Looping and Block Scheduling: Help for Busy Homeschool Moms




What are you doing for "professional development" this year?

Bricks and mortar teachers spend time each year attending seminars to keep their skills sharp and give them new ideas. Summer makes a great time for us homeschool teachers to do the same by putting more tools in our toolboxes. Happily, opportunities abound to do this right at home!

LOOP SCHEDULING

Recently I "attended" a webinar on Looping given by Sarah Mackenzie (from the popular blog Amongst Lovely Things) and one of her "Schole Sisters," Pam Barnhill.

You can watch it here: Looping webinar

Looping is a powerful strategy for fitting in those things that fall into the cracks of your day. Some subjects are essential for every day - especially the 3Rs. If you skip out on math just once a week, by the end of the year, you've only accomplished 80% of what you might have done by hitting math daily. But other subjects like history or science, nature study or art, music or P.E. don't necessarily need to be daily ones. Looping allows you to do what you can each day and then pick up where you left off the next day. (After first accomplishing those essential subjects!) Sarah Mackenzie has written about looping here and here and here.

Moms with little ones may find looping most powerful. By junior and senior high school, flexibility diminishes as schedules become necessarily more rigorous.

However, looping has other applications besides organizing your school day! I've been playing around with the idea of using looping as I structure house cleaning. I think it has real potential, especially in the future when I don't have young helpers living at home to do most of the work.

(Listen also for the part where Pam B. discusses "procedures." That was what I found most useful of all, and I've been working on developing some simple procedure sheets to remind myself of just how I want various subjects to flow.)


BLOCK SCHEDULING


Another strategy for covering many bases without lots of stress is using block scheduling. And - good news! Pam Barnhill will be giving a free webinar this week on this topic! If you want to join the live webinar on Tuesday, July 14 at 3:30 EST, sign up here. If you miss it, don't worry! The webinar should become available for later viewing as well.


4 Responses
  1. Peter Locke Says:

    I have loved listening to the Read-Aloud Revival podcasts. Thanks for the encouragement to try this one. I had big plans for myself this summer, but they've changed to just surviving another first trimester. :) I was planning on putting together Instructor guides for 1st & 3rd grades, but instead I've ordered boxed curriculums from Memoria Press. What a blessing!


    -Kimberly in Michigan


  2. Anne Says:

    Kimberley - Babies do have a way of changing plans.;) I'm all for purchasing good materials to help out any way needed. When I used to stress over whether or not to buy a teacher's guide for something or other instead of assembling curriculum myself, my husband would ask my how much time it would save and compare that to an hourly pay rate. Invariably, it made sense to go ahead an buy the material!


  3. Is there a way to subscribe to your blog? I would enjoy getting your posts in my inbox. Thanks!


  4. Anne Says:

    There is now! I've just set up a way for you to subscribe. There should be a spot on the right that says "Follow by Email." If you can't see this, please let me know! Type your email address in that box and hit enter. You should then see a pop-up screen which will ask for you to prove you are not a robot. Next you'll receive an email with a link to activate your subscription. And that should do it!