Spring is around the corner, and for most homeschoolers, that means planning for the next school year. Cue the curriculum purchases, Amazon deliveries, and Happy Planners with adorable washi tape.
Perhaps, next school year will be your first time homeschooling and you are asking yourself, “how do I plan my homeschool day?”
You’re not alone. Planning a solid homeschool schedule or routine is a primary concern for both new and seasoned homeschoolers. I can tell you as a sixth-year homeschooler that every homeschool day looks different. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula. But I’ve put a few tips into practice that helped me establish a routine that works for our family.
Before I get into the tips, here are a few things to consider:
1. It takes most homeschoolers 3-4 hours to get everything done. Preschoolers and toddlers should not do more than fifteen minutes of seatwork a day.
2. You don’t have to homeschool every day. You can schedule a day for makeup work, field trips, or social opportunities.
3. Playing is learning. There are so many educational benefits to playtime, so be sure to add it to your daily routine.
4. You don’t have to cram all subjects into one day. You can designate certain days, or even semesters, to the subjects of your choice.
5. You don’t have to get it all done during traditional school hours. Maybe you’re a working homeschool parent and are struggling to find time to homeschool. Evening homeschooling is just fine. You are also at liberty to homeschool during weekends and even during summer. Whatever works for you!
Now, here are five questions to ask yourself when planning your daily homeschool routine.
1. Does our routine help execute our homeschool goals?
Solid goals are an integral part of homeschooling. Goals set the foundation for deciding your homeschooling method, making curriculum choices, and—of course—creating a routine. For this reason, your routine should be an intentional plan to help execute your homeschool vision. Don’t have a vision? Click here to get started on formulating a strong homeschool vision.
2. Does our routine coincide with how our days naturally flow?
Don’t write out your dream routine, meet your family where they are now. That means formulating a routine around how your family naturally functions and how your days organically flow. This may take a few drafts, so don’t be afraid to spend a few weeks testing different routines and making changes where necessary.
3. Does our routine adhere to the legal requirement of my state?
If you live in the United States you know that every state has different homeschooling requirements that residents are legally obligated to meet. Some states require homeschoolers to learn certain subjects, some states require homeschoolers to complete specific academic hours, the list goes on. Wherever you live, be sure to know the homeschool laws for your state and plan your daily routine accordingly.
4. Does our routine allow grace?
Overscheduling is probably one of the top mistakes homeschoolers make when creating a routine. Not only do children need downtime, but there needs to be grace for learning, mastery, and fun. A flexible schedule is also handy for adapting to the changing seasons. For instance, you may want to schedule outdoor exploring during the warmest hours of winter, which is typically the afternoon, and during the coolest hours of the hotter months, which is typically the early morning.
5. Does our routine leave room for me?
You can’t pour from an empty glass. In order to give your family the best of you, you must ensure you’re scheduling yourself in to have quiet moments to do things that are enjoyable and edifying. It doesn’t need to be a huge allotment. In fact, fifteen minutes may be all you need to refresh. Click here to read more about self-care that you actually have time for.
Need more homeschool planning tips? Read How I Easily Plan and Manage Homeschool and How You Can, Too!. Or, Day in the Life of a Homeschool Kid | 5th Grade.
Grab my Home Management Binder Printables!
What’s a Home Management Binder? A Home Management Binder is a highly customizable planner designed to simplify your life by providing a centralized location for all information needed to help your home run smoothly. All you have to do is print out the page inserts, put them into plastic sheet protectors (or laminate them), and place them into a three-ring binder. Simply use a dry-erase marker to fill in the pages for reusability. You can also use a permanent marker and erase with rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab when you’re ready to reuse your pages.