What’s the very best schedule for homeschool families to follow in order to be successful? And how can you help your family learn healthy habits, especially around homeschool? These are pretty huge topics, and I’m sure that you’re feeling rather overwhelmed by it all. Chances are if you’re reading this, that your homeschool schedule is always changing or perhaps failing. Now you’re wondering, ‘How do I establish a good homeschool routine?’
First of all, you should know that most homeschool families have had or are having struggles with their schedule. As frustrating as that is, it’s common! Why is this? The answer is truly simple. It truly is impractical for most homeschool families to follow a strict schedule. In most cases, time slots on a time chart are only going to cause more frustration than happiness. The reason being, life happens! It’s important for your homeschool to work around your life, not the other way around. Which is why it’s so important to establish a good homeschool routine.
Avoid the Burden of an Intense Schedule.
Instead of burdening yourself with an intense schedule of: 8:00am – Math. 8:45am – Reading. Finally, 9:10am – Spelling and so on. Change it up! Have you heard of time blocks? Time blocks are different blocks of your day designated for homeschool work, and life.
Aim for Time Blocks With Your Homeschool Routine.
Time blocks can look like: 8:30 – 11:30am Block A. Block A can change based on the day. For Monday, it could be Math and Science. Then for Tuesday it could be ‘Free Creativity Time’. Following Block A, you can begin your next block. Or, you can take a break with your kids if they’re feeling tired. You as the homeschool parent teacher will be able to determine how your child is doing with this routine each day.
Avoid Micro Scheduling Within Your Time Blocks.
It’s much easier to schedule in the blocks of your day rather than individual subjects. Plus it’s so customizable. As your homeschool day can have as many or as few blocks as your family needs. It’s recommended to have 2-4 blocks in your homeschool day. While also doing your best to avoid micro scheduling within your homeschool blocks. Additionally, it’s important to keep the blocks running daily at the same time. It’s really important to be careful not to change the times of the blocks, as it’s good for your family to learn the blocks and stick to them.
Life Happens! What Happens in the Blocks Changes. But the Blocks Stay the Same.
It’s obvious that life happens, and changes are inevitable. Which is why having these blocks in your homeschool plan can be so great. For example, if I schedule 3 blocks for each day of the week. And my blocks are scheduled like: Block A 8:30am – 11:30am, Block B 11:30am- 2:30pm and Block C 2:30pm – 5:30pm. Our days can go like: Monday Block A – Math and Science. Block B – Art and chores. Block C – Free play, reading, practicing instruments. Then our Tuesday blocks can totally be switched up. Block A – Day prep, free play, chores. Block B – Language Arts and Social Studies. Block C – Music practice, physical education, reading.
Be Flexible with your time blocks.
It’s important to remember that while the items within the blocks may change on a daily basis, the time blocks remain the same. That’s because I’m not ‘creating a schedule’ to keep my family on track. I’m creating a routine using time blocks. Consequently, my whole family learns the routine because of these blocks. As a result, our family stays on track!
Don’t Do Every Subject, Every Day!
Another huge factor when it comes to keeping your homeschool schedule somewhat on track: Stop trying to do every subject, every day. Obviously you want to make sure that your child remains on track with their education. Because no one wants to fall behind. However, cramming all the subjects into one day will only cause a flurry of overwhelm for both you and your child. Sometimes, if I know that my child is struggling with Math, I will only schedule Math for a block. While being sure not to include any other subjects in that block of time, or other blocks throughout the day.
Figure Out How Your Family Operates.
Some families do better with morning learning, some families do better in the afternoon. First it’s important to find out your families learning rhythm. Then plan accordingly. Additionally, it’s really important to NOT worry so much about ‘book work’ being done daily. Maybe your child learns better with games? That’s fine! This doesn’t mean that you throw out the book work completely. Instead you can aim for book assignments for one day, learning games the next, and educational resources after that.
Don’t Compare Your Homeschool to Someone Else’s.
Everyone’s homeschool doesn’t look the same. For instance, if you see instagram posts of perfectly put together homeschool rooms with incredibly written captions of how the day went. It’s important to remember that most people post the highlight reels of their day. Rather than the chaos that actually occurred.
Switch It Up.
Maybe time blocks won’t work for your family. Perhaps you need a rigorous schedule instead. Alternatively you may feel better with a loose schedule. Irregardless, you should never feel that you must commit to one way of homeschooling for the whole duration of your homeschooling journey. Because things change, and that’s fine! For example, you may start homeschooling with a perfectly planned schedule, and end the year with time blocks. Because homeschooling is like an ocean, you have to learn to embrace the waves that come your way.
You are doing such a great job teaching your kids! Therefore you should feel so proud of all that you are accomplishing. If your schedule has failed, please don’t be upset. Instead research alternative scheduling methods for your homeschool. Also, chatting with other homeschool parents on how their schedules or routines look can be extremely helpful. Just remember to chat with ‘real’ homeschool parents in homeschool groups. Rather than looking at someone else’s highlight reel, while wondering why your life can’t look that perfect. This is an important step in your journey to establish a good homeschool routine.
Don’t Get Stuck.
Sometimes as homeschool parents you will face tough days. Of course the schedule will change and things may fall out of whack. Sickness, work, life, unexpected situations. All of these scenarios can play a part in throwing your homeschool routine off track. If your homeschool routine/schedule has fallen apart, don’t get stuck. Just keep moving forward with the knowledge that you’re doing an excellent job. And remember, you have the ability to accomplish big things!
Check Out These Schoolio Blogs and Free Resources for Scheduling.
Click Here to read ‘When Your Homeschool Schedule Isn’t Going As Planned’
Click Here to view ‘Daily Homeschool Planning Tips and Free Resources’