Rule #1 – The academic work of school takes 7-8 per day.
If you’re going to break the school rules, this is one of the best places to start! Academics does not need to be done on any specific timetable. At home, it should be completed according to each child’s individual needs.
Some children can get their work done in just a couple of hours. Great. Younger children should spend less time than older children doing focused academic work. In your home, more work can be accomplished in less time because class shifts, rotations, announcements, group work, and other activities that are typical for a learning environment that consists of many children aren’t a necessary part of the home school day.
If your students already understand a particular concept or are showing mastery of a specific skill, they don’t need to spend extra time working on additional problems or practice work. And they don’t have to wait while their teacher assists other students in the class.
What’s the main takeaway here? The individual learning needs of your children run your home school. Once you nail down a schedule that works for your family, you get to use all that extra time during the day for things like faith, freedom and fun! This means more opportunities for activities like exercise, outreach, extracurriculars, and finding ways for your children to develop their unique abilities and talents.
Doesn’t that sound amazing?
Rule #2 – Kids learn best by sitting at desks, facing forward, while a teacher presents material at the front of the room.
Thank you, but no. I say that as I pull back the covers on my daughter’s bed and we snuggle up together to review Setting, Characters, and Conflict while reading Because of Winn-Dixie (for the 8th time in as many weeks).
You’ve let go of the lie that your child’s schoolwork takes the same amount of time as your work shift. Now, it’s time to let go of this one.
In public school, we teachers have to maintain order in classrooms with large numbers of students. At home, that’s not the case.
I’m giving you full permission to do school in your house wherever it works best for you and your learners. Kitchen table. Out on the patio. In the backyard on the trampoline. Sprawled out on the floor. Now it might be good for your child to work at a table, sitting in a chair, but ask yourself:
Can the work be accomplished just as well if my child is on the living room rug, on the couch, or snuggled up in their bed?
Many children are active and might work better while standing on their feet or moving around. If their minds are prone to wander a little (or a lot), sometimes working in a different location or to the beat of some music can help them focus and handle their business a bit better.
My absolute favorite way of conducting any literature lesson is lying in my daughter’s bed, snuggled up under her blankets. Breaking the rule of “you must sit at a desk or table” can be one of the best ways to help your children see that they can learn wherever they are.
Rule #3 – Every student needs an official curriculum for every subject
Nope. Absolutely not. In fact, I don’t think you could find two families who use exactly the same curriculum in exactly the same way. Set this rule on fire and walk away from the flames and into curricular freedom!
Use what you want for whatever subject you want.