Is a homeschool schedule right for you? How would you implement it?
Today I am going to talk about homeschool schedule ideas, then chat about rhythm and other ways of ‘checking off the boxes’ to make sure learning is happening. I will also share how I ‘reverse plan’ yet also create goals and intentions for our homeschooling days.
First of all, what is a homeschool schedule?
A schedule is a specific time that you want to do or accomplish something. For homeschooling, that might mean that at 9 am you start with math, or 10:30 is outdoor play time. Each topic or change in subject has a time frame. This is what is common in schools or workplaces to ‘get things get done’. An example might be to allow one hour for math, 30 mins for free play, 1 hour for history and so forth.
Some people thrive on a schedule, others need flexibility.
When most people start homeschooling they think they have to use a schedule. Others are type A and feel like they need a schedule to accomplish things.
Many kids do well with a rhythm or flow to the day, but something to keep in mind is that over time, you can homeschool well with flexible days. Things come up in life All. The. Time. This is especially true at home when the dishwasher might break, or someone gets sick.
If your schedule isn’t flexible then you might start to stress that you’re falling behind.
Homeschool schedules vs rhythm
Homeschool schedule ideas
The goal with a homeschool schedule would be something like this:
- 7:30 am wake up and breakfast, teeth, get dressed, chores
- 8:30 am start school with morning basket
- 9:00 am math
- 9:45 snack and free play
- 10:30 language arts
- 11:30 free play then lunch
- 1:00 pm history or science
….and so forth
What’s the problem with a homeschool schedule like this?
I strongly believe that kids need varying amounts of sleep depending on whether they’re going through a growth spurt or hormonal changes in pre-teens/teens. So wake up time right away for me, is why I don’t create a schedule, but a rhythm instead.
Another is that some days math is review, other days it takes longer because we’re learning a new concept. So allowing a 45 min time slot for math every time isn’t flexible enough for me. Same goes with other subjects, if we’re doing history or science and the kids are really loving it, I’d prefer to continue while the kids are engaged and asking further questions.
I don’t want to ‘cut it short’ because we have a schedule to keep up with.
Schedule versus rhythm for homeschooling
One of my favorite ways to enjoy a homeschool ‘schedule’ is not to set a specific time for something, but a time frame.
The goal might be to do math in the mornings, and language arts in the afternoon. It might mean that the kids need to check off certain subjects or chores before having screens. You could make check off list for different subjects for each day, and have no set time to accomplish them. You could also set weekly goals such as math 4 times a week etc. Certain homeschool curriculum also offer check off lists built into the program for you to keep track of what you’re doing. When I created my forest botany unit, I created daily and weekly suggestions but also check off lists just in case your week gets thrown off.
I love to create goals for each week, month and season in a bullet journal.
I’m personally ok not following or accomplishing all the goals I had in mind, but I do like to create intentions. Then I create a daily rhythm of my goals.
I use the computer and I create my own list of subjects and days of the week and I place it in a wipeable cover to check off what we do each day and week. Then I reverse plan by writing down what we’ve done in my daily planner.
Reverse planning (or backward planning) is writing down what you’ve done, after you’ve done it
For example, I don’t set math to a specific time. Some lessons take us 15 mins, others can be 30 or longer. But I do create intentions to do math 4+ times a week, then write down what we did afterwards. Some days we do math in the morning, other times it’s in the afternoon.
This year I’m using a Plum Paper planner which I customized the subjects at the top.
I enjoyed designing this planner and customizing the layout and subjects. You can order extra homeschool tracking pages too like field trips, attendance, spending, bullet journal pages, reflection for self improvement and more.
–> If you would like 10% off a plum paper planner (of $30 or more) please email me at email@example.com and I can send you a coupon 🙂
However you want to organize your homeschooling days, remember that you can design it based on what works for YOU and your own individual kids.
How do you organize your days?
So we do kind of like a mash-up between what you do, and having a schedule. I write down (weekly) what I would *like* to accomplish each day, and cross it out as we go. Often we are afternoon/evening homeschoolers. 4 days of the week I work early morning until afternoon, and dad works nights-so hes sleeping&cant help them, so we begin once I get home&have had a minute to chill. Saturdays are mainly catch up days (school tues-sat) For a long time I really struggled with trying to jump into school as soon as I got home to “get it out of the way,” but Ive come to find when I have time to relax and maybe even get dinner started/prepped before starting, it eliminates alot of that “rushing” feeling I used to have. Having to “rush” to get this errand done, or to clean the house. Start dinner, run to the bank. Just so much rushing. Whereas when I begin say, around 3 or 4 Ive done all that. I dont feel so much pressure. The kids have played and taken care of their kid needs and are more cooperative. We light candles, have blankets and twinkle lights in the living/dining room where we do school and just chill while learning. Its muchhhh more relaxing&if we run behind we move things around to accomplish the weekly “schedule”
Isis Loran says
I love that you’re making your homeschool YOUR OWN and choosing your own rhythm and days of learning. Often we have this mindset that it has to happen during ‘typical weekday school days hours’ and that’s simply not the case. We often do things on evenings or weekends, our kids will have screens in the morning if the day starts rough then we get into it. Thank you so much for sharing your family’s homeschool life 🙂