The Best Time for Children to Learn
If there is a magical time when children learn best, it is when they are alert, well rested, and interested in the subject you are trying to teach them about.
Babies start learning the moment they arrive at birth. Adults of sound mind stop learning when they leave this world. Do people continue to learn in the next world? That would be a subject for another time. I want to limit my discussion on learning to when it happens in this world we are all currently inhabiting.
There is no magic in the traditional school year schedule. Every living person of sound mind is learning all of the time. What people are learning may not always be worthwhile, but they are learning just the same, from everything they do, see, and hear, and every experience they have.
Children learn in July just as well as in October or March. Children can learn at 7:00 PM just as well as at 9:00 AM. Children can learn on Saturday, or Sunday, or Christmas Day, or on any day. Children do not just learn only on Monday through Friday and on non-holidays. Children are learning all the time.
What Time Is the Best Time For Children To Learn?
Plan Your School Schedule According To What Works Best For Your Child, Your Family, and You
How you plan your home school schedule is your choice and that is one of the many advantages of home schooling.
The important thing is to choose a time for instructing your child when s/he is alert and in a receptive frame of mind. Choosing a time when there is no reason to rush through the material is important.
Public and private schools have been in existence for a long time. If we go by their example, we might believe that learning only takes place in a formal classroom of diverse students from around the community between mid August and mid June. Between 8 o’ clock AM and 4 o’ clock PM, from Monday through Friday, no holidays included. This is not true.
In fact learning takes place all of the time for all human beings. There is no specific month, day, or hour that is magical in promoting the learning process for all individuals.
Why Do Public and Private Schools Have the Schedule They Do If There Is no Optimum Time For Learning?
The reason the school year generally goes from early September to late May is that the first schools in this country chose that particular schedule. Why? Because our country was a more rural country and most of our population were farmers. Children were needed at home to take care of livestock and to work in the garden and the fields in order to produce enough food and cash for the family to survive. Children could not be spared from this work to go to school. School was viewed then as a luxury.
How many of you reading this have grandparents or great grand parents who had to quit school at age 12-14 in order to help on the family farm, or to get a job to help support their younger siblings?
The reason our schools generally follow this same schedule today is tradition. Our country’s population has not been primarily rural or made up of mostly farm families for a long time. There is no longer any reason, other than tradition, to adhere to the old school schedule that was built around family farms and the growing season.
What Is The Best Age For A Child To Begin Learning?
Children learn at different rates and are ready to learn at different ages. In fact, some ‘experts’ believe all humans have learned most of what they will ever know all of their lives by the time they are 5 years old! Most children are only just getting started in school at that age.
The most important points I am trying to get at here are that learning takes place all the time, and that some children may be ready to begin formal learning much earlier than age 5 or 6, while other children may not yet be ready to start formal learning until age 7 or 8.
Due to the complications our formal school systems must already deal with, allowing children to start at what is the optimum time for them, and then progress at their own rates, would not be feasible. Just managing so many children in one place is a challenge in itself without tailoring the learning process to individual children.
As a result our public and private schools tend to treat children like objects on an assembly line. They all move along at the same rate of speed and are exposed to exactly as possible, the same information in the same ways, and at the same age.
As a result, some children do well while other children do not do so well in our formal school system (public and private). For one thing, not everyone learns well through the same methods even if age and readiness are not a consideration.
Home schooling allows parents to choose what school schedule works best for their entire family and for their individual children.
How Can We Home School When Both Parents Are Working?
Most people believe both parents in a family cannot hold jobs if they choose to home school their children. If both parents are working, it would complicate things depending on the number of hours both parents are working and what those specific hours were, but with determination and fortitude, it can still be done.
The reason both parents can hold jobs and still home school is that there are no magical times of the year, week, or day when learning can take place. You simply have to arrange to provide necessary instruction for your child(ren) at a time when they are alert and ready to learn. If you can’t arrange your own schedule to accommodate this necessity, then you may have to engage a nanny (or relative) to stay with your child(ren) for general care, and engage a tutor to assist in the instruction of your children.
