The most commonly asked question when parents decide to homeschool their children is: What does a homeschool schedule look like? It can be different for all families and age groups, but there are a few things you always want to keep in mind.
Creating a Homeschool Schedule to fit your family
Keeping track of a schedule is difficult when you have children in public schools, but when you homeschool your children, you not only have extra-curricular activities to keep track of and schedule. You also have a schooling schedule to keep track of, and if you have kids in different grade levels and ages. You may also have different daily schedules. Here are 7 tips to help get you organized.
Tip #1: Create a daily homeschool routine, not schedule
With homeschooling, it is often difficult to follow a daily schedule with slotted out times. It is often easier to follow a routine than to follow a time schedule. Instead of saying you are going to do math from 8:30am to 9:30am, decide that you are going to do math first on Monday and Tuesday. This way, you can work on math for as little or as long as your kids will need.
Tip #2: Leave gaps
While you are homeschooling, you probably will never achieve five hours of homeschooling into a five-hour block. Something is bound to happen. A child will fall, you’ll have a dishwasher emergency, or someone will have an epic meltdown. When you are thinking of your daily homeschool schedule, remember to leave gaps in your schedule. This will leave you way less frustrated. Instead of trying to five 5 hours of teaching into a 5 hour block, plan on teaching 3.5 hours instead.
Tip #3: Work in Blocks
Scheduling in blocks will allow you to have the freedom to teach different subjects in different orders, depending on the day. You’ll want to make a little micro schedule inside those larger blocks of time, so you know what you are doing during your homeschool day.
An example of this is, if you are teaching letters and sentences, both of which take a lot of writing. You may decide to put a reading lesson in between them to break them up. If you are doing two lessons that use the same materials, you may decide not to complete them right after one another. This way, there is not as much repetition.
So the timing of the blocks does not change, but the subjects inside the blocks each day may change.
Tip #4: Do not try to do every subject everyday
The cool thing is that in many subjects you also hit other subject areas. Look at language arts. You also hit spelling, grammar, writing, reading instruction and you can even throw in science and social studies if you really work on forming cross-curricular lessons and homeschool curriculum. When creating your homeschool schedule day, try to use blocks, or looping when you are planning what subjects to teach when. You do not need to hit every subject every. The subjects just need to be taught regularly.
Tip #5: Schedule the little ones first
If you have children between infants to preschool age and older students, it is best to think about the routine for the little children first. Look at your routine and see where you can complete certain tasks.
If you are nursing or have to give a bottle to your baby, can you also do a read aloud activity with your preschooler or maybe have your older children run a read aloud time? If neither of those are an option, try a website that reads stories aloud to children. Storylineonline.net is a great option with so many amazing books and has many fun celebrities making appearances.
You also want to make sure your routine has built in times for lunch and snacks. This will make it easier to get everyone fed and happy.
Since preschoolers and younger children need the most attention, look at your blocks and see where you can spend time with them and give them some parent time, or where you can have one of your other children have one-on-one play time with them and help you out.
Tip #6: Go with your natural routine
If your family is naturally not ready to roll in the morning, then don’t think suddenly one day you are going to start your lessons bright and early. Enjoy the flexibility of homeschooling and work around your family’s natural routine. Also, consider your children’s natural routine as well (even if it’s different from yours) and try to work with it. This will make homeschool schedules way easier to handle and way more effective.
Tip #7: Create a plan
When you first start homeschooling, the first thing you want to figure out is your school year. What day are you going to start on, finish on, what days are you going to take off for holidays or vacations, etc. This is the very first step in planning your homeschool schedule.
After you have the school year determined, create a schedule or routine. A homeschool planner is a great tool to keep things organized. You want then grab a homeschool schedule template from the internet or create your own and really sit down and figure out a weekly schedule and daily schedule that will work best for your family.
If you are still turning your wheels when figuring out a schedule. Jump onto your computer or phone and search sample homeschool schedules. There are so many homeschool moms and dads who have shared their schedule for all different age ranges!
These are just a few tips to help make your homeschooling year run smoother. Remember, every family is unique and you are homeschooling to give your family more freedom and flexibility. Develop a schedule and routine that works best for you!