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Create a Simply Daily Homeschool Routine that Works

Are you and your kids frustrated by your current homeschool routine? Or maybe you don't have a daily schedule at all and homeschooling feels chaotic right now?

If so, it's time to create a new routine and a good schedule for your homeschool. Don't worry – you can take simple steps to get there and your daily rhythm doesn't have to be super structured or scheduled to the minute.

Create a simple daily homeschool routine that works

Read on, and I'll share my what I've learned in our seven years of homeschooling to help you find a routine that works for your family and helps everyone (especially mom!) know what to expect in your homeschool.

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What is a homeschool routine, anyway?

A homeschool routine is simply a pattern, or rhythm, to how your days flow as homeschoolers. Your daily routine will be as unique as your family, so there's no right or wrong here.

A lot of homeschool moms start out trying to make a daily homeschool schedule with specific times for each particular subject, like school. One of the best tips I can give you is that school schedules like that work… in schools. Not so much at home!

Instead of trying to create a block schedule or a strict homeschool schedule, let's take advantage of the flexibility of homeschooling and consider your child's learning style, adult work schedules, and whether your people are early birds or night owls!

Why is your homeschool routine important?

As a homeschool parent, having a routine or rhythm will help you stay organized and plan activities and curriculum. Even if you lean more toward unschooling, having a daily rhythm allows for time to work on passions, family time, meal times, nap time for the littles, some quiet time for mom, and fun device or screen time for kids.

While I love being spontaneous, I also love knowing that we are working step by step toward our homeschool goals. Having a daily homeschool routine does that and helps my mom sanity!

I also think a simple homeschool schedule helps kids know what to expect during the day. Over time, developing a daily rhythm will help guide them to more independence and help them build skills toward managing their own schedules.

Create your family's unique homeschool routine.

First, know that there is no perfect homeschool schedule. Some days will be hard regardless of the routine you have. Some days you'll sail through and feel like you've got this homeschooling thing figured out.

Until it changes, again. Kids always keep us on our toes, don't they? Here's how to get started creating your homeschool routine.

First, if you haven't downloaded my free 7 Secrets to a Stress Free Homeschool journal, do that now! It will help you define what's important to YOU in your homeschool and be the foundation for creating your weekly routine.

Keep it flexible.

Your homeschool routine will change as your kids change and grow. When my daughter was 4-9ish, playground visits were a critical part of our days together. Now that she's 13? We still get together outside and sometimes hit a playground, but she's growing out of that phase (sniff).

A good schedule works with your family and your kids. Are they up bright and early and ready to go? Perhaps plowing through homeschooling in the morning is the way to go for you. You could start with family reading time or morning baskets, and then let the older children move into more independent work.

Maybe (like me) you have night owls. My husband and daughter both need slow mornings. We usually don't get started on school work until after lunch. It's OK – homeschooling really does take less time than being in school, so starting in the afternoon works great for us and we have enough time to finish our daily work.

An Example: Our Homeschool Routine

Here are the priorities I try to include in our homeschool days:

  • Free reading
  • Physical activity
  • Academics
  • Fun activities together, like a fun craft or board game (2-3x weekly)
  • Field trips (1-2x monthly)
  • Get togethers with friends

We also have private lessons with an art mentor, Irish dance classes, and church every week. This adds up to a pretty full (and fun) week!

Your week might look completely different. If you have a large family, you may have a lot more commitments and be on the go a lot more. If you're a sports family… your routine may need to include materials you can pack up and bring with you.

School time

In our homeschool, we have a very sophisticated planning and tracking system so that we stay on track. Behold:

A spiral notebook with homeschool tasks written in a list, a notebook with typing curriculum, a small chess set and a fidget spinner.
Checklists and stickers work for us!

Every day I write out the day's tasks on a checklist in a spiral notebook. My daughter can easily see the scope of what she needs to get done that day, and now that she's older, she'll choose the order in which to do things.

If you have a large family, kids at different grade levels, and kids with specific needs, think about how best to create your daily rhythm. Some families like to start the day with a morning routine and group learning like read alouds, copy work, music appreciation or poetry, and then let older kids start on some of their own work while mom or dad works with younger kids on their school work.

If you have high school students, encourage them to create and follow their own schedules (with your scaffolding and support as needed). This is excellent preparation for whatever next steps they may take: trade school, college, work. This also allows them to fit in a part time job around their studies and gain work experience while they're still in school.

Consider your weekly and monthly schedule

One other tip I have is to take a step back and look at your family's weekly and monthly schedules. Do you have music lessons, dance classes, sports, scouts, or other commitments?

