Have you decided to homeschool? There are so many wonderful options for homeschooling, from online curriculum for specific subjects like CTCMath to print materials you can order to teach history. If you are looking for curriculum-in-a-box, perhaps you want to check out Timberdoodle (we have reviewed many of their products including Zig Zag Puzzler, which is part of their 2020 9th grade Curriculum Kit, and Gobblet Gobblers, which is part of their 2020 Kindergarten Curriculum Kit) or SchoolhouseTeachers.com. In order to plan out your days, there are some important questions to ask to help you get started.
Top Five Questions to Ask When Planning
Your Homeschool Day
What time of day would you like to start homeschooling?
When is your family the busiest already? Do you go to work or work from home? Do your children participate in outside activities? You can easily divide up your day into different sections such as
- Early Morning
How many subjects would you like to cover each day?
Will you study each subject - Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, etc. - each day with your homeschooling children? Will you pick one or two to be completed each day while you rotate through the other subjects every other day or weekly? All this might depend upon the age of your children and what they are studying at the time.
For our teen, we allow him to decide what subjects he will complete on which day. I prepare a weekly plan of lessons he needs to complete, starting on Monday of the week, and then I allow him to arrange his daily lessons. There are times when we need to review his tasks, and we assist him with his time management.
My Father's World kindergarten curriculum forms the core for our daughter. Each day she completes some math and language arts activities based upon the lesson plans in the Teacher's Guide. I will then supplement with materials from My Teaching Library, SchoolhouseTeachers.com, and Focus on Fives curriculum.
Will you study any subjects together as a family?
Many homeschooling families enjoy learning multiple subjects together as a family. While mom or dad reads from a work of fiction or non-fiction, younger children may color while older children take notes or complete activities. Many subjects are easy to combine, depending upon the age of your children. Science experiments can be conducted together, and you can watch history documentaries and movies together and then discuss what you have learned.
How will you fit in field trips, documentaries, co-op opportunities, outside classes?
You don't have to teach it all! There are so many wonderful opportunities to allow your children to learn from others. Many zoos, museums, and historic sites not only offer tours but often host workshops or homeschool specific classes or days. If you don't feel like an expert on a topic, you can easily look online to find out who is an expert and view interviews or documentaries or share books and articles with your children.
What learning style or homeschool methods do you want to use?
There are a variety of popular homeschooling methods or approaches that you can research and apply. Many individuals often end up taking an eclectic approach because they borrow from multiple methods tailored to fit their own children's needs, learning styles, and interests.
The names of some of the methods are (the links below will share some information on these methods):