Archive for March, 2010

Homeschooling Scheduling Tips

Educating your children at home is a full-time job. How do you get it all done each day? By creating a schedule that you can both live with and live without. Here are some guidelines to follow to help keep things running smoothly:

Plan Ahead In the late spring of the year, take an overview look at what you want to teach next year, with all of your children. Create an outline that you will then be able to fill out more thoroughly as you get closer to the fall. Include in this outline unit studies you can do as a family together as well as independent work for an individual child. Pencil in important dates like holidays, birthdays, and known family trips as well. It is also a good idea to purchase supplies early that you know you will have what you need for the fall.

Create a Weekly Schedule As time for your homeschooling year to start gets closer and you will have a better feel for things like extra-curricular activities and co-ops.  This is a good time to  create a Weekly Homeschooling Schedule. I use a different color for each child and one for myself.  Each day of the week and the hours from 8 AM to evening are listed. I put into this schedule the routine and regular activities of our homeschooling day and times for extra-curricular activities away from home. One good way to see if you have over committed yourself to outside activities is to and map your daily schedule onto your weekly schedule. If it looks like too much on paper, it probably is and you might want to consider simplifying your out-of-house activities. Another good idea is to schedule your shopping trips as well so you can create menu plans and be more organized in your expeditions away from home. Along with this schedule, I have an Outline List of month-to-month homeschooling topics for each child that I want to be sure and cover in a given time period.  I type this up and display it on the bulletin board. Finally, I have a list of weekly House Jobs for every family member posted in plain view on the bulletin board. I have found it is important, especially in a large family, to have the routine jobs of running a household as well as academics set out in some regular schedule format. That way your house does not take hours to clean but a room or a series of rooms are done each day along with other daily chores. Your house may not be totally clean all on the same day, but within a week to ten days every room and household task will have its attention. Deep cleaning (scrubbing the baseboard, shampooing rugs) can be done seasonally.

Be Flexible This may sound like a contradiction of the first two points, but the fact is that you cannot let a schedule get in the way of times when you need to do something spontaneous or unexpected. The schedule is designed to help you have a smooth rhythm to your day, not to be a yoke around your neck weighing you down with duties! Make sure there is also free time or down time for yourself in your weekly schedule so that everyone can relax and unwind in an unstructured way. Perhaps, one of the most important things to keep track of is making sure that the family vacation is well-planned for and dreamed about!

By planning an outline several months ahead and creating a weekly schedule and housework list, you will find that you can adjust easily into the daily rhythm of homeschooling. Remember that you don’t have to do every subject everyday as long as your basic monthly goals are met. Allow yourself time and occasions when you will not follow the the regular schedule and work to stay flexible when the unexpected happens. Most important, enjoy the closeness and joy that is possible in your homeschooling family!

Another great resource:Homeschooling ABC’s