Why do you need a homeschooling schedule? Because without one you will spend your days wandering from one project to another. Feeling extremely busy but accomplishing very little, if anything, at all.
How strict does the home-schooling schedule need to be?
Strict enough to keep everyone happy but not too strict that you become a slave to the schedule.
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Why Not Listen To Our Latest Homeschooling Podcast While You Read?
Finding The Right Kind of Homeschooling Schedule
Home-schooling isn’t easy. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.
Let’s face it, how can it be?
As parents, we already have a zillion things to sort out. Running a house is a job in itself. And let’s not forget those parents that have to home-school and work full time.
But home-schooling shouldn’t be stressful. And neither will it be if you create the right kind of homeschooling schedule for your family.
Successful homeschooling is about finding the balance for you and yours. Not comparing. Forgetting about what everyone else is doing.
Think of your homeschooling as a marathon and not a sprint.
My Homeschooling Journey
I’ve been homeschooling my kids for coming up ten years. My son is now 18 and has finished his schooling and my daughter is currently in the process of starting her exams with an online high school programme.
We eventually found the perfect homeschool schedule for us.
But. It took us a while.
You can read more about our journey in our in-depth homeschooling blog post.
Remember. No One Homeschooler Is The Same
Before we start talking about schedules and routines there is something you should know about me. I am not your regular homeschooler.
When I say ‘regular’ I am referring to those parents who live, eat and breathe their children’s education. Those homeschool parents who couldn’t care less if their house is like a tip or that the cat hasn’t been flead for a year – it’s all about the education.
Hats off to them if that’s how they want to do homeschooling. I am not judging (well maybe a little bit but don’t tell anyone). You just needed to know that I’m not coming from the same place.
I home-schooled my kids because I liked being with them.
I am a homeschooling mum who likes wine.
I am a homeschooling mum who took her two kids backpacking around the world for a year.
And I am a homeschooling mum that has to know what the family are having for dinner two days in advance.
Your Homeschooling Journey
Although my home-schooling journey may look different from yours, don’t think that our goals aren’t exactly the same. They are.
You want what’s best for your child and so do I.
You need to juggle homeschooling with the rest of your life. So do I.
You want your home to run as harmoniously as possible – you want your kids to learn and not turn out knowing nothing. Me too.
You want to retain your independence while spending as much guilt-free time as possible with your children.
Same, same, same. Tick, tick, tick.
So, let’s get to it. Let’s look at why having the right homeschooling schedule will work for you.
Having a Home-Schooling Schedule. 5 Reasons Why
1: Having a Homeschool Routine Give Kids Stability
Having a schedule at home will give the kids stability. Kids like routine. They like to know what time they are to get up, what time they will have their meals, and what time (roughly) they will to go to bed.
Whether they admit or not, kids like routine and they need it.
2: Having A Homeschool Routine Enables You To Plan
Having a home-schooling schedule means that you can plan.
If you know in advance that between 9 am and 10 am the kids will be tidying their rooms and sorting out their laundry, it means you can get a shower and dry your hair.
No second-guessing. No slobbing around in your dressing gown, no excuse. Take the hour and get a shower.
As well as managing to get your hair washed on a daily basis, a schedule lets you plan schoolwork for your home learners.
Let’s say you have three hours before lunch. 10 am until 1 pm. That’s three hours and six subjects. Or three hours and three subjects.
Or three hours and one subject. Your choice.
One of the benefits of home-schooling is that you get to choose. If your kids are home from school and are being given work to complete, then take the number of subjects and divide by three hours.
No schoolwork in the afternoon. That was always my rule. What doesn’t get finished in those three hours waits until tomorrow.
4. Having A Homeschool Schedule Means You Can Work From Home
Having a time schedule while your kids are home educating means that you can homeschool and still continue to work full time.
As I said, our home-schooling rule was that no schoolwork was done after 2 pm.
If you have been organized enough to get the dinner prepared in the morning while the kids were doing a quiet activity (something quick and easy please, no one is expecting you to produce a gourmet meal) then this gives you the afternoon free to get work done.
If your work demands you to be on the phone/computer in the morning then switch the routine up to suit you. Do your work in the morning and a couple of hours of lessons in the afternoon.
5: Having A Homeschool Routine Gives You Flexibility
A home-schooling schedule can be twisted and turned, pushed and pulled. It is very, very flexible. This is always an attractive bonus when comparing homeschool to public school.
If your family members are early risers, then make the most of this fact and get the majority of your essential work completed before lunch.
If, on the other hand, you have night bird teenagers (like me) then switch the routine up so that the kids lie in bed while you do the things you have to do and then begin their schoolwork in the afternoon.
Next, you could read…
Should all Families Have Homeschooling Routines?
I can only comment on my experience. As a homeschooling parent, I have done both.
When I first began homeschooling and didn’t know my ar*e from my elbow, I put in place a super strict routine that resembled a Victorian boarding school.
All that was missing was a bell.
When this failed, I panicked and decided to try a term of unschooling my two kids.
Neither made us happy.
The Wrong Kind of Home-Schooling Schedule. Mistake #1
When I first took my kids out of school and was terrified of not living up to the more successful homeschoolers out there, I created a strict schedule for us to follow.
This schedule was rigid and inflexible. There was no way of veering to the right or to the left. This routine, that was created out of fear of failing saw me set the bar so high that it would have been impossible to reach had I been wearing ten-foot-high stilettoes.
I was continuously racing the clock, and no matter how hard I tried, by the end of each day, we had never completed what was set out On. The. Schedule.
Unschooling. Where you have no schedule at all. Mistake #2
Unschooling my kids wasn’t much better. It left me with no time whatsoever.
I was constantly being asked to help with this and that. Holding a stick while my son carved his name into it. Pulling out the contents of the pantry because my daughter suddenly decided on a whim to make black forest gateaux.
It was a nightmare.
I never had a second to breathe and get myself sorted.
(What we talked about on this week’s podcast)
In this week’s podcast episode I talked with my teenage (homeschooled) son about the benefits of having a homeschooling routine. Including:
The effects of unschooling.
What the best timetable was for our family.
How new homeschooling parents tackle having their kids at home all day.
Now, why not listen to this week’s homeschooling podcast episode & learn about the best kind of homeschooling schedules!
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Finding a Home-schooling Schedule That Works for You
Eventually, I crafted a home-schooling schedule that everyone in my family was happy with, and you will too.
It may take a while but you will get there.
This is your call mama.
If you need to work – uninterrupted for a few hours a day – then set up a series of unaided activities for your younger kids such as colouring, crosswords, online educational games, or watching a classic movie or documentary (BBC Blue Planet would keep my kids hooked for an hour or so!).
Make this home-schooling schedule work for you. And if it isn’t working, then change it.
No matter if you change it twenty, thirty, forty times. Change that schedule up until you have a homeschooling routine that you are happy with.
Did You Enjoy Our Podcast On Homeschooling Schedules?
We’d love to know what you think about this week’s show and if there is anything you would like to know further so that we can include it in our question time next week.
If you know of someone who could do with a few tips on creating a homeschooling schedule then please share this podcast with them!