There’s a huge increase in homeschooling families over the past few years. Take it from a seasoned homeschool (and public school) educator, that a homeschool daily schedule is important. Here are some tips to achieve success:
Homeschooling can be an amazing adventure.
- Days of exploring topics of interest,
- advancing ahead in academics,
- getting to work one-on-one on areas of struggle,
- having a flexible routine, and
- spending quality time together.
It can be so good.
Homeschooling should be filled with organic learning and spaces carved out for instruction.
Also, there are many who feel as though spending this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with their children (especially in their early years) is so beneficial to their life.
Some feel that in this day and age, teaching things such as moral values, Biblical principles, and ethics is vital (and the schools miss it).
I am by no means bashing the free schooling movement with my opinions here, but I truly believe that all of this happens ONLY with some sort of daily schedule.
A daily schedule that works for your homeschool family.
Making Some Honest Mistakes
When I first started to homeschool, I was still in the mindset of the traditional classroom. It may seem silly but coming from a public school education background, my routines were very firm and regimented.
It wasn’t until my oldest boy’s Kindergarten year was over that I realized that I had structured his classroom schedule just like in the public school. Here is what it looked like:
- 7:30 Breakfast
- 8:00 Pledge, Prayer, and Song
- 8:10 Bible verse, Character Lesson, ABC song, Colors & Shapes, and a Short Story
- 8:30 History Lesson
- 9:00 Reading Lesson
- 10:00 Snack
- 10:10 Science Lesson
- 11:00 Read Aloud
- 11:10 Puzzles or Building Blocks
- 11:30 Lunch
- 12:00 Math Lesson
- 12:30 Quiet Reading Time
Now, there were times where we would get a bit behind in our schedule, but for the most part we stuck to it. Every single day- for an entire academic year.
If our scheduled got interrupted, I may have melted down a bit.
It wasn’t until the year was fully over that It dawned on me…
I wasn’t teaching in a public school classroom and I could be a little flexible. I mean, I was the one that created that schedule. ;)
In just 15 minutes a night (while you’re in your pajamas!) take your home (and heart and mind) from stressed out to organized.
Some Go the Opposite Direction with a Daily Schedule
Over the years, I have coached some parents who struggled with sticking to any kind of schedule. They would start off strong, but by the end of the week they were:
- Not even getting half of their daily lessons done,
- just putting their kids in front of the TV, or
- totally focused on cleaning the house all day instead of school.
The issue here is once a family gets too far behind, it can feel impossible to catch up. So, many just “throw in the towel” and take a vacation, clean the house spotless every day, or allow their kids to do whatever they want with that is left of their school.
This workbook was created for you to go through 10 main areas and brainstorm, pray, and figure out if this homeschooling thing would work for your family.Learn More
How to Find a Balance in a Homeschool Daily Schedule
I want to present to you that there are three key elements to consider when finding that ultimate homeschool daily schedule:
- Your family’s specific academic goals,
- your personal organization style (as the teacher), and
- the space you’ll be using.
Let’s briefly address these things:
Consider Your Specific Academic Goals
There are many wonderful homeschool curriculums out there. Your daily schedule is going to reflect the rigor of academia you choose.
- If you’re going to want your kids to have an Ivy League education, your daily schedule is obviously going to be longer.
- If you’re wanting a curriculum that just covered the basics and get them out of high school, that’s going to take less time.
- And there are so many in-between these choices.
- Personally, I choose a curriculum that is more challenging and scale down (cut away some activities) to fit our homeschool day.
Pull out these fun questions to share some laughs with your precious ones. Use them out at meal times, car rides, or any time the day is getting chaotic and you need a reset to connect.
Your Personal Organization Style
Let’s be honest… not all of us are going to color code every binder, laminate our cover pages, and plan for hours the night before every school day.
But, that’s probably not the majority of homeschool moms. However, to have a successful daily schedule you need to consider what your needs are- for organization.
