Let’s face it. Sometimes homeschooling begins unexpectedly. Kids come home and you’re wondering what is a good homeschool schedule.
Here, let me give you a quick definition in a nutshell before I elaborate. A good homeschool schedule is based on the safety and well-being of your family. And then fold education into your day.
The best advice I received from an older homeschool mom when I first started homeschooling was: you are a mother first and a teacher second.
She explained you’re not doing your job when you sit down to explain borrowing to your 2nd grader while your 2yo is unsupervised and into trouble.
So remember, your first priority is the safety and wellbeing of your family.
4 Tips for a Good Homeschool Schedule
Here are some tips for a good homeschool schedule that fold homeschooling into your family’s normal routine.
1. Homeschool During Toddler’s Naptime
I know how hard it is to stay on top of your toddlers during the day. Toddlers are cute, inquisitive, and into everything.
So one trick experienced homeschoolers have used over the years is to homeschool while your toddler sleeps.
This works well if you have two children. You can focus on your older child and not worry about what your toddler is doing. Go through language arts, math, history, and science.
Sit down and discuss what your child has read in literature today. And make the time special. Brew some tea, pull out cookies. Just because it’s school, doesn’t mean it can’t be special!
2. Homeschool After Breakfast
My own family has homeschooled after breakfast for years. The kids are fresh and ready to think. And I like to think of it as teaching the kids work comes before play.
So after we’ve cleaned up the breakfast dishes, the kids grab their school crates. I keep each child’s school supplies in separate crates.
We sit down at the table and begin working. Once we’re done, everyone has time to enjoy their favorite activities.
3. Quiet Reading After Lunch
Sit down as a family for a few minutes of quiet reading after lunch. Adults can get some work done while the kids enjoy a good book.
Kids need time to sit and read easier books for enjoyment. And you need time to yourself. Time to relax. Quiet time to work at your desk. And the time to enjoy a good book yourself.
Now the trick is to separate the kids into separate rooms. Because you know if you have two kids reading quietly in the same room, it doesn’t stay quiet for long!
So find separate rooms for the children to quietly read and enjoy some peace and quiet.
4. Do Your Best
And remember, do the best you can. Families all over this country are in the same boat. Even if the kids don’t go to school again until August, the teachers know. And they will be prepared.
Your children will be educated.
Now that I’ve said my piece there, let’s talk about a realistic homeschool schedule for when you find yourself unexpectedly at home.
3 Critical Parts to Your Child’s Education
There are three parts to a child’s education that should be maintained if at all possible: Reading. Writing. And arithmetic.
And you need to ensure all 3 parts are included in your homeschool schedule.
Because these 3 skills are the foundation of all future educational pursuits, whether it be art, law, or science.
And the best part is, you don’t need to spend all day working on them to keep your child progressing!
By reading I mean to sit down with a non-reading child and work on their reading skills.
You can read a book together or work through a phonics program. Kids who read simply spend time reading.
And yes, reading books aloud as a family counts as reading time.
Again keep writing simple. work on handwriting skills until your child is comfortable with penmanship. then have your kids write letters to their grandparents and friends.
Or have your kids write about something that interests them. They can write a short story or spend a few minutes each day working on a book.
The goal is to spend time putting pen to paper – or fingers on the keyboard.
Math is a little more difficult.
I would recommend grabbing a math book at your child’s grade level and starting from the beginning. Just do a page or two a day.
The goal is to review math and keep it fresh.
the Good Homeschool Schedule
Most families already have a simple structure in place. Generally, you’ll have breakfast, lunch, and dinner at about the same time every day. And the same goes for bedtimes.
Don’t try to mess with your schedule! Instead, you’ll use this structure as the basis for a homeschool schedule that will fit your family’s needs.
Before breakfast or immediately after breakfast is an ideal time for daily chores. Make the beds, start a load of laundry, tidy the kitchen from the breakfast dishes.
I usually include prepping for dinner so 4 pm doesn’t roll around catching me unprepared.
Once the kitchen is tidy, you’re ready to being homeschooling.
Once everyone has eaten breakfast and done the daily chores, plan to sit down for 30 minutes to an hour.
Work through worksheets your child’s teacher sent home, or spend time completing a math worksheet or lesson and spend a few minutes writing.
Don’t stress about how much you get done. You’re not trying to recreate the entire K-12 curriculum. You’re just keeping the kids slowly moving in writing and math.
Sit at the table with your kids and answer any questions they have.
Give Kids a Break
Then send the kids to the backyard to run around and scream their heads off while you enjoy a cup of coffee and see to the weekly chores.
Let the kids play until lunch.
Over lunch, find a book to read aloud to your kids.
I’ve always found lunch to be the best time for reading books aloud because my kids’ mouths are full and their hands are busy.
After lunch, do quiet time. Send the kids to SEPARATE rooms to read and play quietly while you have a few quiet moments to sit and work.
Quiet time can be anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. If you can, I recommend an hour.
Then send the kids outside to run around and scream their heads off.
When the kids have settled down, pull out craft materials or encourage the kids to develop a hobby.
This time at home can be a great time to teach kids how to sew, paint model planes, or learn a musical instrument.
Shortly before dinner, call the kids inside for another round of daily chores. Have kids run the trash outside, vacuum the floors, and pick up their chores.
Have a family dinner. Relax as a family. And move into your normal bedtime routine.
Remember, homeschooling is a lifestyle.
So fold education into your day. Read books at bedtime. Head outside for some fun and ‘PE’. Have quiet times for reading. And don’t forget to include chores into your routine.
A good homeschool schedule will fold naturally into your life. And your children’s education will stay on track.
Learn more about creating an organized and successful homeschool!
And if you’re just getting started homeschooling, I highly recommend reading The Well-Trained Mind.