Wednesday, March 30, 2016

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents: Scheduling

Scheduling is a major part of my life and our homeschool.  We have our school schedule, our menu schedule, our activities schedules, our church schedules, our social schedules, and our appointment schedules.  Keeping track of it all can be maddening if you don't have some good systems in place. I truly believe that if you have good systems in place for your scheduling, you can add flexibility to your schedule that others can not.


The first place I start with for scheduling is a REALLY, REALLY good planner.  I like my planner to be for at least a year at a time.  I also like it to have a month at a glance calendar and a daily calendar.  This is just what works best for me.  This is where I keep track of all my schedules.  My family knows that they can flip open mom's planner and find everything they need to know concerning up coming activities, events, meals, birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, and more.

The next area of my life I have a schedule in is our homeschool.  This year I am teaching my kids 7th grade and 2nd grade.  If we didn't have a schedule for our school, my kids would find a way to get out of school each day (what kid wouldn't?) and we would never complete our required work for the year.  Obviously school for my 7th grader takes longer than school for my 2nd grader.  I used a few days at the beginning of the school year to figure out how long each day would take us.  Once I knew approximately how long each school day would take for each student, I scheduled a start time for our school.  It works out great in our home because my early riser is my 7th grader.  My 7th grader has always been a morning person and would be up before the sun if he was allowed to be.  So his school day starts first.  This does two things in our school.  One - it allows me time to work one on one with him and get the subjects we work through together done right away (we use Sonlight and they have readers that the teacher reads to the student and readers the student reads to the teacher).  Two - it gives my second grader time to get up, wake up, and take a slower approach to her morning which she really needs.  She is my night owl and just doesn't wake up well if she is rushed (she has earned her nickname Beast when she is forced awake).

Yes I do have a schedule for our school which is a good thing.  My schedule includes 180 days of school, which is what my state requires, and it also includes daily schedules which is scheduled for me in my curriculum.  Wait!  You said you have more flexibility when it comes to your scheduling.  I do!  We have our scheduled days and our scheduled work, but I am flexible about the order we do the work in and I also adjust our school when I need to for field trips, homeschool group, appointments, days off, or sickness.  I am very realistic and know that not every day will go as planned and I will need to adjust according, but I am also prepared from the start by having a schedule in place.  Also the great thing about homeschooling and scheduling is that you can pick the schedule that works for you.  We do our school in the mornings so that we can have our afternoons free, but there have been days we have worked in the afternoons because there was something we had to do in the morning.  Maybe in your family someone works second shift so homeschooling at night would be better, that works too.  That is the beauty of homeschooling you can pick what time you start school.

Our scheduled curriculum
Another area in my life that I keep a schedule in is our evening meal.  I set aside time each month so that I can sit down and plan our dinner menu for the next month.  This saves me so much time when you get that question: "What's for dinner?"  I do have a schedule for it that I do try to stick to, but I am also flexible.  I switch around meals in a week if I need to or sometimes I scrap a meal from our menu schedule altogether because of unexpected circumstances.  Flexibility with the meal plan has been key for me lately as we have been remodeling our kitchen and I never knew which days I would have access to my stove.  The key is that I do schedule the meals, but I am flexible with them.

We also have our scheduled appointments, activities, and events.  Many of these things I have no choice when they happen and I can not be flexible with them.  I just have to add them to the schedule and deal with them as they come up.  One way we deal with appointments is to let whoever I am scheduling the appointment with know that we homeschool.  What does that have to do with anything?  Well homeschooling means we don't have to have our appointments at the prime times - right after school, on school holidays, etc.  We can take the "odd" times that parents of non-homeschooled kids have to turn down.  We can be flexible with our appointment times and it won't count against our attendance.

Schedules are necessary, but I hope that you can find a way to gain flexibility in your schedules.  I have and I hope something that I shared works for you.  This week I am participating in a blog hop with my Schoolhouse Review Crew friends.  We are all sharing all kinds of tips for you on all kinds of different subjects.  Each day I will be leaving you links to different Schoolhouse Review Crew blogs.  Please go and check them out.  The Crew is AMAZING and they have great tips to share with you this week.  Today you should check out the following blogs:

Jennifer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Jennifer @ A Peace of Mind
Jennifer @ Faithful Homestead
Joelle @ homeschooling for His Glory
Joesette @ Learning Curve
Kari @ Random Acts of Boyhood
Katie @ Katie's Daily Life
Kemi @ Homemaking Organized
Kim @ Homestead Acres
Kylie @ Our Worldwide Classroom

Also you can check out more tips at our Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog by clicking on this picture:
5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents

3 comments:

  1. This may sound crazy, buy I do not have a schedule like this! I really want to schedule our year this coming year (we start in June), so I'm looking for a really good planner. Thanks for all the ideas like meal planning!

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    1. Honestly when my kids were younger, I didn't schedule very much at all. Now that they are older using a planner and keeping our schedule helps my sanity. :)

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  2. I agree that having a schedule tends to offer more flexibility. It keeps me from becoming overwhelmed and helps me remain realistic. I just started using a planner last year. I hadn't used one since college.

    Latonya @ joyintheordinary.com

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