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Create a homeschool schedule that works for your family.
Making a homeschool schedule that works for you and your kids doesn’t have to be complicated or hard. You can create a homeschool routine that is strict or one that is open to flexibility.
When parents make the decision to homeschool, they may become overwhelmed at all the work that goes into this process.
You have to choose curriculum that works for your kids and their learning styles.
You have to find a place in your home that you can do school.
You have to organize your homeschool supplies and books.
You have to decide what extracurricular activities your kids will be involved in, including co-ops, homeschool meet-ups, sports, or other ideas.
But most importantly – you have to make a homeschool schedule that will help you stay on track with your school year so that your kids don’t fall behind.
What should a homeschool schedule look like?
A homeschool schedule will look differently for each family depending on many factors including how they choose to homeschool, how many kids they are homeschooling, etc.
First, you must decide what type of homeschool you envision for your family – whether it’s unschooling or more traditional homeschooling, or a blend of both.
Once you choose your curriculum, and find any co-ops or extracurricular activities you might be joining, you can really start to put together a schedule for homeschool that works for you.
Ideally, a homeschool schedule should always include the four core subjects of Language Arts, Math, History, and Science. Then they can also include two extra electives such as Art, Foreign Languages, Music, Physical Education (PE), Home Ec, Health, Coding, Typing, etc.
How to schedule your homeschool year
One of the many benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility it will provide to your family. You will not be required to live your life revolving around the traditional public school year of August/September through May/June.
You can choose when to do school and when to take breaks. This affords your family a flexibility to enjoy your life in a way that students in traditional schools cannot.
As a homeschool family, you can choose to follow the same school year as public school, taking similar days off as well as summers.
We did this our first few years of homeschooling. Then we changed our homeschool routine to year round homeschooling.
Choosing year round homeschooling was the best fit for our family. We start our school year in August. We take off days here and there as we see fit, for mental health breaks or to travel, or just to have a break.
We then take off the week of Thanksgiving through the remainder of the year. We start back up in January. We continue to do school all the way through the end of July.
Then we take a few weeks off before beginning the next school year again in mid to late August. This has worked well for our family.
Another great way to plan your school year is to do 4 days of school each week and then have the fifth day off. On that fifth day, you can run errands or do household chores.
You can also use day five for a co-op day or field trip day instead of your normal homeschool routine at home.
PRO TIP: Plan four day school weeks, taking the fifth day off for co-ops, activities, errands, or field trips.
We have decided to try a new homeschool routine for the 2021-2022 school year. We will begin school in September, and do 3 months on and 1 month off.
This will give us December, April, and August off. During those months, we will do a hour or two of interest led learning each day.
This can be learning about countries we are interested in, or focusing on coding, circuitry, engineering, computer science, science experiments, or other interests that we don’t have time to do with our normal schedules.
There are so many ways to conduct your homeschool year that it truly is what works best for your family.
Also, keep in mind that some provinces and states may require end of year testing or other requirements. This may mean that you might have to stick to a traditional school year vs. year round homeschool year.
Do homeschooled kids get summer vacations?
This brings us to another frequently asked question about homeschooling. You can decide if your kids get summer vacations or not.
We have decided to have more breaks throughout the year, including a longer break during the winter holidays, so our summer breaks are shorter.
We also live in Florida so it gets very hot here during the summer. Too hot to really enjoy being outside from June through August unless we are in the pool.
In Florida, it’s hot all year round, so we can really enjoy the outside weather at any point during our school year.
It is more enjoyable to spend days off at the beach in the months of March, April, May, and October then during the unbearable summer months.
If you live in a northern state or country, then you may want to make sure you take summers off to enjoy the weather more. It’s entirely up to you, as long as you finish the homeschool requirements for your state or country.
As I mentioned previously; it is important to know your state’s individual laws because some homeschool students may be required to submit a portfolio, take end of the year exams or testing, or other requirements at the end of the traditional school year (in May/June).
If this is is the case for your location, then it may mean that you will have to take summers off, and follow a normal school year.
And of course, any homeschool groups, sports, and activities that your students participate in will probably follow the traditional school year.
Florida is pretty flexible with homeschooling. You can register as a private school student under an umbrella school.
If this is the case, then as long as you finish the school year, it doesn’t matter which days you spend doing school and which days you take off. This allows us the flexibility to do year round homeschooling.
I can’t imagine going back to a traditional school year again.
That is the beauty of homeschooling.
Is it possible to work full time and homeschool?
Absolutely. Ideally this works better if you have a schedule like working 10 hour shifts, 3 days a week. Or you work on the weekends.
It also helps if you have a grandparent or partner that can be at home with your kids while you are at work. They can do some of the schooling with your kids while you are working, or it can be done when you are home from work.
If your kids are older and can stay home alone, then they can stay home and work on independent subjects while you are at work.
