Jenny Bristol, Homeschooling Parent, Writer, and Editor
There are as many ways to structure your homeschooling day as there are families who homeschool. It greatly depends on your priorities, your schedule, your needs, your kids' needs, and how they best learn. We have used everything from a set daily schedule to a list of what I want to cover in a given week, and we just make sure to cover it all before the week is out. But here are some additional guidelines.
- Be flexible. No matter what kind of schedule you decide on, things come up, subjects grow or shrink in scope, and you'll need to make adjustments.
- Pick a schedule structure and stick with it for a while. Constantly adjusting how you lay out your week can be confusing to your kids, and they need to know what to expect. So pick something and try it for at least a few weeks before changing it around again.
- Adjust as kids get older. Younger kids may need shorter amounts of time spent on one subject at a time. Older students can handle much longer periods of learning.
- Involve your kids. As your kids get older, involve them in how to organize the week's schedule. By giving them some responsibility to decide what will get done when, they are now more committed to getting through all of the assignments, and it will teach them great time management skills for when they are in college or are adults.
- Take into consideration your materials. If you are watching documentaries or doing elaborate science experiments with your kids, you'll likely need longer time periods to accomplish those. Since each week is likely to have some variation in material length, your schedule structure will likely deviate slightly anyway.
- Make time for breaks. For both you and the kids, you'll need breaks to catch your mental breath before diving into the next time. Perhaps plan exercise in the middle of the day to mix up the types of learning a bit.
Every homeschooling family is different, but my two biggest pieces of advice are #1 and #4: Be flexible, and involve your kids. Hope you find a schedule that works for you!