Planning for your homeschool year is important, but every family is going to have a different plan or schedule that fits their needs. The schedule or daily rhythm for your family should fit your needs first – not the needs of the curriculum.
It’s fine to plan your days around the curriculum you’re using, but don’t let that be the only factor you consider when planning your days.
Things you may want to consider:
- Do you/your kids work well with strict schedules or is a looser rhythm a better fit?
- How much downtime do you or your kids need each week?
- Do your days have a balance of bookwork and unstructured play/creative/free time?
- Are you doing too many activities out of the house?
- Are your kids spending time doing things they love?
- Do you have time to be spontaneous in your schedule?
A plan is good, but believe it or not, you can also over-plan! If your schedule is so jam-packed that you can’t drop what you’re doing to follow a bunny trail your kids feel like studying or follow the whims of the weather, you’ve lost the freedom of homeschooling! Make sure you allow room in your schedule to be flexible.
Remember, you and your kids don’t need to be sitting and doing bookwork from 9-3 everyday. The graphic below shows the average time kids should spend doing bookwork during the day, so consider this when planning your days:
There’s no right way to schedule your day or plan your homeschool year. Here are some different types of schedules you could consider:
Traditional five-day-a-week schedule: just like it sounds, your kids do school five days a week (how many hours or what that looks like is up to you!)
The four-day-a-week schedule: take one day off for field trips, hikes, co-ops, adventures, or just to have no bookwork and do natural learning
Loop scheduling: instead of scheduling your day according to time (ex: math from 9-9:30, reading from 9:30-10, etc.) you work on one subject until you finish or are ready to move on, then you continue to the next subject. The next day, just pick up where you left off and continue to rotate through the subjects each day.
Block scheduling: many families find that block scheduling works well, where you schedule out
One subject a day schedule: instead of doing each subject, pick one core subject to do each day, then rotate throughout the week.
Year-round schooling: instead of breaking for summer, take smaller breaks throughout the year, and continue bookwork during the summer.
Don’t stress about following your schedule, curriculum, or plan to the letter.
Remember that the freedom in homeschooling comes from being able to choose your own adventure! If your day goes off the rails or your kids are entrenched in a building project, busy baking in the kitchen, or engrossed in a good book for hours, that learning is just as valuable as bookwork.