For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Planning Series - Week 6 - Block Scheduling in Your Homeshool

For week six of our Summer Planning Series, we have TaMara from  Tales of a Pee Dee Mama guest posting with us.

For the first time ever, I will be homeschooling a high school student this year. This isn't my first year teaching high school, though; I taught in one of the local public high schools for 3 years before having children of my own. During that time, our school moved from traditional scheduling to block scheduling. I really liked the concept and how it worked then, so when I began planning for our homeschooling high school years, block scheduling was one of my first decisions.

Block scheduling means that the student takes fewer classes a day, with each class lasting longer than traditional scheduling allows. Traditionally high school students take 7 to 8 units of credit, working on all 7 or 8 every day. Using block scheduling, students take 4 units of credit each semester for a total of 8 at the end of the year.

What this looks like at our house:
The Boy will work on 4 classes from August to December. This year it will be Bible, Ancient Literature, Ancient History, and Computer Science. Then he will work on 4 new classes from January to May. This year it will be Chemistry, Geometry, Spanish I, and PE.

There are several benefits to block scheduling.
  1. Young people can focus on just a few subjects at a time, allowing for better retention and understanding.
  2. Young people can take sequential classes within the same school year. We're planning on The Boy doing Spanish 1 in the spring of this school year, Spanish 2 in the fall of the next year, and Spanish 3 in the spring of that year. Being able to move through this way should allow for better retention and less loss of knowledge between classes.
  3. Young people are better prepared for the semester schedule of most colleges. While transitioning from high school to college will still have its challenges, hopefully adjusting to having semester-long classes won't be one of them.
Anyone else using block scheduling in their homeschool?

TaMara is a homeschooling mama of 5 small people, ages 6 to 14. She's been homeschooling for the past 10 years. Prior to that, she taught students with learning disabilities in public school. She blogs about her family's adventures in homeschooling and life at Tales of a Pee Dee Mama. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

In this Series:
Week 1: Who Plans Homeschool?
Week 2: Planning an Eclectic Homeschool School Year Type A Style
Week 3: Planned Unshooling . . . Why?
Week 4: Meal Planning Made Easy
Week 5: Managing Your Home When You Have an Irregular Schedule 



jacki.faulkner said...

Hi TaMara. I'm wondering how you fit in the other "extras" with the blocks. For example I see Ancient Lit, but what about other language arts components (vocab, grammar, composition)? And other things like art/music/typing? Thanks, Jacki.

TaMara Sloan said...

His English credit will include not only Ancient Lit, but vocabulary, grammar, and composition that go along with the Ancient Lit component. He will be taking an art class at our homeschool co-op once a week, but it won't be enough hours to count as a credit. Next year, one of his electives will be a Fine Arts credit that will include his art class next year and art history and appreciation.

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