Schooling at Home Made Easy: Scheduling

Female teen working at computer with a book and glasses in the foreground
Schooling at home can be
awkward but fun.

You never planned to be a student doing your school work at home or a parent with at home schoolers and yet here you are! Consider this post and posts to come a lifeline. I am the parent of two young adults who both survived many years of schooling at home! I have also been in education as a teacher, product developer and product manager among other things for more than 3 decades. I am hoping I can help YOU:)!

Scheduling

This post is about how important setting up a daily schedule is. This is not only true for academics. It is true for life. Here are a few important pro tips:

  • Sleep in but wake up at the same time every day. Teens and young adults need more sleep than people in their 30s through 50s. Just watch them! In general, until people are age 25, their brain is still forming and the extra sleep is necessary for cognitive development, especially good judgement. Start your “school day” at 10 am if you must! Most important is a consistent start time. When I homeschooled my son, he was up at 9 and working by 10. In case you are wondering, he was usually in bed at 11 PM and managed to sleep a solid 10 hours a day!
  • Actual schooling only requires 4-6 hours! That’s right! Think about the typical school day. Time getting ready. TIme on the bus to and from school or in the car. Time for lunch. Change of class. Study hall. Get it? If a student has 6 classes, each 50 min long, they are really spending just 5 hours IN class. Much of that time is collaborating, practicing, and researching – not nose to the grindstone:) Our day was 10 AM – 4 PM with a one hour lunch break to play Madden. In case you are not familiar with online football games the name of the game might not be familiar but we had to eat lunch – why not make it fun!
  • Learn at Small Intervals (L@SI) aka “chucking” is always a good idea. The human brain can only hold so much information in its short term memory. Study for 15 min and you may have reached capacity! After 30 min – definitely! So working on something for hours straight is futile! I could go on about this as this is a cornerstone of my learning to learn coaching. Have your student work in intervals of 10 – 25 minutes. Good teachers break up their class rarely having an activity last more than 10 minutes. You might not be actually teaching of course but you can remind your student(s) to take a 5 min break. In fact the greatest help is reminding them to take a break, then helping them refocus.

In days to come I will try to post more to help you with these unique times. What do you think of these suggestions? Would you like me to dive more deeply into any of them? How are they working for you? What other areas are you finding difficult? Please leave a comment or email me – and remember we’ll all get through this – together.

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