How to Schedule the Homeschool High School Year

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This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Schedule the Homeschool High School Year.

How to Schedule the Homeschool High School Year

How to Schedule the Homeschool High School Year

While it may sound boring, finding the right homeschool high school schedule is important.  The great thing is, there’s not just ONE right way to homeschool high school. 

Let’s explore the three basic ways for scheduling the high school year 

You might even develop your own unique schedule. However, it’s easy to start with one of these three scheduling styles.

Year-Round Approach

Let’s start with a year-round approach. Instead of cramming all academics into one part of the year, this method integrates learning into everyday life. 

Families following the year-round schedule have several different strategies:

  • Some families allocate three days a week to traditional academic work, such as core courses. Then they reserve the remaining two days for extracurricular activities or family field trips.
  • Other families prefer a five-day academic week with a full week off each quarter for bigger projects or travel. 

The year round approach allows for more frequent breaks throughout the year. Not only that, but taking breaks every few weeks instead of one long summer break, students can avoid burnout and maintain their motivation for learning.

However, it’s important to note that the year-round homeschooling approach may not be suitable for all families scheduling the high school year. Some students may struggle with the frequent breaks and require a more structured traditional schedule.

It’s also important to consider any state or local regulations regarding homeschooling schedules, as some areas may require a certain number of instructional days or specific breaks throughout the year.

The key is to find a balance that works for your family and allows for flexibility.

Block Scheduling

Now, let’s talk about block scheduling. This approach is perfect for teens who prefer to focus on one or two subjects at a time before moving on to the next. Instead of juggling multiple subjects each day, they can dedicate their time to completing an allotted amount of work, increasing their focus and productivity.

With block scheduling, you can divide the day into larger chunks of time for each subject or activity. For example, your teen could have a two-hour block for math in the morning, followed by a one-hour break before tackling their science work for two hours in the afternoon. 

The goal is to create a homeschool high school schedule that suits your teen’s learning style and keeps them engaged.

This method also allows for more flexibility in terms of how long it takes to complete a certain task. If your teen needs extra time to understand a concept or finish an assignment, they can use the designated block of time without feeling rushed or behind schedule.

Just remember that, when scheduling the high school year, aim for flexibility. Your schedule can always be adjusted as needed. 

Two Semester Year

Lastly, we have the traditional two-semester schedule, which is a common choice for many homeschooling families.

The two-semester year approach involves dividing the year into two blocks, or terms, of fifteen or eighteen weeks each. This method aligns well with college-bound or trade school-bound students who are familiar with semester blocks. 

You can also customize the length of your semesters based on your state requirements and your family’s needs. For instance, you may want to consider trimesters or quarters if that suits your family’s needs better. 

The advantage of this homeschool high school schedule is the familiarity it provides and the ease of record-keeping for transcripts. It allows for a structured and organized approach to homeschooling high school. 

However, the two-semester year schedule may not work well for students who struggle with longer blocks of time or have difficulty staying focused for extended periods. In these cases, a shorter schedule with more frequent breaks may be more beneficial.

It is important to find a balance between structure and flexibility when it comes to scheduling the high school year. Some students thrive on routine and structure, while others may need more variety in their learning environment.

If you decide to use the two-semester year schedule, it is essential to plan ahead and set clear goals for each semester. This will help keep both parents and students on track and motivated throughout the school year.

You can also customize the length of your semesters based on your state requirements and your family’s needs.

For instance, you may want to consider trimesters or quarters if that suits your family’s needs better. 

There's not ONE right way to schedule the homeschool year.

Practical Tips for Implementing Your Chosen Schedule

Now that we have explored the three main options for scheduling the high school year, let’s dive into some practical tips for implementing your chosen homeschool high school schedule effectively! 

Get a Planner

When creating your schedule, it’s important to have a planner or calendar to keep track of all your commitments and activities. Start by marking down any field trips, family events, or major commitments that you know will be happening throughout the year. Then, determine which courses will be one-semester courses and assign them to either the fall or winter/spring semester. 

Incorporate Creative Education

Factor in creative education activities, such as holiday projects or special read alouds, which can be counted as educational days. Make sure to balance academics with enriching experiences.

Personalize Study Schedules

Sit down with your teen and discuss their preferred study schedule and time management. For courses that will be done at home, work with your teen to decide how many days a week and how much time they will dedicate to each subject, taking into consideration their learning style and individual goals.

Set SMART Goals

Regarding goals, this is a great opportunity for them to set goals and develop good time management skills. Encourage your teen to set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound) for themselves. This empowers them to work towards their aspirations and develop a sense of ownership over their education. (Download this free SMART goals worksheet for your teens.)

Scheduling the High School Year

Remember, there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school, no one-size-fits-all approach. The key is to find a homeschool high school schedule that works for your family’s unique needs and preferences. 

Whether you opt for a year round approach, block scheduling, or the two-semester year, the goal is to create a balanced and engaging learning environment. Give yourself permission to explore, be creative, and mix and match different scheduling methods until you find what works best for your family. 

If you ever need guidance or support, don’t hesitate to reach out to the 7Sisters Homeschool Facebook community. We are all in this together, and together we can create an amazing homeschooling experience for our high schoolers!

And a special thanks to Seth Tillman for editing and to Richie Soares with Homeschool and Humor for writing this blog post.

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