Fresh Start: Scheduling for the Homeschooling Family
Are you looking for new ways to keep your homeschool days organized? Creating and implementing a family schedule might be the antidote to your organization needs!
Creating a Family Schedule
Making a family schedule takes some time and thought, but once you have the “skeleton” done, you’ll likely only have to tweak it in the future. To create your family schedule, think through your day and jot down everything in the order it happens. Start with waking up and finish with going to bed. Yes, even writing down your own bedtime is helpful; you’ll be able to see when you need to be in bed if you’re going to get a full night’s sleep – which is critical to your well-being. As you write things down, work in 15-minute increments because they’re easier to adjust and be sure to give yourself a buffer of time to transition between activities. Also, don’t forget to incorporate your homeschooling time into the schedule.
Implementing Your Schedule
To get the whole family on board, it’s a good idea to call a family meeting so you can discuss things together, making sure everyone is on the same page. When you’re together, discuss the items on the family schedule or just the new items if this isn’t the first time you’ve had a family schedule. Give each member of the family a copy and have another copy in a prominent place – such as the living room or refrigerator – where it is easily accessible. If following a family schedule is a new thing, you could also set alarms on your phone to let you know when it’s time to transition to a new task.
Sticking to the Schedule
During your family meeting, it helps to get the whole family’s input on the new schedule. When children and teens feel they have had a say in how something is set up, they’re more likely to cooperate when it comes time to put it in place. Furthermore, your family members will have ideas on how you can stick to it and teens can even help point out areas you might need to change before you settle on a final draft of your schedule.
A key component to sticking to your schedule is being realistic about the time it will take for it to become second nature. Try not to panic if it doesn’t seem to be working after the first day – or even the first week. Be flexible and understand that you might need to just tweak a couple of things. Also, keep in mind that it takes roughly 28 days to develop a new habit, so give the schedule at least a month before making a complete overhaul.
- Make the first draft of your schedule in black and white. There’s a good chance you’ll end up needing to tweak it and since you’ll be printing several copies, you don’t want to waste colored ink.
- There are always extra weekly activities that may change your schedule, having a family calendar where these events can be written will help everything run smooth.
- Sometimes it’s helpful to have a family schedule where you just write “Homeschooling: 8:00AM-2:00PM” and a homeschooling schedule where you write out the specifics of homeschooling (i.e. “Language Arts: 8:00AM-8:45AM, Math: 8:50AM-9:50AM, etc.”). Since you’ll be displaying a copy in a prominent place, it’s handy to have the family schedule in a common living area and the homeschooling schedule in your homeschool space.
- Need something to plan out your daily homeschool lessons? Try this free homeschool lesson planner!
Tasha is a homeschooling mom to 5 and has been homeschooling for 14 years. Currently, her children's ages span from toddler to young adult. Tasha has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Social Sciences from Florida State University and is working on her MBA through SNHU/Berklee School of Music.