Life is learning and learning is life. I say this time and again. If we live that way in our homeschools then planning specific time for homeschooling can look a bit chaotic to those on the outside looking in.
State Requirements for Time for Homeschooling
If you, like I, live in a state that has a listing of requirements that you are to meet then most likely the state government has set a minimum standard for the number of hours you are to educate your children. In my previous state of Ohio, those hours were a minimum of 900 hours while in Missouri they are 1000 hours with the majority of those being for core subjects.
When you school in life that means that your children live a life of learning. Whether it’s studying scriptures under the tutelage of a Bible class teacher, or taking piano lessons from a piano teacher or weighing grapes on the scale at the grocery store. Their life is surrounded by learning. This should be true of all children.
How then, does one determine planned time for homeschooling. If you are like me you aren’t walking around all day with a lesson planner writing down every minute that the kids are learning something and assign those minutes to a subject type. Rather, you recognize the importance of teaching your child about whatever the task at hand is.
Managing the Requirements of Time for Homeschooling
Always keeping in mind what my overall educational goals are, I determine a general routine for our week.
- I set a routine schedule for our week.
My son is an independent self-paced learner. I give him a general lesson plan using the curriculum that we’ve purchased and it’s up to him to work through his lessons. I check in with him to ensure he understands the material, I review what he’s learning and when necessary I instruct him on how to make corrections.
- Planning through the Time Requirements
I take the minimum number of hours and divide that by the number of weeks I am hoping to spend on a “school” year. For me, a preferred school year runs from September through May.That means aproximately 9 months, so I divide the number of hours by 36. 100/36 = about 28 hours a week. If I then take 28 hours and divide by 5 that leaves me with a little more than 5 hours a day during weekdays. But I also know my son has learning opportunities throughout the entire day and entire week. So if I divide those same 28 hours by 7 days I’m going to get 4 hours a day. So I know that if we average 4-5 hours of learning in a single day then we will meet the minimum requirements within the number of months I hope to complete a school year.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I dont’ sit and calculate every hour. I do keep a running log of everytime he is working and studying using the general lesson plans. But even if we were short the 28 hours a week in that running log, (only because my state requires I keep a record), I don’t sweat it because most weeks we far surpass 28 hours and get more like 32 hours of just book and hands on study.
These hours do not include the extra study that comes from meeting the owner of the laundromat and learning how to make change, or operate an industrial dryer. Nor do they cover the lifeskills involved in learning to make chicken soup to take to a sick friend.
If I counted every moment of learning that happens in his life, deduct the number of sleeping hours, and well, it would look a lot like, life.
This post is part of iHomeschool Network’s
How much Time Does Homeschooling Take Link-up.