If you feel chaotic, confused, stressed, and out of sorts, it’s probably because your method of organization isn’t meeting your personal needs.
Here are some tips for getting organized your way:
- Research planners and pick one that makes you feel calm & organized
- Hang your daily schedule where you can see it
- Consider your other obligations (church, sports, gym, date nights, cleaning) and put them into your planner as well
Your Homeschool Space
One of the awesome benefits to homeschooling is that you can do it anywhere. Some homeschool from their vehicles as they travel, some use their kitchen table, and some have dedicated classrooms that look state of the art.
The space that you have to achieve homeschool has a role in your daily schedule.
For example, if you plan on getting school done in time to make dinner, your kids can’t have their books left on the kitchen table.
But if your home has room for individual desks, they can leave things out and you can run school later on into the day.
Sample Daily Schedules that Work
Before I break down some tried & true homeschool daily schedules that work, I want to give you some tips first:
- Print & hang a schedule for you and the kids to reference
- Be prepared to give the family (yourself included) free days to relax. It’s ok if these aren’t planned and the decision is made spur of the moment.
- Create places for your kids to “buy in” to their daily schedule (allowing them to make choices goes a long way in their enjoyment and focus)
- Set quarterly & yearly academic goals- write them in your planner
- Knock out the academics that are least desirable early on in the day
- Create a space to hang up and show off some schoolwork
Get my cheat sheets (newborn up to elementary aged kids) and find your family’s groove. Use them for nap times, meal times, bedtimes, chore times, play times AND more!
Early Bird Daily Schedule
This daily schedule works great if you’re usually busy in the afternoons with other obligations or simply like to knock it out and have the rest of the day free.
- 7:00 Morning Activities
- 7:30 Academic Block
- 8:30 Academic Block
- 9:30 Snack/Quiet Reading Time
- 10:00 Academic Block
- 11:00 Free Time
- 11:30 Academic Block
- 12:30 Lunch & Read Aloud
Late Riser Daily Schedule
Maybe you like to seep in or maybe you have other obligations in the morning like farm animals. In some homeschool settings, mom would require the house to be cleaned before school starts. If any of this is the case, here’s a schedule for you:
- 10:00 Morning Activities
- 10:30 Academic Block
- 11:30 Academic Block
- 12:30 Lunch & Read Aloud
- 1:00 Academic Block
- 2:00 Snack/Quiet Time
- 2:30 Academic Block
Take our 3 day challenge to create life-giving family, child, and self-care routines.Learn More
Afternoon/Early Evening Daily Schedule
Some choose to homeschool later in the day. This usually happens because the homeschooling parent works during the day and schools at night. I think this is pretty admirable! Another benefit to being able to create your own homeschooling schedule.
- 4:00 Beginning Activities
- 4:30 Academic Block
- 5:30 Academic Block
- 6:30 Dinner
- 7:00 Academic Block
- 8:00 Snack/Quiet Time
- 8:30 Academic Block
- 9:30 Read Aloud
Want your days to feel more peaceful (less stressful) with plenty of time to care for your littles AND for yourself?
Well, I’ve got a foolproof strategy for you and it’s this: ROUTINES 🕑
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I’ll end with these little pieces of advice:
Over the years I have found some basic things to be true.
First of all, homeschooling (really learning in general) is all about interest. Although academics it’s not all fun and games, keeping things engaging really helps. Ways this can be done:
- Allow them to explore interests when they arise.
- Have choices available to choose from (poster or paper, crayons or paints, book or oral presentation, etc.)
- Have some items on the daily schedule that are “movable” based on their mood.
Secondly, you can absolutely over plan. I have learned to try to keep it as simple as possible… and then expand if I have time.
Last of all, trust that what you have to teach your kids is the best education that they could possibly have. You can do more with your kids in an hour than the school system can do all day.
Don’t stress about checking all the boxes- instead enjoy the little moments and keep on trucking on.