How to Set Up Your Homeschool Schedule (Part 4 of 4) – Read-Aloud Time & Free Time Blocks!
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Would you love to teach some subjects to your children through a read-aloud time? Do your kids struggle to find something to do when they have free time?
In Part 3 of this series, I covered how to schedule your Independent Work / Table Time Block. Today we will be covering how to schedule your Read-Aloud Time Block and also look at a few tips for your Free Time Block! Ready? Let’s go!
Schedule the Read-Aloud Time Block
Decide what subjects you want to teach using read-aloud books.
The first step is to decide which subjects you want to teach your kids using read-aloud books. Some obvious subjects are: history, science, geography, and literature. Once you have decided on the subjects you want to teach this way, then you are ready to move to the next step…selecting books!
Research and make a list of the books you want to read out loud to cover each subject.
Once you have chosen the subjects you want to cover in your read-aloud times, you are ready to begin selecting books. I have a lot of different resources that I use when looking for books. Here are a few:
- Curriculum catalogs (like Sonlight and My Father’s World)
- Websites with book lists (such as Ambleside Online, Simply Charlotte Mason, Storyformed, and 1000 Good Books List)
- Books with book lists (such as Read for the Heart, Honey for a Child’s Heart, and All Through the Ages)
For a ton more ideas and resources, check out my Homeschooler’s Read-Aloud Guide here!
Now that you have a good list of books for each of the subjects you want to teach, it is time to start scheduling!
Decide how you are going to schedule these subjects.
This is probably the trickiest part of scheduling your Read-Aloud Time Block — figuring out how to schedule it! There are different ways you can set up your schedule — you can either do one subject at a time, or do more than one at a time. Let’s look at each of these in more detail.
Schedule one subject at a time: If you have only one subject you are going to be teaching using read-alouds, then this won’t be hard. Just make your list of books you want to read and put them in roughly the order you want to read them. Then when you have your Read-Aloud Time Block each day, just start in on the first book and read 1-3 chapters each day (depending on the attention span of your kids). When you complete that book, then move on to the next book on your list. Easy!
If you have more than one subject that you want to teach using read-alouds, then decide on a time-frame for each. For example, let’s say you are studying Egypt and Rome for history this year, so you decide to cover Egypt the first half of the year, and Rome the second half. You will have your book lists for each one and like I explained above, you will just read through them in order until your time is up.
Schedule more than one subject at a time: If you want to cover two or more subjects simultaneously, then you’ll have to be a bit more creative. You can choose certain days of the week to do a certain subject, and then read from that subject’s book list on those days. Or another way you can schedule it is to read a little from each subject each day, but just read less from each book.
I personally have found that it works best for me and my kids to only schedule one subject at a time. When I tried to have too many different subjects going at a time, it was hard to stay focused. We preferred to read from one subject at a time, dig deeper into that subject, and read more chapters per day. But that was just what worked best for our family. You may find another schedule works better for you, and that’s great! If you have littler children, it may work best to read short picture books and cover several different subjects at a time.
To give you an example in real life, here is my Read-Aloud plan for this coming year:
- Weeks 1-5 – Geography Study using Beautiful Feet (Reading Paddle to the Sea and Tree in the Trail and doing projects and map work along the way)
- Weeks 6-17 – Kansas State History (Using Kansas State History in Light of the Cross, reading Little House on the Prairie and a few other books too, also doing a notebooking project with this study)
- Weeks 18-22 – Geography Study using Beautiful Feet (Reading Minn of the Mississippi and Seabird and doing projects and map work along the way)
- Weeks 23-35 – Renaissance and Reformation Study (I have a list of books we will read for this study.)
So you can see how I broke up our Geography study into two parts to begin each half of the year. I did that because I knew it was going to be a little lighter reading and also have some fun activities to do with it. Starting the new school year and beginning back again after the holidays are both kind of hard times to get going. So I thought this would be a good way to get back in the flow of school again.
I hope this has been helpful for you as you plan out your Read-Aloud Time Block for this coming school year.
Tips for the Free Time Block
Many times your kids will be learning on their own during their free time. Kids need time to play, explore, and invent. They also need time to just “be”, to rest, and think.
But if your kids struggle finding things to do or you need more encouragement and ideas on what to do during free time, be sure to check out this huge list of free time activities your kids can choose from! There are tons of ideas here that will keep your kids having fun and learning for a long time!
Read all the posts in this series!
- How to Set Up Your Homeschool Schedule (Part 1 of 4) – Time Blocking!
- How to Set Up Your Homeschool Schedule (Part 2 of 4) – Together School Block!
- How to Set Up Your Homeschool Schedule (Part 3 of 4) – Independent Work/Table Time Block!
- How to Set Up Your Homeschool Schedule (Part 4 of 4) – Read-Aloud Time & Free Time Blocks!