Homeschool Organization: Your Schedule {pt 1}

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While I love to be organized, with four kids it’s not always possible. However, our entire family does so much better when we follow a schedule both in our daily chores and in our homeschool.

homeschool organization schedule
Today I would like to share with you how we schedule our homeschool days and some tips that have helped me along the way. First, I must tell you that our schedule has changed, evolved and adapted to our family’s needs over the years. So don’t follow my schedule exactly, but certainly feel free to use it as a guideline or starting point to begin your journey.

On school days, our mornings are filled with breakfast, chores and getting ready for the day. The oldest one will begin his independent work while I’m finishing chores or working on the blog. Come August, this will also be the time I will work with my Kindergartner and Preschoolers on their writing, letters, sounds, colors, etc. Then we have lunch together and possibly a movie for some down time and a break. After lunch it’s playtime for the Littles as I work with Mister Bull on his more teacher-led subjects (Science, History and Bible).

Several years ago we switched to a Block Schedule, so we didn’t have so much to cover in one day. I found that some days we would get so wrapped up in our Science curriculum and experiments that our afternoons were gone and we had never even thought about History or Bible. So, we adjusted our schedule to where we alternate days for Science and History. While it has worked nicely over the past few years, this year will likely look different since we’re adding some more students and the 4th grader will do his independent work in the morning while I’m working with the younger ones.

5 tips create homeschool schedule
Here are my Top 5 Tips for Creating a Homeschool Schedule that Works.

1. Determine your hours – How many hours a day do you want to commit to homeschooling? Ours varies from day-to-day, depending on what subjects we need to cover that day. Most days we school between 3-5 hours, not including read alouds and crafts or extras.

2. Choose your subjects – As I mentioned earlier, we do our own version of  a block schedule. When we began homeschooling 5 years ago, I only had Mister Bull and Mister Mouse. Now with 3 little ones running around it simply isn’t feasible to school 8 subjects every day. So, we divide it up and space them out. We don’t do bigger, more detailed and intense subjects on the same day (i.e. History and Science). We also rotate Art, Music and P.E. days so we shake things up a bit.

3. This is not School-at-Home – The biggest mistake I made when starting our journey was trying to recreate a school environment at home. I wanted us to have 10 minutes for handwriting practice, 15 minutes for Arts and Crafts, 20 minutes for our Science reading…etc. It simply did not work that way – especially with a new baby in the home. Make homeschooling a fun learning environment that everyone enjoys. Not a schedule that must be followed.

4. Be Flexible – Flexibility is key when it comes to kids and homeschooling is no different. Don’t be so rigid that you stress yourself out if you run 10 minutes over on a subject – especially if they are learning.

5. Plan, PLAN, PLAN! Planning our school weeks in advanced has helped me stay on track and keep up with the continuous flow of papers that need to be graded. I usually take a couple of days before we start the month to loosely plan what we’ll be doing. Each Sunday I sit down and make sure I have all the paperwork, craft supplies and anything extra we need for the week ready to go. I also noticed that when I planned out our weeks, we accomplished so much more in a shorter time period with less arguments than if I tried to more or less “wing it.” Our days were shorter, our attitudes were happier and Mommi was less stressed.

I find it helpful to use pencil and paper to get my ideas down so I can erase, move things around and get things sorted out just the way I want them before putting them in my online homeschool planner. So, I have a couple {free} planning sheets for you to aid in your planning and brainstorming process. Simply click the picture below to grab your freebie. There are 4-day and 5-day schedules in this set.

schedules

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Annette has been married to her husband and best friend since 2003. Together they are raising their six children to follow the Lord’s will, no matter what. Annette longs for the day when she will meet all her angel babies who have entered heaven before her. She enjoys creating fun and engaging printables, unit studies and curriculum for homeschool families. You can follow her crazy life at In All You Do where she blogs about marriage, parenting, and homeschooling all while maintaining her sanity. She is also the owner of Thrifty Homeschoolers, where she shares free printables and resources from around the web as well as deals on curriculum and homeschooling resources. You can also keep up with her via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
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