Homeschool scheduling is one thing that seems like it should be so easy, yet it can be one of the most complex facets when educating your child at home. Perhaps we can thank the overwhelming results provided by one quick Google search, or the influx who suggests that say, “Do it this way for the best success!”
The truth of the matter is every homeschooling family is unique, and so should their schedules be as well. Instead of focusing more on the “how to” for scheduling, let’s look at homeschool scheduling ideas based on the “why.”
The Importance of Having a Homeschool Schedule
You’re probably already familiar with the popular quote, “If you fail to plan then you are planning to fail.” There is some truth to this, especially in the world of homeschooling. There are many reasons why it’s important to plan, but the most common are:
- Less confusion
Overall, being intentional about creating a homeschool schedule (or routine) will help everyone be on the same page. Keep in mind that your schedule/routine doesn’t have to be complex, it just needs to be consistent.
Homeschool Scheduling Concepts to Implement Today
As I mentioned before, we’re not focusing on the “how-to” aspects of actually setting a schedule up. Before doing that, it’s a great idea to consider the following concepts as to not get yourself stressed out on creating one in the first place. Use the following suggestions to help navigate the throws that often come with creating a routine or schedule for your family.
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Remember that homeschooling is a culture.
Oftentimes we like to compartmentalize homeschooling as though it’s a separate entity, when in fact it’s not at all. The earlier in your journey you can see it this way, the better! As you begin to foster the fact that homeschooling is a part of life for your family, your kids should not even need to ask if there will be school on any day. It will become something as natural as eating, brushing teeth, or sleeping at night.
Homeschooling can be done at any time.
You can make school as flexible and convenient as it needs to be for your family. This is one of the major benefits of homeschooling – you get to set the schedule and pace of schoolwork to meet the needs of your unique family.
If you cannot start in the morning, no problem. You can arrange your schedule and that of your children for completing lessons in the afternoon. A nursing mother, for example, may need to sleep in the morning and be more focused in the afternoon.
Simplify your everyday subjects routine. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to do every subject every day, every week or even every month. You might choose to have science weekly or history daily depending on what you see as best based on your family’s needs. With that in mind…
Consider every aspect of your family life.
This includes meal times, extracurricular activities, even running errands. Instead of planning your family life around homeschooling, do quite the opposite. I promise you’ll still get all the important educational tasks completed, and most likely more efficiently!
Write down everything you can think of and give it a time block. Once you’ve done that, you can begin to see what time you have left for homeschooling.
Establish routine goals.
It may seem a bit awkward to set goals for establishing a homeschool schedule or routine, but it can work wonders for you and your family. When everyone has a “light at the end of the tunnel” perspective, it can be quite motivating. Consider reasons why you want to create a homeschool schedule and use those to set up your goals.
For example, we all want a somewhat structured family who knows what is going on and when, right? You probably would also like it if everyone were productive and intentional with time, correct? Use these very reasons as goals while planning your homeschool schedule.
Do not compensate quick work with more hard work.
There will very well be times when your child completes his/her work in what could seem like record time… and that’s okay! It can be demoralizing for a child to see that when he works quickly, he is given more work to do, rather than a bonus time to have some fun which the child desires.
What could end up happening next time is the child may deliberately slow down to avoid more work. To avoid this, consider giving your child their scheduled work for the day and when it is completed correctly they are done with their work for the day. They can then enjoy a job well done and move onto much anticipated free time.
Take necessary time off.
In all your planning, don’t forget to take time off. Not only is it smart to plan intentional time off, it’s also just as important to take time off even when it’s unplanned, yet necessary. These are your sick days, last-minute vacation days, or “off” days (when things are just going haywire). Contrary to popular belief, there is no law that says “you must homeschool today, or else!”.
Be open to changing things up.
Another common misconception is that once you have created a schedule or routine it can’t be changed. This couldn’t be further from the truth and is something to rid your mind of as quickly as possible. There will be times when changes are needed. As your children change, your schedule will change. As you change, your routine may need to be tweaked. Learn to do it and embrace it.
Remember that consistency is key.
As with anything schedule, routine, or habit related, there has to be a certain level of consistency. Without it, you’ll find yourself bouncing around all over the place and feel like nothing you’re doing is working. Whatever plan you establish, stick with it for at least two weeks (up to four would be even better). This will give you plenty of time to see if something truly works. Then, making changes where necessary.
As you begin crafting your homeschool schedule and routine, keep these things in mind. They will help keep you from getting stressed and overwhelmed and able to have more enjoyable homeschool days!
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