How to Schedule Homeschool for Your Family’s Lifestyle
Homeschool scheduling can be one of the most stressful times in a homeschool mom’s life. This can be especially true in the early years of home education, and perhaps also during the high school years.
The stress comes from being worried about getting it right coupled with a lack of confidence in one’s own ability to balance education, especially when the mom isn’t a trained educator.
Add to that trying to fit in all the subjects, and all the extras for every child in the family and you’re setting yourself up for needless worry.
The biggest obstacles we need to overcome are our own insecurities as well as our belief that homeschooling needs to look and act like school at home.
Homeschooling doesn’t, and shouldn’t, look like a typical educational setting with pretty little desks all in a row as a teacher goes over the day’s lesson and students sit with a pencil to paper diligently working. Honestly, does public school really look like that?
We’ve left that system of education because we believe, for whatever reason, that model won’t work for our children. So why then do we want to mimic that model in our homeschools?
The reality is, the best way to schedule homeschool is to determine what works best for your own family and doing that. It can look and work like whatever you want it to look like.
Ideas for How to Schedule Homeschool
Since no two families look or function in the same way, no two homeschools will work or function in the same way. But, you can take ideas that others use in their school and incorporate those into your planning system to create your own unique way to schedule homeschool.
This article offers ideas for ways to schedule your homeschool. You’ll discover different methods, different planning styles that can help you to find what works for you. Maybe you’ll take a part of an idea from one of these and couple it with another part to develop your own unique method to schedule your homeschool.
Schedule Homeschool through Routine
By developing a weekly, or daily routine, you can remove the pressure of completing work in a specific hour or time-frame. In fact, with this type of schedule, you can remove hourly segments altogether.
Decide which days you will work on which subjects with a general time of day for that subject.
Perhaps, you work on science on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. So before lunch on those days you focus on doing as much science as possible.
The time constraint isn’t as burdensome, because you know you can do a lot in 2 or 3 hours on Tuesday, and another 2 or 3 hours on Thursday. That means for just those 2 days you complete 4 to 6 hours worth of work within the one subject.
Continue developing a routine for other subjects until you feel that you are able to complete all of the subjects you plan to cover in an academic year.
Schedule Homeschool with a 4 Day Week
Maybe 5-day homeschooling isn’t for you. Some moms do work outside the home in a part-time job. Or, she’s got a weekly appointment for herself or the child that keeps her on the go.
By planning a 4 day week you free up an entire day to accomplish things that happen outside the home. This even creates time in your family’s overall schedule to incorporate field-trips, co-ops, and other outsourced classes.
To do a 4 day school week, you can choose which days work best. Maybe it’s Tuesday through Friday, or Monday through Thursday. Or, it could be that you need Wednesday through Saturday to work for your family. You could even split it and do Monday & Tuesday and Thursday and Friday, leaving Wednesday as a day to schedule appointments or attend co-op.
From there, simply decide which days you’ll tackle which subjects, and develop a schedule for yourself and your kids to follow to accomplish the work.
Schedule Homeschool by Pre-planning Your Year
Some homeschoolers start the year by setting goals. They decide what they want to accomplish within a given year. They determine the hours necessary for both state requirements, as well as the time it takes to complete work, and they work backward on their schedule to plan out what weeks to take off for family time, and holiday time.
After having a layout of their overall scheduled plan, they can break down what they want to accomplish each month. From there they can plan what they want to do each week to accomplish set goals.
One potential pitfall of planning out your entire year is when unexpected events occur which through the schedule off-kilter. Mom’s may be left feeling behind when really they simply need to adjust their goals to fit their plans into the time allotted.
Schedule Homeschool Daily
If you like having an hour-by-hour schedule to keep things running smoothly, you can totally do that in homeschooling. Simple plan out a given schedule for the day. Determine what your children will be doing for each hour of the day.
Then, set a timer, as you work, and keep the day moving along. Your children will learn over time how to transition from hour to hour and develop very good organizational skills.
- 6 a.m. – 7 a.m. Wake-up, dress, have breakfast
- 7 a.m. – 8 a.m. Morning Time Basket, Bible Time Discussion
- 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Reading with a grammar lesson
- 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. Science Lesson
- 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Finish, Science Lesson, Begin History
- 11 am. – 12 p.m. History
- 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Lunch
- 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Math
- 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Finish math, clean up & chores
- 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Prep & make dinner
- 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. Dinner & clean up
- 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Free time
- 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. Family time
- 8 p.m. – 9 p.m. Bath, Bedtime
Schedule Homeschooling with Goal Setting
Another way to schedule your homeschool is to set goals. Set annual, monthly, weekly goals. But allow your children to figure out how to accomplish those goals in a time-frame that works best for them.
This works well with older children who are independent learners. It also helps to prepare them for college, or career by helping them to self-manage their time, as well as balance workflows as they juggle multiple subjects and lessons.
Of course, you need to check in on work, and lessons to ensure they are working toward accomplishing those goals. If you find they are lagging, you help them to adjust their plans to meet their goal deadlines.
For younger children, you can still use goal setting to schedule homeschooling only you control the time-management and adjust as necessary to accomplish goals.
Schedule Homeschool by Tracking As You Go
Rather than working with a big picture goal. You can track each day what you accomplish. This is how many eclectic and unschooling families track their child’s education. At the end of the day or week, mom’s write out the things accomplished. They list books that were read, math lessons completed or worked on, and sciences that were studied.
This method works well with moms who focus on unit studies or do a monthly subject study.
// Read :: Organization Tips for Homeschool Moms
Schedule Homeschool with Semesters and Quarters
This type of homeschool scheduling can follow closely with how your local public school schedules their year. You begin at or near when the local schools do, take breaks when they do, and end the year when they do.
One advantage to this type of scheduling is that if you have family members attending the school, or extended family that you make holiday and vacation plans with, you’ll be able to schedule your time off during the same time period; which will eliminate scheduling conflicts.
Simply divide a 36-week academic year into two 18 week semesters. Then divide each semester into two 9 week quarters. From there you determine how much of each subject you want to accomplish within the 9 weeks, allowing you to end the subject at the end of the 36-week academic year.
Schedule Homeschool in the Afternoon or Evening
Maybe your family enjoys staying up and sleeping in. And forcing the entire family to wake up early to do school is proving to be a huge burden and no one is happy. Well, you don’t have to do that!
You can start your homeschool day at whatever time works best. If that means starting lessons at 1 p.m. works better for your child, then do that.
If your child’s brain seems to process better at 3 p.m. than it does at 10 a.m., then do that.
YOU mom, get to decide what works best for your family. That's the freedom we have in homeschooling. We get to decide how to schedule homeschool in the way that works best for our own family. #brightideaspress Click To Tweet