Homeschooling is so great! You get to decide your books, your curriculum, your schedule. But homeschooling is also a challenge for the very same reasons. You need to decide on your curriculum, what method you are going to use, and figure out your schedule, among every other decision. It’s that schedule one that often proves problematic.
You have so much flexibility with homeschooling but you also need to make sure that there is some sort of homeschool schedule. As you are setting up your homeschool schedule, be sure to keep these things in mind. It will simplify the process and make it so much easier. (Be sure to read to the end as I am sharing something special with you to help your homeschool stay organized.)
Year round or set school year
This is the very first step in deciding on your homeschool schedule. You may decide doing a “6 weeks on, 1 week off” or something similar will work best for your family. Or you may decide that a more traditional school year will be the best choice. Take a look at what your family’s yearly schedule tends to look like to know which might work better.
Are you very busy over the summer so a year-round schedule wouldn’t work well? Or are you busier are other times of the year? Also, keep in mind your child and their learning style. Some children do better with shorter breaks all year and some do better with summers off.
Decide on a 4 or 5 day week
The next step is to decide on how many days a week you want to do school. A four day week might work best with what else you have going on or to just have a three day weekend every week. However, depending on how many school days your state requires, a four day week might be too difficult if you are doing a traditional school year. You may find a five day week works better.
Figure out school breaks
This will be directly related to both your type of school year and your school week. If you do a traditional school year and a five day week, you’ll likely also have a break schedule that follows closely with the public school. Look through your calendar to see when you have trips planned, holidays you are hosting/traveling, or times you are typically very busy. These times are the times you will likely plan school breaks. Less stress is a good thing! You don’t want to be trying to teach when you are also very busy with something special like Christmas prep or a family vacation as well.Tips to help you navigate your #homeschool schedule Click To Tweet
Look at your daily schedule
For me, we don’t follow a specific daily schedule. Sometimes we do the easy assignments first, sometimes we get the more difficult ones out of the way first. You may find you need to keep a daily class schedule if you have a child who really needs that structure. Or you may find you just need to decide on a start and end time for your school days. All of this is entirely up to you and how your children learn.
Decide on a planning method
There are so many different ways to plan out your homeschool schedule and your lesson plans. You can use a computer method, a notebook, or any number of different homeschool planners. Only you know which way is going to work best for you. You may even find that you try different ways and methods before you find what you like best. I struggled with finding a homeschool planner that worked best for me. So I did what I often do in these situations: I made my own.
I included pages to help plan out the whole year as well as weekly lesson planning pages to break it down to more manageable steps. I also included attendance and grading pages to keep track of those things for my records and state requirements. There are many other pages as well! It will likely change a little every so often as grade level and subjects change.
One of the greatest things about homeschooling is the flexibility with both learning and the schedule. Making your own homeschool schedule can sometimes prove difficult and seem rather daunting. Be sure to follow these guidelines to make it more manageable. Do you homeschool? How do your manage your schedule?
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