Homeschool schedules are always interesting to homeschool moms. Everyone wants to know how everyone else "gets it all done". In my experience, many homeschool moms are trying to do too much. If we consistently stick to a homeschool routine for at least 4 days each week, then we should be able to accomplish all that NEEDS to be done.
You don't have to do every homeschool subject every day, but you do need to be consistent with getting started and accomplishing some of your goals each day.
Children who are preschool age through first grade really only need about 30-60 minutes of one-on-one instruction. Once a child knows how to read well, they can read about almost everything they need to know.
Whether you have one-on-one and/or read aloud time with your children, the rest of the day can be spent completing his/her "seat work" (as we call it), complete his chores, work on a Science experiment, practice an instrument, create an art project, take a class, interact with siblings.
I recommend that you do not allow video games or television viewing during school hours. It's amazing what children will learn and find to do when these items are not available.
If you live in a state that requires you to homeschool for a certain number of hours per day, don't worry. There is plenty of learning taking place on weekends and in the summer that never gets counted as school time. We all know that tutoring takes much less time than actual classroom instruction.
In a regular classroom, much time is spent handing out papers, taking attendance, checking homework, waiting for students to get quiet, changing classrooms, study hall, library time, lunch, group projects, etc.... Rest assured, if you are working with your children on reading, writing, and math and are requiring productive free time, they are getting more than their required "hours" of school time in.
Here are some variations of homeschool schedules that span different teaching and learning styles. Use what you like and leave what you won't use.
If you are a very structured person who likes to map out every minute of the day, then a schedule like this is what you might use:
8:00am Get up, eat breakfast, clean up breakfast, do chores
9:00am Read Bible and any other read aloud books together
11:00am Language - spelling reading, grammar, etc.
12:00pm Lunch and clean up
1:00pm Read on own and finish up any work that didn't get done in the morning.
1:30pm Electives - practice instrument, typing instruction, projects, foreign language, physical education, music, art, etc..
If you're like me, the above schedule will make you break out into a cold sweat and will leave you completely defeated by the end of the day because you didn't accomplish everything in it's scheduled time.
This is what my homeschool schedule looks like:
Get up at _________
Eat and get ready for the day
Start the day at _______
Read aloud together - includes Bible, History, literature, Mad Libs (1 day a week), oral foreign language practice, oral spelling drill, etc..
Off on their own to complete their own reading, writing a page a day, spelling, copywork, Science, etc...
Lunch and clean up at _____
Projects and productive free time
Maybe a Homeschool Daily Checklist would be more your style too. Here is a sample checklist you can use for homeschool schedules. The first one is what we use and the second one is blank.
This way you can glance at this checklist and check off items as you get them done. This checklist can also be used by the student to let you know what they accomplished. They can fill in the pages they read or did or just put a check mark in that space. Then they can hand it to you and you can see at a glance what they accomplished for the day.
Homeschool schedules are there as a guideline to help you. Don't let it become an anchor around your neck. If you find that you are trying to do too much or are not able to follow the schedule that you created, then it's time to reevaluate and CHANGE. That's the beauty of homeschooling. You can adjust and tweak your day to fit yours and your family's needs.
More help - If you want even more help on how to organize your day, you can get my newest book Getting it All Done and Other Lies Women BelieveIt's a short easy read with all the secrets and tips that I use every day along with ideas and principles that can help you learn how to get your day under control too.