2 Homeschool Scheduling Tricks that Help You Get it All Done

As homeschoolers, we all dream of that perfect schedule. You know—the one that allows you to get everything on your to-do list done. We’re talking math, history, geography, science, reading, extracurriculars, and even the dishes and laundry.

Such a schedule is probably mythical though. Most of us find that a homeschool schedule is a complicated dance of push and tug, balancing a never-ending barrage of priorities and last-minute decisions.

Having a good system in place will help. A curriculum like BookShark is a good place to start because every subject is mapped out for you in a clear Instructor's Guide.

A scheduler, calendar, or planner can also be beneficial. I love using my bullet journal for helping to keep me on task and to remember all of our appointments.

But you will probably always struggle with taming the time management beast. It's just the nature of our fast paced lives and our desire to give our kids every possible opportunity.

One way to rethink your schedule is to reduce the scope while sticking to the plan. This works whether you're talking about a curriculum plan or a personal plan.

1. Introduce Subjects One by One or Binge Study

Our kids do not have to do everything every single day.

Instead of stressing about each day ticking a long list of boxes, think of your homeschool in a more holistic way—weeks, months, even entire school years. Are your boxes getting ticked over the course of longer stretches of time? If so, that's a valid way of educating your kids.

For new homeschoolers or veteran homeschoolers who are beginning a new year of homeschool, I find it best to start with one or two academic subjects and start there. 

Maybe you start with Reading with History since it's covering two subjects and all the reading aloud is perfect for connecting with your kids. Once you’re comfortable with reading and history every day and feel you have found your stride with it, then add another subject such as math or science.

The beginning of the new school year can be hard because we want to jump right into every subject right off the bat. This year, I’m taking it more slowly. Each week I am adding in something new so that way within a month, I will have eased us into all of our subjects. 

By adding subjects one by one, you still get it all done, but you are rearranging when you do it. But remember that this tip works for any time of the school year. 

Think of how much fun it is to binge-watch a series you just discovered. It's frustrating to have to wait each week for a new episode. You want to devour several hours at a time! Homeschooling can be the same way!

2 Homeschool Scheduling Tricks that Help You Get it All DoneYou can arrange your schedule around binge-schooling, focusing on a particular area in-depth for weeks at a time. Then you leave it and pick up another topic. This is a valid way of teaching your kids, especially with topics like science, art, music, and history. It works especially well for gifted kids who get deeply engrossed in a particular topic.

2. Stick to Your Homeschool Schedule But Reduce the Scope

When you do have a schedule set up, there's benefit to sticking to it simply to allow the force of habit to have its way with your inclinations. But what do you do when time is running out? One solution is to reduce the scope while you stick to the schedule.

Here's an example. Perhaps you only have 15 minutes for your 30-45 minute morning reading before heading out to a music lesson. Both things are on your schedule. Both things are priorities that you want to get done.

I’m guilty of thinking, “We only have 15-minutes. We’ll just skip our reading today.” It’s easy to skip things when we feel a time crunch happening. Yet, we will fill that 15-minute time frame with something! Why not make it something worthwhile? Instead of skipping reading, use the time you have to accomplish a small bit, and check it off the list.

Stick with the schedule—do the reading, but reduce the scoperead only 15 minutes instead of 30-45.

I totally condone skipping lessons on occasion when the kids are cranky or when mom needs a breather. But think of how much reading you could do in 15-minutes each day. Granted, it’s not your plan of 30-minutes, but 15-minutes still adds up over the long run. The cumulative impact of keeping to your schedule is huge! You can even take lessons on the road with you between extracurriculars! Car-schooling is totally a thing!

The key is to be proactive and to complete something on your homeschool schedule everyday. 

About the Author

Erin Vincent • Nourishing My ScholarI'm Erin, an introverted homeschooling mom to two intense extroverted kids. We are child led with a heavy emphasis on read alouds, games, art, nature hikes, and hands-on everything! My kids just learn better when they can use their hands. You can find me at Nourishing My Scholar.

We traded the hustle and bustle of city life for the quiet that only farm life can provide. This creates a wonderful environment for our children, complete with chickens, goats, ducks, and cows. I'm a huge fan of Harry Potter and Gilmore Girls. When we're not homeschooling, you'll find me curled up with a cup of coffee and a good book or possibly enjoying a random dance party in the front yard to the newest Disney soundtrack.   

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