How to Create a Homeschool Schedule that Works?
Ask any homeschool parent and they will admit that no two homeschool days are identical. Probe a little further and you will also find out that the day will rarely go exactly as planned. That said, having a homeschool schedule whether it is for preschool or any other grade, is extremely important, as without it the entire task ahead of us will seem extremely overwhelming. Here are some tips to create a homeschool routine that will bring in results.
A Routine Works, a Schedule, May Not
In our zeal we may be tempted to create a watertight homeschooling schedule; Maths at 8:30 am, English at 9:15am, Science at 10 am, and more. The fact remains that life can often come in the way. Think visitors, the dog deciding to run out, the maid not showing up, a work meeting and more. At the end of the day, therefore, to see your child falling short of the schedule may be disheartening to say the least. It therefore, works well to create study blocks as opposed to micro scheduling.
As a rule of the thumb, scheduling approximately 3.5 hours of work into a 5 hour block works well. That way you have taken care of exigencies while also not over burdening the child.
Follow Peak Productivity Timings
The importance of starting the day early has been long engraved into our psyche. However to make the most of your day, it is better that you take into consideration the child’s natural schedule. If you have an early riser, schedule a day that begins early by all means. On the other hand if the child’s natural schedule resists an early start to the day, you could take advantage of the flexibility that homeschooling offers and schedule the day in a manner that they are most productive.
Pro tip – Do remember to keep enough time for stretching between studying. For younger kids, especially, taking a 5 minute break after every 30 minutes works well. Let them run around, play or do something fun.
Alternate Taxing Tasks With Easier Ones
Scheduling taxing tasks back-to-back may not just be stressful for the child, importantly it may put them off certain subjects. Based on the child’s inclination towards particular subjects, it will work well for your homeschool schedule to alternate subjects that the child finds hard with lighter ones, to give the brain a break. You could even look at not doing every subject daily. So while regularity is of importance, it does not necessarily mean doing every subject every single day.
Take Into Account The Schedule Of Siblings
If you are dealing with homeschooling more than one child, you need to take into account their varying needs and schedules. If you need to nurse an infant, for example, nursing time can be utilized to read aloud to your preschooler. With preschoolers and older kids, it will always work well to offer individual attention by way of a fun activity to the preschooler before you get started with older kids. Similarly naptime for preschoolers can be utilized for tackling heavier subjects with the older kids. Factoring in aspects such as these and allowing for some flexibility will help you create an easy homeschool schedule.
Above everything, be realistic. Overscheduling as well as trying to “do it all” can turn out to be a recipe for disaster. The answer to how many hours a day should you homeschool lies in the child’s age and grade. Devising a homeschool schedule by grade, will mean having a school day for a high-schooler stretching to six hours while keeping it at two to three hours for a child going to preschool or kindergarten.
With a homeschool schedule, you also need to be prepared to make changes, irrespective of how much thought you have given to prepare the schedule in the first place. Depending on factors such as the child’s age, your work schedules and more, the homeschooling routine will need to change; and that is perfectly okay. Follow what works for you as a family as opposed to going by a traditional school routine.
Got a homeschooling routine that has worked particularly well for you or have some great homeschool schedule ideas? Feel free to write a comment and share it with the larger community!