a support and resource group for home education

Time management

1. How much time during the day does it take to homeschool?
It depends on how a family is homeschooling their children. If a strict school-at-home approach is in use, a typical day would start with basic subjects taught from the textbooks, followed by workbooks and exercises at chapter end. If a family is using a customized curriculum designed while keeping child's interest in mind, then a roughly planned daily routine helps a lot. Homeschooling is not schooling which starts at 8 and ends at 2, then extends in the late afternoon and evening when useful time for nap, play and prayers is wasted in homework and test preparations and visits to tutors to help them do what the teachers have already made an attempt in earlier part of the day at school. Think about how much time a preschooler spends in a school? 3 hours? Those three hours are not only spent in paper work. So spread those 3 hours throughout the day. Spend one hour in purposeful storytelling, one hour in the park and one hour in artwork - and the good news is, much learning is still taking place in times other than these defined homeschooling hours!

2. How can I manage homeschooling and my other responsibilities at home?
Firstly, it should be made clear that housework can be taken care of in presence of little children since they don't need much structured teaching time. They learn while just being around you, watching you, helping you and imitating you. So be what you want them to be! The decision to homeschool usually requires a review of bad old habits and a complete overhaul of the current lifestyle. It comes with the belief that responsibilities will be shared and everybody will be required to clean up for themselves. Homeschooling doesn't mean that the mother is always cooking, cleaning, washing, , and teaching all at the same time. Some families manage to hire household help where circumstances and culture allows, some families get tutors at home to teach older kids the subjects which parents find difficult, while some others delegate responsibilities to every member of the household in such a way that a task becomes a learning activity in itself.

3. I live in a joint family system, and have many responsibilities. I fear I will not find the time to homeschool my children. What do I do?
If availability of time is the only factor bothering you, it is suggested that you should give yourself sometime. Let the children learn while being around with family members; teach them etiquettes, manners, respecting and helping elders and taking care of younger ones. If the joint family members are like-minded, you will benefit from the pearls of wisdom your children will gather while just being around a group of people of various age groups. Initially, just an hour a day from your end will be enough for them. Slowly, as they will start to read and write, a couple of hours will work wonders, In Sha Allah.

Read more on meeting the challenges of time management here.

FAQ: How much time during the day does it take to homeschool?
Article: An educational psychologist's take on school curricula.
Event: Make your own - first in a series of classes to promote homemade products
Fall/Winter 14: Arabic: Why & How. Learning the language of our faith.