How many hours a day do you have structured home school? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 23 Old 03-18-2005, 01:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How many hours a day do you have structured home school?

Do you keep set hours?

I ask because my major hurdle to homeschooling is the discipline
needed (on my part) not to let house issues or errands, etc
interefere with school time.

I know we teach our children all the time by example and
just thruogh every day life routines, but to effectively
homeschool do you need "school hours"?
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#2 of 23 Old 03-18-2005, 02:17 AM
 
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I'm the same way....need to have a daily routine and some part of my day set aside for school.

My day usually looks like this:
*Morning = Errands, housework, girls play or help w/ housework
*Lunch
*My youngest lays down for a nap
*School time
*Playtime
*Dinner

We usually get school done in about 1-2hrs. Depending on how much we have to get done and how well attention spans are. And sometimes longer if we have special projects. If we have a field trip or something fun planned I just call that school for the day.
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#3 of 23 Old 03-18-2005, 02:22 AM
 
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When we do it we spend 2-3 hours. But we aren't very good about doing it consistantly. But we almost always do school in e mornign when we do it and run around in the afternoon.

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#4 of 23 Old 03-18-2005, 02:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponoma
to effectively
homeschool do you need "school hours"?
Nope. We are, dare I say, largely 'effective' homeschoolers, and we don't have "school hours". My kids are meeting or exceeding academic milestones, are passionate learners with hobbies and interests outside academic areas as well. They are happy, confident, capable kids.

Every night I read aloud for an hour or so from an assortment of fiction, historical fiction and non-fiction (choices made by consensus). They practice their musical instruments every day. In the course of a week I probably spend an hour or so one-on-one with each of my kids helping them with any academic stuff they'd like (music theory or harmony, handwriting, math, etc.).

We try to have a rhythm to our days, but we don't worry about structure. In other words, early mornings are generally for free-form individual stuff, before lunch is often active outdoor time, early afternoons are when I make myself available for collaborative projects, activities or outings. Evenings are when we tend to slot in individual academic work if desired.

Some families prefer structure and it works well for them. We don't, and it works for us.

Miranda

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

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#5 of 23 Old 03-18-2005, 02:54 AM
 
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Nope. My family has had no need for "school" hours at all. We unschool I think one of the biggest perks of homeschooling is the flexibility it offers. Life and learning can just mix, mesh and blend smoothly. We just wake up each day and live without any school hours at all.

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#6 of 23 Old 03-18-2005, 09:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponoma
... to effectively
homeschool do you need "school hours"?

No. And you don't need bells or hall passes either.

Seriously, I don't think you can stop someone from learning, when they are given the freedom to do so.

I look at it this way, if you had "school hours" from 9:00--12:00 and your kid asked you to teach him to write a word at 3p.m., would you tell him "No, it's not school time--go watch tv?" of course not, that's silly. What if he wanted to count pennies on Sunday morning? Read about WWII on Saturday night?

Clearly, some people DO make up schedules for each subject, but learning will surely happen even if you don't have a schedule.

Single Mom to 3 (12, 17 & 21)  luxlove.gif and dog2.gif.

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#7 of 23 Old 03-18-2005, 10:18 AM
 
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IME, the more scheduled, the easier it is to burn out. Learning and "school time" should fit in with each other, not be interfered by house issues or errands.

You don't have to be really really disciplined to get it all done. Some days it's *okay* to skip the work.
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#8 of 23 Old 03-18-2005, 10:33 AM
 
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We do our stuff in the morning, soon after breakfast, for several reasons:

1) My daughter is always eager to do her "activities," as she calls them.

2) She's at her most refreshed in the morning.

3) Getting a dose of focused attention from me helps her be less clingy during the day.

4) We can then do anything else we want for the rest of the day, knowing that we have achieved our number one goal already.

I think other families would do fine with less structure, but I am not really a free spirit (I am a list person!), and I get very disorganized if we don't have a routine to our day.

