How to Schedule Your Homeschool: 5 Planning Ideas

I am not good at planning. I am very disorganized and sometimes, let spontaneity take over my day. I would ideally like my homeschooling to be that way, but when you are dealing with growing kids, structure and schedule often needs to be implemented.

Society has made it so that we almost never halve to create a schedule for ourselves, which makes homeschool planning all the more difficult. However, it can be done and it doesn’t need to be overly stressed. Just a few simple tips can create a stress-free, organized learning environment.

1. Learn in the morning. Start when kids are fresh and ready to do something. You may also have younger ones in tow, that need naps later on the day, which is not the best time to start learning. Forget about the tasks and chores of keeping the home and devote your early morning hours to learning. That way, when children are tired or in need of naps, they tend to be less picky about heavy activity and will be fine simply sitting down and reading a book or doing a quiet activity by themselves, giving you time to handle the other aspects of the home.

2. Plan when they sleep. I’ve often made the mistake of printing out worksheets and picking out assignments with my kids tugging at me for something to do. This never works and only makes the activity too stressful. Instead, find a time when the kids are not active or asleep to print out and organize tomorrow’s assignments.

3. Have an emergency packet. Even with all of your planning, sometimes the unexpected happens. When that does, there’s no sense in throwing learning out of the window. Have a sick pack for when your sick and can’t do much, have a boredom pack for when learning’s done but kids still want a bit of activity, and have a on-the-road pack for when you need to be away from home.

4. Have a quitting time. You might find it fun to “learn” for a full-day but quitting time has to come and you need to know when that is. Apart of teaching children about structure is for them to learn when to quit or rest. Stop at a time that you feel comfortable with. For our family it’s 5 p.m., but it doesn’t have to be time to sit around and do nothing. Have your children help with chores, cooking or doing a fun puzzle or art work. Let this time be for unstructured, independent play so that they can still be active while things get done.

5. Gradually descend. As they say, “save the best for last”. Don’t wake up in the morning and decide to let them run around freely. Save P.E. for after the work is done. Start with the difficult tasks in the morning when kids are more energized and ready for anything. Give them all of your attention at this time and make sure it’s undivided. Then, as the day goes on, lessen the book work and try hands-on experiments and lastly, fun unstructured activities. This gives children change and it doesn’t make them feel as if they’re doing the same thing all day.

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