We are approaching our eighth year of homeschooling. The very sound of that makes me smile! We have met with various challenges from choosing curriculum to dealing with bad attitudes, but one of the most frustrating for me is how to create a homeschool schedule that works.
Homeschooling is connected with home life to the point that the two can create chaos if you do not have a good homeschool routine. In this post, I mention what I do and what other homeschool moms have shared with me. They include a homeschool block schedule and a homeschool loop schedule.
How Do I Create a Daily Schedule for Homeschooling?
My goal with this post is to provide many homeschool schedule ideas to help you put together what works best for your family. I am starting by showing you what our daily homeschool schedule looks like. It is an easy homeschool schedule and we alter it from year to year to fit our needs.
I am a very scheduled person and I tend to have a lot of structure in our day. I do, however, use this more as a guide than anything. We do not strictly follow the times shown here. It is just something to keep us focused and looking in the right direction. (I also have a loose schedule for housecleaning you might want to check out as well! Keeping up with the housework is just as challenging!)
My kids are 11, 7, 4, and 2. This what our daily homeschool schedule looks like. My 4-year-old loosely follows this routine. He listens to devotions and practices Bible memory work with us. We work on numbers, letters, fine and gross motor, and art projects throughout the day. He spends most of his time playing cars, play doh, and building with various blocks.
My Daily Homeschool Schedule
- 7:00- breakfast
- 7:30- clean up, make beds, take care of animals, brush teeth, unload and load the dishwasher, etc.
- 8:30- Devotions, Bible memory work, and math speed drills. We will often spend a few minutes listening to Pandora or stretching/light exercise
- 9:00- Math, grammar, spelling
- 10:00- break and snack
- 10:15- writing and reading
- 11:00- outside
- 11:30- lunch
- 12:00- nap time, silent reading, puzzles, etc.
- 1:15- Science or Social Studies (we alternate by months)
- 2:00- Practice piano, typing or coding, tidy schoolroom. I fold laundry, meal prep, wipe down bathrooms, etc. The kids are then kicked outside for much needed fresh air and exercise.
Tips for Creating an Easy Homeschool Schedule that Works for You
- Not everyone’s schedule will look the same. I shared with you my routine, but the real point of this post is to help you create your own homeschool schedule ideas that work.
- What looks good on paper is not always practical in real life. Do not be in a hurry to laminate that schedule of yours. Wait a month and see how it goes. Your preschooler will get bored faster than you anticipated, your high schooler will struggle with geometry, your first grader will grasp reading quickly and beg you to do more.
- Life will get in the way. I promise you this. Doctor appointments, grocery shopping, sick kids, elderly neighbors, laundry, you get the point. There is no dropping the kids off at school and taking care of these things.
- Flexibility is key. Some families have no routines at all while others observe a strict homeschool schedule. I am somewhere in the middle. I feel as if we need order and expectation and yet I don’t want to be so strict that we become stressed if we are not adhering to my time frame. Projects take longer than expected, your toddler managed to spill an entire box of cheerios, your friend’s car breaks down and she needs a lift. Allow for these things otherwise you will be unhappy and so will your kids.
- You need more than one. I know this sounds confusing, but remember you are juggling school, home, extra activities, and then your own stuff. I keep our calendar of activities (swim, piano, soccer, etc.) along with doctor and dentist appointments (and any other life interruption like auto and such lol) on a calendar in our command center in the kitchen (post about my command center coming soon). School schedules are kept in our schoolroom.
- Establish goals and divide them up. I plan curriculum for an entire school year and then divide it up between what I’d like to accomplish before Christmas and want we will need to do after. I then divide my goals into weeks. My 7th grader is given a week’s work at one time and has learned to set his own daily goals. Any work that isn’t finished has to be done after church on Sunday. He does NOT like working on the weekends so he is diligent about his daily goals.
- Take into consideration hours and days. Can you homeschool 3 days a week? Sure, if it fits your family life. We have a four day school week because my kids attend a local private school one day a week for art, music, and gym class. We are also early risers so we begin by 8:30 and I insist we be finished by 2:00 (the older kids practice piano and typing/coding but I don’t help them with this) so that I can get my housework done before heading to activities. Do you want to homeschool four or five days a week? (Great post on pros and cons by They Call Me Blessed). Just mornings or all day? The choice is yours!
- Take age into consideration. Many people ask me “how many hours a day do you homeschool?” and it looks a little different for each of my kids because of their age. Your day will look different from your favorite blogger or your homeschool neighbor because you have different ages and different family rhythms.
- Establish Priorities otherwise, you will overcommit and become a frazzled mess.
Homeschool Block Schedules (and loop schedules)
Have you heard of homeschool loop and homeschool block schedules? Here are two more homeschool schedule ideas that moms have been successful with.
I am a paper and pencil kinda girl and lists are my favorite. I enjoy weekly charts, grocery lists, chore lists, and fill in the blank calendars. BUT there are all kinds of different schedules and ways of keeping track of them.
Teach Them Diligently has a great post about Block scheduling in which she explains how she uses Google Calendar as well as a Schedule Planner App.
A homeschool block schedule uses larger chunks of time per subject while having less subjects. We do this with science and history/social studies. One month we do history and the next we study science. We are able to spend more time on them and feel less rushed.
Loop scheduling is new to me. Basically, it is creating a list of tasks that need to be completed and you work through the list. Taking it up wherever you last stopped. Simple, isn’t it? Proverbial Homemaker has helpful videos and printables for using loop scheduling as a way to create a homeschool schedule that works.
Homeschool Schedule for Kindergarten and First Grade
I am a firm believer in young kids need to play and long periods of seatwork is NOT good for them.
This is why my homeschool schedule for kindergarten and first grade is flexible and short. We focus on reading, math, and handwriting. We do a lot of hands-on experiments, learning activities, and playtime. Pinterest is my best friend for fun hands-on learning activities. Follow me and check out my boards 🙂 A homeschool block schedule can work well for young learners because switching activities can be distracting for them.
Most evenings we read books aloud as a family before bedtime so I did not include it in our daily schedule.
Easy Homeschool Schedule Ideas
Hopefully, I’ve given you some good ideas to get you started creating your own homeschool schedule that works. In the end, it is pretty much about listening to your family and slipping school into your day in whatever way best suits you.
As I was looking at other blog posts about scheduling I noticed that many families do not start as early as we do. We tend to be early risers so it works for us. If you are not, there is no reason to force it.
Homeschooling comes with a lot of challenges. Scheduling does not need to be one of them!
Before I go, I want to mention homeschooling special needs children. This is just one more area in which you can schedule education around your child’s needs. There is much less pressure.
I would love to hear some of your homeschool schedule ideas, tips and tricks. Put them in the comments below! Also, if you have tried a homeschool block schedule or loop schedule, I’d love to hear more about it.
You might also like these homeschool posts:
4 Reading Strategies to Improve Reading Skills
Easy Homeschool Language Arts Curriculum
How to Chose a Science Curriculum
Homeschool Science Anatomy Review
Check out my Pinterest boards for fun homeschooling and parenting ideas!