Namaste!
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#9 of 23 Old 03-18-2005, 12:09 PM
 
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I am so glad this thread was started. This has been a huge isssue with me. Somedays we seem very structured and other day we don't seem do do anything. But when I stop and look at those days, like yesterday, WOW we did learn something. Yesterday I had alot of errands to take care of for my little one's 1 st birthday on Saturday. I took the kids to the park for a picnic and let them run around for a while. When we got home they cleaned out the car. But durning all this we talked about how the earth rotates on its axis and around the sun. And why we have leap year every four years. One of my dds got out a science book we have and was showing/explaining to her younger sister. It was really cool.

Kasey
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#10 of 23 Old 03-18-2005, 12:57 PM
 
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How many hours a day do you have structured home school?

Everywhere from 0 to 2 hours for my 9yo. None for my 5yo.

Do you keep set hours?

I have tried in the past, but I just shoot for a routine each day rather than trying to keep to the clock.

I know we teach our children all the time by example and
just thruogh every day life routines, but to effectively
homeschool do you need "school hours"?


Only if it works for your family. If you find that everyone strives on knowing that the math books come at at 9:00am and free time starts at 12:00pm then by all means keep it up. It also helps knowing exactly when you can plan field trips, doctor's appts, and playdates. However with any type of homeschooling routine, flexibility is the key since the outside world does not keep the those same hours! Things are bound to come up and it is okay to change the routine for a day. I prefer field trips in the morning because I provide daycare for a 3yo and afternoons are his naptime. However, my kids thrive on routine and our life is a little less stressful when we can keep to our routine(not to say that we've gone days w/o it and surivived!).
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#11 of 23 Old 03-18-2005, 02:36 PM
 
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structured hours ? what are those ? LOL

I have found a very loose structure fits all of us. My son requires a bit more rigidity , so his schedule is a little more laid out. Breakfast , clean up , get groomed , (whatever topic kids want to study goes here), play....

OOHHH off topic
lookit there.... my hubby just came home EARLY. woo hoo. I'm gonna go kiss his face. LOL gotta go
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#12 of 23 Old 03-18-2005, 03:37 PM
 
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Sometimes we're more structured than others. For the past few months, we've been doing math together in a semi-structured way (sometimes very structured, sometimes not at all structured - which averages out to semi-structured :LOL ). If there is something in particular one of the kids wants to focus on - say learning about a science concept, doing experiments, etc., we'll focus on that in a structured way. When they were learning to read, we had some structured phonics, and reading time. Now that they're both readers, they just read when, what, and if they want to.

We've tried to have "hours" and have found it just doesn't work for us that way. The only super consistent structure we have is that I read to them for at least an hour every night - but I've always done this, long before they were school age - it's just us. Now, my dd8 reads to me for awhile, before I read to her - and she won't read during the day! Reading is for bedtime :LOL . So that's her structure.

They also each have some classes they attend each week, which provides some structure to their weeks. And we have regular park days set up with a couple of other families every week which has established a bit more structure in our lives.

For me, I've found that flexibility is the key to homeschool happiness.

Laura
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#13 of 23 Old 03-18-2005, 03:47 PM
 
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9:00-11:00 and 12:30-2:30 are"school" hours which around here means I'm available to "help" if its wanted.Our children have text books and supplies in bins and portfolios to keep projects.Usually I put the subject areas to be covered for the week on a dry erase board so we can see what needs to be accomplished.The How to accomplish it is up to them.
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#14 of 23 Old 03-19-2005, 04:01 AM
 
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First-year homeschoolers here......well since dd was 5yrs anyway (she had no structured schooling prior to K)...

In the course of 6 months we have gone from a strict school-like structure (planned-out times, subjects, materials....all teacher-centered) to a looser "let me know what you want to do and when you're ready" semi-structure. Dd and I came up with a list of things to do, from math workbook and writing to arts, crafts, games, nature walks, etc. She chooses at least 3 things a day to do and lets me know when she wants to do them. She usually chooses far more than 3. Sometimes it lasts less than an hour, other days she can go for 4 hours or more. This way works best for us, so far. She is having fun and enjoying the control over her own learning, and I am happy with the semi-structure of a list of choices (and having fun too!). I used to be a teacher, so it has been hard for me to let go of the structure that was pounded into my head not just from training but from growing up in it. As I let go of that, I am feeling less stressed and more content with our choice of homeschooling. I am already seeing that this is FAR more effective than structured-schooling ever was.
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#15 of 23 Old 03-19-2005, 11:39 AM
 
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none. I am unschooling and will continue to do so as long as it continues to work. When my children turn five or six, I'll start keeping track of the things we learn about in the form of a spreadsheet I can just mark a box for whatever subjects for that day. Mostly a CYA thing with the state, you know.
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#16 of 23 Old 03-19-2005, 12:29 PM
 
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We have "school time" ONLY because ds was complaining that school was cutting into his playtime. So, we "do" school from 10 to 12. But not really. This time includes snack, circle, devotions, main lesson, exercise, and outside time. Plus there are many other "learning" times throughout the day.

