Often freedom is mistakenly perceived as being without bounds of any type. An absence of any bounds is anarchy and chaos which is neither productive nor realistic. True freedom allows individual choice and the pursuit of goals set by the individual. That sort of freedom is the aim of every home educator.
One great tool that creates freedom within our home schools is a schedule. Like a budget, a schedule is simply a framework. A budget guides money spending; a schedule guides time spending. It allows the parent and student to visualize what needs to be accomplished each week–and make adjustments as life happens. It is so freeing to make decisions based on rightly-determined priorities without stockpiling a to-do list that will drown you in the future.
Setting up a schedule is not terribly time-consuming. Once the curriculums for the year have been chosen, simply calculate the page numbers of each text and divide by the days (or the weeks) in your school year. A weekly review helps you evaluate progress and make adjustments as the year unrolls. Some students prefer to do every subject, every day; others prefer to vary their school week. Help your students assume responsibility for making the scheduling decisions as they get older–but help them be realistic and keep them accountable. Great lessons in goal-setting, perseverance and the joy of success come with this simple aspect of the home school lifestyle.
Home education is not freedom without constraint. As home educators we desire to be free from the control of government-determined goals and curriculums. We desire to be free to educate our children in the manner suited to them and in accordance with the demands they will face in the future. A schedule or program of education is a tremendous asset in accomplishing home education goals.