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Homeschool Schedules vs. Routines--Setting your year up for success!

Are you in the process of are creating a daily schedule for homeschooling? Have you considered the idea of a schedule versus a routine?

Schedule vs. Routine

A schedule is typically designated times to complete items, whereas a routine is a more general flow to your day. One of the most significant benefits of homeschooling is flexibility! Routines are a general idea of what your days will look like. A routine allows you flexibility if a subject takes longer one day or an unexpected learning opportunity arises. A schedule is creating specific times for every activity and can end up being very confining and frustrating for some if something takes longer than it should, or an unexpected event happens.

Simple Homeschool Routines

The best bet is to create a simple homeschooling routine that is easy for all family members to follow. For example, breakfast, get ready, and chore time first thing in the morning followed by school time, snack, and break time, followed by a bit more school then lunch! This general flow is easy to remember for even the youngest members of your home.

Sometimes parents are juggling working from home while homeschooling. While you may need to schedule designated hours for employment, there can still be a routine for your children within those periods. Plan to have them complete more independent work or enrichment activities during the times you are not available. Reading is also a terrific activity to fill time, especially when you can choose books that support the topics they are learning about. Finally, teach your children to make a list of questions or flag pages with a sticky note when they need help, so when you have time, you can sit and assist them with those areas.

A schedule is a designated time to complete activities while a routine allows for flexibility.
A schedule is a designated time to complete activities while a routine allows for flexibility.

There are a few more considerations to keep in mind as your family sets your homeschooling plan in motion!

How Long Should I Homeschool?

How Long Should You Homeschool?
How Long Should You Homeschool?

Homeschooling will not take your entire day! You won’t be spending the whole day teaching your children. In elementary school, average instruction time might only be from one and a half to three hours. Middle schoolers might only need three to four hours of schooling time, while high schoolers can typically wrap up their day in four to six hours. And remember for older students you won’t have the extra homework hours that you usually have with public schools, which can leave time for enrichment, service, or employment opportunities.

Be Flexible

It often seems just as you figure out a routine that fits your family, it will work for a while and then need to be tweaked for some reason or another! These changes can occur from year to year or even from month to month, especially if an unexpected life event happens--a new baby, a new job, or a family member dealing with an illness. It is sometimes hard to stray from the routine you have created--give yourself permission to be flexible enough to adjust when necessary. You will be so much happier in the long run.

Creatively Plan A Homeschool Routine
Creatively Plan A Homeschool Routine

Think Outside the Box

Additionally, think creatively about planning your homeschool year. Possibly consider a four day versus a five day school week, especially if you have elementary students. Doing school four days a week gives you an extra day to explore other topics, do more outside exploration, or catch up on lessons if something unexpected comes up earlier in the week. Weekend schooling, sometimes due to a parent’s work from home hours, may be necessary in order to complete teacher-directed lessons on the weekend and more independent lessons during the week. You really have endless options!

Need help getting started?

Free Homeschool Weekly Planning Pages

We have got you covered!

You can download these free colorful weekly schedule or weekly routine pages to start planning your days!

We are also sharing our favorite gel pens to use when trying to organize our homeschool days or year. And the BEST part is they are erasable!

If you are looking for ways to keep the whole family involved we love these options to display in a spot where they can be accessible to everyone. SchKIDules Visual Schedule is perfect for families with younger kids. The images are great visual cues so they know what to expect without having to ask you every 5 minutes (...although they probably still will).

If you have older kids, you will want to check out this bright Dry Erase Calendar Whiteboard set. Its weekly planner is perfect for posting your daily schedule or routine. It also comes with 8 markers which will make color coding your week a breeze!

So go ahead and start planning! Remember, you have the power to create the day that will work best for your family's needs!

Some of the links on our site may be affiliate links. We are CBD and Amazon Affiliates. If you choose to purchase through these links, we will only receive a very small percentage of the purchase. We will only recommend resources we have found helpful in our homeschooling journey. Thank you for supporting our site!


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