You’re now schooling at home and you need a school schedule / daily homeschool schedule. Whether you’re suddenly doing school at home for an emergency or natural disaster, temporarily homeschooling for personal reasons, or starting home school, we’ll cover important basics of creating an effective school at home schedule. FREE HOMESCHOOL SCHEDULE TEMPLATE PRINTABLE!
DON’T FORGET TO GRAB YOUR FREE HOMESCHOOL SCHEDULE PRINTABLE PACK LATER IN THE POST!
How to Create a Homeschool Schedule
Trying to figure out how to make a homeschool schedule is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for people just starting to homeschool (or suddenly finding themselves schooling from home).
Don’t worry! We’re going to walk you through how to create the best school schedule for your family and even give you some free homeschool schedule printables!
But, before we get to the home school schedule tips, let’s cover some general questions that people have about homeschooling schedules:
What is a typical homeschool schedule?
The great thing about homeschooling is that it your homeschool schedule will be unique to your family! Although there is no typical homeschool schedule, many homeschoolers find covering 1-2 topics a day to successfully work for their family.
SEE OUR SAMPLE HOMESCHOOL SCHEDULE BELOW!
Can you homeschool on weekends?
YES! You can homeschool any time that the days/hours work for your family—even on the weekends. Remember, as a homeschooler you have the flexibility to create a school schedule that works best for your family. For some families, that means schooling on the weekends around work and and other commitments. You can create a homeschool schedule for working moms and dads by schooling on the weekends.
How do you plan a homeschool schedule?
- Don’t try to mimic traditional school schedules (like 8 am to 2 pm).
- List your required topics (if any).
- List your extracurricular activities / regular activities outside the home.
- Use a block schedule or a task list (and not a timed schedule).
- Learn how to stagger schedules for multiple kids.
- Get an app or planner to keep you on track.
- Don’t forget to plan for chores as part of life skills learning!
- Review your family schedule and work school and family stuff into it together.
- Allow for one free learning day a week.
- Be flexible!
How can I keep track of homeschooling?
The first thing you need to do is to check your state laws. Some states require you to track and report specific things (like attendance, courses covered, etc.). You can track those using homeschooling apps and planners.
How many days a week do you homeschool?
Most homeschoolers find that anywhere from 3-5 days a week is good for their homeschooling. Remember, school from home generally will not take as much time as, say, a public school schedule because you are dealing with less kids in a more controlled environment.
Do you homeschool everyday?
You should set a homeschool schedule that best works for your family. It is generally not required that you homeschool every day (many states just have a set amount of hours to meet per year). If you find that you can cover your requirements in three days per week, then that’s how you should set up your schooling at home! Also, if you follow a year round homeschool schedule, you may find yourself schooling less days per week than others.
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Let’s move on to the school at home schedule tips.
You can also use these for a homeschool year round schedule or even a homeschool summer schedule!
(Don’t forget: we have a printable homeschool schedule later in the post!)
Here’s how to set up a homeschool schedule…
5 Tips for Setting Up a School Schedule for Home
Home School Schedule Tip #1: Understand Your Child’s “Natural Clocks”
One of the best things about schooling from home is that you get to create a flexible schedule around your life.
Remember, you’re not at public school (or private school), so you don’t have to start at 8 a.m. (unless you want!).
If your kids are naturally night owls, there’s nothing wrong with letting them sleep in later and starting your day (and school) later.
If your kids are early risers, you can get started at 8ish and then be finished with your school work for the day at 10-11.
Home School Schedule Tip #2: Don’t Try To Model After a Traditional School Setting
One of the biggest mistakes that people make (including me at the beginning!) is trying to make a home school schedule look like a traditional (public/private) school schedule.
And, it’s like that.
You don’t need to start at 8 a.m. (unless you and the kids are up for it) and end eight hours later.
You may be surprised to know that many homeschooling families complete their work in a couple of hours each day — not because they are slacking, but because schooling at home goes by much faster with one kid / a few kids than in a classroom with a teacher trying to teach 25 students at varied learning levels.
So, let go of the traditional schedule and create one that works for your family!
Trust yourself and create a relaxed homeschool schedule!
Home School Schedule Tip #3: Use Block Schedules
When I use “block scheduling” in this sense, what I mean is don’t schedule hour-by-hour.
I see some pretty strict school schedule examples going around and I hate to tell you, but those kind of school schedules rarely work for home.
One of the best things about schooling at home (for any amount of time) is that your child can slow down on things they need more time on and speed up on things that come easily for them.
So what happens when you schedule math from 8:00-8:30 a.m. and reading from 8:30-9:00 a.m. (and so on) and then math really takes from 8:00-9:00 a.m.?
It throws your whole day off, that’s what.
How do I know?
Because my very first day of homeschooling I had everything scheduled neatly BY TIME in a binder. (A BINDER, PEOPLE.)
When things fell apart by noon on the first day, I hid in the pantry and did the ugly snotty cry. (True story.)
So, save yourself the ugly-snotty cry (or avoid feeling like a failure) and use a block schedule homeschool where you put reading/math from 8-10 a.m. or divide it by morning and afternoon.
