Learn how to make a simple daily homeschool schedule that works well for your family’s routine and lifestyle!
When you first start homeschooling, curriculum is usually your first concern, but right behind that is how to fit it all into a daily schedule that doesn’t take all day and stress you and your kids out in the process!
When I first started homeschooling, I tried to put every subject into every school day every week, but the list of what I felt I “had to do” became so long and so overwhelming, there was no way I could keep up the pace.
When you take my ecourse Creating a Homeschool Schedule You Love, you learn how to build a doable daily homeschool schedule, but the first step to all of this is knowing what truly HAS to be done every day, versus what can be done occasionally, allowing you more freedom with your time and energy.
I call this the Essentials versus the Extras, and they are the KEY to making a daily homeschool schedule! This post will help you figure it all out!
Table of contents
- What are the Essential Subjects?
- How to Make a Daily Homeschool Schedule from Your Essentials List
Need a Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Perfect Homeschool Schedule?
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Creating a Homeschool Schedule You Love!
Includes LIFETIME ACCESS so you can go back through it
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What are the Essential Subjects?
As homeschool moms, we tend to think ALL subjects are essential and must be done every day, but that simply isn’t true. The sooner you wrap your brain around Essentials versus Extras, the sooner you will have a daily schedule you can actually manage.
Here is a simple rule of thumb to help you decide if a subject is an Essential or an Extra:
ESSENTIALS = EVERY DAY (subjects that need to be done every day to keep up the momentum and the flow of learning.)
EXTRAS = NOT EVERY DAY (still important, but don’t require lessons every day to be retained by your children.)
With that working definition, let’s get started…
Step 1 – Write down every subject you think is Essential.
Get out a piece of paper or pull out your laptop and write
at the top.
(if you own my Scheduling eCourse, there is a printable Essentials/Extras worksheet)
Now, without overthinking it, write down every subject or curriculum you currently believe to be something you should do every single day in your homeschool.
Take a good look at that list and be honest with yourself as we go to the next step…
Step 2 – Pair it down to 3-5 subjects.
Yes, I said 3-5 subjects. Some of you are shaking your heads in disbelief. Some of you are wondering if I really know how to homeschool. And some of you are sighing with relief!
The reason the Essentials list can only be 3-5 subjects is because much more than that and you will find yourself homeschooling from sunup to sundown. You will run yourself and your children into the ground trying to get everything done every day. Homeschooling will become a very unhappy venture because there simply are not enough hours in the day to do more than 3-5 subjects well.
Trust me on this.
Do you have 3-5 subjects on your Essentials list? If so, congratulations! You are free to move onto the next step!
If not, go over it again and pare down! You can always add to the Essentials list as you get comfortable with your homeschool schedule and see whether or not you have extra time. But putting too much in there to begin with will NOT be helpful and will NOT make your schedule consistent!
Step 3 – Choose an Anchor for Your Essentials.
If you’ve taken my Free Class – 4 Steps to a Better Homeschool Day – you know how important Anchors are to keeping your homeschool day on track.
You should also listen to Podcast #77 below to help you understand Anchors their many uses in your homeschool day.
But, for now, let’s choose an Anchor from your Essentials list that will begin your homeschool day every day. This will give you the consistency you need to make your homeschool schedule doable day in and day out.
For us, the Essential subject we always, always, always start with is Bible. I call the kids to school, and we start with whichever Bible curriculum we are currently using every single school day.
Whichever subject you choose, it needs to be something that brings EVERYONE TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE and gets your homeschool day started off in the right direction. (For more help choosing an Anchor for your homeschool day, buy my eCourse – Creating a Homeschool Schedule You Love!)
Step 4 – Create an Essentials Routine.
Homeschool schedules only work if you can consistently implement them day after day. The easiest way to make this happen is to put your homeschool on autopilot by creating a routine you can do in the same order every day.
How to Make a Daily Homeschool Schedule from Your Essentials List
Your Essential subjects become your daily homeschool schedule. It is a schedule you can easily follow every single homeschool day. It is the backbone of your homeschooling. Once you have the order down, you can add to it with Extras as desired (to learn how to do this, take my eCourse!), but always start with the Essentials so the subjects you want done every single day are done and out of the way in an order you and your children can memorize and do on autopilot.
Let me walk you through finding a good order for your daily homeschool schedule…
Step 1 – Put your Anchor subject at the top of the daily schedule list.
You already chose your Anchor subject, so make sure it is at the top of your list. This is where your day will start every single day. It will serve as the signal for your and your children that the homeschooling day has started.
Step 2 – Order the other Essential subjects in a way that makes sense.
Look at the remaining Essential subjects and order them in a way that makes sense for your family. You may want to work from easiest to hardest subjects or vice-versa. You may want to do the teacher-intensive stuff first, leaving the other subjects for later in your schedule. Ultimately, you need to do what works for you and will be easiest to remember.
Step 3 – Make schedules for (and with) your kids.
If you have different Essentials for different students, help them order their list in a way that feels right for them. Again, it might be easiest to hardest or vice-versa. They might want to end with a subject they really enjoy or perhaps they need to sprinkle the “fun” subjects in between the not-so-fun ones.
NOTE: They need to work through the list on their own as much as possible so they “own” the routine of their Essentials.
Need help training your kids toward independence in their schoolwork?
Check out this post:
Teaching Kids to Homeschool Themselves
Step 4 – Practice your daily homeschool schedule.
Practice your Essentials list over and over. Make changes as needed.
Working through your list every day will help to create an autopilot homeschooling schedule that can easily be remembered and implemented!
Get my eCourse to learn how to fit in even more homeschool subjects, projects, and field trips without adding to your workload!
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