5 Steps to Successfully Organizing Your Homeschool Day
How to Successfully Organize Your Homeschool Day in 5 Simple Steps
Are you wondering how to organize your homeschool day? Perhaps you are new to homeschooling and are wondering how to approach schooling each day. Perhaps you have been homeschooling for a while and need to make a change so each day can run more smoothly. Wherever you are in your homeschool journey, here are 5 simple steps to help you plan for success each day.
There are 5 simple steps that you can use to help you plan for success each homeschool day.
1. Have a good attitude.
Have you ever noticed that if you start the day with a rotten attitude your kids follow your example? Even if you don’t feel completely excited about the day, greet your kids with joy and kindness in the morning when they get up. An attitude of excitement and anticipation as to what the day will bring gets your morning off to a good start and carries into the rest of your day.
To aid you in setting a good tone for the day, it may be helpful to do an attitude check for yourself before you greet your kids in the morning. Take a few minutes to see how you are feeling, figure out if anything is bothering you, and think of the things you are greatful* for. Decide how you will greet your kids each day before you see them.
A good attitude is a key ingredient for a successful homeschool day. When you begin with a good attitude, your kids will notice and it will rub off on them. Remember, you set the tone for the day. Even a conflict during breakfast can set a wrong tone for the morning for everyone.
2. Have a timeline to follow each day.
Spoiler alert: a timeline does not mean a rigid schedule!
When you know what you will do each day and when you will do it, you have more confidence and focus. When you follow a timeline each day, your kids will also know what to expect.
Even though they may not show it, kids like to know what to expect. Familiarity and routine are comforting and provide stability for them.
You do not need a strict timeline. A general one will work just fine, even better. The purpose of a timeline is to be a guide in your day-a guide you create to help you manage your homeschool day well. It is not a rigid schedule to end up causing your frustration and stress.
Make a timeline to follow and stick with it for one to two weeks. After that, evaluate it and see how it is working. Get input from your kids. Then, make any changes necessary. Try out your new plan for a few weeks, and reevaluate as necessary.
Talk to your kids and get their input. I can’t tell you how many times I had a timeline in place and one of our kids made a suggestion that improved things.
Your homeschooling is about all of you-you and your kids. Having a daily plan that works for all of you is important. Be flexible. You will need to change and adapt your timeline to different circumstances as time goes on.
If you are looking for ideas, here is our general timeline for each day:
8:15 We begin school. We open with prayer, I read about the saint of the day, and then I read aloud for 15 minutes (sometimes more) in a book. Right now we are reading through the Little House book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
After reading, we all work on geography together.
After geography, the kids work on their individual subjects.
I work with our youngest child on subjects he needs help with while our older one works independently. Our youngest one saves his independent subjects for last so then I will be able to help our older child if he needs help.
After they complete three subjects, the kids have a 10-minute break.
At 11:30 we gather together for 15 minutes of prayer time. I read one chapter from the Bible and then we each have quiet prayer time individually until our 15-minute timer goes off.
From 12:00-1:00 we have our chore and lunch break.
At 1:00 we resume school and work until it is done, having a 10-minute break after three subjects. If the kids are still working at 3:00, we stop at that point and have a 30-minute break.
As you can see, our homeschool schedule is more of a time frame than a strict schedule. We have certain things we do at certain times, but the rest of the day fits into the framework loosely.
We do not do the subjects in the same order every day; we are flexible. It has been working for us.No Fields Found.
3. Have a curriculum plan before your day starts.
When you and your kids know what subjects they need to do each day, you set yourself and your kids up for success.
I have one child who likes to get work done before he plays. Sometimes he will start working on his schoolwork before our schoolday officially starts just because he has a project he wants to have more time for later in the day. He can look at his weekly plan and see what needs to be done. He does not have to wait for me to tell him.
A curriculum plan can be made for the week or for the day. It can be as simple as having a spiral notebook where you write out each day’s lessons.
math: pages 56-57
reading: continue reading book _______ for 15 minutes. Tell me about what you read.
science: research more about jellyfish
religion: week 6, lesson 2
spelling: Write your words one time each.
History: Read the next page in your book.
There is a lesson plan form with an instruction sheet on the free resources page to help you. This is the format I use for planning out our weekly lessons. If you would like to download a free copy, simply sign up here and receive the password to the free resources page.
4. Take breaks.
It is important to take breaks throughout your homeschool day. You need them as much as your kids need them!
Our kids will work on three subjects and then take a 10-minute break. We now use a timer to keep us in on track so 10 minutes does not turn into 30! Just as your kids need a break, you need a break, too. (Yes, I just wrote the same comment above. It is so important that I decided to write it again!)
When our oldest kids got to high school, they would work an hour or two and then take a break. With needing time for more in-depth study in each subject area, they could spend a few hours on three subjects, so instead, they would take a break after an hour or so of work.
This may work well for you and your kids: taking a break after a certain amount of time instead of after a few subjects.
Knowing yourself and your children, decided how you want to plan for breaks. Just make sure you take them so all of you can be refreshed and refocused.
5. Enjoy the time you spend with your kids each day.
With homeschooling, sometimes we can get on each others’ nerves. Our kids get on each other’s nerves, they get on my nerves, and I get on their nerves. We can allow ourselves to fall into this easily if we are not careful.
Homeschooling is both a joy and a challenge. If we focus on the challenge and the frustrations that can sometimes come with homeschooling, we are not looking at the joys and benefits of it.
Count your blessings. Give more hugs to your kids. Do activities together that are not related to homeschool lessons. Have fun together.
A few things to remember about homeschooling.
Homeschool does not have to mean school at home at a desk all day. Kids can lay on the couch to read or do some lessons outside in a treehouse. You can incorporate board games or card games to work on math skills, nature walks outside, or baking classes for science or an elective.
Learning is fun. School is the format our country has used for learning on a large scale, but it is not the only format we can use. Have fun. Learning is a joy. We want to make sure our kids enjoy learning and find joy in each day rather than drudgery.
More resources to give you ideas on how to organize your homeschool day
In preparing how to organize your homeschool day, remember the 5 simple ideas that make a difference: have a good attitude, follow a timeline each day, have a curriculum plan before your day starts, take breaks, and enjoy the time you spend with your kids each day.
If you need some more ideas or help in creating a homeschool weekly schedule, planning your homeschool year, or are just looking for more homeschool organization hacks here are some more posts to help:
For other homeschool posts, check out the homeschool archives section of Blessed Catholic Mom
If you are looking for other homeschool resources, Homegrown Scholars: homeschooling made simple is a great site filled with encouragement, resources, and information. Sarah’s blog is fantastic!
A side note on “greatful.”
*Note on my use of greatful instead of grateful: To me, a grate is a grid or part of a cheese grater, not a condition of the heart. Our hearts can be great in love and gratitude; they can inspire us to greatness. I am greatful for the great things God has done for me. Thus, I spell
grateful greatful this way.