Scheduling our homeschool days/weeks/months is always a common question, from new, potential, and seasoned homeschoolers alike. Homeschool scheduling can look different in each home, and there isn’t one right way (like with anything else). Still, it can feel like a daunting task to come up with a solid plan for your child(ren) and how to make the most of each day. Here’s a plan that should work to get you started to finding a schedule that works for you. Start with a simple weekly calendar and pen…
Start with the non-negotiable items
Going to Jummah, sports activities, and homeschool groups would all be possible items to include in this category. Homeschooling gives you the flexibility to schedule around events you deem important, so start with those items.Mark these on your calendar as busy times. Keep in mind you do not need to emulate the public school system. Many people work with a four day week, or have plans all seven days.
Determine your year long goals
This can be as simple as completing the box curriculum by June 3rd, or finishing Algebra 1 and a literature book list. Work to make these goals so you get a course list in the end, which bridges you to the next step. Remember, your state may require certain courses in your homeschool, so make sure to schedule those in. For instance, before Care Bear got into fencing, we made sure she was signed up for community education sports since physical education is a requirement in our state.
Find resources for each course
At this point, try to have a very general idea of how often you want some core subjects. Qur’an memorization should be practiced every day, even if for only 10 minutes. Likewise, math should be covered almost every day, if not every “school” day. Knowing what weight you are giving to each course will help you decide on resources. If geography is a casual course for you, then you may only schedule this one day a week and choose a resource. Be flexible when looking at resources and change things around as you see fit.
Pencil in a schedule for each course
Most courses don’t need to be done every homeschool day. History can be done two or three days a week, and the same goes for science. On the other hand, if you have nature study as a core to your homeschool, science is integrated every day. Find what works for you and your children, and something the resources you found for your classes will have an outline of a schedule for you. As an example, we do math four days a week, history two days, geography one day, logic three days, etc.
Now that you know what available time you have, and how often you want to do each class, pencil in the classes on the days you have available. Know that after you work with your materials for a few weeks, you might find that what you penciled in doesn’t work. Don’t be afraid to change it! Try to keep in mind how long it will take you to complete each of your goals, and if you have enough time to meet all those goals without running ragged. Adjust as necessary.
One tip I got from another mama’s blog (sorry, I forgot to link it when I saw it!) was she plans three full days and two shorter days. Normally the full days are Monday, Wednesday, Friday, but that can change if someone is sick or they have a doctor’s appointment. It gives them flexibility in their schedule so they can work around the inevitable life events and appointments.
Schedule days off
This is the step I forget often. Homeschool burnout is real, and if we don’t plan some days off, it’s easy to just keep rolling with it and forget to take time off. You can schedule six weeks on, one week off, or just plan three days off every month; whatever works for your family! Just make sure to have some planned days off so you know the next time you can have a mental break from the homeschool to do list.
I hope this helps! What does your homeschool week look like?
The rest of the series to check out!
- Q&A: Homeschool Scheduling (February 20, 2013)
- Q&A: Homeschool Time Management (March 7, 2013)
- Q&A: Keeping Track of Grade Level (March 18, 2013)
- Best Kids Islamic Resources (April 1, 2013)
- Q&A: Planning the High School Years (May 7, 2013)
- Q&A: What is a co-op, and why have one? (May 28, 2013)
- Q&A: Pros and Cons of Virtual School (June 10, 2013)
- Q&A - I'm not patient enough to homeschool (June 26, 2013)
- How Do You Check Academic Performance? (October 19, 2015)