Tweak Your Schedule
Now that you are settled with new curriculum, a new teacher and extracurricular activities, maybe it will be helpful to fine tune your daily schedule. Finding a groove for your family can be challenging and rewarding!
Consider one or more of the following ideas to help make your days run smoother.
- Begin each day with a warm up activity.
In other words, please don’t go straight from the breakfast table to the desk! Take a walk, go for brief bike ride, exercise – any movement. This will help students be prepared to focus on learning.
- Complete Math Lessons on a Daily Basis.
Math skills build each lesson, requiring mastery of concepts. With daily instruction, students will become confident and fluent an math skills and the language of math concepts. When students have several days between math lessons, concepts may need to be retaught prior to beginning the lesson of that day, resulting in frustration for the student and lost instructional time.
Teach Math Everyday – Just Do It!
- Fill the Youngest Child’s “Cup” First.
Spend time with toddlers or preschoolers first. Make breakfast together, read a book, complete a puzzle together, take a walk. Any activity spending time together is beneficial. Once this is accomplished, a younger child is more likely to complete an independent activity while the teaching parent works with an older child.
- Alternate Direct Instruction with Multiple Students.
For example, let’s say you are teaching 3 students varied levels in math. In order to allow for direct instructional time with each student, stagger each student’s math lessons to begin on a different day. Day 1 of a chapter in math may require the greatest amount of direct instruction. So begin each student’s new chapter on a different day of the week. This will allow for the end of chapter review day, along with the test day, to be spread out for each student. By intentionally staggering lessons, you will be able to provide direct instruction when needed while the other students are working independently. (This cuts down the time of direct instruction, however, direct instruction will still be necessary for most students.)
- Start the Year With a Schedule, Transition to a Rhythm.
To insure that all of your lessons are completed, begin the year by using a scheduled approach to your day. Once you are consistently teaching lessons on a daily basis, then transition to a rhythm. What does that mean?
Schedule general blocks of time. Imagine you have the following subjects to teach – math, language arts (spelling, phonics, reading, and writing), history and science. Choose 2-3 blocks of time in your day where you will break down lessons.
Block 1 – 8:30 – 10:30. Plan to complete Math and Language Arts.
Block 2 – 11:00 am – 12:00 pm Science
Block 3 – 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm – History and Incomplete Assignments
(These blocks are examples. By looking at individual student’s needs, curriculum, and age, you will find a plan that works!)
Need ideas to sharpen your family’s schedule?
Be sure to brainstorm with a Maize Virtual Prep School teacher!
- Plan Weekly.
Families are provided a comprehensive curriculum with clear and concise teaching guides. No creating lessons plans!
However, teaching parents will benefit from reading lessons in advance. Parents will know what, if any, resources are needed, and be able to plan what concepts to focus on for each lesson. Teaching time will be effective and enjoyable.
- Find Joy in Each Day!
Sitting eye to eye with your student during instructional time is a gift.