Study time

School is out or almost out for summer break in many places. That means parents are planning for the upcoming school year. Some families will decide to homeschool. One question that new homeschool families have is how long should they spend studying. Well, that depends upon state law as well as what curriculum or program you will be using.

Flexibility is one of the great things about homeschooling. That includes being flexible in study time. Unless required by law, there is no minimum time. Nor are there any requirements for when in the day you must do school. My kids have done school at almost all hours of the day, including delaying bedtime because they were still awake and interested enough to keep going. However, there are a few tricks to keep you from falling behind or feeling overwhelmed.

If you are doing a program like online, create a schedule by dividing your work out and making due dates so you don’t get behind. Too many online students get behind then panic at the end because they still have so much work to do.

Otherwise, you need to study for however long it takes to understand your work. Some days will be longer than others. Rather than a time schedule, create a goal/assignment list. As long as you get everything on the list done, it shouldn’t matter how long it takes. Some days my kids are done in 2 hours. Some days they work all day. However, it doesn’t have to be done all at once. You can study some in the morning then again later in the day if that is what works for your other activities.

It is a good idea to do school at least 4 days/week. I’ve found fewer days than that makes too much work at once so you tend to get overloaded. The more often you do school, the shorter you can make your study sessions. Your schedule should not be super rigid. After all, it’s homeschool and life sometimes interferes. If you miss a day or two every so often, that’s no big deal. It’s only when those missed days turn into missed weeks or *gasp* months, that you should worry.

A new system

Christian Light Education is supposed to help not only academics but goal setting and independent learning skills as well. Now that we are about halfway through the year he is used to their materials. It is time to start adding goals and more independence. I’ve been reluctant to give him more responsibility since he was acting up and fussing about getting his work done. However, after giving him an assignment list today rather than one thing at a time in my order, he did really well. I’ve used assignment lists before but usually have given it to someone else to do school with him when I can’t. I will try giving him daily assignment lists this week and see how it goes. His goal is to get through the list each day. His reward is having time to play when he is done.

Goal setting doesn’t have to be a large grand goal. It can be something simple like keeping their room clean. If this is your goal for them, help them super clean the room then gently prod them into creating some ideas of how to keep it that way. I just did this and so far so good.

Friday I helped my son clean his room. We sorted the toy table. Then I sorted and removed my things from the last of his 2 desk drawers. Into these went his homeschool books and projects that were piled on the desk and dresser. He then went with his dad downtown while I moved furniture and swept thoroughly. In the process, I collected a bag of trash. I put clean sheets and the winter blanket on his bed. (It’s supposed to be down to -35F tomorrow night). I even sorted his bookshelf although I have low expectations of that staying very neat considering how much he likes to read.

When Richard got home he commented on how nice his room looked. I asked him what things he could do to help keep it neat. He said, put away his Legos and other toys at night and make his bed. Together we will get out his homeschool stuff the night before then he puts them away in the drawer after I check it the next day. This will keep his desk free for drawing or playing most of the day.

Today was the first day of the new system. He got up at 8. After breakfast he got dressed and made his bed. I gave him an assignment list. After finishing, he put some books away but I had to remind him about the last ones. He seemed to have less fussing about getting work done with the assignment list where he can pick which order to do it.

What a breakthrough! I didn’t have to wade through toys to help him with school this morning. His bed was nice and neat rather than bedding falling where ever it was when he got up. His pajamas are under his pillow so he can find them tonight without searching for 20 minutes. We’ll see tomorrow how well the desk rotation works when we have the day’s work all set out ready for him. I’ll also give him another assignment list tomorrow. We decided that I’ll make his next day’s assignment sheet (my chore for him) while he cleans up his toys in the evening (his chore for me). I think we’re going to like this new system.

Since it is going to be so cold, Richard needs a warm coat. The coat he has been wearing is warm but was getting too small. A friend gave him a new one but it was a bit large this fall. Now his wrists get cold with the old coat because he grew. I got out the new coat when he wanted to play outside this afternoon. I also had to put several of his shirts in the too small pile when folding laundry this morning.