In the last few weeks, I've tried to share some homeschool insights with you. I know with the semester coming to an end this is a time that HS parents evaluate where the kids are and a time when some public school or private school parents may start considering homeschool. I had a sweet text chat with a fellow HS mom earlier this week about our # of days for the semester, etc. Like most things with HS this is an area where almost every family can follow a different plan. Here's a rough outline of how I do things.
1. Our state requires 180 days per school year. I break ours down into 90 days a semester and that is how we report to our umbrella school.
2. Typically in the summer I sit down and map out our calendar to plan for those 90 days. We generally run from August- December and January- May.
3. Then I take a look at our curriculum choices. I try to break down how many times a week we will do a subject by how many days/ weeks of work are included.
4. I should tell you here that I plan for 4 days a week of "seat work." Our fifth day of the week is used for library trips, field trips, music, art, computer games, listening to audio books, educational movies, etc. These learning times may not always fall on that fifth day. In fact we get some of them in during our summer break. I just try to keep track of all those things we do and fill them in on my planner.
5. So back to #3 let me explain how that breaks down. Usually Math U See has 30 lessons. Each lesson includes a DVD session, 6 worksheets, and a test. We break that down into a week. They watch the DVD session on Monday and do 1-2 worksheets. Then Tuesday and Wednesday they do an additional 1-2 worksheets a day and take the test on Thursday. Our semester usually runs 18-19 weeks (some are short weeks due to holidays). MUS also includes about 3 unit tests and a final test. As I plan I give them a MUS lesson a week and then the week they take the unit test they don't do any other MUS that week. That gives us some built in days in case we get behind or if the kids need extra review. There is also a final test which is taken in May and wraps up their math for the year.
6. I do the same thing with all our other subjects. Some subjects we only do for a semester. language arts, reading, and math are pretty much done every day. Other subjects like spelling, handwriting, history, science, Spanish, etc. are only done a couple of days a week.
7. I try to make each day as even as possibly but usually Monday is the hardest day of the week and each day following is a little lighter. Thursdays tend to be quick because it's "test" day for a couple of subjects.
8. What happens if we have more days/ weeks than we do curriculum? This actually does happen for us quite a bit. Especially towards the end of the semester. Those days just become more relaxed. If our seat work is finished we focus on other things. We cook, we clean (home ec y'all!), the kids read, etc. Basically those days look a lot more like our fifth days. We might do some extra writing or a few extra worksheets but usually we just study at an easier pace. The kids love Science and History so they like to do more with those subjects when we have time.
As I said every family sets up the schedule according to what works best for them. This is just our rough outline and it's what works best for us right now. In a year or two it may be totally different and that'll be fine too. How do you schedule your homeschool?