Do you feel frustrated trying to create the best homeschool schedule? After 20 years of homeschooling, I can tell you that it’s NOT impossible to create the perfect homeschool schedule. But I can also tell you that it probably doesn’t look anything like what you might have imagined.
If we haven’t met, I’m Kim Sorgius. I have an M.A in Curriculum Development and planned to spend my career teaching in the public school system. Until one day while on maternity leave with my first child, I began homeschooling my 8-year-old nephew in an effort to save him from being retained the second time. My goal was to catch him up and send him back. The rest of the story is a really cool one–as I felI in love with homeschooling so much that I’ve spent the last 20 years doing anything it took to continue doing it with my own kids.
In those early homeschooling days, I very quickly learned that homeschooling was NOT THE SAME as the classroom. Baby diaper blowouts were unscheduled. Some concepts took longer to learn than expected and most importantly, we found that the rabbit trails led to the kind of learning we couldn’t pass up.
So, I had to throw out the traditional homeschool schedule!
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE a good schedule. I just needed one that would work with our style of learning and flex around unexpected things like a visit from grandma, a really cool comet that we just had to stay up late for, and yes, those diaper blowouts.
3 ingredients for the perfect homeschool schedule
It’s centered around family life, not institutional systems.
The biggest lesson I learned as a new homeschooler was that the classroom schedule did NOT work. But it’s so ingrained in our minds as the “way to learn” we can’t see past it. Trust me, you’re not alone in that. The best homeschool schedule throws all of that tradition out the window and instead seeks to find a system that works for your family, helping you accomplish your goals, instead of boxing you in or binding you to an institutional ball-and-chain.
It must be flexible.
Lack of flexibility will lead to frustration EVERY TIME and many of those times, we just give up. I know you’ve been there. The morning starts off perfectly until little Jessica wakes up with an ear infection. By the time you get home from the doctor and the pharmacy, it’s nearly time for lunch and you figure the day is just shot. After all, you’ve missed all of the things that you wrote down for the morning and there’s no way to turn back the clock.
But, I also feel the rub of leaving things TOO loose. No schedule at all often leads to getting pretty much nothing done. I’ve settled on a core structure (I call these chunks) and a flexible routine within those chunks. The best part is, if something interrupts your morning chunk, it can be pushed back until later or even swapped with the afternoon chunk. Once we started doing this, we no longer gave up on school just because something unexpected popped up.
In creating a schedule based on chunks, it’s easy to get back on track at any point in the day. Even if we have an unexpected appointment. We just jump back in at the right chunk. Plus, without a bunch of set times to remember, it is much easier to keep up.
It should teach responsiblility
If you create a schedule that keeps mom in the driver’s seat without allowing your kids the ability to take responsibility for keeping the routine, THEY WON’T bother. We can’t become frustrated with our kids when they don’t take ownership if we are constantly micromanaging their moments. A great homeschool schedule sets boundaries of time that contain a flexible routine for kids to accomplish.
Sample homeschool schedule using chunks
The perfect homeschool schedule works FOR YOU, not the other way around. Stop working so hard to make the schedule work and create a system that flows with life.
We do this by dividing the day into manageable chunks of time typically morning, school, lunch, afternoon, and evening.
Each chunk of time has a pre-determined ROUTINE within that chunk. I typically set a time that I’d like for that chunk to start, knowing that it’s flexible and may vary from day to day.
Everything that happens within that chunk of time, happens as a routine with the first things first working down the list.
Here is a peek at what a typical homeschool day looks like for our family:
Morning Chunk (7:30am)
- Bible reading/quiet time (we use the system for kids devotions)
- tidy room
- morning chores (we use this chore system)
- memory work
School Chunk (9:00am)
- family meeting/devotion (more about how we do family Bible study here)
- complete your assignments by checking off your checklist
- turn it in to mom (more about accountability in this post)
- free exploration (we limit this to educational activities and pursuits)
Lunch Chunk (12:00pm)
- help prepare food
- eat lunch
- listen to the read aloud (one of the BEST things we do each day!)
- lunch chore
Afternoon Chunk (2:00 pm)
- turn in your checklist (if you didn’t get to it in the morning)
- quiet time (especially if you have littles)
- Extra-curricular activities/errands
- screen time
- outside time
Family Time Chunk (4:30 pm)
- family game (15-30 minutes)
- clean sweep the house
- help prepare dinner and set the table
- eat dinner
- help clean up the kitchen and do evening chores
- evening activities (bike ride, walk on the trail, church, etc)
Night Time Chunk (8:00-10:00 pm)
- bath and books (this is indpendent reading time. Check out this booklist for ideas.)
- Special time with mom
- Prayers and lights out
The time for this chunk has greatly varied over the years from 7pm all the way to about 10pm with my high schoolers. Remember to take into consideration your family’s unique circumstances and ages when you determine a general time for this.
Also, if you are working from home and homeschooling, you’ll find this simple homeschool schedule for working moms super helpful. I’ve been working since my kids were very young, so I’ll share all of my best tips!
Sample homeschool schedules for all grade levels
If you’re looking for specific ideas for each grade level, you’ll find suggested homeschool schedules, curriculum, and teaching ideas for all ages below:
- Preschool Homeschool Curriculum
- Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum
- First Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Second Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Third Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Fourth Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Fifth Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Sixth Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Seventh Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- Eighth Grade Homeschool Curriculum
- High School Homeschool Curriculum
Get help planning your homeschool schedule
If this feels a little overwhelming, I’d love for you to join our Homeschool Planning Bootcamp. It’s a totally FREE 5-day course that will walk you step-by-step through the process of planning your BEST homeschool year ever!
Through practical tools & Bible-based resources, Kim Sorgius is dedicated to helping your family GROW in faith so you can be Not Consumed by life’s struggles. Author of popular kid’s devotional Bible studies and practical homeschooling tools, Kim has a master’s degree in education and curriculum design coupled with over 2 decades of experience working with kids and teens. Above all, her most treasured job is mother and homeschool teacher of four amazing kiddos.