Any tutor you engage should have an abundance of patience with children and the ability to control children in a positive way. Your tutor should also understand the material s/he is trying to convey to your child(ren). You may also consider combining the positions of nanny and tutor if you know someone who can manage both jobs just as you would do if you chose to stay at home instead of holding a job.
More Articles from Au Fait About Education, Home Schooling, and Teaching Your Children Yourself
- Home School Update: What Ever Became of the Colfax Boys?
An update on the Colfax boys from "Homeschooling For Excellence" Fame. Their successes and what they are doing now.
- Advantages of Home Schooling Your Child
Advantages of home schooling. Reasons why you might want to home school your child.
- Homeschooling: Ways To Socialize Your Child While Homeschooling
Ways you can teach children important social skills while home schooling. Public and private schools are not the only places where a child can learn these skills.
- When Should Children Start Learning Music and How to Play An Instrument?
When should your child begin learning music and/or how to play an instrument? Studies show that children who learn music improve their learning ability in other areas, like math and reading too.
- Homeschooling Questionnaire: Is Home Schooling Right For You?
Questionnaire to help parents determine if home schooling is right for their children and their family.
- Give Your Baby a Head Start – It’s never too early to start preparing your child
Activities that are both fun for your baby and developmentally useful in helping your child get an early start on learning.
- Give Your Toddler a Head Start – Part 2 of Educating Your Child For Success
Part 2, as promised, in the educating your child for success series. This article takes up where the article about giving your baby a head start left off.
- Book Review: The Core-Knowledge Series edited by E. D. Hirsch, Jr.
A review of The Core-Knowledge Series of books edited by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. These books are an excellent guide for home schooling parents and all parents who want to make sure important subject matter isn't being left out of their child's educational e
- Single Sex Classrooms -- Dividing the Instruction and Education That Girls and Boys Receive
Public schools are going single sex in the classroom. Segregation in the classroom has always been a negative. Dr. Leonard Sax says children get confused when they do not have stereotypical toys and he believes children should be taught manhood and w
- Teaching Your Children Empathy and Helping Them Develop Emotional Literacy
Ways to teach your children empathy (caring for other people and caring for animals), and why that is so important. Being empathetic is essential to success in all areas of a person's life. Empathy begins at home.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 24, 2015:
Patricia (pstraubie48), thank you for reading and commenting on this article and for sharing your thoughts and experience on this subject. So often people who home school (IMHO) do not utilize all the advantages available to home schoolers. Schedule and curriculum and speed at which one moves should all be tailored to the student.
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on March 21, 2015:
This is so true, AuFait
A schedule that works for you and the learnee...is a sure way to find success with home schooling. And when you home school, you have that flexibility.
When I home schooled my eldest grandson the living room and kitchen area were 'school zones' for direct instruction. The world was our classroom.
And the point about age being a factor is another important point. When you home school you have the flexibility once again to 'school' when your learners are ready. Formal schooling may come later for one child than another but learning experiences are occurring all the time.
Another helpful hub for those considering home schooling.
Know that Angels are on the way to you this afternoon ps
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 04, 2015:
Thank you Peggy W, for your kind words and support. Home school is being commercialized to such an extent that I'm not sure it has all the great advantages for a lot of children that it had for my daughter.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 03, 2015:
Will share this good article once again as I see that it has not gotten a comment in 6 months. People considering home schooling should be interested in reading all of your articles!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 20, 2014:
rebeccamealey, thank you for reading and commenting on his article. I think it might be a good thing if the long summer vacation were divided up into 2-3 smaller ones. For myself, I like it nice and long, but working parents might appreciate shorter periods when they must figure out what to do with their kids, and as you say, there is better retention of information when there is less time to backslide.
