Homeschool scheduling is not a one-size-fits-all deal. Every family is unique, your schedule will be too. There is freedom in homeschooling to find what works for you and your family. Let’s review a few factors in How To Schedule A Homeschool Day.
Be consistent and flexible
There are hard days, and late days. Don’t fret, do your best and keep it pushing. If you stress out, your students will too. Learning will be hard, and you will find yourself discipling most of the time.
Everything that works now, might not work later.
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We have had times where we had to adjust our schedules for the season, especially winter. Winter tends to bring long dark mornings, and laziness. So, we don’t try to arise super early like the summer and fall, we just fall back an hour or so and start from there.
The only approach we use in homeschooling is eclectic. We do a bit of this and that, and then sometimes we can get classical. But our teaching styles are not boxed, just like we are not, therefore, we teach how we live.
Our schedule is blocked, we talked more about this in Homeschooling 101.
Some parents tend to have a schedule for every child, at every age. That’s okay too, if your family is productive by this.
When homeschooling, there is no need to have full 8hr days.
There are many reasons why this is not necessary but let’s look at a few.
First, you are not getting paid.
Teachers are at school for 8hrs to get a full days payment, they only actively teach about 5-6hrs of that day.
Next, you do not need an entire hour to teach one subject.
Many teachers spend too much time on one subject, and after around 15 to 20 minutes, kids begin to tap out. Especially in the elementary years.
Similarly, Junior high to high school kids need only 30 minutes for a given subject, before they need to apply what they have just learned.
Many textbooks present information like a public school would. They emphasize readings and assignments for one subject that can take up to an hour or so to do.
Imagine if you had to do this for every student you had, just one gets crazy.
Finally, it is unnecessary to go through the procedures that schools do.
You don’t need class, break, class, recess, class and more class.
Your child has probably tapped out a long time ago, especially Elementary students. Believe it or not, they are tired, and would be happy napping or hearing you read to them.
In homeschool, you can relax and rest assured that you can teach your kids in 4 to 5 hours or less. You will probably find yourself getting done sooner.
Yes, kids can take a break and get outside, but seriously, most of the work should be done by 12pm if you start at 9am.
Of course, this is dependent on the students health, age, and special needs. Preschoolers through second graders will finish earlier. Some parents of small kids have to teach in pieces here and there, throughout the day, due to their attention spans.
I also must say that this is dependent on what you use in your homeschool.
If you use a textbook for everything, that does not cross over, you will pretty much be all day. You might need that eight hours to get to each student.
I like to use books, or resources that cross over. I talked a lot about this subject in my post How To Plan Your Own Literature Based Unit Study. Check out this post to see how you can cross over with different subjects.
Of course, If you use unit studies like we do, your schedules will look similar to ours below, even if you decide to cover every subject, every day, it will only run you about five hours at the most, including mental breaks, and lunch.
Planning your unit studies is easy with these!
Below, I have listed some sample homeschool schedules.
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Example Homeschool Schedules
This is the schedule we currently use in our homeschool:
7:45 Awake and prepare for school (we are not strict on this depending on situations and seasons, we are flexible, that makes the best day.)
8 AM Breakfast
8:30 AM Devotion and Bible
9 AM Subject Classes begin
12-12:30 PM School is technically out. Our kids might have homework to be completed right after lunch.
We also have a morning basket, for those mornings that parents are running late, or students. The basket has cursive practice, writing practice, fun workbooks, and educational coloring books, free writing journal, etc…
When homework is done, or there is none for the day, kids do their chores and have free time, if we don’t have anywhere to go. Similarly, if there is an important appointment in the morning, or an emergency shopping trip, the day is pushed back a little. I tend to give notebooking or journaling exercises that can be completed on the go. Math workbooks in tow!
|Monday||We focus on all thing’s language arts; we include either History/social Studies or Science. This depends on where we left off prior, as we interchange History/social Studies or Science. |
|Tuesday *Math concentration day.||We Focus on Math and Spelling We have three grades, so we usually spend time with each grade working on their math. When the students are done, they do spelling practice and reading time. We have a concentration on math because this is where our students have struggles the most. We dedicate the day to math, when we are done, we are done. Similar, if your child has struggles in Language Arts, it’s okay to have days where this is the concentration, you have more time to work with them in the different areas of language arts. This allows them to have an all-around education, and a love for a little of everything. |
3hour day +-
|Wednesday||We focus on all thing’s language arts; we include either History/social Studies or Science. This depends on where we left off prior, as we interchange History/social Studies or Science. |
|Thursday *Math concentration day.||We Focus on Math and Spelling We have three grades, so we usually spend time with each grade working on their math. When the students are done, they do spelling practice and reading time. |
3hour day +-
|Friday||We finish any project we were working on for either Monday or Wednesday We tutor any student needing extra math help We do read aloud together Life skill Friday, so kids get into the kitchen to help prepare a meal, learn to do laundry, or we take a field trip. |
Time is TBD (to be determined)
Here is another schedule option:
This is for those parents doing every subject every day, with no concentrations. Days like these can get pretty busy and take up an whole day with more than one child, but this is just an example.
8:00-8:30 Morning devotion and Bible
8:30-9:30 Language Arts with breaks
10:45-11:15 Specials (P.E., Music, Spanish, Art, and Science)
12:55-1:55 Science/ Social Studies
1:55-2:00 Clean up and Dismissal
Supplements and Co-ops
If you live in an area where you have access to homeschool co-ops (where parents share teaching responsibilities), you may want to schedule the rest of your schooling around these supplemental resources. This means some days may be spent solely working on co-op subjects, while others are spent working on other subjects.
Or perhaps your child is heavily involved in extracurricular activities, such as speech and debate or sports. These activities can be great educational opportunities but may take up a lot of time and even travel.
This schedule also works if your child is taking any online classes or participating in any study groups. First consider the weekly commitments your child has, then structure the rest around those obligations.
For high schoolers, the supplemented schedule makes sense, as curriculum may get more complex and outside teaching is even more helpful.
Some community colleges allow homeschool students to attend classes, providing an opportunity to both supplement your curriculum and help your high schooler earn college credits.
This makes homeschooling effective to many families; your child can graduate with their diploma and AA Degree.
The Checklist Schedule
This is a great option if your child is a self-starter and likes to learn independently. Sometimes called “the un-schedule,” it works best for older children who can follow a lesson plan or online curriculum.
Instead of scheduling the day based on chunks of time or subjects, start each day (or week) with a list of assignments. These can be schoolwork but may also include chores or helping younger siblings with their work as well. Review the list with your student and set expectations. Then, let them make their schedule.
Depending on how flexible remote learning opportunities are this year, this could work in that paradigm as well.
The goal is to complete all the tasks by the end of the day or week, instead of focusing on time constraints or a strict schedule. This method is not only easier for the homeschool parent, but it teaches kids to avoid procrastination and learn important time management skills. This schedule is also ideal for children with lots of extra-curricular activities or families that enjoy lots of travel.
In conclusion, there is no one-way to schedule homeschooling. Just create a schedule that works for your family.
One thing to keep in mind, don’t try to replicate the public schools and their way of “schooling.”
Kids need an education, not schooling and programing.
Helping your children become independent learners will not only benefit you, but your family. This is good for those parents that must work at home too. Being able to teach all your grades at once in the core subjects, using unit studies, will allow your family to have more free time on the schedule.
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