Still trying to figure out how to organize your homeschool schedule so that it works? Last year we struggled with our time management. There never seemed to be enough time in the day to get everything finished we wanted to with school AND housework AND errands AND, And, and…. We have created several different kinds of schedules in the past including this one and this one, but we always seemed to be changing it up. I admit it now–we struggle with consistency.
With that in mind, last spring we started using a new system that has helped a lot. Instead of constantly feeling like failures unable to keep up, we now have the flexibility we need to adjust to whatever comes our way. How did we do it? Well here are 6 things we have learned about creating a schedule that works!6 Things You Can Do to Create a Homeschool Schedule that Works!Click To Tweet
6 Things You Can Do to Create a Homeschool Schedule That Works!
1. Remove the times.
“But what about creating a routine?” you ask. Create a routine…sure! Just leave out the times. Free yourself from having to have things done by a certain time. Life happens. School may usually happen in the mornings but some days you won’t get to it until the afternoon. Make your routine flexible so you can adjust with what is going on in life. Our first year of homeschool we tried having a specific time schedule, and quickly learned that we could never live up to what we had set in our minds. However, when we made a routine WITHOUT times, the girls gained freedom from not being bound by a schedule while still knowing what was coming up next.
2. Use a timer!
Still need time as a motivation? Use a timer! Since the time you complete a certain task may change, have a timer handy. When you begin a new block of time, set the timer for the amount of time you think will be needed.
3. Remove day labels.
Instead of requiring that certain subjects get done on a certain day, color code your days. We do school four days a week. Some weeks we homeschool on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Some weeks we homeschool Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. And still some other weeks we do something else completely different or don’t get our full 4 days in. Either way, we can just look at the routine chart and say, “Today we are on the purple day” instead of “we need to go back and complete last Tuesday’s routine first.” That gets confusing really quick.
4. Add brain breaks.
Add in brain breaks, recess and other light times to give their brain a break. Kids need AS MANY, if not MORE, brain breaks than adult. In fact, Charlotte Mason recommended short lessons (as few as 10-20 minutes for little ones) to keep children from becoming overloaded, bored, or tired.
5. Alternate hard subjects with easy subjects.
We don’t ALWAYS take a break after every subject. Sometimes we just alternate a more challenging subject with a lighter subject.
6. Consider schooling only 4 days a week.
Need to run some errands? Your friends taking a field trip to the zoo? By homeschooling 4 days a week instead of 5 we have the flexibility to enjoy such moments without feeling the constant need to catch-up.
By following these six steps we have found a flexible schedule that works for us. And secretly, I must say I find the new colored schedule much more inviting to look at too!