Our home schooling schedule has changed throughout the years. When we first began home schooling, I knew that I wanted to teach the girls year round, but I didn’t really know how I would do it. For us learning at home is such a big part of our lives that I didn’t realize the need for taking schedule breaks until the girls were older. I guess it was different when they were younger because our days were shorter and the lessons were engaging. Our days are still relatively short and I try to keep the lessons engaging, but now we need breaks. We need an outline of how our time is divided up throughout the day and the year.
Write out your mission
I find it easier to make a plan when I know the end goal. When I write our mission for home schooling our daughters, it helps to keep me on track. There is a less likely chance of me incorporating things into our schedule if it doesn’t fit our overall purpose.
Determine What Days You Will Need Off for the Year
We don’t take the entire summer off in our home school. We take the entire month of July off, and that’s it. Before our new school year begins in August, I highlight the important dates to us, and we schedule those off. I loosely follow a six week on/ one week off. There are times when we school for eight weeks without a week off, and other times when there’s only four weeks before we take a break. I have found that having regularly scheduled breaks versus allowing our minds and attitudes to dictate when we need a break is a better method for keeping us progressive and excited about learning.
Plug in Your Materials
Each school year, I write out the subjects or topics that I want to teach my daughters. By knowing exactly what I want to teach them, I can realistically see if it can fit into an entire school year or I can resolve to know that we will work on it over a course of a few school years. I’ve found that many home educators get overwhelmed because they want to complete an entire text, but their life wasn’t set up to make it all happen. If you take a minute in the beginning before the lessons begin to honestly evaluate if an entire curriculum can be completed, it will make your schedule run smoother. I don’t feel bad about stretching things out nor do I feel stressed about not reaching unrealistic goals. Our home environments are different so we have to embrace the fact that we may not be able to get it all done like the curriculum provider suggests. I want to add I do not fully plan my school year, but instead I am taking a quick glance to see the possibilities of us getting specific things done.
Home schooling does take time, but if you have purpose, plan, and just the right materials for your family then you will probably have a year which is productive and efficient.
What are your tips for scheduling in your home school?
A big thank you to Latonya Moore of Joy in the Ordinary for writing this article.