Creating a Homeschooling Schedule
Once your goals have been decided, the next step is to determine what areas of learning you are going to focus on. For most children of school age this will be curriculum led.
Before you add a subject to the list, be sure that you and your children have evaluated your reasons for studying it. Knowing why they are doing a subject will help your child to stick with it when the going gets tough. When you have carefully considered the subjects your child needs to study, you can begin the steps of creating a schedule. The most important thing to remember when building a schedule for your child is to do what works best for your family. You are not bound by requirements beyond a set number of days, so do not be afraid to be creative and come up with a plan that allows for optimal learning and optimal family time.
1. Create a routine not a schedule. So very few of us are going to practically be able to follow a schedule. For most, time slots on a chart are only going to frustrate us as life happens and we are constantly thrown off that schedule. So instead of blocking set times, that say you will start maths at 9am and then do reading at 10am, try to have an order of subjects that can be followed one after the other ( Maths, Reading, Spellings, Music etc).
2. Be flexible If two subjects require a large amount of writing for that day, then make sure they are broken up with a lighter subject or some free time. If two subjects involve similar skills, alter the order of the day to avoid repetition. Always try to alternate more taxing tasks with lighter ones to give your child’s and your own brain a break. If your family does not jump out of bed in the morning, then resist scheduling an early start to your day. Enjoy the flexibility of homeschooling and work at your times of peak productivity. This also means taking into consideration your children’s natural schedule and the fact that they have variations (which may not match yours!) as well.
Got one early riser? Schedule his or her independent work first. 3. Schedule other siblings Ironically, the most important part of your schedule is probably where there is no school at all. When sitting to plan your routine, considering other siblings will help you to create a routine that will run smoothly.
– When baby is feeding, try audio books or ask an older child to read aloud. Toddler care and play time can also be a part of your older child’s learning time. While you work with one, an older sibling could play with a younger brother or sister. Children playing together can develop their language skills, emotions, creativity and social skills.
– Schedule in story time and a fun activity for toddlers before you get started with older children.
– Utilise nap time. Studying does not have to start early in the morning. If you have two or three younger children and one or more of them still take a long afternoon nap, then start studying in the afternoon. School at home can go from 1-3pm and can be done peacefully with less frustration. Schedule the messiest, hardest, or most time-consuming subjects for nap time.
It is time to draft a plan!
On a final note, sometimes it helps to live with your plan a while before finalising it. Live with it a week or two when you begin and make adjustments as needed. Remember, there are no two homeschool days that are exactly alike and whatever you plan, it will often not go exactly as planned. Having a plan in place is important as the overwhelming nature of the task before us can paralyze us.
Remember to let us know how you are getting on in the comments or on the Facebook support group. If you need any support with the planning process, please either post your questions or book a slot to talk.