When I first started homeschooling, I quickly realized we needed a bit of structure in our house. While we didn’t have chaos, our day just always felt random and I didn’t know how to create a homeschool routine.
With children, especially young children, it seemed impossible to keep any type of schedule. My children were constantly growing and their needs quickly changed. There were always unexpected snuggles, accidents to clean up, and irregular nap times.
It wasn’t long before I learned that we just needed more of a homeschool routine and less of a strict schedule. Our homeschool system became a little something that allowed some give in our day and made a huge difference for us moving forward.
If you need a little help creating your own homeschool routine, take it from someone who’s been there! These tips will help you to craft your own day-to-day homeschool plan!
How to Create a Homeschool Routine
My first tip is to block out your day. What are some things that you do routinely, in usual time constraints? To create your homeschool routine, block scheduling is a great way to start!
Children thrive on routine because they know what to expect each day. Doing the same thing, in the same order, every day creates a nice routine, but these blocks of time still allow flexibility in your homeschool day.
Creating Sections of Your Day
You do not have to go by the clock, children are often too spontaneous for a set time. Instead of crafting your homeschool routine around blocks, try thinking about it in sections.
- Read your Bible
- Get kids dressed
- Family eats breakfast
- Snuggle time with books
Obviously this will vary greatly depending on the ages of your children. It doesn’t matter what time “morning time” starts, it’s just a section of your day, a routine, to accomplish what you need to get done.
- History lesson
- Science lesson
- Hands-on craft
- Baby’s nap time
- Free Play
- Work on math
- Language arts lesson
- Family clean up time
- Outdoor play
A homeschool routine helps you establish doing the same thing every day, not necessarily by a clock, but in the same order. You could always aim for a time but allow flexibility.
Creating a Homeschool Routine with Young Children
When my kids were younger, I liked to rotate their toys and activities. Doing this kept everything new and fresh for them because kids get tired of the same toys day after day.
I got 5 totes and divided up their puzzles, dolls, farm animals, blocks etc. Then, each day they got a different tote to play with during free time. By only seeing the toys once a week, it makes them more exciting.
For example; Monday could be puzzles and board books, Tuesday could be animals and workbooks, Wednesday could be play-doh and coloring, etc.
Providing activities and play for younger children also gives you more time to work with older children on their school work or to complete different tasks throughout the day that need your full attention.
Creating a Homeschool Routine with Older Children
Older children can handle more structure and set times. My older ones have chores they are responsible for each morning and have many subjects they can handle independently during school hours.
When older children are involved, there is so much more flexibility when it comes to learning. Some of their free time can include life skills such as chopping vegetables and helping you prepare meals, music lessons, reading, and yard work.
If you need some guidance on keeping your house clean, you can grab our Free Family Chore Printables!
A Large Family Homeschool Routine
If you have younger and older children, it can be helpful to have the older ones spend time with the younger ones while you complete 1:1 time, or daily chores, throughout the day.
For example, a small section of your day could include an older child helping a younger child with a craft, or having them help with another’s school work. This type of activity can help in so many ways!
Your kids learn to become helpful and responsible. It helps to hone in on skills of empathy, critical thinking, and serving. It will also free up time for you to get things done and allow your children to make memories together.
Writing Out Your Homeschool Routine
If you don’t have a planner yet, I have a Free Homeschool Planner for you!
The Homeschool Planner includes:
- Weekly and daily schedule pages
- Spelling list page
- Library list page
- Chore chart
- Meal plan page
- Book log
- 22 pages total
While I don’t recommend planning out every minute of your life, it is a must for families to get on a good homeschool routine.
With a pencil, loosely write down the blocks of time you would like to divide up your day into. This process can be as detailed or as gentle as you wish.
After you have your blocks or sections written out, you will need to test it out. The next day, try to follow your blocks of time and make notes on what is working and what isn’t.
I’m sure you will realize one block of time is too jam-packed and one maybe not have enough structure. Spend the next few days tweaking the blocks of time until you have established a routine. But by doing the same activities in the same order, your children will naturally fall into the flow.
Example Homeschool Routine
Wake up and shower before kids
Coffee and Bible time
Help kids get dressed
(Chores for older children)
Snuggle time with books
Start family science lesson
Free play with totes for younger kids
Chores for older kids
Lunch Time Block
Children listen to music and play puzzles
(Older kids could make lunch while you nurse baby or do laundry)
Early Afternoon Block
Language Arts lesson
Outdoor play or free play
Finish any school activities
Tidy up house together or family folds laundry together
Older children finish any school work
Run errands or housework
Younger children free play or nap time
As you can see, younger children’s day will look very different from older children. But by using blocks of time in the same order instead of going by the clock, it will greatly reduce the stress of being behind.
If you’re like me, I like to personally aim for a time but still keep it flexible. So you could aim for lunch at 11:30 am every day but still, keep an open mind that it may not happen right at 11:30.
Give Yourself Grace
There is no perfect schedule and even if you think you found one, your kids will change nap time by next week and you’ll need to reevaluate.
Us moms are all in this together and we need to have grace for ourselves! My best piece of advice is to not take your routine too seriously. You are not a slave to the routine you made! You can make adjustments at any time to fit your family.
This post was written by….
Amanda Patrick is a homeschool mom with 4 children and you can find her blogging at Wander Homeschooling. She writes and reviews curriculum, shares about healthy families, and helps other homeschool moms thrive.
This article is a part of our How We Homeschool Series; a collection of content from full-time, veteran homeschoolers sharing their own experiences on the versatility and diversity of homeschooling. You can read more about the series, and see all of the content, by clicking the image below.