If they are younger, you can do school around your work schedule, including weekends and evenings. If you work from home full-time, these might be your school hours as well.
The most important thing is that they are finishing all their work for the school year, and that you are still able to incorporate some extracurricular activities so they can meet other kids and make friendships.
If you can meet these two important factors, then you can make it work if you really want to be a homeschool family.
How should I schedule a day of homeschooling for multiple kids
If you have multiple kids who are homeschooling, then you may want to have them work on some subjects together as family.
Of course, this will differ from family to family, depending on your children’s ages. If you have two kids who are close in age, then you can typically study science, history, and your electives together.
If you have a bigger age gap; say one child in elementary school and another in middle or high school, then it may be harder to group subjects together.
We have an elementary age child and middle school student. We occasionally will do art together, or some stand alone topics – like a Safety unit or life skills such as cooking and baking together.
By doing subjects together as a family, it will save you as the homeschool parent a lot of headaches. It will put less on your plate.
If your kids are in the same age group (for example, elementary school age), then you can plan out your history and science curriculum for the year using the same material. For the older students, you can also include extra reading comprehension worksheets, quizzes, or writing assignments based on what you all learned together.
I highly recommend this family style learning if you are able to make it work for your kids’ ages. It will help you be more efficient with your time, and you won’t be stretched as far when you are teaching multiple kids.
How do I create a daily schedule for homeschooling?
I like to create a weekly homeschool schedule that includes the week in its entirety. My easy homeschool schedule will vary from week to week, so I usually will spend a hour on Sundays planning out our week.
It is important, especially at younger ages, to incorporate brain breaks, hands on learning activities, learning games, art projects, exercise, and outdoor time in your daily homeschool schedule.
For each grade, you may want to review the scope and standards for your state to stay on track with what you should be teaching. You should include Language Arts, Math, Science, and History every year along with any other electives you choose to focus on.
You can find an all-in-one curriculum that meets your needs or take a more eclectic approach by using different curriculum for each subject. You can also find a lot of great lesson plans, and project ideas from the internet, Teachers Pay Teachers, and Pinterest.
Remember, school at home doesn’t have to replicate public school. You can learn through play, building, experiments, nature, and other manners.
You can including learning games, science experiments, and teach math concepts by using visual elements such as toys.
You do not have to do every subject everyday. For example: for our Kindergarten student, we do reading and math five days a week, and then alternate the remaining subjects.
Day 1 would be history, day 2 would be science, day 3 is art, day 4 is Spanish, and day 5 is Fun Friday (which means we play learning games, go on field trips, attend co-ops with other kids, do science experiments, etc.)
You can make a schedule that specifies what times each subject should be done during the day, but remember that the time the subject actually takes may be shorter or longer than what you plan for.
You can designate a room for homeschooling, do school from your couch, or take your school work outside to the park or beach, or even on vacation. That’s one of the best perks of being a homeschool family.
As a homeschooling mom, you need a break sometimes. It’s important to make a good routine to include self care because as a stay-at-home mom and homeschool mom, you will have little time to yourself.
Homeschooling elementary school
For the younger age group, you should make sure to include some quiet time in your homeschool schedule to give your kids and yourself a break during the day. If you have little ones, it can be during nap time.
You may want to include a read aloud time during Language Arts and then have quiet time after lunch.
A sample homeschool schedule for younger students might look like this:
Homeschooling middle school and high school
Homeschooling in middle school and high school becomes easier because your kids have become more independent and can do more on their own.
You can create a Google calendar and e-mail address for each child, then schedule their homeschool day ahead so they can just check their calendar each day.
They can use the e-mail address to send you finished assignments, or you can send them links to websites they may need for their lessons.
A homeschool day for older students may look like this:
Extracurricular activities for homeschool kids
Homeschooling has come a long way in the current day and age compared to how it used to be. Homeschool kids are no longer isolated at home with their families.
There are homeschool communities worldwide that you can join for your kids to make friends, and you can find like-minded families to grow with on this journey.
You can join homeschool classes, homeschool co-ops, and attend homeschool activity days (like park days, etc). If you search on Facebook, you can most likely find a Facebook group for homeschoolers in your local area to connect with.
Besides getting involved in homeschool communities, your kids can get involved with church, sports, music, theatre, 4H, scouts, and many other activities to make friends and explore their interests.
They can even make friends through virtual classes on Outschool. Outschool offers many classes for kids including academic subjects, as well as fun classes.
They have summer camp classes, one-on-one classes, and group classes. They have classes that are one time, once a week, or classes that run for a full semester.
Outschool classes can be in almost any subject such as art, gaming, foreign languages, exercising, music, escape rooms, circle time, robotics, and more. Get a $20 credit towards your first class on Outschool. (Make sure to check your e-mail to claim your credit.)
Get started with your free homeschool schedule template (pdf) below:
Grab the free printable schedule to get started with your own homeschool schedule.
What does your homeschool schedule look like?