How to Build Spanish Into Your Homeschool Schedule
Are you working on developing your homeschool schedule?
Homeschooling is an ideal option for families who want their children to learn Spanish and English in a flexible, individualized, and authentic setting. Many families love the freedom and flexibility homeschooling provides. Bilingual families often find they can support the minority language better.
Each family is unique, and the beauty of homeschooling is its flexibility and customizability. Nevertheless, it’s helpful to learn from people who’ve already been through the preliminary stages of setting up their homeschool. That’s why I’ve scoured the internet for great advice from seasoned (mostly bilingual) homeschooling parents about creating bilingual homeschool schedules.
Keep reading to learn the tips and tricks of the pros when it comes to developing routines and a homeschool schedule that works for you and your kids!
Expert Tips for Creating your Homeschool Schedule
Homeschooling gives you the freedom to make your own schedule. Use that to your advantage to make a homeschool schedule that works for you and your family.
Here’s a handy template we created for you to use for weekly planning!
Now, let’s hear from four seasoned homeschoolers about the most effective ways to set up a homeschool schedule.
1. Fortune Cookie Mom
Po Tim King, the blogger behind Fortune Cookie Mom, is a Chinese-American woman who is teaching her children English and Mandarin at home. Her advice is to “be prepared and ready for the need to change certain lesson plans and allow new ideas, distractions, and new discoveries to happen in learning.”
She advocates making impromptu changes to the original lesson plan as needed to accommodate the child’s curiosity and answer their questions. Daily lessons actually should not look exactly as planned. In contrast, they should be unpredictable and full of little adventures at home.
Po Tim found that her kids “naturally showed me what they wanted to learn and were the most curious about their lives.” She thus learned to not always be in the role of teacher, but rather to allow the children to learn from themselves and each other.
With regard to planning, she finds that planning ahead for an entire year is most suitable and efficient, stating “Since I know what we are doing in advance, I have time to find events or community activities that we can incorporate into our learning. I also don’t feel guilty when I am feeling stressed, tired, or lazy because I always know what is coming next.”
2. The Well-Trained Mind
Making a calendar is the first step toward achieving your vision and goals, but it doesn’t need to be perfect or complete. Making changes and adjustments is natural.
No one is perfect and there will always be learning moments. We can only get better by being flexible and making changes as needed.
A book called The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise offers three options regarding yearly planning. Check them out, and think about which one is best suited to your family’s needs.
- School: September, October, November
- Break: December
- School: January, February, March
- Break: April
- School: May, June, July
- Break: August
Year-round homeschooling: 3 weeks of school and 1 week of break per month
- School: September through mid-October
- Break: 1 week off
- School: Later October until Thanksgiving
- Break: 1 week off
- School Early December
- Break: Three weeks off for Christmas and New Year’s
- School: Mid-January until late February or early March
- Break: 2 weeks off
- School: March and April
- Break: 2 weeks off
- School: May, June, July
- Break: 3 weeks off anytime during the summer
3. Homeschool Notes
Creating a homeschool schedule that works takes thought and effort.
Lisa of Homeschool Notes recommends “choosing a variety of curriculum so that you can balance activities your kids can do independently with those that require teaching time. Maybe that means using an online software for reading or buying an all-in-one curriculum package where everything is mapped out for you.”
She suggests making multiple schedules, including:
- a yearly schedule for the broad overview
- a monthly schedule for units or themes
- a weekly schedule for general reference
- an individual daily schedule to keep your child focused on what needs to be done each day
4. Pam Barnhill
Lastly, homeschooler Pam Barnhill shares great practical tips around creating a simple homeschool schedule or routine.
Work in chunks
Pam calls specific chunks of time “blocks” and suggests scheduling blocks instead of individual subjects. Her homeschool day has four big chunks, and she does not micro schedule within the blocks.
Draft out your days
She advocates sitting down with a calendar form and using a pencil for the first draft. Once you have your blocks in place, start filling them with subjects. Think about what naturally works for your family and your child’s interests.
Iit helps to live with your plan a while before finalizing it. Try it out for a week or two when you begin and make adjustments as needed.
According to Pam, “Some folks are schedule-driven people; others are routine-based but not as attached to the clock. If you are a schedule person, by all means, create a schedule.”
Spend time outside
Spend some time each day in the backyard or out on your local nature trails. Spending time in nature has been shown to improve our well-being. Encourage your children to discover the abundant wonder all around.
You can fit in loads of learning during breakfast, lunch, or dinner with the help of technology and conversation. Stream a podcast or play a favorite audiobook while preparing a meal with your child.
So much learning happens through the conversations with our children. Converse with each other over a meal. Talk about your day, your plans, goals, wishes, hopes, what you learned, things you love, things you dislike. Discuss current events or the books you’re currently reading, or that movie you just watched. Talk, share, and reflect.
Outsource Spanish Classes in Your Homeschool Schedule
Homeschool Spanish Academy offers live classes for all ages—preschool, elementary, middle school, and high school students. (Classes for adults are also available!) Instead of teaching grammar and vocabulary exclusively, HSA uses a unique methodology that helps students become fluent in the language. Learn more about what to expect.
Preschool Spanish Program
Suggested for 5 and 6 years olds, the HSA preschool program aims to build the foundation for learning Spanish, focusing on pronunciation and conversational phrases.
Elementary Spanish Program
Designed for kids from 6 to 10, this program builds confidence to engage in conversation with native speakers. With fun and interactive 25-minute classes, students stay engaged and make the most of the content.
Middle School Spanish Program
The 50-minute sessions in this program are perfect for 10 to 13 years olds. They’ll expand their vocabulary, learn verb conjugations, and practice what they know in conversations.
Starting Spanish studies early could enable you to be exempt from some or all of your foreign language credit requirements in college. Also, college admissions officers appreciate the effort of students who have been devoted to learning a second language for several years.
High School Spanish Program
The High School Spanish Program at HSA is one of the best online Spanish class options available for high school credit. Designed to exceed the expectations of any US public high school curriculum, it complies with grammar requirements while also developing strong conversational skills.
Try a Free Trial Class
For over 10 years, Homeschool Spanish Academy has offered fun, immersive Spanish classes for remote learners. Our unique curriculum and teaching style is tailored to the needs of students of all ages and levels. Book a free trial class for your kids. It’s an extraordinary way to include Spanish in your homeschool routine, especially if you don’t speak the language yourself.
Want more free Spanish lessons, fun content, and easy learning strategies for kids? Check these out!
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