3 Tips for a Successful Homeschool Year: Tip #1

Three homeschool tips

Let’s keep this short, because it’s summer and you’re probably trying to juggle summer fun with fall planning. So here’s the scoop: over the next three weeks I want to pass along three quick tips that will help you have a successful year of homeschooling.

That is, if you follow them. If you just read them, no guarantees.

Tip #1: Plan for Variety

We all know how tedious life can become when we’re stuck in a rut, performing the same tasks in the same way at the same time every day. When Charlotte Mason said that Education is a Life, she did not mean that kind of a life.

“Life should be all living, and not merely a tedious passing of time” (Vol. 3, p. 170).

One of the key identifiers of a Charlotte Mason-style school is the variety of subjects that the students get to enjoy. So along with the usual studies, plan to include variety in your schedule: singing, picture study, nature walks, poetry, painting, composer study, Shakespeare, handicrafts, dancing, foreign language.

Don’t try to crowd every subject into every day. Instead, take advantage of the vast array of options to add variety throughout your week. One or two different subjects tucked into the mix each day will go a long way toward keeping things fresh and spreading a delightful feast of ideas!

Short lessons on a wide variety of subjects. That’s Tip #1. Next week, Tip #2.


  1. I was wondering, when you say, make the teaching of subjects short, how long should I teach each day on a subject, say, for a 13 year old boy, History?

    Thank you,

    J. Bloom

    • Here are general guidelines based on Charlotte’s class schedules:

      • Grades 1-3: maximum of 15-20 minutes (some were shorter)
      • Grades 4-6: maximum of 20-30 minutes
      • Grades 7-9: maximum of 30-45 minutes

      Now, keep in mind that those guidelines assume the children have learned the habit of attention. If you have an older child who hasn’t yet learned that habit, you may need to back off to a shorter time for bit to establish that habit.

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