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 SCHEDULINGRecently 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.)
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.