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Whether you’ve just started homeschooling or have been at it a while, it’s a good idea to have some sort of a homeschool schedule in place. Now before you freak out and run, I’m not hyper organized or overly scheduled and I’m not suggesting you should be either. In fact, I enjoy some ‘give’ in my schedule because if I have too rigid of a routine I find myself getting bored and eventually dropping my ‘schedule’ all together. In fact, I prefer organized spontaneity. It really is a thing, I promise! Therefore, my quick way to schedule your homeschool day shouldn’t make you cringe. You can have flexibility and still maintain order by following this simple plan.
It’s really the concept of organizing the ‘big rocks’ (the most important things on your list) only put into effect with your homeschool day. (If you missed my post, ‘The Stress-Free Way to Get More Done,’ you might want to stop and read it so you have a handle on the basic concept.
Identify Which Subjects are Essential
In my early days of homeschooling, I found myself trying so hard to develop a homeschool routine that was perfect. Every day would end in frustration as I realized I wasn’t getting everything done in search of perfection.
I let go of that and started realizing that first, I needed to identify which subjects were the most important. Once I had a handle on that, I could build my homeschool schedule around those key subjects.
Stop and ask yourself:
- What subjects are most important?
- Which subjects need to be done on a daily basis?
- Which subjects cannot be let go?
Identify Which Subjects are Important, But Not Essential
There are certain things I want my kids to know that rank pretty high on the priority list, but could be let go in place of other essential subjects. For example, I want my kids to learn Home Ec., but if I don’t get to teach it everyday, no one is going to suffer. On the other hand, if my kids don’t do math daily, basic concepts get forgotten.
Identify your important but not essential subjects:
- What subjects do you feel have value, but could be done less frequently?
- Do these subjects contribute to your kids’ over all education (i.e. the things they couldn’t pass their grade if they didn’t learn.)
- Can I let go of this subject on a daily basis?
Identify Which Subjects Are More “Wish List” Items
When I first started homeschooling, I had a laundry list a mile long. I was going to make sure my kids were fluent in several languages, have service opportunities on a daily basis, have a good handle on the Bible, know all of their math facts (still working on that one!) and be genius students by third-grade!
It didn’t take me long to figure out that something had to be let go. I was driving my kids crazy and frustrating everyone in the meantime. We were doing school long into the day, and sometimes evening and totally defeating the purpose of homeschooling, which in my opinion also involves letting kids be kids!
It definitely helped to identify which subjects were merely wish list items.
- Which subjects are you wanting to teach your kids that might not be necessary?
- How much extra time is this subject taking?
- Can I let it go and no one would know the difference?
Once You’ve Identified Your Subjects, You’re Ready to Start
Now that you have a good handle on exactly what you want to teach, you can quickly schedule your homeschool day.
Grab a piece of paper (typical blank copy paper works well.) I’ve said it before, but I’m an ‘analog girl in a digital world.’ When it’s time for me to think, plot, and plan, I need a good ole’ fashion pen and paper! If you’re teaching more than one child, you’ll need a separate piece of paper per student. You’ll also need three different colored pens.
Turn your paper landscape style and write the days across the top. Then list ‘ESSENTIAL,’ ‘IMPORTANT,’ AND ‘WISH LIST’ down the left side. This is just going to be a super simple, basic chart. Remember, this is a quick way to organize your homeschool schedule!
Now start filling in the ESSENTIAL SUBJECTS for each child. What HAS to get done? Stop for a second, pray about your schedule, and think about how you want to schedule your day.
After your’ve identified your essentials, then fit in the IMPORTANT BUT NOT ESSENTIAL SUBJECTS. They key to these subjects is that you probably won’t be able to fit them all in each day. And that’s ok! That’s why we’re laying out your schedule. This way you will still teach your important subjects and not forget about them, but they won’t crowd out your essentials.
Finally, it’s time to add your WISH LIST items. I like to put a star by them so I remember that these are the subjects that are going to happen, ONLY if you have time. And you won’t get frustrated if you can’t get to them. (Promise? 🙂 )
You’ll Be Able to Adjust Your Schedule if You Need To
You can always tweak your schedule as you go. I have found having a basic framework of my day sure helps ease the overwhelm. That way when unexpected things come up, I know that I have my schedule to fall back on. Having it organized and written down instantly settles my heart.
As you homeschool, you’ll find seasons of life that make it difficult to stay on track. For example, a new baby, the holidays, unexpected company, tragedy, sickness, etc. And when those things happen it’s OK. You’ll make it through! And you’ll be stronger for it!
Now go pour yourself your favorite drink, settle the kids into something fun for just a bit, grab your paper and pen and start writing! Plan out your ESSENTIAL, IMPORTANT, and WISH LIST subjects! I’m so excited for you! You’re gonna rock this! And come back and let me know when you’re done!