Why your homeschool schedule isn't working {and two simple ways to fix it}

Homeschooling is hard work. Juggling the daily homeschool schedule with managing the kids, the daily chores, the meal planning, and a few minutes for yourself (most likely hiding in the bathroom with a piece of chocolate) doesn’t leave much time for other pursuits. Part of the problem?

Your homeschool schedule.

There are a few reasons that homeschool schedule isn’t working for you. Thankfully, there are a few simple solutions for fixing that broken homeschool schedule.

Listen up!

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Reason #1 - Overscheduling

I know there are so many great resources to choose from - so many that it’s so easy to go just a little bit overboard (I tried to juggle two completely different history programs for one child… it didn’t end well… so I understand the struggle).

Create a homeschool schedule that works for your family. If it's not working, there are two important factors you must consider when trying to fix your homeschooling schedule.

Or perhaps you feel overscheduled because you’re homeschooling a houseful of kids. Or you’re a social butterfly with homeschool co-ops and activities crowding out the actual homeschooling.

Whatever the reason, overscheduling just isn’t working for you.

Thankfully, there’s a pretty simple solution.

Cut back.

Yup, I said it was easy. And I hear you scoffing, "Ha… easier said than done!"

But there is an easy way to decide what's most important.

The solution to overscheduling: yearly goals

Go back to your goals for the year.

And what if you didn’t set goals for the year?

Well, there’s no time like the present, dearie!

Take a few minutes while you’re folding laundry (or hiding in the bathroom with chocolate) and think about each child. What one (or two) things would make you feel like you had a successful year homeschooling that child?

What if they conquered their multiplication facts, read a chapter book by themselves, or learned to write a narration?

Those are goals! It’s almost too simple - but that’s what you need to focus on (especially when you are feeling overwhelmed by your broken schedule).

Think about those goals and use those to plan what’s most important during your homeschool day.

Maybe you need to cut that fun co-op or re-prioritize the curriculum you’ve chosen. You may even have to shelve some of it for later (or even ditch it altogether). Whatever you decide to do, focus on the goals you set for each child and you will have your most successful homeschool year yet.

Related: Why Homeschool? What You Need to Know About Finding Your Purpose

Reason #2 - Unrealistic Expectations

Okay, you’ve started to tackle that schedule, making some tough choices - all aligned with the goals you’ve set for your children.

Now it’s time to think about your expectations.

First, I want you to think about how much time you’ve scheduled for each subject. Is it more than adequate? Does it provide a little bit of a buffer? Inevitably your child is going to dawdle, need to spend five minutes finding his pencil and then another five sharpening it, proceed to fall off his chair, and probably hide in the bathroom for a few minutes too.

All in the hopes of avoiding that page of math.

It happens to the best of us.

The ace up your sleeve is that you’ve created a bit of a cushion in your schedule because you just KNOW that kid is going to find some excuse to avoid working.

The solution to unrealistic expectations: adding a cushion

Did you allow time for the extra dawdling and bathroom breaks in your homeschool schedule?

If not, it’s time to become a little more realistic with the time each subject is going to take. Because there will be interruptions and dawdling and numerous bathroom breaks. Make some allowance for that in your schedule.

And for especially wiggly kids that fall off their chairs - give them a minute or two between subjects to run around the house and burn off a little bit of that extra energy (wouldn’t it be nice to bottle that up?!).

Another natural way to add some extra time to your day is by fitting the bulk of your homeschool subjects into four days a week, giving you a fifth day to catch up on extra work, fun projects and read alouds.

We’ve used a 4-day work week for a few years now and it’s so nice having that extra day to catch up on things and add in a few fun extras that we can’t seem to squeeze in during the week.

If you’re doing so much that you couldn’t possibly schedule it over 4 days, go back to problem #1 and consider all of those things on your schedule. Go ahead - I’ll wait.

Looked at that schedule again? Good, let’s move on.

Reason #3 - You’re Lazy and Undisciplined

Okay, don’t freak out.I’m NOT calling you lazy and undisciplined.

That’s what I hear homeschool moms say when they can't keep up with their packed homeschool schedule - they feel like they lack discipline and self-motivation.

But you want to know something?

You are NOT lazy and undisciplined. You DO NOT suffer from a lack of motivation.

If you were unmotivated and lazy you would never have made the choice to homeschool in the first place!

It takes so much hard work and discipline to stick with this homeschool thing.

Is it overwhelming? At times.

Is it worth it? Yes!

Do you need to cut yourself some slack once in awhile?

YES!!!

You are not lazy and undisciplined. You are tired, stressed, and probably overwhelmed trying to manage it all.

And that is a normal feeling. Thankfully, it's also something you can address.

The first step? Realizing that it’s your schedule that’s screwed up - NOT YOU.

Related: Finding Your Homeschool Teaching Style

It’s time to break up with your overwhelming homeschool schedule

The hard part is figuring out why your schedule is broken and taking intentional time and effort to fix it.

Whatever the reason - whether you just need a break, you’ve put too much on your daily to-do list, or if you haven’t been realistic about what you and your kids can accomplish in a day - there is a solution for it.

It’s time to figure out why your schedule is broken.

  • Why is your current schedule so hard to manage?
  • Do you need to revamp things to make your day a little bit easier?
  • Do you need to let some things go?
  • Do you need to be a little more realistic in your expectations?

Take some time to think about why your homeschool schedule is broken and what you can do to fix it.

It won’t be an overnight solution. It takes time and real effort to find a schedule that works. But you can do it! If you need some help to figure out what's gone wrong, take a look at Homeschool DIY. I'll show you exactly what you need to create the homeschool you've always envisioned for your family.

If you’re really struggling and need a listening ear, I can help you

I want to hear from you

I want to know how you feel about your homeschooling schedule. Have you perfected it? Still working on it? Ready to chuck it and start all over?

Leave me a comment and tell me if you’re ready to break up with your broken homeschool schedule.

And if you have a simple solution for making a homeschool schedule that works, tell us about it!

Tonia L

Hey! I'm the owner of Happy Homeschool Nest - a website devoted to helping homeschool moms balance the needs of homeschooling with managing a healthy and happy home.