Creating a homeschool schedule can feel like a daunting task, especially if you are a newer homeschool mom. It doesn’t have to be, though! I love all the planning and scheduling that goes into our homeschool…maybe that’s just me?
Now, there have been times and seasons where I am just flying by the seat of my pants, and we have gotten by just fine. However, as I have added more babies and more students into the fold, I have become more of a routine and schedule person for my sanity, as well as my children. Our house just functions better when we are all on a routine. I say routine, because I am still flexible. We may not always start school at 9am, but we start with that goal and just keep the routine going from there. My children know what is expected and when and I appreciate knowing what is coming next.
Of course, when we add a newborn into the mix this fall, our routine will be thrown off for awhile and that is fine by me. I know we will get back to it when we can. If you are in a season where you have only little ones, your schedule will look quite different from mine. The important thing is to create a schedule that works for your family, for your season.
Things to keep in mind when you are creating a homeschool schedule:
Leave plenty of white space…by this I mean plan for the unexpected but normal life happenings. Do not schedule your time minute by minute..that is just not realistic. Make sure you schedule in breaks and keep your curriculum in mind. If you are schooling for 36 weeks, you may want to only lesson plan for 32 weeks to allow for margin.
Along those lines, be realistic in your planning. Consider the season you are in and schedule with that in mind. You may need to consider important activities for your family in your scheduling or a holiday or vacation coming up.
Don’t be afraid to change the schedule as needed…yes, I said that even as a type A personality. I’m a big fan or erasable pens and washi tape!
I am going to share how I go about making our homeschool schedules, in the hopes that it will help you out a bit.
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Create a Homeschool Schedule For Your Family:
There are many different homeschool schedules that you can follow. You do not need to follow your local public school calendar, but can if you wish. Older students may have a different schedule than younger children. Some examples of a yearly schedule would be:
Follow the public school calendar
Labor Day to Memorial Day
4 Days a Week
6 Days a Week, with each being a shorter day
6 weeks on, one week off
January to December
HOW I PLAN OUR HOMESCHOOL SCHEDULE:
I start out by loosely planning our entire year. I use the Year At A Glance printable below to determine which weeks we will have off throughout the school year, when holidays and vacations are, and when are terms will start and end. I know we typically take off December and June. This gives us about 44 weeks throughout the year to work with and we are only required to do 180 days.
Then I use the Yearly Schedule printable, one for each child. It is a loose plan, but it helps me to do that in the beginning, so I know where we are headed as a whole. I keep my homeschool goals in mind as I do this. I have included a link below so you can download this tracker and use it for yourself. You’ll write in each subject at the top, and your school weeks will go down the left column. This makes it so you can have a guideline for each week you plan on schooling. This may be too much planning for your family and that is ok, but I love having a general guideline for my year before I start my weekly planning.
I live off our weekly schedules. I made a schedule for each of my school age children and then I have a family schedule that I keep posted in our kitchen. This is where I spend most of my scheduling time.
Here is what my 6th grader’s schedule looks like this year:
HERE’S A VIDEO TO SHOW YOU EXACTLY HOW I PLAN OUT OUR YEARLY AND WEEKLY SCHEDULE:
Each of my school age children have one of these schedules, but they vary depending on age, of course. We all do chores together three times a day, which has helped our household tremendously. I have tried to make their schedules so that when the older students are working independently, I can work with the younger ones.
The older children will start out the day with their own Bible reading and then everyone starts their Math. I prefer all my children doing Math at the same time, so my mind is in “math mode” and I can easily help those who need it.
After math, we have our Morning Time. This usually takes about an hour and it is a time where we sit on couches and sing and read and work together as a family. We have all grown to love our Morning Time.
Then we are all doing History or Science together, except for my oldest who is using Sonlight this year and will be doing his independently.
Next we go into Writing and we are using Institute for Excellence in Writing for this year. This is a teacher intensive program, so I am there working with them. My youngest student is using their reading and spelling programs, so I will work with her during this time as well, when the older ones finish their work.
Next, they all pick a book from our Book Basket. I used to assign particular books and pages I wanted them to read, but have found it works out much better for me to let them choose what they want to read. I have curated which books I want to put in our Book Basket and they are free to choose from those. The older ones read silently while I read aloud to my younger ones.
After lunch, my first and third graders should be done with their school for the day. My sixth grader will still have some independent work in the afternoon. This allows me time to work one on one with my 8th grader. He is using Sonlight this year and will be mostly independent, but there will still be some subjects that I want to be there for. I can review any material or go over some literature or history questions with him during this time. It will basically be whatever he needs, but I felt it important to have this time set aside for him.
Now, as far as the Family Schedule…this is a guideline that shows me what we are doing each day of the week. I have our school hours scheduled in and our chore times, as well as any daily activities we have. I also schedule in my blogging time each day as well as my quiet time.
And that’s a wrap! It is not always a smooth flowing schedule and things may need to be changed or switched around, but it is what is working for my family right now. I hope it helped you see that a schedule can be a good thing for your family and that is doesn’t have to be overwhelming!
This is part of a 10 Days Of Homeschool Planning series here on my site! I also partnered up with 15 other bloggers who are sharing more tips, so check them out below!