If they finish early, that’s cool.
You can have reading time, play time, or even some busy bags ready.
Also, don’t try to schedule every topic/subject for every day.
With a home school schedule, you can cover everything you need in usually one day for a topic. So it’s OK to cover reading one day, math the next, geography the next, etc.
I love the block schedule because it works well as a homeschool schedule for 3 year old, a middle school homeschool schedule, or even a high school homeschool schedule!
(We have a homeschool block schedule example later in the post. So keep scrolling so you don’t miss it!)
It’s written for homeschooling, but the same principles apply for temporary homeschooling (or emergency homeschooling).
TIP: Block Schedule Not Working?
If you try out a block schedule and find that it does not work for your family, don’t be afraid to change things up!
Instead, try a TASK LIST that each child has to work through each day. (We put a TO DO list printable in our free homeschool schedule template pack below, so don’t miss it!)
Is there a homeschool schedule app?
You can use any of the following (and many more) to help with your homeschool schedule:
- Homeschool Panda
- Homeschool Manager
- K12 Attendance App
- Google Calendar
- Notes function
Home School Schedule Tip #4: Stagger Scheduling
This section is for those of you trying to schedule school for more than one child.
(If you’re only home schooling one child, skip to the next section.)
Creating a large family homeschool schedule can be daunting!
Scheduling for multiple kids is one of the biggest challenges you will face while schooling at home. (It still challenges even seasoned homeschool families!)
Here are the biggest pieces of advice I can give to you:
• Stagger scheduling.
Let the older kids sleep in while you get the younger kids breakfast and going in the morning.
Then, if the older kids need help when they’re up, let the littles have play time or TV time. (YEP. TV time. I said it.)
• Have bigs help littles.
Let the older kids help the younger kids help with some of their school work, which gives you time to plan, clean, or just have a breather.
Don’t forget to throw in a little something extra for the older kids who help like extra video game time, extra time on the phone with their friends, or whatever their “thing” is.
• When you can, work together.
If you have topics that can be combined, DO IT.
For example, if you are studying Bible, do it all together.
Or, talk about history all together.
Don’t be afraid to combine learning for different ages and stages on some topics. You can get some really great conversations going this way.
A staggered schedule is the best way to create a homeschool schedule for multiple grades!
Home School Schedule Tip #5: Don’t Forget Free Time and Other Stuff
The death of you (and your student) will be if you make your school schedule too stringent without allow some flexibility and freedom and room for the “other stuff.” (That’s why a block schedule works so well!)
• Plan for a free day.
We have Free Learning Friday at our house where my kid can do whatever she wants as long as it has some educational value. (Yes, Minecraft has learning value. Yes, playing Legos has learning value. Yes, watching SOME kinds of TV shows has educational value.) So, don’t freak out if it doesn’t look like “traditional” learning. Your kids are still learning. I promise!
• Don’t forget life skills!
Not long ago, I read an interview with an Ivy League college counselor. She said that new freshman are coming in each year very qualified for academics, but woefully unqualified on life skills.
So, don’t forget to add life skills learning to your schedule.
- Helping grocery shop
- & MORE
These are all things that should be included in your learning schedule and will carry throughout your kid’s life!
• Let your kids get bored.
Did you know that there are true proven benefits to allowing your child to get bored. (For real! Read this about the benefits of boredom!)
While the “I’m bored!” claims can make you crazy, it is OK to let your kids figure it out.
Use big block of FREE TIME on your schedule where your kids decide what they what to learn about!
Remember, planning a school schedule at home isn’t about recreating an educational environment like in public school.
This is about LEARNING in a different type of environment that might not look like anything you’re used to experiencing!
Don’t miss your template for school schedule below! It works for an elementary school schedule, middle school or high school and multiple kids or as a homeschool schedule for one child!
Looking for a kindergarten homeschool schedule?
Sample Home School Schedule
Here’s what a block homeschool schedule sample looks like. (It will just give you some homeschool schedule ideas, so fill in with whatever you’re working on.)
Don’t panic because it’s not detailed! (A block schedule doesn’t need to be!)
Remember: setting up a homeschool schedule will be tailored to not just your topics of study, but also your life (chores, work schedules, etc.).
Use the weekly homeschool schedule template for STUDENT SCHEDULE that we included in the free pack to list specific assignments (reading page numbers, worksheets, etc.).
Then, use the TO DO list for life skills (chores, etc.), field trips, and other learning/fun opportunities.
AND, DON’T FORGET, IF THE BLOCK SCHEDULE DOESN’T WORK, SWITCH TO A TO-DO TASK LIST (using the TO DO template printable in the pack!).
Your schedule for homeschool only works if it works for your family! Don’t be afraid to try new things!
And remember: the best home school schedule is a simplified homeschool schedule!
FREE SCHOOL SCHEDULE PRINTABLE
Here’s your free blank weekly homeschool schedule!
Creating a homeschool schedule can be hard at first, but be flexible and don’t be afraid to change things around to best suit your family!
WHAT QUESTIONS DO YOU HAVE ABOUT YOUR HOME SCHOOL SCHEDULE?