Homework in Homeschooling?


When homeschooling your child, the lines between schoolwork and homework become blurred...Isn't ALL HOMEschooling work HOMEwork now?

Homework is traditionally extra practice done at home. Work done at school is where the real learning happens. Teachers send extra work home because there is not time enough in the day for students to practice all they need to. The old saying is that practice makes perfect. Homework time is practice time. It is one thing to be taught how to do something; it is another thing to practice that skill.

However when schooling at home, the schoolwork AND the homework all happen in the same place. Without the separate physical places for both learning and practice later to happen, sometimes the lines get blurred between what is schoolwork and what is homework in your homeschooling schedule. However it is important to incorporate the two ideas in your homeschooling by allowing separate time for each.

The idea of schoolwork is that a teacher is teaching the child to work and available for correcting the child as they attempt to do something new on their own. The idea of homework is that the child now has enough of the skill taught them that they can go off on their own and practice the skill to bring it back to the teacher for review later.

It is important in homeschooling not to lose homework time...the time your child goes off and tries to do something on their own and brings back to the teacher. Once I taught a homeschool Spanish class to a group of middle school kids who had no idea how to take an assignment and do it and bring it back to me. They were homeschooled by their parents who had always sat at the table with their Mom or other teacher and worked with them. They rarely been required to work alone. It was uncomfortable for them, at first, to simply do "homework" alone!

Therefore when making your homeschool schedule, save time for your child to work alone away from their teacher. For small kids this could be a few minutes but for older kids this could be hours. Many people might not deem this as important, but I have been surprised how many times homeschoolers can not or will not do work without an adult present. Children need to have confidence in themselves that they can do work alone and bring it back for grading.

Many parents this time of year are working hard to make their homeschool schedule. They are trying to make sure each child has all the academic classes they need, ordering textbooks and signing up for extracurricular activities. However one item might not be on their children's daily schedule- homework time!

So when you make out your daily schedule for the year, don't forget to add the appropriate amount of homework time to your schedule for each subject. Go ahead and schedule it instead of assuming it will happen because you know your child is always "home". You will have a more relaxed and enjoyable year when the stress of squeezing in homework is gone.

For more help planning your homeschool year, please contact us. We love to see your homeschool succeed!