Establishing a Schedule

Photo by Mat Brown on

You may have been homeschooling for a few weeks now and noticed that you need some type of schedule or routine. In my early days of homeschooling I thought that I should set up a schedule like I did when I was teaching school. It looked something like this:

Math 8:00-8:50 Language Arts (Reading, Spelling, Grammar) 8:50-9:50

Snack/ Break 9:50-10:00 Writing/Handwriting 10:00-10:30

Social Studies 10:30-11:15 Science or Health 11:15-12:00

Lunch 12:00-12:30 Quiet Time/ Silent Reading 12:30-1:30

That schedule lasted a couple of weeks before I realized that school life at home is quite different from a classroom setting.

Consider blocks of times and subjects instead of specific beginning and ending periods. You will see that sometimes you breeze through subjects, so you might wrap up math is 30 minutes and other times you get involved with a topic (like dinosaurs) and just want to keep on going.

Choose a routine. Things run more smoothly when your daughter/son knows what to expect. For example you may choose to have these things be done prior to school: breakfast is eaten; bed is made; teeth are brushed, and bed is made. You can have an order of subjects that you follow each day, a snack time, and lunch is at/ around 12:00. You can vary this according to what works best for your family and schedule.

Plan a starting and ending time. Do you need to start precisely at 8:00? Of course not, but pick a time that is good for your family’s schedule and aim to start and finish at that time every day. I liked to start early so we could be done early. I also told the boys as they got older that I was available to them all morning, but after that, they were to wait until the next day to ask questions. Any work they did not finish during our school time was their “homework”.

Pick a place to keep school books and supplies. This may seem strange to put this under scheduling, but I thought it important to mention. Having a designated place for items will cut down on them being misplaced and time lost in looking for them. You can have a certain color for each of your child’s things if you have more than one child.(notebooks, binders, folders, etc.) If you don’t have the room for a lot of things, then purchase a milk crate or stackable cubes to put textbooks and binders in them.

Expect the unexpected. Some days things are not going to go the way you want or planned. That’s okay! There might be a lesson that is difficult and your daughter/ son just isn’t understanding it. Put the lesson aside and come back to it. You might need to look for additional resources to help with the concept, or just some time for it to make sense. There might be an unexpected opportunity to go on a business trip with your spouse; a family member comes to visit; a cool display is in town for the week, and so on can disrupt your school day. Take advantage of the opportunity and make it a learning experience.

Have a great week! ~Lisa ~

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