What does a homeschooling schedule look like? Does a perfect homeschooling schedule exist? The short answer: No! There is no one perfect homeschooling schedule. Every family and child is different in their schedule depends on the time available, the child’s age, and the child’s needs. There is no perfect schedule because every child’s homeschooling schedule is specific to the child and the family. To create your homeschooling schedule, try some of the following ideas!
Try a block or loop schedule
Both forms of scheduling for homeschooling are acceptable and offer many benefits. But it’s important to determine which form of schedule will work for your child and family.
Block scheduling is a more rigid form of schedule compared to loop scheduling. To create a block schedule start by assigning specific blocks of time to tackle specific subjects. The best way to do this is to see what chunks of time work for homeschooling with your child. This type of schedule is great for parents who work from home because you can dedicate blocks of time to your work schedule and your child’s homeschooling.
Here’s an example of a block schedule for preschool:
- 7 am to 8 am- Eat breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth, etc.
- 8 am to 9 am- Check emails and prep for homeschooling activities
- 9 am to 9:30 am- Read out loud storytime
- 9:30 am to 10 am- Letter recognition/writing practice
- 10 am to 10:30 am- Snack time/break time
- 11 am to 12 pm-Physical activity
Although block scheduling is the more traditional form of homeschooling, it does have the disadvantage of not being flexible enough. For instance, if you decide to schedule reading and writing lessons on Tuesdays, but your child is sick and can’t complete the lessons that subject area will be skipped until next week.
If you’re looking for something a little less rigid, loop scheduling may be the way to go! To loop schedule, simply sit down and list all the subjects you want to cover for a term or in a full year. For preschool-aged children you may want to cover some of the following subjects:
- -Letter and number recognition
- -Color and shape recognition
- -Object sorting
- -Gross motor physical activity (jumping, running)
- -Fine motor activities (cutting with scissors, drawing)
Now, for creating a homeschooling schedule simply loop through each of the subjects from the top to the bottom until the list is complete. Then start over again with different activities and lessons for each subject area. While a loop schedule gives you flexibility, it may be more difficult for younger children because preschool subjects cover basic social skills, fine/gross motor skills, and more compared to core school subjects like math and geography.
Shoot for quality not quantity
As parents, we want the best for our children. This includes helping them learn a vast knowledge of information. But sometimes when homeschooling, parents become overzealous and try to cover many subjects in a short amount of time. The problem with learning too many subjects too fast is that your child becomes overwhelmed. He/she is not absorbing the activities and lessons you’re teaching.
There’s no set rule (especially for preschool) that says homeschooling needs to be a certain amount of hours per day. Therefore, your homeschooling schedule can be as short or as long as your child will learn. Some families can complete a five hour day of homeschooling activities, while others are lucky to complete two hours worth.
Instead of trying to cover many different subjects every day, try for “quality” activities and lessons of two or three subjects. This narrowed down focus will help your child have an in-depth understanding of the subject matter instead of moving through too many subjects.
Try a subject a day
Tackling one subject per day works great for children with special needs and developmental delays and can be used with block scheduling. Although I need to keep a consistent homeschooling schedule for my three-year-old with autism, I’ve found only doing one subject area a day is perfect for us! Only covering one subject works well for his short attention span, while still allowing him to understand the lesson.
Since my son has autism, homeschooling activities and lessons need to be straightforward and simple, yet still entertaining to keep him engaged. While my son’s homeschooling schedule is broken up into small blocks of time for activities, he averages about 2 to 3 hours per day on homeschooling activities.
Here’s how I cover one subject per day for my preschooler:
First, I pick a subject area like color recognition. More specifically, the color red. Now every activity for the day revolves around recognizing and saying the color “red.” To help him learn about the color red, I help him with the following activities!
- -Color a picture of a fire truck (fire trucks are primarily red)
- -Sort large red and green pom poms into red or green bowls with small plastic tongs
- -Sensory bin activity (pouring dyed red rice into cups and bowls; using scissors to cut dyed red spaghetti)
The rest of my son’s day is centered around things like meal times, snack times, free play time, therapy appointments, and outdoor physical activity.
Always schedule physical activity
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, children and adults require a minimum of one hour of physical activity each day. For children of preschool age, their activity level can be extended to three hours per day. But don’t worry, the three hours of exercise can be spaced out throughout the day. The important thing to remember is to schedule physical activity into your child’s daily homeschooling schedule.
Try some of these fun ways to include physical activity into your child’s homeschooling schedule:
- -Make a backyard obstacle course
- -Jump on a trampoline
- -Walk around the neighborhood
- -Go for a hike
- -Go to the park
- -Walk the dog
- -Scavenger hunt in the backyard
There are no hard rules stating how to create a homeschooling schedule. Nor is there a one size fits all schedule for every family. That’s because every family is unique and requires a tailored schedule. Creating a homeschooling schedule may seem overwhelming, but remember that you don’t have to stick to it. Sometimes finding your family’s perfect schedule is through trial and error. Until you find the right fit.