Homeschool Schedule TipsPosted In Homeschool Assistance | Posted By Kristy Robins
Planning a homeschool schedule might seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. By keeping your family’s needs and values in mind, setting up an individualized routine for your family provides a roadmap to productive and enriching learning. Every family is different, and choosing homeschooling allows you the freedom to decide on a routine that works for you!
Some families prefer a highly regimented approach that dictates each minute of the school day, while others prefer to operate based on a general outline for the day or week. Likewise, some families enjoy working through their school day in a leisurely manner, while others like to power through as quickly as possible. Whichever direction you decide to go, you will find that determining your schedule ahead of time allows for greater productivity, organization, and a more rewarding homeschool experience for you and your children.
What is a good homeschool schedule for your family?
When devising a daily homeschool schedule, you may want to begin by taking inventory of your family’s needs outside of learning. Things to consider in this category might be parent work schedules, nap times for younger children, extracurricular activities like sports or music, and natural sleep schedules. For instance, if you need time to answer work emails or conference with clients, plan your week to accommodate your needs.
If your children are early risers and wake up alert and ready to go, you might want to plan an early start time for your homeschool daily schedule. If your children struggle to wake up early, you may want to plan for a later start time or to embed warm up activities to get those neurons firing before tackling a difficult subject. By keeping your family’s needs in mind, you can create a schedule for homeschooling that works best for everyone.
How to Create Your Year-at-a-glance School Calendar
It’s a good idea to start with the big picture by lining out your homeschool year-at-a-glance calendar. It can feel a little intimidating, but you can cut down on the overwhelm by following these steps:
1. Start with a blank calendar
Block out the days you want to designate as “off” days including vacations, holidays, family projects, and mission trips. Some families enjoy a six weeks on, one week off approach while others prefer to take longer but fewer breaks. Consider the weather in your state and your family’s favorite activities as you plan your “off” time.
2. Schedule your days of instruction
Mark your days of instruction on your calendar. Check your state’s guidelines to be sure that your calendar meets the requirements. For most, this will be around 36 weeks or 180 days of learning. Pro-tip: Consider sprinkling in some “catch up” days. That way it will be easy to recover from unexpected events that might throw you off course. It’s there if you need it, and if you don’t – bonus day off! It’s a win-win strategy. You may find that you have more days “off” than you know what to do with, but with some front-end planning, you can plan your time in a way that makes the best sense for your family.
3. Make adjustments with your family’s routines in mind
At this point, you may have to adjust your time off in step one as you calibrate to balance the needs of your family and the mandates of your state. Plan a few field trips with your family’s interests in mind. Throw in some half days or long weekends to accommodate for soccer tournaments or community theater rehearsals and performances as needed. You can even schedule some family projects like overhauling the garden for spring or decluttering the basement.
Take advantage of the freedom that homeschooling provides. And if something about your schedule isn’t working for you at any point, you can make changes to make it work! You’re steering the ship! You’ve got this!
How to a plan a successful daily & weekly homeschool schedule
- *Which subjects you will teach each day of the week?
- *Do you want a four or five day homeschool week?
- *Which subjects require daily study?
- *Which subjects will you study once, twice, or three times a week?
Most curriculum allows for flexibility, so you have the freedom to choose what is right for your family. Once you have a good grasp of your weekly goals, you can craft your daily homeschool schedule.
What are the optimum start and end times for your homeschool day? Do you want to schedule some independent reading or study time to allow for some parent work time or perhaps line up your oldest child’s most difficult subject to coincide with your youngest child’s naptime to limit distractions during that time?
Your schedule is completely up to you as long as you make sure that you are in compliance with your state’s requirements regarding the number of hours required for your child to graduate. Once you get rolling, you may have to make minor adjustments depending on how things are going. That’s the beauty of homeschooling – you are in the driver’s seat and get to decide what works best for your family.
Included below are some sample daily homeschool schedules to help you get started. Of course, you will want to customize your daily and weekly schedules to fit the unique needs and habits of your family. Consider making family chores such as cleaning up after meals, caring for pets and livestock, and tending to plants/ garden part of your routine.
Sample Schedule #1 (Flexible)
7:30 – Wake up, get dressed
8:00 Family breakfast/ kitchen clean-up
8:30 School begins
11:45 Lunch break / clean up
12:30 Nature Walk/ Gardening/ Bike Ride
1 – Back to School
2:10 Reading for Pleasure
2:30 School ends
Sample Schedule #2 (Structured)
7:30 Morning Routine
8:30 Language Arts
9:15 Stretch Break
10:15 Snack Break
10:30 Social Studies/ Science (alternating days)
11:15 Creative Time
11:45 Lunch / Breaktime
1:00 Journal/Educational Games/Puzzles
1:30 Independent Research/Project
2:10 Leisure Reading/ Weekly Trip to Library
2:30 End of School Day
Sample Schedule #3 (Intensive)
8:45 Language Arts
9:30 Social Studies
11:00 Foreign Language
11:45 End of School Day
Creating a Successful Homeschool Curriculum Map
Once you have your year-at-a-glance calendar and weekly/daily schedules mapped out, it’s time to choose curricula that meets your family’s needs. I prefer low-stress curricula that teaches a step-by-step approach and provides lots of modeling along the way.
You may want to read up on the many approaches to homeschool curriculum. There are lots of ways to homeschool, but it’s up to you to decide what you think will work best to meet your family’s needs. Some families prefer the classical model, which focuses heavily on reading the canon of Great Books. Others enjoy the freedom and flexibility of the Montessori model or the short, interactive lessons prescribed by the Charlotte Mason method. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by so many choices, but don’t forget that you can always change directions if you feel things aren’t going well.
For those “no right or wrong answer subjects” like writing, Essentials in Writing provides engaging homeschool writing curriculum that provides headache-free video lessons that students from 1st to 12th grade find enjoyable and easy to use. EIW uses a step-by-step approach that includes modeling of every skill so that your students will feel confident as they write their way to college readiness.