Almost Ready – Organize and Schedule
If you are new to homeschooling, it will not take long for you to realize teaching your children at home means numerous adjustments. There is the need to organize the physical space of the home and figure how to schedule the teaching and the school year. And don’t forget, the kids are now home for lunch!
Do I need to get a school desk?
You do not need to replicate the brick and mortar school, but your children will need an area conducive for learning – quiet with few distractions and yet accessible to you! It’s a homeschool – so a kitchen or dining room table, a low Japanese table, or even the sofa will work well!
Small and limited spaces are common for Hawaii homes. Nevertheless, it will be helpful to designate an area for daily school work so children know where to find their books and where to return them. No questions for you mama, if your students know where to find school supplies, reference materials, craft supplies or education toys. Baskets or plastic bins work wonders as do some sturdy bookshelves. Let your motto be, “A place for everything and everything in its place.”
This is not the time to be a hoarder! During the course of the year, you will accumulate quite a bit of school work. You can’t keep it all and you don’t need to keep it all. Often times, your homeschool curriculum will determine the type of school work you will keep. At the least, determine the ‘treasures” and find a place to store them – or take pictures. If you have a high schooler, you will need to maintain good records for high school transcripts.
Do I need to follow the public school calendar?
One of the beauties of homeschooling is the individualized instruction that you can give each of your children. That same principle applies for scheduling your school year. You do not need to follow the DOE public school year calendar; you set up your school year with what works best for your family.
According to Hawaii’s homeschool law, you do need to determine a starting and ending date. How many days? Again that is not dictated by the DOE but 150 – 180 days of instruction is the usual number of school days.
When setting up your school year, don’t hesitate to include holidays, vacations, breaks (Christmas, Easter, etc.) Birthdays can be holidays too!
Keep in mind, if you use an online program or umbrella program, your curriculum may dictate your schedule for the year.
Select a schedule that works best for your family. You are not limited to a 5 day traditional schedule – 36 weeks, 5 days a week. Maybe a 4 day week better serves your needs, enabling you to set aside the fifth day for a co-op, errands, the library, doctor appointments, etc.
Many families do year-round schooling to avoid gaps in learning. Others opt for 6 weeks on with 1 week off for catch up or to plan for the next session.
Prayerfully organize your home and plan your schedule. God cares about every detail in your life!
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