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When planning a homeschool schedule, it's good to determine whether you are a stuctured person or more laid back and what kind of form you want to your day.
It's good to remember, though, that you are not a school but a family. If a schedule that you have made up doesn't seem to fit your family, then you are allowed to change and adapt it.
Schedule the 3 Rs (Reading, Writing, and Math)when students are freshest - You don't necessarily have to have each subject at a certain time, just a block of time for all 3 subjects if you like.
Set a beginning time to your day- No matter how structured or unstructured of a person you are, everyone needs to start their day sometime. If you can start your day about the same time each day, the routine will help you accomplish more each day. It will also help your children develop a better habit of having a routine to their day that they can take with them throughout their life.
Think about when you want to be up and when you want to get going on your day.
Think in boxes of time - What do I mean by that? Simply, break your day down into larger blocks of time. You have morning, lunch time and clean up, afternoon, dinnertime and clean up, evening, and bedtime. You can adjust those to fit your family. That is just what we use. You may want to break the morning up more to where you have the beginning of the morning and then a break and then the rest of your morning.
Remember "boxes are our friends." Just as those nice storage tubs hold all our kids clothes, toys, and nick nacks, so they can hold our time and make it more manageable.
Keep it Loose - If you plan too strict of a schedule, it can cause you (and your family) to become discouraged when everything didn't stay on schedule.
I know there are people that say Math is at 9:00 and Spelling is at 10:00, etc. and they are perfectly happy with that homeschool schedule. I would rather block out the morning for "table work", as I call it, and get the same thing accomplished without checking what time it is every few minutes.
Evaluate whether you are looking for a schedule or if a checklist is more your style - Often times, we just need to accomplish a certain set of subjects or tasks and it really doesn't matter what order they are done, just that they get done. Maybe a checklist would accomplish the same result as a homeschool schedule. You might find that your children enjoy homeschooling better when they have more control over when they accomplish their work for the day.
I'm not saying that you should live on a whim and never try to accomplish anything. On the other hand, having a strict schedule and living by the clock might not be the best way for you to live either. I think somewhere in between the 2 extremes is where most homeschool families live anyways.
For some sample homeschool schedules check here. The same page also has some homeschool checklists that you can print off. One is filled in withsubjects filled in for you and the other one is blank for you or your child to fill in.
If you're having trouble getting organized or feeling like you aren't using your time wisely or getting done what you want to get done each day, then "Getting it All Done and Other Myths Women Believe" will be very helpful to you. It's a short ebook that I wrote that has simple principles and ideas to help you get everything done that you're supposed to get done.
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