Welcome to the wonderful world of homeschooling! Your children’s days will no longer be comprised of sitting still in a chair at a desk, toiling along like drones. The factory environment one-size fits all style of so-called education is about to come to an end.

You would not be reading this prepper homeschooling guide if you were not getting ready to take the leap into home education or were already teaching your children at home and in need of a little guidance.

So, I will waste no time telling you about all the reasons why every prepper should be homeschooling their children. If you stumble across this guide at the research and pondering phase of you potential homeschool journey and need more such information, please refer to Making The Transition From Public School To Homeschool  and Teaching Self-Reliance Skills In Your Homeschool.

The typical homeschooling “classroom day” is far shorter than a day spent at public school. Learning happens everywhere and in many ways, not just sitting in a chair at a table or desk.

Once you have a working idea of the type of subject matter you want to use in your prepper homeschool and the educational materials you plan to stockpile, it is time to start planning out the typical homeschool day and addressing common concerns of all newbie homeschooling parents.

Are homeschoolers isolated? Do the children just play all day? These are both some common misconceptions and concerns folks often have when the topic of educating children at home comes up.

Take a gander back up to the feature picture for this article. The children appear to simply be playing with Playdoh, but they are actually “doing school.”

Learning Through Fun During The Homeschool Day

  • Auddie is practicing her color identification and learning the difference between primary colors and those that are blended from them.
  • The children are using the dough scissors to cut out the designs I carved into the dough with a plastic knife.
  • Both Colt and Auddie practiced following a pattern by mimicking a pattern I had made using different colors.
  • Colt is interested in learning about the tracks animals make and is using plaster to capture the livestock and wild animal prints made in our woods during our hikes – physical education requirement met in an oh so fun way! In the photo he is making animal prints with a toy horse and dinosaur before moving on to the rest of the play critters in the animal tub.
  • Auddie is honing her shape identification and following direction skills by using cookie cutters to make the shapes I tell her to create in a specific dough color.

So yes again, you can “play” all day in homeschool.

The answer to the first question (“Are homeschoolers isolated?”) is absolutely not. The answer to the second question (“Do the children just play all day?”) really depends on your definition of play. As noted in the first part of this guide, learning can and should be a fun-filled adventure.

The typical homeschooling “classroom day” is far shorter than a day spent at public school. Learning happens everywhere and in many ways, not just sitting in a chair at a table or desk.

If you have read the Prepper.org How To Create A Homeschool Gardening Unit guide, you already know how simple, valuable, and engaging a self-reliance homeschooling lesson plan can be. Because our first prepper homeschooling theme unit was gardening based, the children would technically be “going to school” all summer long.

State Mandatory Attendance Regulations

Each state regulates mandatory attendance for homeschooled students a little bit differently. But, at least for now, all 50 states mandate a specific number of hours, not days, spent being educated at home.

The School Week Redefined

Because there is no specific start and stop time five days a week when homeschooling, you can be incredibly flexible with the schedule. You do not need to be actively schooling five days a week. In fact, most homeschooling parents do not.

In many cases, Fridays are reserved for field trips, art, music, or athletic classes a child wants to take. Although a child might not crack a single book or pick up a pencil on days like this, the hours can still count toward the mandatory minimum a state requires because they are still learning.

During the other four days of the week, the school day is commonly not the usual 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. students at government school are subjected to nine months out of the year.

Unless you have a massive mutual assistance group, your prepper homeschooling class will mirror the numbers of non-prepping parents who have made the wise choice to educate their children at home.

Because the “teacher” to student ratio is so low, the children can master a subject far more quickly, even if they are barely average students. If you are homeschooling with your prepping tribe and have 10 or more children being taught at home, the larger number of children still should not impact learning times to any significant degree.

As long as other members of your prepping group are helping out at the homeschool, the adult to child ratio will still be low enough that each child can receive individual attention throughout the learning process.

Most homeschooling parents only actively educate their children about four hours a day. Shocked? If you subscribe to the “find learning in everything” concept like I do, you might feel a little guilty for “schooling” the children about 13 hours a day.

What Counts As Learning?

Here is just a sampling of ways the children are learning at least four days per week without your active educational instruction.

  • Making their own breakfast – They will be counting, measuring, reading, and exercising comprehension and memory recall while preparing or helping to prepare their food. A simple little food guide they help create can be used to prompt the children to chart the nutritional value of the meal, the calories, and to note if any of the food was grown or raised at their home.
  • Barnyard Chores – The feeding, watering, and turning out of livestock can be used as an extension activity for a year-long farm theme learning unit.
  • Cleaning and Laundry – These daily or weekly chores can teach health and hygiene skills. The children can keep a log to record their chores and why each is important as part of a language arts and health journal.
  • Skilled Hobbies and Handicraft – Infuse the hobbies and interests of the children into their homeschooling day. Children can independently in the morning or with an adult later in the day, do woodworking, leather crafting, sewing, hide tanning, etc. They will learn not only valuable homesteading and survival skills, but how to follow directions, work independently, comprehend and problem solve on their own, and how to safely use tools. A writing or oral report can be completed by the child after finishing their project.

Teaching The Whole Child

Another reason the homeschooling day is shorter than a day spent at government school is because multiple subjects are blended together in a theme unit, as noted above.

If you choose to opt for a theme unit curriculum instead of pigeon-holing the learning process, the children will be learning multiple subjects during one extended lesson. Should you feel the need to focus on one particular academic subject because a child is struggling with it, enjoys it, or the age of the child dictates ample time be spent on fundamentals, you can still use the theme unit approach and have a flexible homeschooling schedule.

Using a block schedule format can allow you to focus on one subject for half a day several times per week, immersing the student in the subject via exciting extension activities and seated lessons.

Setting aside just two hours for certain subjects each day or several days a week is also a viable and still relatively flexible option. You may only want or need to spend extra time on a subject once a week, once a month, or when a child is struggling with a particular part of a recently introduced concept.