The beginning of a new year is a great time to look at different homeschool schedules. Does your schedule fit your family’s needs? Is it hard to get everything done in a day? Do you feel like you spend too much time on some subjects and not enough time on others? Thankfully, homeschooling allows you to switch up your schedule and find a routine that suits your needs. Here are some options for switching up a routine that just isn’t working.
Four Homeschool Schedules for You
Typical School Schedule
Most families, when they begin homeschooling, follow a typical school day schedule. Every class has a specific amount of time, typically fifty minutes to an hour, each day. In addition, any work not completed during this time becomes homework. This approach also schedules breaks as well as time for seatwork. An advantage of this approach is its structure. Children who crave or rely on structure, especially those with certain types of learning disabilities, will likely do best in this schedule. Something is planned for every point of the day. A lot of new homeschooling families choose this schedule because it is familiar.
This is a useful, traditional approach, but it won’t work for every homeschooler. A traditional school structure can be overwhelming and rigid, not giving enough flexibility for unexpected events. You may find that you don’t need to homeschool the length of a regular school day. Or you may feel rushed to get to everything that is scheduled for that day.
In a block schedule, you assign certain subjects to certain days and do 2 to 3 lessons for that subject. For example, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, you may focus on language arts and math. On Tuesdays and Thursdays you work on history, science, and any electives. Because you are focusing on fewer subjects in one day, you don’t feel pressured to rush through lessons. You can take your time, giving full attention to the lessons for that day.
This schedule can allow you to finish courses faster. It also helps students who struggle in specific subjects focus on the problem areas without getting overwhelmed. Block scheduling works best in high school where there are only four to five subjects to do compared to elementary where there are typically seven.
Loop scheduling means that you have a list of subjects to accomplish during a designated time. You set aside time daily to do schoolwork. When you finish one activity, you move on to the next one until the time is up. When the next day comes, you just pick up where you left off the day before. This requires you to make a list of what you want to accomplish, but you can also play with the schedule and focus on certain subjects by including them more frequently.
This schedule can help alleviate the fear of getting to every subject during a certain period. If you do not finish everything in the set amount of time, you’ll just pick up where you left off the next time. This schedule is meant to be flexible. If you feel overwhelmed or disappointed when you can’t finish everything in your schedule, this may be a great option for you. Homeschooling year-round works well with a loop schedule. We’ve written several blog posts about this, if you would like to learn more. There are advantages to switching to this schedule, including increased flexibility, a consistent routine, and decreased stress.
This schedule is one that most homeschoolers end up using once they’ve moved away from a traditional school schedule. A student-led schedule is when students determine what subjects they do as well as when and how many lessons they do. This schedule encourages students’ independent learning and ownership of learning. This will work best if your children are doing video lessons or if they are essentially teaching themselves.
There are many options homeschool schedules. You can tailor your days according to your needs. You may want to try a few schedules or a combination of them before you settle on what works best for you. Also, what works best in one season of life might not work in another. Be willing to switch up your schedule as needed and be flexible to the needs of individual children. The ideal schedule is the one that keeps you from being overwhelmed and supports your children’s success.