In our family we try to limit our go-go days to two per week. That may not be possible for you if you have kids heavily involved in sports, dance or music. However, it's critical to build in at-home time to your homeschool routine.

Kids need free time and time to relax just like adults do!

A sample homeschool schedule

Really, truly… please create your own homeschool schedule based on your family and your kids! A good routine is the one that works for you! But I know it can be helpful to see how other homeschool families organize their days and weeks.

Here's my super fancy weekly framework for our 7th grade year. On Tuesday afternoons we have art lessons/mentoring with a wonderful local artist. On Wednesday mornings we have dance class. On Fridays at least twice a month we have an all-afternoon play date with friends or go on a homeschool field trip.

A weekly homeschool routine written on a piece of notebook paper, sitting on a wooden table.
Homeschool planning doesn't have to be complicated.

As far as our daily rhythm goes, my daughter wakes up usually between 9-10am. I use the early mornings to work on my blog and hang out on social media a little. She gets to cuddle up on the couch with her iPad for an hour or so, then we do some chores and have lunch. After lunch – at some point in the early afternoon – we start school.

If you're interested, you can read more about our middle school 7th grade curriculum choices.

On Tuesdays I sometimes try and get the school work out of the way before art time, because otherwise we're doing school at dinnertime and that feels stressful to me. However, I'm pretty sure my daughter would be happy doing school at the end of the day, when she has energy and plenty of new ideas. I. just. cannot. So, we compromise on afternoons.

You can see that I spread out subjects and we don't do every subject every day. This is based on the amount of lessons in our base curriculum, Education Perfect. I printed out the scope for Math, English, Geography and Science and figured out approximately how many times per week we'd have to work on each.

Your curriculum choices and outside activities
will impact how you lay out your weeks!

My daughter also is autistic and asynchronous in her academic work so some subjects she flies through and some subjects we are not at grade level and she needs my support. We also take breaks when needed (usually involving movement, like on our mini trampoline).

I do my homeschool planning in the curriculum's online portal at the beginning of each week, because life happens. I know the moment I went in and scheduled the whole year something would happen that would interrupt that schedule and it'd be a nightmare to fix!

Help! I have questions.

Don't worry. I've got you covered. If you have another question you don't see answered here, shoot me an email!

Nopity nope nope. That's the great thing about homeschooling. Your daily schedule is your own.

Observe your kids. Ask them when they feel most awake and energetic. As a parent, think about how you fit in all the things you do in a day, and when you feel most energetic and motivated.

Find a blend of your best times. Give your kids the gift of that attention, energy and patience. Be present.

Yep, that works too. In fact, it means – usually – that your curriculum is more spread out and there is less to do daily.

Pick and choose when during the year you take your breaks, according to what your family loves and when the best weather is!

For instance, our good weather here in the PNW happens July-October, so we take a traditional summer break and September still has lots of days where we do field trips and outside adventures. As the cold, grey rain settles in, we have more inside time and focus our homeschool year when we're inside more.

There's this persistent myth that homeschoolers have sooooo much free time.

HA! I say to that!

It's ridiculous how fast you can fill your days, especially if you have a large family (and kids that like sports). We are busier than we ever were when my daughter was in public school.

Only you can decide what's best for your family with regard to how many activities you participate in. I have friends that are on the go practically every day; that's how they love to live and learn. My kiddo loves home time and a few select activities that she loves. Your family might be somewhere in between.

Find what works for you.

And one more thing: let your kids quit stuff if it's not for them. Trust me on this. When they find what they are really into, they'll stick with it.

Try something else. Seriously. Ditch it. Sell it on your local homeschool FB group. Embrace the awesomeness that is having choices in how you give information to your kids.

Try some fun subscriptions!

  • Letters from Afar. for geography. You can supplement with books, YouTube videos, documentaries, crafts, and recipes!
  • Honest History. We love these brightly colored and informative magazines!
  • Kiwi Co. for fun, hands-on learning for all ages.

If you're on a tight budget:

  • Use the curriculum as a building block. For instance, pull out 5 math problems from the page of 30 and find a YouTube video that teaches the concept.
  • Use the public library.
  • Try Easy Peasy All-in-One (faith based) or Discovery K12 (secular, is not public school K12) or Khan Academy (for older kids).

Homeschool planning and schedules are as unique as every family.

You can organize your day in whatever way works for your family!
You don't have to keep school hours.
Find your own balance between at-home schooling and on-the-go activities.

Most of all, enjoy being together as a family and build relationships with each other and with friends and family.

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