Creating a School Schedule
That Works for Your Family
One thing that I’ve learned throughout our homeschooling journey is that our school schedule needs to change with the ages and stages of our growing kids. When you have little kids and are homeschooling older kids you need to take account of the ages of all the kids in your home. We have gone through different seasons of using one school schedule and then later realizing we need to change it. It doesn’t mean that the schedule failed (or that we failed) but that it worked for a time and then we saw the need for a change. Here are some different schedules I’ve used throughout the years:
School Schedule #1
1.) School in the morning
When I was pregnant with my fourth, I was homeschooling my two older kids (2nd grade & Kindergarten) and my 3 year old daughter tagged along with us. We schooled at the table and in our living room and she sat there right along with us and learned. This worked for us for quite a while. Sometimes she would get into stuff – but I always provided busy boxes and allowed her to sit there with us during the most of the school time. We would get done with school by around noon. The afternoon was our rest time.
School Schedule #2
2.) Early Morning & Early Afternoon
Last year, when I was pregnant with our sixth baby I needed a change. I formed an idea that ended up working beautifully until the baby was born. My older kids and I woke up around 7 a.m. and went downstairs. We did about an hour and a half of schooling and got the majority of our left page of Heart of Dakota curriculum done. Then we would break for breakfast around 8:30 – 9 a.m. The children would work for about an hour independently while I tended to the two smaller kids. Then they would take a break and after lunch I would do my one on one time with each kid (usually math and language arts). The only reason I stopped this schedule was because I had a newborn and was not getting enough rest to wake that early!
School Schedule #3
3.) Afternoon Schooling
Recently we’ve tried something I call “my upside down day“. I really had to give up my ideals of starting school early and then having free time or nap time. What I have realized with having a baby, a pre-schooler and a child who is just starting kindergarten. I needed to scrap my idea of morning school except for my kindergartener. I work with him in short bursts during the morning – in between some chores and housework. Our afternoons are filled with school for the older kids. This allows the baby and preschooler to take their naps and my 5 year old to have some quiet time while the older kids and I get our school work done in quiet.
Steps to creating a routine:
- Make a list of needs & wants. What I recently started doing is create a list of all we need to get done in the week and what we would like to get done.
- What are your prior commitments for that week? Fill these in first to see what is left. If you find you have too many commitments you might need to start saying “no” more often.
- What field trips do you want to do? My good friend just told me how she makes a “bucket list” for the year with her children. They pick things they really want to do and then she makes time in their schedule to make it happen. Maybe sit down with your kids and make a list of all the fun outings they can think of and figure out a plan for doing some of them. It might be weekly, monthly, or once a quarter – it might even been as a special reward.
- Pencil in how things will work and give yourself a week or two to try it out. Don’t worry if the routine doesn’t work right off the bat – give yourself some grace as you try something new.
- Try to find balance that works for you . Example: could you do one park day a week after you get your school done? Maybe one field trip at the end of each month. Do one outing for the littles and one for the bigs each month.
- Make time for friends. Find outings that include other homeschooling families and then invite them.
- Make time for yourself: Maybe it is a quiet hour in the afternoon where you can rest, read, or sit and write some letters. Find some time for yourself in this busy season.
- There should be a time for chores, a time for school, a time for silly play with the littles, a time for rest in each homeschool day!
What kind of school schedule do you use for your family? Leave a comment below.
Find more tips for your homeschool:
Dawn @ Double O Farms
Dawn @ Guiding Light Homeschool
Debbie @ Debbie’s Homeschool Corner
Desiree @ Our Homeschool Notebook
Diana @ Busy Homeschool Days
Diana @ Homeschool Review
Elyse @ Oiralinde: Eternal Song
Emilee @ Pea of Sweetness
Erin @ For Him and My Family
Jen @ Chestnut Grove Academy