One of the most valuable parts of homeschooling is that you have the ability to give your child a custom education. Every child is unique with a unique future before them, and you as the parent are able to tailor their education to support that. When determining a plan for your child I recommend that you start by observing and taking notes for yourself.
1. Observe your child
What is your child’s learning style? Can you hand them a book and watch them absorb the information eagerly or do they do best hearing the words spoken out loud? Are they very creative and like a lot of variety or do they prefer a preplanned curriculum that tells them what to do next? What are the hobbies that you notice energize and excite your child? What are the things that they will talk on and on to you about?
2. Define your priorities
Next, you need to make note of the things that are a priority for you and your spouse in regards to your child’s education. In our house this means making sure our children get daily practice in the basic time tested subjects of “reading, writing and arithmetic”.
The four core subjects are English (Language Arts), Math, Science and Social Studies. I divide these right down the middle and consider Language Arts and Math to be daily requirements in our homeschool, while Science and Social Studies are subjects that we explore together as a group, but not every day. I believe that if a child can read, write and do basic arithmetic they have been given the tools they need to build upon as they grow. I have two big goals as a homeschooling mama: teach my kids how to learn and inspire them to have a love for learning. This, combined with a knowledge of words and numbers, is what they need to be successful lifelong learners. It isn’t possible to teach them everything they need to know, but if I’ve taught my kids how to learn on their own they have all they need! As a woman in her 40s I am still learning new things… my “schooling” has never stopped. This is my desire for my children as well.
3. Make a workable daily plan
Four days a week (Monday through Thursday at our house) my kids know that they need to do one math lesson and some language arts as their independent work. What they do for language arts varies per child. My language loving children have copywork plus Language Arts curriculums that they work through because it is their passion (two are learning Latin as well), and my kids who would rather do anything else than read or write 😉 have a basic requirement of daily copywork and a bit of reading. Different kids have unique gifts (which will lead to very different futures!) so I don’t expect every one of my children to love every subject, and I tailor requirements to what is appropriate (and not too painful!) for each child. A small amount of daily practice time will lead to great progress over years.