When I home schooled my daughter there were no vacations. I firmly believe learning should be fun and so we had a little school everyday and a lot more school on some days. Even road trips and other things we were doing were learning experiences.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 18, 2014:
Jackie Lynnley, thank you for reading and commenting on this article and especially for sharing your experience and your thoughts on home schooling. I'm so glad I home schooled my daughter. I wrote my own curriculum, but there are a lot of good ones out there available for purchase. I think anyone who can should home school their children. Working for the local ISD, I see new reasons every day to home school if one can.
I still think we need to have public schools for children who would have nothing at all if not for them. So I am not totally against public school, but I do think home school is a decided advantage when it's possible.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 17, 2014:
Peggy W, thank you for Google+ing and sharing this article! I think I was fortunate to home school my daughter too.
Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on July 16, 2014:
Very interesting points, especially the one about the school year being based on farming. I had a friend once who taught in a year round school situation. Six weeks on and three weeks off. She said it really worked great and the kids didn't experience "summer backslide." I think it might be time to get off that old farm-related schedule. Great Hub!
Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on July 16, 2014:
I home schooled my two while running my business (which started out being a book store) and they both loved reading so this was perfect. I did have a little trouble when they got to higher grades running into problems neither my husband nor I could solve though we were both good students; but the workbooks we purchased for our children also taught us so it was a win win there! I was thinking lately that oday I would certainly not think twice about pulling my kids from todays schools.
Great article. ^
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 16, 2014:
Since I have been more active on G+, going to add this hub onto that site and will also share again. You were so fortunate to be able to rear your daughter in this manner.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 26, 2013:
Thank you moonlake for pinning/sharing this article. Safety is just one of many excellent reasons to home school. Hope you had a great Christmas!
moonlake from America on December 22, 2013:
Came back to pin this and share. With so many school shootings I bet there will be more people home schooling if they can.
Have a Merry Christmas.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 08, 2013:
Thank you Peggy W for Pinning and Tweeting this hub!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 29, 2013:
I am going to pin this to my Schooling board and also share this by tweeting.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 28, 2013:
Thank you Deborah-Diane for reading and commenting on this article and for voting and sharing! Agree with what you say completely about parents being the first and most important teacher a child ever has.
My daughter and I had 'school' 7 days a week year around, but it wasn't like a classroom and so it wasn't tedious for her. School went on trips and everywhere that we went. Much of her learning involved doing.
Deborah-Diane from Orange County, California on July 25, 2013:
Au fait, I found your approach to home schooling very interesting. I have always told people that parents are the first, and most important, teachers a child will ever have. Even when children are attending a traditional school, it is important that parents do not assume that they can just sit back and do nothing. They need to continue to work with and encourage their children, too. I raised four daughters and all of them did summer worksheets in English and math. They also competed in science fairs and other extra-curricular activities. I always believed these activities were as important as what they learned in the classroom. Voted up and shared!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 06, 2013:
Thank you for bringing attention to this hub moonlake. When one home schools one of the main advantages is being able to fit it around other important things going on. Everyone has a time when they are most alert and awake and open to new things, so planning a home school schedule around your child's most receptive time in the day can be very helpful to their success too. Having a flexible schedule that still fits everything important into it can help working parents fit home school in for their children when adhering to a public school schedule might rule it out.
Working for our local school district, I can tell you I see new reasons every day why I am so glad I home schooled my daughter. I had over a hundred when I did it, and I've only added more reasons since then. If parents can manage home schooling, it is, IMHO, the best solution to a lot of problems.
moonlake from America on March 29, 2013:
Interesting hub. I always wondered how the hours were figured out for home schooling. Voted up.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 13, 2013:
Thank you rajan jolly for reading, commenting, and voting on this hub! I have already written a hub that addresses the socialization of children. I recommend it to you. Believe it or not, formal school is not the only place where children can learn to navigate our society -- who would have thought?
I agree however, that many public schools here in the U.S. teach socialization by methods that are not readily available to many home schoolers. Children may be at a decided disadvantage by not attending public schools because many public school children learn invaluable marketing skills (selling and buying drugs), bullet dodging (great exercise!), not to mention how to bully and why people of different sexes or races are inferior!
