A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler – A Sample Schedule
What does a typical homeschooling day look like???
Especially when you went to regular school like I did, it is really hard to know what a homeschooling day looks like. And when you are just standing at the edge of the World of Homeschool, it’s hard to know if you want to jump in if you don’t really know what to expect!
The first thing I am going to say is there is definitely a difference (at least in our homeschool…) between what my ideal homeschooling scenario is, what I strive to have happen, and the reality of what actually happens. And I have learned over the years that I think it is absolutely necessary to have a plan, but to be flexible when things do not go according to plan. (This goes right along with Success Strategy #1 from this post.) Some people are really good at sticking to plans, and others (like myself) frequently board the struggle bus when it comes to this one. But if things don’t go according to plan often (or ever), this DOES NOT mean you are a failure as a mom and a homeschooler! I have been there in that circle of guilt, but there is no need for that. You are doing what you are doing because you love your child and you want what is best for them, and that makes you an awesome mom, even when you don’t feel like you are! 🙂
Ok so let’s start off with what my ideal day would look like (and I am telling y’all – being able to wake up at a decent hour because you went to bed at a decent hour is half the battle).
(Oh and P.S. – I feel it is important to mention that I have a 3rd grader and a kindergartener. So the amount of time you spend could be more or less, depending on the ages of your kids.)
Ideal Daily Schedule
7:30am – Wake up, get dressed, feed chickens, eat breakfast
8:30am – Begin school
- Bible Time – read one of the books/devotionals we are working through, work on memory verse, sometimes hymn study or missionary study (15-30 minutes)
- Spanish lesson – we use the free Georgia Public Broadcasting Salsa Spanish. It is like Sesame Street but in Spanish and we love it! You can watch the episodes for free on the PBS app on Roku, or here. The Dept. of Education of Wyoming has free lesson plans to use with each episode as well. You can find that here. (20 minutes)
- History/Social Studies – depending on the day and what is scheduled, it can be short or take up a lot of time. If it is longer, it is because we either kept reading because we wanted to, or we are doing some activity or project (20 min-1 hr)
- Science – some people like to do some subjects (like science) 2-3 times per week, but I like to do a little bit every day (20-30 min)
- Language Arts (which encompasses for us handwriting/copywork, spelling, reading, writing, and grammar – depending on the grade level) (45 min – 1 hr to finish both kids)
- 3rd grader works on copywork and cursive, any language arts assignments that can be completed independently, and then reads a book of choice or an assigned book while I work one on one with kindergartener on reading and handwriting.
- Kindergartener then works on a puzzle, looks at books, colors or draws, or goes to play while I do any one on one work needed with the 3rd grader.
- Math – I just continue with my 3rd grader with math since she’s already there, and then she is released while I call back the kindergartener to do her math (my math curriculum – Rightstart Math – is very parent intensive. I absolutely love it, but lots of parent time is the drawback. So with many math programs, you could have both kids sitting there working on their stuff at the same time, you helping as needed, or you could use that independent math time to work with another kid one on one with something else.) (30-45 minutes for both)
12:30-1:30pm Lunch/ Break (everybody’s usually hungry by this point, so we break for lunch, sometimes earlier, but sometimes if we had a longer day and didn’t finish, we will finish up any of the above core stuff after lunch, or save it for the next day.)
1:30-2:30pm Afternoon Loop – this is kind of like the fun electives time, and we “loop” or rotate various things, so that we don’t have to do every thing every day, but we get to do a variety of things, maybe 2 or 3, and rotate through them, such as
- Poetry Teatime (from Brave Writer)
- Nature Study (I like this one and this one!) or go on a nature walk
- Friday Freewrite (from Brave Writer)
- Composer Study
- Artist Study
We then have the rest of the afternoon to get chores done (and I do actually do loads of laundry on Mondays during the school day as well), play, go to various extracurricular activities, practice piano or typing, etc.
Phew!!! So that is a lot!!! But I remember reading somewhere when I first started homeschooling that it is really good to have a master plan, but you should not let it be your master! In other words, be flexible! What that really looks like in practice is this:
- You have everything that should get done today in your planner (or your head, or a combination of both 🙂 ), but it is an absolutely gorgeous spring day and so you scrap it and spend the day outside in the garden, go on a walk, or to the park (and if you are a homeschooling super star, you take a couple subjects to work on outside or listen to an audiobook in the car on the way to the park!)
- You have to work in the afternoon, or you have really got to get a particular thing done around the house, or an errand done, so you just get math and language arts done and call it a day.
- Everyone is feeling blah today, so you pull out a fun game to play together (extra bonus points if it is a learning game – Gameschooling is a thing!) or instead of doing the planned science lesson, you find a cool nature documentary to watch together and discuss.
- The strawberry or blackberry fields are open for picking in the morning before it gets ridiculously hot, so you head out to the farm and pick berries all morning, and come home and do a few bits of school after lunch.
- After breakfast, your daughter notices these piles of dead bugs outside that look like shrimp, and you start researching what they are. You learn they are called terrestrial amphipods, affectionately referred to as “lawn shrimp” and that they try to find drier ground so they don’t drown in a rainstorm, but then they dry out and die… The children decide they would like to create an “amphipod habitat” but then research what that entails (what they live in, what they eat, where to find live ones, etc.) It is now 10:30am, and we haven’t done any school at a table, but we have all learned something new!
These are just a few scenarios that have happened in our homeschool! 🙂 So the key with any schedule is to just be flexible. Sometimes some of the best learning experiences are things you could never have planned or put on paper if you tried.
Now obviously, you do need to get things done sometimes, so your kids aren’t doing 2nd grade math for five years, so it is good to try to have a school routine, but the beauty of homeschooling is being able to have the freedom to adjust as necessary and not miss out on really awesome opportunities just because you are tied to your schedule.
If you school year round like we do, I have learned it is a good idea to build into your yearly schedule regular breaks. I like to do the Sabbath Rest Week, where we school for six weeks, then off for the seventh week. It is nice to have predictable breaks for getting bigger projects done, taking vacations, or just catching up on stuff around the house and relaxing!
So the key points are:
- Decide what subjects you want to do and how often you want to do them per week (ex: math 5x per week, science 3x per week, etc)
- Make your Ideal Schedule
- Schedule some off weeks/ vacation weeks throughout the school year
- Be flexible and have fun! 🙂