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Ten Tips For Creating An Effective Homeschool Schedule
An excellent homeschool schedule can help you stay productive, feel more in control of your day, and stay more positive and less stressed. I will share my Top 10 tips for creating an effective homeschool schedule today because I see that a lot of homeschooling parents are still struggling with ruling the homeschool day and running it smoothly with as little stress as possible.
While 2020 has been the most challenging year in our lives with pandemic fears and uncertainties, it has also brought some fundamental changes in our lifestyle. Almost every sector has been affected by the pandemic, and schooling or education has not been spared. As many students worldwide gear up for possibly more months of virtual learning, some might be considering shifting to homeschooling.
In fact, due to the pandemic, the number of homeschoolers may surpass 5 million this year. Whether it is the pandemic or other factors making you consider homeschooling, you should know that homeschooling has its challenges before you dive into this practice. And the first of these hurdles that you have to face is sticking to a homeschool schedule.
However, with some smart strategies, you can bring some semblance of routine to your homeschooling. Let’s find out how you can create an effective homeschool schedule.
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Here are my Top 10 Tips for creating a great homeschool schedule poised for success…
1. Pick the Curriculum Wisely
Your homeschool schedule is directly impacted by the curriculum you choose for homeschooling. For a homeschool curriculum, you can either buy a predesigned curriculum or make one yourself. While the latter provides you room for adjustment according to your child’s learning style, interest, and ability, most parents fail to factor in how much it will fit with their family’s daily schedule.
For instance, being struck by the beginner’s zeal, you might think you can manage a teacher-oriented curriculum that requires constant involvement and supervision from your part. However, as the days pass, your initial enthusiasm might wear off, leaving you exhausted and unmotivated. To avoid this, I suggest you opt for a balanced curriculum that doesn’t hinge too much on the teacher. Incorporate an equal amount of individual lessons, group works, and independent activities.
2. Create a Proper Homeschool Routine, Not Homeschool Schedule
This might sound like a no-brainer, but creating a proper routine is what makes you able to stick to that routine. Besides, there is a subtle difference between following a schedule and following a routine. A schedule needs you to chalk out your chores down to the minutes – a schedule will dictate that you need to start with your math lesson at precisely 8 AM and geography at 8:45 AM.
A routine provides much leeway in the timing aspects. A routine will tell you what task you need to do, and you can do that within any allocated time. And if you fail to deviate from your designated schedule even for a few minutes, it will affect your whole schedule. So better create a routine that provides you time, flexibility, and room for improvising, so you don’t feel the constant pressure to race with the clock.
3. Set Realistic Goals
It is so easy to get carried away with the goals that we often overlook how feasible they are. And that’s where our plans seem to trip up. Before you tether yourself and your children with a tight-packed schedule, ask yourself how much of those activities can you handle? And how about the kids?
Because the overwhelming sense of incompetency that will come crashing down when you fall behind the schedule is not easy to get around to, especially not for the kids. Set realistic goals that you can achieve based on your ability; maybe a tad bit higher than your ability but nothing more than that.
4. Pick a Homeschool Schedule Template That Works For You
You can either get some printable templates online for your schedule or make yourself one from scratch. However, make sure it is nothing complex. Depending on your child’s age, you can use a whiteboard with a checklist or a journal that your child can keep with themselves.
5. Fix a Layout According To Your Priorities
After you prepare a template, please give it a layout that works for you. For instance, your layout will define whether you will have a four-day schedule or a five-day schedule. Don’t shy away from making the layout visually appealing by using different colors and fonts.
6. Follow Your Instinct
Following instinct can go a long way to make the kids follow the homeschool routine naturally. For instance, you might have got one child that gets up earlier than another, and you can easily schedule the child’s individual study session during that time. You will feel less stressed without other kids around and ensure a good one-to-one lesson with the kid.
7. Consider the Siblings Too
Homeschooling might need an entirely different schedule if you have several kids. However, you can always use some creative strategies like group learning to keep some pressure off of you. For instance, you can arrange the schedule in a way that requires you to study the same topic at the same time. Subjects like math, science, history, or art are more fun and engaging when learned together. Try to align all the siblings’ schedules to get at least a couple of group study hours.
8. Incorporate the Family Routine As Well
One of the perks of a homeschool schedule is its flexibility. You can make it as flexible as you want to fit with your family routine. For instance, if your family tends to start the day late, you can easily schedule your homeschool to start at a later hour.
9. Include Extracurricular Activities
Don’t forget to include extracurricular activities in your homeschool schedule. Extracurriculars are essential for holistic learning, and you should allocate some time each day for activities such as swimming lessons, library tours, or attending youth groups.
10. Be Sure to Take Time Out for Yourself
Homeschooling should not be a round-the-clock chore. Managing a homeschool can be mentally and physically draining, and If you don’t take some time out for yourself, you are bound to feel burnout. It would be best if you were strategic with your homeschool schedule to take time out for yourself. For instance, you can keep the kids engaged with some audiobooks when you catch up with some self-care. You can also take help from online learning sites like Khan Academy to boost their self-learning.
The Bottom Line
The first thing you should know about homeschooling is that it is vastly different from helping your children with their virtual school learning. And no matter how well crafted your schedule is, it is bound to face some disruption along the way. In general, life is unpredictable; trying to mold it around your wish will only cause you stress. You are better off learning how to shape your priorities around the uncertainties. Hopefully, after some trial and error, you will find the homeschool schedule that syncs with your lifestyle.
All the best in planning your Homeschool Schedule for great success!