Have you ever spent hours creating that perfect homeschool schedule – color coded and all?
It looked so beautiful on paper. But what happens when you actually have to implement it? You usually find it isn’t so perfect after all.
We’ve all been there. Sometimes the planning is more fun than the actual homeschooling.
But we all need a method that will actually help us get it all done without losing our sanity. Thankfully, there are plenty of options – and you’re sure to find a weekly homeschool schedule that fits your family.
It takes some time to find the right weekly routine or schedule for your homeschool. You may have to try a few (or combine a few) before you find what works. But, before you can discover what works, you need to know what options are available. There are four simple options that can be combined to fit the needs of your family and schedule.
Standard Lesson Plans
Standard lesson plans are the most common form of lesson planning and use either the free printables attached to this article or a basic lesson plan book.
To begin you’ll need to decide what subjects you plan to teach and how often. For example;
Math – Daily
English Language – Daily
Science – Twice a week
History – Twice a week
Then simply take the lesson plans and fill in the blocks with each of the subjects you have planned ensuring you’ve covered everything you outlined above.
I then write down the assignments and any necessary notes such as page numbers, activities etc. I find that a standard lesson plan integrates really well with a block, loop or checklist schedule. It helps you to both plan and record in detail each of the subjects.
A loop schedule is simply a list of assignments or subjects that you work through for a set amount of time. When the time is up, you stop.
When you start working again (whether that’s later that day or the next day) you begin where you left off. When you complete the list, you move back to the top and repeat — making a loop. You can use a loop schedule for all your subjects, a specific group of subjects, or whatever method that works for you.
We’ve used a loop schedule for all the extras I wanted to fit in. After skill subjects were completed for the day, we used our loop schedule to include some fun. Our loop included art study, art projects, music, and poetry.
Every day after we had finished working on our skill subjects, we had one hour each day for our loop. We would begin with the first thing on the list, art study. After completing that, if time allowed, we moved on to the next item on the list, art projects.
When the hour was completed, we stopped; and the next day, when it was time for our one-hour loop, we began with the next item on the list, music.
After finishing the last thing on the list (poetry), we moved to the top of the loop and repeated the list again. It didn’t matter which day of the week it was; we just continued “looping” through the list. So even though skill subjects took priority, we were still able to fit in the enjoyable content subjects that we liked so much.
A block schedule uses blocks of time to focus on a specific subject. It can be as long as a term or quarter or as short as a week or two.
Here’s an example of a short block – instead of scheduling history for three days a week and science for the other two days, you could choose to focus just on history for a full week or two (or even a term) before shifting focus to science.
You can plan all your subjects according to blocks or use a block schedule for just certain subjects, combining this type of schedule with another format. It works very well for families that like to dive deep into a subject.
Probably the most simple method, but still quite effective, is the simple checklist. All you need is a notebook or paper and a pencil. Write down the assignments and let your child check them off as they are completed.
This is a great method for middle school when you still sit down and go over some daily lessons and then give them assigned work. Teach them to write the assignments down and cross them off as they are completed. Of course, you can keep a checklist too!