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Block Scheduling in the Homeschool

blockschedulingWe like novelty around here so I often switch up how our days are organized.  Block scheduling can be done several different ways, but the way we do it involves spending bigger chunks on time on one subject.  This often allows for a more relaxed pace with less transitioning between subjects.  Because we spend longer on a subject we do them less often.

Block scheduling has been one of the more favorite ways for us to organize our day.  Loop schedules have also been well-liked.  For the last couple months my kids have been doing a daily list.  That requires more time from me and things are starting to get too ordinary, so we are switching it up to blocks.

We are actually mixing block scheduling with some loop scheduling because we are very eclectic in our choices.  Sometimes we use lots of resources for one subject.  So I set up loops within a block.

I’ll attempt to describe how we have our current block schedule set up.

1.5 hours  Exercise and Bible Block

Kids start the day with exercise and then my older kids move to a private worship time while I read a Bible story to my 6 year old.  We all then come together on a current Bible study topic.

2.5 hours Math or Language Arts Block

This is a huge block of time. One day it will be a math focus and the other day a language arts focus.  My 5th grader does a formal math curriculum along with informal math reading.  He will rotate between these and logic during the 2.5 hours.  My 1st grader won’t work the entire time, but probably for at least half of it.  Each child uses a variety of resources for language arts so I put the different items on the loop.

Here is an example of my 1st grader’s math and logic loop.  She will make her way down the loop.  The next time she has a math and logic block, she will pick up where she left off.

  • Singapore
  • Living Math Books
  • Dot to Dot
  • Cyberchase
  • Mental Math
  • Singapore
  • Math apps
  • Maze
  • Math game for facts practice
  • Singapore
  • Living Math Books
  • Cyberchase
  • Mental Math
  • Dot to Dot
  • Maze

 1 hour video block

My boys have a relaxing hour in the middle of their day where they watch an educational video while I work.  My 7th grader and 5th grader are using a documentary-based history study and my 5th grader is doing a video-intensive microbiology study.  They often watch a history documentary, science videos, a movie about a book recently finished, a video from one of our unit studies, or they choose different Numberphile or Computerphile videos.  My 6 year old joins in if interested or if the video is from one of the unit studies she is doing.

1 hour foreign language block

Foreign language seems to be a subject that needs to be done each day and I don’t think it would work well if it was done in larger chunks.  My 5th grader and 1st grader also do their music practice during this time.

1 hour Science block

The name of this block is somewhat misleading because all 3 of my kids are doing different things.  My oldest is doing science the entire time.  My 5th grader is also spending time reading literature.  My 1st grader will be doing her history, geography, or science unit studies with me.

1 hour block of rotating subjects

This is where everything else fits.  We rotate between art, history, geography, logic, and math lab with art and history/geography getting in on our rotation twice as much as the other subjects.

Have you ever tried block scheduling?  How did it work for you?

6 Comments:

  1. Pingback: The BIG List of Homeschool Schedule Ideas! | Free Homeschool Deals ©

  2. We’ve attempted setting up a block schedule for the past year and a half, but have had a terrible time following it. It’s too “schooley” for my daughter and when she gets into a topic, she really immerses. And when she takes a break the breaks often seem to be longer than the work periods. My younger one is talking about wanting to homeschool next year and I’d be at wit’s end trying to chase them both.

    On the schedule you described, do you break for lunch after your long math session? Do you schedule breaks in between blocks? Is “homework” time (such as for foreign language) outside those periods?

    • Eclectic Homeschooling

      Yes, lunch break is after the longest block. Following that there is a relaxing hour of video schooling. The only “homework” would be reading in bed at night and piano practice for my oldest. Maybe a loop schedule would work for you. You can work as long as needed on one topic and them move on to the next one on the list. Once the list is done, loop back to the top and start it again. HTH

  3. We are using block scheduling for the first time this spring. Twice a week we do a two hour block of literature/composition, advanced algebra, world history, and biology. We add an hour of Spanish at least four days a week and Bible daily. My son volunteers at a food pantry one morning a week and then spends the afternoon studying astronomy or another subject that sparks his interest. Block scheduling has been a nice break from daily lists.

  4. I love reading about different schedule options because im trying to figure out our schedule with my daughter being pulled out of school next Friday. I think I have a plan that works around my job schedule but I like this idea of alternating blocks. Do you have an example of how your week looks with all the blocks in place? I’m curious how often you do each subject.
    Elaine recently posted…Homeschool Schedule as a Working MomMy Profile

    • Eclectic Homeschooling

      The langauge arts and math blocks rotate so they will be 2-3 times a week each. The other blocks are daily (assuming we are home – they would be first to be dropped in case of a field trip, appointments, etc.) The last block is a rotating block. We would do something like this: art one day, history or geography the next day, logic the next day, art the next day, math lab the next day, and history or geography the next day. Or something like that. We have done various forms of blocks previously too See here: http://eclectic-homeschool.com/homeschool-block-schedule/ and http://eclectic-homeschool.com/block-schedule/ HTH

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