pace and ability, usually a more structured routine will develop since there will be a set amount of topics to cover. It can be useful to work out a rough timetable in advance and then adapt it as necessary, to help parents and children relax about covering all the topics in the timeframe available before exams or coursework deadlines.
To avoid this being a difficult transition, many families build in creative work and flexible time into the timetable, so that trips to parks, plays, or doing activities like creative writing are not suddenly ‘dropped’ when qualifications come onto the agenda.