By sharing with you earlier The Sticking Power of a Homeschool Schedule, I hope that you placed a high value on your routine. When I hear the word routine, it conjures up a warm and fuzzy feeling. But I know for some homeschoolers, the words routine and restrained seem to be more synonymous and that just kills me. I want you to love what I love, I can wish can’t I? And it’s true, how to create a homeschool schedule that YOU can stick to, is the difference between organizational agony and thriving in organizational bliss.
This year too, hopefully during the summer, (unless I am on a beach in South America somewhere soaking up the rays and surviving from my upcoming move) I will be sharing more specifics about the different kinds of homeschool routine that vary with your kids ages and seasons in your life.
And before I forget because I have been asked several times, there is no way I am stopping my blog. When I move, I may be M.I.A. for a while, or longer if a beach is calling me (don’t hate, just saying) but am way too vocal to be quiet now. I just had to let you know that important information though it has nothing to do with what I am blogging about today.
Today, I want to keep it simple for you and give you a beginning point in creating a homeschool schedule. Sharing tips that are more broad or that can be applied across a number of scenarios helps you to keep the basics in mind when planning.
3 Easy Steps to Homeschool Schedule
First, instead of planning hour by hour and day by day, think of your day as zones. Later on, I will go through plugging in the details with you, but for now divide your day by general broad zones.
For example, because we do homeschool, we would have our days divided up like this: morning routine, school routine, afternoon routine, personal routine and evening routine.
Wasn’t that easy? It’s true, we have a bit more to divide out in our day, but it’s still doable. Whatever you do, AVOID for now assigning everything in your life an hour by hour appointment. Don’t go down straight jacket, hem me in road because like you, I couldn’t stay there either. Start with general zones and then work within those zones to assign details or all the activities that fall within those time zones.
Next, list the activities you will have this year or the upcoming year, whichever one you are planning. It’s important to create a homeschool schedule each year because activities will change. True, sometimes each year my schedule changed slightly, but other years it changed drastically.
Creating a list of my to-do, whatever it is, helps me to not miss plugging it in a zone. Did you catch this part? For sure this will take the longest amount of time because you are listing EVERYTHING you need to do for the day. Anything for the home, kids, the Mr. and time for you, all have to be listed. Get it all off your mind and on paper. It feels better there too.
The last thing to do is to explore your options in how you will accomplish that activity. What do I mean by this? Whether it is teaching a child to read or taking the kids to a co-op or class, you want to assign a realistic amount of time to do that activity in your zone. It is hard to do that unless you know you have investigated all your options.
For example, some years, I combined extracurricular classes for the kids so that we would have one long day out and away from the house instead of breaking up multiple school days to take each kid to their classes.
Explore ways of how to maximize your time away from home. Can you buy groceries while they are at class or use that as part of your household time? And while you are at home, explore ways to maximize it too. Can you combine two kids for one history program?
Finish exploring options so that you have measured your time better when it comes to plugging it in your zone.
Beginning at this basic framework each year helps to avoid unrealistic planning, the feeling of defeat before you start and gives you a boost in organization.
Dividing my zones, listing my activities and exploring my options is the glue that helps my homeschool routine stick.
Learning to stick with a schedule gives you breathing room and almost a feeling that you have just created extra hours in your day. Ewww, it feels sooo good!
What do you think? Does starting at this point instead of listing it all hour by hour give you some breathing room?
Hugs and love ya,
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