For the new prospective homeschool mom who is accustomed to the scripted daily routine of public schools, homeschooling can be a wonderful change. One of the big differences is that in public schooling, everything is done with each child is a part of a group of about 25 students. The one-size-fits-all teaching approach unavoidably contains some very large inefficiencies.
Simple activities like riding a bus to school can consume 1 to 2 hours of each school day. Each child having to function as part of a group with 25 others can be terribly time consuming. Merely moving between classes and lockers is a distraction.
But irrespective of the differing approaches used in homeschooling, there are some elements that are common to all and are very effective at allowing the student to learn more in less time. Here is “an” example of what an average “homeschool” day might look like for a 3th grade student.
According to Tracy Hendrickson the Academic Director at AIOA, “Parents need to keep in mind that their job is to be a monitor of classroom study, not a teacher.” In this example the course material is presented by the computer (online) with little need for the parent or monitor to actually teach. Using the AIOA model, the online curriculum provides the core learning for each component of their education.
Additionally Hendrickson noted, the students and parents will consult the pacing guide from the AIOA website, to find daily assignments of scheduled coursework for their individual student. The student will then study the material for each subject and learn the information.
The AIOA model includes individual daily exams to validate that all the material is comprehended in sequence. If additional study is required to master a concept, that would take place before moving to the next lesson.
“On the few occasions where a student needs extra help, AIOA Teachers can bridge the gap. In extreme cases AIOA can supply tutors at a reasonable cost” says Hendrickson.
The typical student will study in periods of 20 to 30 minutes with small breaks and subject changes. The total schooling workload varies around 4 hours per day, and they would normally learn more than in a traditional public school day of 6 to 8 hours including transportation. The additional time in the day can be used for the experiential aspects of learning.
An 8th Grade student for example would use the same pacing approach but being older and having more years of learning experience, the monitoring is less structured. Students learn at their own pace by subject. As an example, a student may be at an 8th grade level according to their age but be at a 9th grade level in mathematics and a 10th grade level in reading. They study subjects at their own individual grade level. Motivated students can actually graduate from AIOA’s program with an accredited High School diploma at the age of 14 instead of 17 or 18. Many will continue with their studies and begin taking basic college courses online. Student who successfully complete college classes have a significant admissions advantage when applying for a full university program.