What is a typical day in a small homeschool class?

I decided to write this post for all of those parents that are confused as to what a typical day must look like. Most parents think that every day should be the same. Spoiler alert… IT IS NOT!!! You may start at the same time every day, which is a good thing to ensure some sort of structure, but how the day progresses and ends, is a different story.

Now, I personally have some students that come to class every day. So, we start at 08:00 every morning. They have enough time to greet each other and settle down. At 10:00 they have a 40-minute break that must be spent outside if the weather permits it. Then back to work until 12:00 when they go home. This means at least 3 hours every day that they have to work productively. According to myself and other homeschool experts, that is enough.

Some days things just won’t go our way. I might have an appointment to go to (thankfully my other half also works from home to keep an eye on the students), or we have that dreaded load-shedding, or we just don’t have the energy (or too much of it to sit still) to work. Then I will allow my students to watch a movie or two, or we do some crafts. At this point, I have to say that all my students work online so we can’t study if there is no power or active internet connection. And we have 4 small doggies and a kitten that just loves to cuddle. I like to call them my teaching assistants. Pets generally has a calming effect on students and that is definitely true in our case. Parents, teachers and all other grown-ups are allowed to have down-days. Just as kids can have bad days, and it is OK!! We are all humans with emotions and feelings. Embrace that! Take some time to talk about that. And work it out. Give yourself a time-out if you have to. Take your child outside to blow bubbles, or go to the shop to buy bread and let your child handle the money. Or bake the bread yourself! Everything you do can be an opportunity for your child to learn. Go outside and see how many different plants there are in your garden. Or start your own herb garden together. Use those “down” days to do something different. And those experiences can help your child discover themselves and what they like or don’t like to do. When they are older, they will have the ability to make decisions on their own, as to what career to follow or help them with problem-solving.

The most important rule to remember is that we are all emotional beings, with different ways to work through our struggles. If you learn what works for you and your child, you are well on your way to a successful day. You, as an adult, have the freedom to go and hide in the bathroom for a few minutes to gather yourself, or go out to lunch. So, why not give your child the same opportunity?

After you have taken the time to find a rhythm that works for you and your circumstances, you will find that learning and teaching can and should be fun. It might take a week, a month, or even 6 months. But it is important to take as much time as is needed to get that rhythm.

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