So how do you put homeschool schedules together? First you need to know your homeschool goals, and have decided your subjects and the methods you will use. Then you need to begin organizing your day and weeks.
Remember - your family is unique - and you need a plan that suits YOU. A great homeschooling schedule is only great if it works FOR you - not against you.
Here are some things to bear in mind..
Consider your family. Are you really going to be able to structure their time? Schedules just do not work with some homeschooling families!
Don't stress it. It's not going to be written in stone! If your home school schedule is intimidating you, bin it and start again.
Be flexible. Things change and homeschooling isn't an exact science. If things aren't working according to the schedule - change the schedule.
Keep it fresh. Doing the same thing day in day out will get boring for everyone. Try changing your schedule once in a while - or throw something new into the mix.
If you are going to carve out some time in the day then it is best to ring-fence that time. Don't make appointments during that time. Don't answer the phone, and don't allow pop-in visitors. It may take a little time but be firm - everyone will get used to it.
Are you a perfectionist who needs every second organised? Or can you work with something looser?
Do you really need a home school schedule at all? Sometimes a checklist of things to get done each week is more flexible. Or just reviewing your goals on a monthly basis to make sure your homeschool is on track.
What are your state laws. Does it specify how many days per year you must homeschool? Or how many hours per week?
How many days are you going to school? Are you going to work only mornings? 5 days a week? or 4? or 3?
Thought I'd share an idea that works for us. We have a Friday Fun Day every week. I homeschool on a four hours a day , four days a week schedule - and if all goals have been achieved and weeks work completed, we have our fun day. In 8 years we have hardly missed a Fun Friday. On this day we watch educational dvds, work on projects, play educational games, go on nature walks, field trips etc. I have found that this helps to break the monotony of structured learning, encourage self disipline, responsibility and allows the child to learn work ethics.
Should someone not be complete they may not participate (even though this is often harder on me than the child, I know that they are learning about choices and consequences). We incorporate art, craft and music in our daily program.
Hope this is helpful to someone.
Judy from South Africa
Are you going to have a set time? Think you have to? Nah! If you know what you want to achieve you can sneak schooling in all day long!! In this case a checklist type schedule might work best for you.
When will it end!! Are you going to end at a set time? Or are you going to finish when the work finishes (Oh! Really - what if they get it all done in 45 minutes? What if it is taking till midnight!).
How flexible are you going to be? If you are looking at the Taj Mahal and your homeschooler want to go off and build a life sized model including doing the complex calculations regarding the architecture, are you going to say "Sorry - we have got this other workbook to do." You may need to build flexibility into your home school schedule.
How much influence are the children going to have. You might have a goal that your self-directed learning child do some Math this month. Are you going to allow the child to decide when and how? Or are you going to dictate the schedule? (This is where you need to be clear about your methods!).
Pulling it Together
Ok - lets take a look at putting your home school schedule together.
Look at your list of goals and subjects. What are the regular subjects - the ones that are easy to work through on a daily or weekly basis.
Which ones do you only need to cover once a week.
What are you going to throw in for fun?
Start planning out a typical week and then break that down into days.
It helps to work on index cards.
Write out each subject you want to cover on it's own card - if you are covering math five times a week, then write out 5 index cards with the word MATH on it.
This makes it easier to rearrange the subjects by day until you are happy with them.
Need a form to help you work it all out?
Donna Young has lots of free printable forms for homeschooling. (But do come back to check out my examples!!)
Hmm... Will it work?
Remember the goal of my website was to help you inspire your children to learn.
Take a good long look at your schedule. Does it meet your homeschooling goals? Does it inspire you?
If it doesn't inspire you it won't inspire your children!
A good home school schedule will want to make you get started right away. If yours is lacklustre then you have missed something.
Don't worry - you can always give it a try and work out what's missing. If it helps - read through the examples below and see if you can come back to it with fresh eyes.
Stuck in a homeschool rut? Get creative and try some new ideas. Every month I produce a newsletter to inspire and encourage you in your homeschooling. Click the button below now to get inspired!
Got a Question About Homeschool Schedules?
Update Feb 2012
Sorry everyone, but I am struggling to find the time to answer everyone's questions by email. Please now ask your question on the Facebook Page or email me and I will ask there for you anonymously.
Read other visitors scheduling experiences and questions...
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
Oh my goodness! I am a home schooling mum of 4 and I have NEVER found a better site! Thank you so much.
Blessings, Jenny (New Zealand)
I wanted to say THANK YOU for your fabulous website. I found your website, and finally I have the confidence to take the plunge and take my daughter out of school and educate her at home, thank you, thank you. Marina (UK)
I cannot get over how much great information and super ideas you have here. Fantastic! Ruralmama (USA)
This is simply fabulous!! I just now found this site and I'm so excited!! The opportunities and suggestions as well as the need to inspire are exactly what I have been searching to fulfill!! I'm so thrilled to get started and even more excited to continue to explore all of the fabulous suggestions and creative ideas you have offered here!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Jennifer (USA)