Once you’ve taken the plunge to homeschool your kids, one of the biggest challenges is coming up with a daily homeschool schedule that actually works. While doing research and designing a curriculum can be completed quite quickly, working out an effective daily schedule for homeschool is another thing altogether.
It is very likely that although you’ve decided to homeschool your kids, your educational experience is rooted in the traditional school environment, and it can be hard to work out how to plan something that looks very different from the ‘normal’ rhythms of public school. In a traditional classroom, everything is always mapped out for you. Your days, your weeks, even when to go on holiday — it is as simple as dropping your kids off before the first bell rings and picking them up at the end of the day.
The freedom and flexibility of homeschooling are one of its greatest attractions and benefits, but it poses challenges when it comes to setting a schedule. While adaptability is great, routine and regularity are important for kids when it comes to learning patterns, and ensuring that there are boundaries, limits, and set timetables is a vital part of a successful homeschooling experience.
This guide is designed to take you through the best practices around homeschool scheduling, and help you plan the perfect daily homeschool schedule that will make the most of the benefits of homeschooling and help keep your kids’ education on track.
What kind of schedule works best?
Good news: you don’t need to design a daily homeschool schedule from scratch. Although you are stepping away from the traditional structure of the educational day, there are still a few models and templates that can act as guides.
As each family will be different, with their unique set of educational priorities, they can find the model that suits them best. Here are four of the most common:
A loop schedule is an extremely flexible way of teaching. It’s essentially a list of must-have topics and activities to cover, but without a set day to cover them on.
Instead, each topic is covered as and when it comes up on the loop. For example, mathematics may come up every third day (not every day), and English may be every other morning. A loop schedule works well in conjunction with a block schedule, where certain days of the week have set (block) activities or subjects, and the others work on a loop depending on time. A loop schedule allows you to spend as much or as little time as necessary on each subject.
A block schedule allocates large, set amounts of time for specific subjects, allowing intense focus on particular topics, and creating a set schedule and rhythm for the week. A block schedule also allows for a more in-depth, creative approach to subjects, including things like field trips, science experiments and so on. Rolling out a block schedule, you may decide to spend two hours each morning on English, and an hour every afternoon on Physical Education. You can follow the same blocked-out week for a fortnight, and then change things up if you wish.
Probably the most simple and basic form of scheduling, a checklist schedule is still an effective way of organizing a day of homeschooling. Simply put together a list of assignments, and let your child work through them, checking them off as each one is completed. This allows kids to work at their own pace, while still giving them a structure for the week. It also teaches them the basics of time management, and lets them see how much progress they are making!
For those families who don’t want to deviate too far from the traditional educational environment, a standard lesson plan is a completely legitimate and useful way of organizing your homeschool day. The standard lesson plan requires you to decide how often each subject needs to be tackled each week, then allocate blocks of time each day to accommodate everything. A daily homeschool schedule that uses a standard lesson plan is the one most comfortable for students coming out of the traditional education system and allows you to plan weeks, even months in advance if you like.
Tips for creating an effective daily homeschool schedule
Now that you’ve got a better idea of the types of homeschool scheduling approaches, you need to put your research into practice. Don’t dress if it still feels a little overwhelming at this stage, the following six tips will help see you through…
Whatever schedule you choose, it is important that you make it regular, recurring, and that you stick to it. Routine is a vital part of any child’s education and helps enormously when it comes to retaining information. It is really important to get your kid used to doing things at a set time, so they can feel comfortable yet motivated even in an alternative learning environment.
Of course, that’s not to say you need to keep flogging a schedule that simply isn’t working for you. Instead, talk to your child about why you’re making changes, and then roll out a new, improved daily schedule right away.
Give each lesson sufficient time and energy
The key to a good daily homeschool schedule is to ensure that each subject is thoroughly tackled in a specific block — even if you aren’t working to a block schedule! Without set chunks of time for each subject or activity, you run the risk of confusing your child, as subjects merge into one and become unclear. Clarity in each lesson is essential to keep your kid motivated and learning effectively.
Allow for margin
While you might have created the most perfect daily homeschool schedule, with every minute accounted for, things never quite work out as you plan, and life has a way of upturning what you had in mind. Allowing margin for error means that if something unexpected comes up, or a subject or activity just takes that little bit longer than anticipated, it doesn’t throw off your whole schedule off course.
Plan downtime and play
Sure, you want to commit to the best homeschool education for your child. But that doesn’t mean it should be all work and no play — far from it, in fact. Taking a break is a vital part of the school day, giving your child a chance to unwind and recharge. Ensure that your daily schedule for homeschool allows enough time to give your kid (and you) plenty of relaxation.
Don’t overload your schedule
It can be tempting to try and cram as much stuff into each lesson as you possibly can, but please resist the urge! Overloading your child’s brain with facts and figures will demotivate them quickly, and will also mean they struggle to take it all in. What’s more, giving them too much information on one topic will mean they lose sight of the important learnings — so pick and choose what each lesson should cover carefully.
Make the most of the resources available
Just because you’ve chosen to homeschool, doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. At KidsKonnect, we’re dedicated to creating the very best worksheets for kids — whether they’re homeschooled or part of the traditional educational system. Our huge range of worksheets covers all the school topics you’d expect, as well as a few hidden gems! Even better: the worksheets all come in bundles of worksheets, some five, some ten, some thirty — making it easy for you to plan your lessons based on the content available. Head over to our website to see for yourself, and start planning your homeschool schedules with ease.
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as The complete guide to creating a daily homeschool schedule that works: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, April 2, 2020