Do you regularly run out of time for lessons? Have you struggled to transition from one subject to the next? Do your kids groan and complain about learning? Yes? Then you NEED a homeschool schedule. You need to make a 4 day per week homeschool schedule.
Homeschool schedules are a touchy subject. Some think you should NEVER use a schedule. Others think you should do school at home. Can’t we find a healthy balance between these two extremes? Keeping a balanced schedule is the key to homeschooling successfully.
Keep reading to find out why & how to do it!
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5 Reasons Why You Need a Homeschool Schedule
1. Give Structure to Your Days
Creating a homeschool schedule doesn’t have to be difficult. It also doesn’t have to be strict. Your schedule should be personalized to your family. Think of the day in blocks, instead of specific hours. Take a look at our sample below. The column on the left shows the breakdown of the day in blocks. There aren’t too many things listed in each block – this way we never have to rush through anything and we can be flexible, but we still have a set structure to our days.
Plus it’s easy to change it up from season to season and year to year. If something isn’t working for you, adjust your schedule!
Need help? Check out our post: 7 Simple Steps to Create a Personalized Homeschool Schedule.
2. Be Intentional
Everyone needs to be intentional and mindful of how they are using their time – yes, even the relaxed homeschoolers! Setting intentions for each day is a beneficial practice for kids to learn too. As they grow up it will help them pursue the things they are most passionate about and get in the habit of doing things they may not enjoy so much. It will also help YOU pursue your dreams and take care of the mundane tasks (like washing dishes!)
I know for me, it’s so easy to get distracted. Social media. Emails. TV. Running a business. Having a schedule in place keeps me on track and helps me keep my kids on track too – but without stress!
3. Meet Education Goals
If you have set expectations of what your kids should learn in a year, then you must have a schedule in place. The only way to meet those goals is to consistently work towards them week after week. Winging it just doesn’t work well for most people.
4. Bring Peaceful Energy to Your Home
With a homeschool schedule in place, you will be more prepared to teach, and your kids will be more prepared to learn. Your kids will be more excited about learning and transition from one thing to the next more easily. It will also help kids learn to patiently anticipate special activities that only happen on a certain day each week.
5. Integrate Homeschooling with Life
Having a homeschool schedule shows kids that learning is a natural part of life! Let’s raise kids who are eager and excited to learn and see it as an every day pursuit so that they will be life long learners.
Make a Homeschool Schedule That Works
The most effective homeschool schedule is 4 hours per day, 4 days per week. What might those days look like? And why just 4 days a week? Keep reading.
Why schedule only 4 days per week?
Did you know that a study found that employees are 20% more efficient, happier, and less stressed with a 4 day work week? Even though our society has convinced us that a 5 day work and school week is normal, it’s likely not the most optimal.
While the study was focussed on a workplace, I think the same thing can apply to homeschooling. A 4 day week just feels so much more manageable and balanced.
Four days a week of scheduled homeschooling can definitely work for you! Then the fifth day is open for extracurriculars, co-ops, and field trips. We like to think of it as an extra special, fun day!
4 Hour Per Day Homeschool Schedule
Many people think that homeschooling for 4 hours per day is too much. There are plenty of homeschoolers that argue that you shouldn’t homeschool for more than 1 hour per day. But seriously, homeschooling for 1 hour per day is not enough.
Remember though, we’re not recreating school at home. Instead, we taking a balanced, well rounded approach to homeschooling.
A 4 Hour Homeschool Schedule is NOT:
- Sitting at a Desk for 4 Hours Straight
- Doing a Bunch of Worksheets
Sitting at a desk and doing a worksheet isn’t always a bad thing, but it definitely shouldn’t be done for 4 hours per day.
What a 4 Hour Homeschool Schedule Might Look Like:
- Math – 30 Minutes Per Day
- Language Arts – 30 Minutes Per Day
- Science – 30 Minutes Per Day or 1 Hour 2x a Week
- History – 30 Minutes Per Day or 1 Hour 2x a Week
- PE – 30 Minutes Per Day
- Art – 30 Minutes 2x a Week
- Music – 30 Minutes 2x a Week
- Read Aloud or Independently – 30 Minutes Per Day
- Special Extras – 30 Minutes Per Day
Does this seem like a lot to you? If you break it down, it’s really not. It comes down to doing math, language arts, science, and history for 2 hours per day. Then the other 2 hours is spent doing PE, art, music, reading, and special enrichment activities.
These subjects are things that all kids NEED. Yes, I really do think that first graders need to learn both science and history. These are important subjects that are so interesting. Starting kids young on these subjects will help them develop a lasting love of them and a much better understanding than if you wait to start until they are older.
How you approach these subjects will be individual to your family. Find what works for you and your kids.
What We Do
For instance, with my young kids, PE is Cosmic Kids Yoga, going to the park, or playing outside.
For science we do hands on experiments and discussions. Check out this list of secular science curriculum to find one that fits your family!
We love using Prodigies Music in our homeschool. Although sometimes music is just a dance party in the living room while we enjoy some good music.
Snuggle with your kids on the couch and read to them or listen to an audiobook together.
For us special extras are things like: poetry teatime, nature walk, playing a game, character development, growth mindset, or a seasonal activity. You could add all kinds of other things to this list too!
A Homeschool Schedule That Works
Don’t look at this list of subjects and feel constrained. Instead open your mind to the possibilities and opportunities to expand your child’s interests by bringing them an engaging, well rounded education.
Giving yourself 30 minutes per subject gives kids time to soak it in, ask questions, and engage in discussions. It’s also a good amount of time for hands-on projects.
These are all the things that will give your kids a deeper, more meaningful education.