Homeschool with a parent and her kids. Parents, teachers, educators, and other learning facilitators can have successful at-home learning for children and students with a homeschool curriculum. Photo credit: localpassportfamily.com
Early Childhood & Home Education:
How to have successful at-home learning with a homeschool curriculum
In our last two posts on home schooling, we tried writing on the difference between at-home learning and school education and which form is better, and the difference between homeschooling, home education, at-home learning, and home instruction.
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Tough frequently-asked questions (FAQs) when preparing a homeschool curriculum are ‘Which curriculum do I adopt?’, What subjects do I teach?’, ‘What will be the lesson schedules and how will the timetable be structured?’, ‘What will be my level of involvement based on own level of education and my confidence in teaching young people?’, ‘What programmes and activities should the children be engaged in?’ ‘How do I get the kids actively involved in high perform?’
In this blog post, we shall provide answers to these FAQs simply by paying attention to at-home learning curriculum and program schedules, including having a structured timetable.
How to make at-home learning program schedule and timetable
Planning and adopting different homeschool program schedule of activities
Choosing an appropriate scheduled program of activities requires a home education parent focussing on what will be best or right at present, and re-evaluating at the end of each home school year even though the curriculum that works for his or her kids in primary school might not work for them in high school.
Parents and other learning facilitators can assist home education children to organize their days in whatever way that works best for them. For example, teach a child Mathematics whenever he gets motivated and excited to learn it within the at-home learning hours.
Planning and adopting at-home learning curriculum
That parents in homeeducation can combine certain subjects which are not necessarily grade- or age-specific, such as physical education, government, history, literature, and the arts, means there can be an organized timetable of a predesigned program of sequential educational activities within a planned curriculum in a formal home learning setting.
Any home learning curriculum and timetable adopted in a homeschool should be planned in detail and carefully sequenced with which the learning facilitator delivers what the children learn, monitors progress constantly – from answering teachers’ questions in the home classroom through completing written exercises to taking regular tests.
A typical simple homeschool schedule of program activities for a day may look something like this:
- 8.00 – Physical Education (PE)
- 8:15 – Mathathematics
- 9:45 – Language Arts
- 10:30 – Snack break
- 10:45 – Reading passages and stories/Literature
- 11:30 – Science and Technology
- 12:15 – Lunch
- 12:45 – History/Social Studies/Government
- 1: 30 – Electives (art, music, etc.)
- 2: 00 – Closure
Flexibility of planned curriculum and programme of activities
There may be very good pedagogical, institutional, organizational and practical reasons to adopt a structured curriculum and timetable in a homeschool, but it does not mean that this is the only way to acquire a formal education or assure high-level performance from children and students. It’s just that we are so inured to school-type learning that it is very difficult to imagine any alternative.
Designed curriculum and programme of activities in a homeschool must be flexible enough to provide the children ample time for both cognitive and social learning and must be convenient for the parent while assuring high performance from the kids
So, even though the use of a defined curriculum in a prearranged schedule of a planned program in the homeschool of childhood education creates a sense of progression and organizational skills acquisition in the course of the programme, there is no guarantee that the students will do better if such resource is lacking neither is there any scientific basis whatsoever for the assumption that the traditional use of curriculum means of educating children is an essential part of making progress even after reaching school-age.
Planned and adopted home education curriculum should meet the needs of children and students
The tremendous increase in the number of homeschoolers has resulted in a wide variety of available curricula and resources. Catalogs are filled with an excess of options based on different educational philosophies, learning approaches, the amount of time a homeschool teacher should devote to daily instruction, and so on.
A home education atmosphere should provide a natural setting in which parents can deliver an individualized method of instruction that matches the child’s unique interests, ability, and learning style. One of the ways to plan and achieve success is by adopting a suitable curriculum and program schedule.
It is not out of place for parents to combine at-home classes for certain subjects (such as arts, literature, history) that are not necessarily grade- or age-specific, and then give assignments that reflect specific grade, age, and ability. For studies in other basic subjects, such as math and reading, a homeschooling parent might tutor each child one-on-one to meet the student’s individual needs while engaging the other children in other activities.
For example, children of various ages in a homeschool might study the same historical time period together, and then be given assignments that reflect specific age and ability.
Factors that determine high performance of at-home learning kids to having successful homeschool days and program
There are some key factors that determine high-level of performance from the kids. The kids’ enthusiasm for learning is part of your homeschool day and identifying when best the children and students learn excitedly is part of the at-home learning program schedule. The above-mentioned structure is quite unusual in many traditional schools, from my experience as a Mathematics teacher in traditional private schools, where the subject is taught in the morning hours (when the brain is still fresh) as it seems most appropriate to teach an abstract subject characterized with mental calculations.
Parents can also make their homeschool programs successful by providing for the social needs of the kids. While teaching typically standard subjects and disciplines, parents and home education facilitators should introduce programs and activities that capitalize on the child’s interests.
The key to educational transformation is to discover individual natural talents and true passions of school children. No wonder the two most important ideas in education are meeting the needs of learners and finding the right motivation for them.
There are other factors that determine high-levelled performance of students in an at-homeschool, one of which is the level of children’s maturity. Kids who are immature enough for formal homeschool programs may only start performing well when their senses, coordination, neurological development, and cognition are ready
You might also be wondering if homeschoolers follow the public school calendar year. In fact, homeschoolers have complete freedom over the structure of their school year. Many follow the traditional school calendar, some schools year-round, and others take off during specific weeks when they need breaks.
How to plan for successful at-home learning – 5 tips
There are several measures a parent or teacher can take in planning for successful at-home learning. Some 5 tips or plans are outlined below:
1. Reduce the teaching day to a couple of teaching hours so that the workload will be less burdensome for the children
2. Start your homeschool day in the morning hours when teaching the learners.
3. Make learning sessions flexible. The flexibility of home learning also means that a timetable is unnecessary. The planning and the use of a well-designed curriculum have been discussed above.
4. Lessons can be as short or as long as necessary.
5. Teach child-interest subjects and incorporate both formal and informal aspects of at-home education.
The implication is that the parent or teacher must not persist when learning is no more taking place due to the tiredness of the child or because he is losing concentration. The lesson can be picked up or continued later. It is a waste of time to teach students without learning taking place. On the other hand, the lesson or activity can go on for as long as the interest lasts, even up to 10 to 12 hours if the teacher has the endurance and strength as well.
This blog post on ‘How to have successful at-home learning with a homeschool curriculum’ is categorized under Early childhood At-home and School Education.
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