How to Plan (and Hack) Your Homeschool Schedule
For new homeschooling families, creating a schedule can seem daunting. Where do you begin? How detailed should you make your plans? How structured does your day need to be? Before you become overwhelmed with all the potential options, here are some suggestions to help you hack your homeschool schedule.
Reject the “Typical” School Day
Initially, it will be difficult to think of schooling without the typical brick-and-mortar school schedule, but a beauty of homeschooling is the freedom to depart from the rigid schedule that is necessary in a school setting. Educating your child does not have to look like school-at-home!
- Keep in mind that homeschooling takes far less time than a traditional school day in a classroom. This method of education is much more efficient, with far less time wasted. The extra ‘free time’ opens doors to even more learning opportunities!
- Play is learning! Research shows that children learn best and retain more information through play, so be sure to make play a priority in your homeschool schedule.
- Get outside! From learning about wind by flying a kite to learning to tell time with shadows, there is so much opportunity for learning outdoors!
- The world is your oyster. Hands-on science labs, either at home or at the science museum, historical costume days at the renaissance fair…that’s learning too!
Learning is not limited to hours spent sitting at a desk or at a table. Learning can happen anywhere!
Schedule Homeschool to Fit Your Life (Not The Other Way Around)
In most homes, life is scheduled around school attendance, but for your family, that no longer has to be the case. Do you have a child interested in learning sports, gymnastics, karate, or music? Would you like to spend more time on the road traveling together? You now have the opportunity to make these things happen!
There are many different ways to approach building a schedule that works for your family. A block schedule involves working through subjects in large chunks. This means that instead of tackling each subject every day, your child could do math and social studies on Mondays and Wednesdays, language arts and science on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Fridays could then be set aside for electives or extra-curricular activities, for example.
A loop schedule would involve making a list of what subjects you want to cover each day, then slowly adding in what you want to include on a weekly basis, or on a loop. You could also do a combination of these. Prioritize what you want to include daily and go from there. You can also choose what time of day works best for your family. Learning can be done first thing in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, and even on weekends! There are no rules!
Homeschool Schedule Example
Everyone’s lives and priorities are different. Your schedule will adjust to the number of children in your home, their ages, and interests. I have a four-year-old son, so our schedule is very simplistic.
- Every morning, we read from a Bible storybook over breakfast, and work on memorizing a Bible verse.
- After breakfast, we play with magnetic tiles, blocks, play dough, a memory game, etc.
- Before lunch, we spend some time doing “school work.” One day, we’ll focus on numbers and counting, and the next we will do letters and sounds. We don’t work for a set amount of time; I let him stop when he loses interest. Our learning method changes daily. We may use a dry erase board or a plate of sand to write letters or numbers, we’ll count blocks or cars, or some days, our school will happen while he helps make lunch (counting and measuring ingredients, reading and following instructions, etc.)
- In the afternoon, I’ll read while he rests or plays quietly. We’re currently reading through the Paddington series, and I read a chapter aloud each day.
- We make sure to have outside play time as long as the weather permits. That fresh air and energy release are so important!
- Before supper, he gets computer time when he does the Time4Learning PreK program. He loves playing on the computer, and I love that he’s continuing to learn!
Plan Adjustments Are Your New Sidekicks
Not every day looks like this, of course. We all have errands, appointments, educational field trips, and more. The great thing is that we can make our schedule work for us. Homeschool parents aren’t locked into a schedule we hate, we can easily adjust things when necessary. If you find your routine is causing stress or frustration, change it up! One thing we love about Time4Learning is the option to do school anywhere. Last week, we found ourselves waiting in the car for a while, so we brought along the laptop and my son did his computer time while sitting in the car. Time4Learning lends itself to busy families on the go!
Homeschooling Does NOT Need to Be Difficult
With so many options for homeschooling out there, just choosing a curriculum or program can seem overwhelming in itself. Make it easy on yourself! You can choose homeschool resources that come with easy-to-follow lesson plans, automated reporting and grading, and an ad-free environment. Time4Learning provides all these things and more so you and your kids have time to do what matters.
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