Thursday, March 18, 2010

Homeschool Schedule for a Teenager

Rural School Teacher of a One Room Country School

When my children were little, it was easier to plan our school schedule. Life was simpler. The children spent cozy days at home with me. There were no outside activities. We focused heavily on academics and worked throughout the day. As the years went on, I've had to constantly adjust and change our school plans. Right now, I am trying to get 2 teenagers prepared to graduate in the next year or so. I also have one pre-teen who is dyslexic and needs heavy instruction in the basics.

Here is my latest plan:

First, I came up with a few important conclusions about the children-

1. Teenagers need to go to bed at a decent hour. (smiles) They cannot sleep-away the morning. (smiles)

2. Teenagers must rise early and start school at a reasonable time.

3. Everyone has to be awake and cheerful before school starts.

4. Amy (15) cannot do her schoolwork unless she eats scrambled eggs and has a milkshake. (smiles)

Second, I had to focus on myself (as the teacher) -

1. We need to do our lessons when Mom has the most energy. (smiles)

2. I need to avoid all other activity during school time (other than a few chores or some sewing, while the children study, etc.)

Ready for the plan?

[Who am I teaching? - Amy, 15; Matthew, 17; and John, 12.]

The Following Plan is my "Basic Academic" schedule for Amy only. Matthew and John have a different program. I work with them separately. I wanted to share Amy's plan for those who are interested in seeing what I do to help get a teenager ready to graduate. My goal is to have her graduate at 16 or 17 years old. I graduated both her older sisters when they were 16. (Please remember, I am teaching "regular people," [As Bill Cosby would say] not Harvard- Bound Honor students.)

Monday through Thursday

9 AM -

1. Read 3 chapters in the Bible with Mom.

2. She does two lessons in each of the following books - "Roots & Fruits," "Write with the Best Volume 1," "Write with the Best Volume 2."

3. AVKO Spelling (Sequential Spelling) - This is my favorite "tool" to teach proper English along with spelling. I use the chalkboard and go over a variety of examples for each word. We do one lesson each day. I plan to do 2 lessons each day starting next week.

4. McGuffey Lesson

5. Optional -(Any products we are reviewing for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.)

10 AM -

6. Mental drills with Mom using Ray's Arithmetic and an Amish Math Textbook.

7. Extra work on Fractions, etc.

11 Am -

8. On Alternate days she does either -

All American History (Bright Ideas Press) or

Christian Kids Explore Science (Bright Ideas Press)

She is then required to write an essay on the lesson. (Yes, she does have to write a real essay, 4 times a week. I make suggestions, each day, for improvement. My goal is to develop her analytical and thinking skills.)

12 PM - 1 PM - Lunch Break.

1 PM -

9. Extra homework and more math (, until 2 PM.

10. Anything she did not finish during the scheduled time, she does later in the evening.

Weekly -
She is given a literature assignment. One book a week, and must write a review/ report on Friday.


1. Hands in her book review/ report. We go over this together, fixing any errors in grammar and spelling.

2. Math games on the computer.

3. Test in Math.

{New resources are added as needed.}

Please note - A lot of learning goes on that is not easy to classify or plan. We are covering all the basics and much more.

In order to pass GED requirements (the equivalency of a high school diploma), a student must take 5 tests:

1. Science.
2. Social Studies.
3. Math.
4. Language Arts - Reading.
5. Language Arts - Writing.

These are all multiple choice, with one exception. The student must write an essay for test #5.

If a student can pass pre-tests in all these subjects, I would consider him ready to graduate. From there you can add college-level courses if you want, or simply graduate your student and enroll him in college or a technical school.

My oldest daughter went to a one-year technical college. She graduated a few years ago. My second daughter is in her third year of college. She is working on her bachelor's degree.

Amy is not interested in going to college. Frankly, she doesn't have to. But I do expect her to be intelligent and pass my graduation requirements. I also require all my children to learn a trade or have marketable skills.

Just for fun, every so often I like to have the children take GED practice tests. Here is a place you can have your student test on-line.

What is your plan for teaching teenagers?

Mrs. White


Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

I have learned how much teens need their sleep...makes life easier for all of us when they get enough, that is for sure!

TerriG said...

Thank you for sharing your plan. I needed to see one for a non-college bound student. This blessed me.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the need for teens to have as much sleep as possible! It doesn't seem like they can ever have enough.

We tackle school a bit differntly. Currently I have a seventeen year old that will be graduating in June. She is taking two college classes at the community college, and a the rest here at home.

She also has a job (cashier at Hannafords for 20ish hours a week.) She works with her horse about 2 hours a day. She will be pursuing equine studies through an internship next fall.

She does her "work" at Hannafords early in the morning from 7 until 2, does about an hour or two of "class work", then heads to the barn for a few hours. She finishes up her school work from 5 to 10, and then heads to bed to start over again. (Both her college classes are on Tuesdays, so she does not work on that day, and does her horsy stuff between classes.)

This has worked for us for a few years. Allowing her to use the daylight hours for her advantage.

I have to be diligent to make myself available to her in the evenings. Sometimes that means I have to take a nap (smiles).

One thing we have found is that we need to be flexible, while one schedule or plan may work for one student, that may not be the case with the next.


Unknown said...

I think this is probably one of your best posts ever!

I'm going to go over this a bit more and tweak Sierra's schedule a bit. I've been feeling like I have to increase her workload a bit more.

This is really inspirational, thank you! :)

Anonymous said...

Mrs. White,
Thank you for this post, my "little" is 14, so this was very helpful and a blessing to read "when mom has the most energy" true.
May you weekend be blessed.

Anonymous said...

I have a 16 year old daughter that does all her school work and then works on her own web-site:)


My daughters site is

leave a comment if you stop by:)

Beth West said...

Amy has a wonderful schedule.

For those of you who do have college bound students, I just wanted to suggest that you have your child study for CLEP exams as part of his or her high school courses and take these tests.

Not only does it save money and time for them, but it's less exposure to the humanistic courses they teach in college.