Yes, and children also learn to feel comfortable around the police who patrol their hallways (hall monitors on steroids!). This is common in Jamaica Plain MA among other places. Yes students there learn to survive where even their parents are afraid to hang around!
One of the schools I visit in the course of my work twice a day is famous for it's middle school children handling disagreements with fights. Have to say, a pop in the kisser will solve a lot of differences of opinions more quickly than talking and more talking. So far the fights remain a staple of student life, so apparently no one in the school has yet found a better method of resolving student differences -- or of persuading students to try a different method.
Socialization by any other method (than public school methods) really is inferior. Home schooled children are truly deprived in some respects. Never beaten up, never bullied, and they often don't know the first thing about cooking meth to come up with some cash when they find themselves in a tight spot.
Even so, I personally believe there are other means for children to learn to get along with and work with other people, some of whom may be different from themselves for various reasons, and I list those means in my hub on socializing your children if you home school. ;)
Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 12, 2013:
Interesting hub! If one is confident about homeschooling one's child there is no reason why it can't be done, provided the child's social interaction needs are met satisfactorily. Setting a time schedule, not necessarily by the watch, is still imperative. It does give freedom from a fixed time table though.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 05, 2013:
Peggy W, thank you for commenting, voting, and sharing this hub! I've never regretted home schooling my daughter, and every day I learn a new reason why I'm so glad I did.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 02, 2013:
You are so right in saying that education is a continuing process from birth to death and that the time of day or season of year does not matter. For people who have the determination, time and knowledge to home school their kids, there would obviously be great advantages. Up votes and sharing.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 29, 2012:
R2-D2-2: You are so right! I couldn't have said it better myself! Thank you for your comments.
R2-D2-2 from USA on February 26, 2012:
It seems to me that homeschooling ones children, if one has that capacity, would be so much more convenient and efficient than dealing with the public school authorities. Not only can you fit classes around what else is going on with your family, but you can tailor the curriculum to your child and avoid the transportation hassle for the most part. Even keep your family healthier because they have less contact with people who have colds and flu!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 05, 2011:
Yes, and that's just one example of how homeschooling can benefit some children even more. Thank you Terry, for taking the time to read my article and make a comment!
Terry Crompton on September 05, 2011:
Some people think that certain medical, or maybe personality difference from the norm, may affect an individual child's concentration at certain times of day, or year. One example would be bad hay-fever , which is very seasonal.For this minority, parental ability to tailor the home school schedule is a big advantage.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 05, 2011:
Thank you WillStarr for stopping by and taking the time to read and comment on my article. It has been my experience that many high-school graduates and even a few college graduates cannot read above second or third grade level at best. We do have some good schools and good teachers, but there is no guarantee your child will be in that good school or in that good teacher's classroom.
WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on September 05, 2011:
Excellent article and an eye-opener. When 75% of high school seniors can no longer name the first president, something must be done.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 04, 2011:
Thank you for taking the time to read my article and to make comment, David!
Dave Carr on September 04, 2011:
I think your points are valid. In England we do have additional(?) special needs schools for children with learning difficulties. We also have pre-school lessons for children whether they need it or not but only at schools that have the room and facilities to run with these ideas. Personally I think that as you say children learn at different ages and some benefit greatly from these early years.
My personal schooling did not finish at age 15 when we were obliged to get work. I went to college and earned lots of certificates in a wide range of subjects. Now when I get back to it I will be continuing my studies in Criminal Justice with Kaplan run through Essex University.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 03, 2011:
Thank you for taking the time to comment jonnywindows!
jonnywindows on September 02, 2011:
i can see from your articles that you are "thinking outside of the box" , challenging the regimented practices of the time -honoured school structure. They make for interesting reading and as long as your child is under control , and enjoying it ,the whole experience must be rewarding