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#17 of 23 Old 03-19-2005, 07:50 PM
 
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We're loose, but I suppose we do have a base structure to our day. Mornings are more for individual stuff, or my girls play together. I work out, check email, drink coffee, tidy the kitchen etc. At around 11 or so, the girls come to the kitchen, we make something to eat and then I read to them for about an hour. After that is usually the time we do whatever we had been planning - math, history, a science project, whatever. Sometimes they come in the kitchen earlier, or later, but i tend not call them. They always find me when they are ready. Sometimes we read in my bed in the morning before we get up (but after i pee lol). We usally have a story on tape that we listen to each day at some point while we knit and/or draw.

We have a few activites we do - music, a hsing group class thing once a week, story hour, & what I like to call Knitting Playgroup with my parent posse while our hsing kids play . My dh also reads to the children at night for another hr or so.

Our days are relaxed and we have a nice time together.
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#18 of 23 Old 03-20-2005, 02:35 AM
 
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Thanks to everyone for their replies, the ideas have helped me tremendously and i didn't even start the post!

We also have some days more structured than others and seems to work out fine in the end. I like to get school "out of the way" in the morning when my 2yr old is less clingy and more apt to play on her own or alongside us. I can give my 6yr old more attention and time. He is also fresher in the morning, easier to concentrate, not in the middle of a good fantasy play, all that good stuff.

I like the idea of having lessons written on the board for the week. that way everyone can see what needs to be accomplished and things aren't forgotten - we tend to put off art because ds "hates" it and i know he truly does not like it.

Again, it's always fun to see how other people do things, i'm always learning!!!

Ashlie

homeschooling a Kindergartener and my own college self at once and loving it!
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#19 of 23 Old 03-20-2005, 11:49 AM
 
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Nope....We unschool..We have busy days filled with the library,activities,games,YMCA activities ect...My son would go nuts with a rigorous schedule like the school keeps..He has too much energy and needs the fresh air and keep his hands busy..He wasn't born to be still in a desk in a classroom...He has too too too much energy..


You said your son likes Science...I would base his learning around that then...Science activities for all the subjects you need to go through...Let him help choose..It will probably end up being an adventure for the both of you...Love mylie
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#20 of 23 Old 03-20-2005, 04:30 PM
 
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We don't follow any schedual either, every day is just so different around here.

Some days we do a lot, my dd does enjoy workbooks a *lot*, that is her preference so we go with that. Other days we don't seem to do much of anything at all, some days she does school work on her own (she really likes workbooks and will just do them for fun), or she will spend a lot of time reading (even just the same book over and over and over again). Some days are just so nice we just spend all day outside. Other days *I* have so much schoolwork to do they are kinda on their own with crafts, watching videos, etc

One of the biggest reasons I love homeschooling is the flexibility you and your children have.

Marilyn,psych RN. Homeschooling mom to Taylor (12) and Lauryn (8)
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#21 of 23 Old 03-21-2005, 01:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Gals,

Please help me explore this idea a little more. For a ____preschooler___ in a
home school situation, it is beginingto sound more and more like its
just every day life with little lessons intertwined with the happenings
and flow of the day. Example, doing some light gardening and letting a child
explore G-d's green earth and maybe leading or answering a realted few questions on biology, meteorlogy, etc. Or example, playing with legos
and making it a math awareness by counting layers or block heights?

Is this more of unschooling than homeschooling?
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#22 of 23 Old 03-21-2005, 05:53 PM
 
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I think it's just good developmentally appropriate practice, no matter what "method" you are using!

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#23 of 23 Old 03-22-2005, 05:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
We just wake up each day and live without any school hours at all.
Exactly what we do.
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