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For me, a schedule is stressful. I’m always behind, something always comes up, and somebody’s always hungry when it’s time to get started. A routine, though… a routine takes stress off of me because it gives me a plan. If something happens and I have to adjust, that’s okay. If we don’t get to geography because somebody has a dentist appointment, I know that we’ll get back to it next week on geography day. The kids like having a routine, too, because everyone likes to know what to expect.
Creating a routine for your homeschool’s new school year can seem overwhelming, but broken down in steps, it’s very doable and will help you feel a little more in control of the big, important job that’s ahead of you. Let’s do this!
- List everything you want to do.
Shoot for the stars. Put it ALL down on the paper. Include core subjects; elective subjects; time for things like read alouds, independent reading, and chores; outside classes (like at your homeschool co-op or the library); and extracurricular activities.
2. Create a chart with the days of the week you’ll do school.
Maybe you’re a traditional Monday through Friday kind of person, maybe taking Fridays off works best for you, or maybe your family schools through the weekend but takes some weekdays off. Whatever the case, give each day its own column.
Here’s a pretty printable I’ve made for you to make the job a little more pleasant. It’s free – no strings attached.
Print two copies – one for your rough draft and one for your “final draft.”
weekly routine planning page (<– Click to download.)
3. Add the subjects you’ll do every day of the week to your chart (and any variations within those subjects).
For us, those subjects are reading, math, copywork, and spelling.
Now, something else to consider – will you follow a weekly routine within a subject? For example, while we do math every day of the week, we don’t do math in the same way every day of the week. On Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday we follow our math curriculum. On Wednesday and Friday we take time off from our curriculum to do Mathseeds on the computer. Be sure to include those routines on your chart.
4. Next up, add extra-curriculars and outside classes.
5. Some days are probably looking pretty full by now. Plug in subjects that don’t happen every day into the days that aren’t too full yet.
Did you run out of time on your calendar? It okay to postpone some things until next semester or next year. Also consider doing some things in a low-key way during a morning time.
6. Next, work on the order of your days by numbering each subject in the order you’d like to go through your day.
Consider which times of day you feel most energetic, as those are the times when you’ll want to tackle the most demanding subjects. We’re decidedly NOT morning people, so we like to ease into our day with a morning time that consists of read alouds, art, memory work, and foreign language.
7. Now use your second copy of the weekly routine planning page to fill in the flow of your day in order.
That’s it! You’ve done it!
While this is the “final draft” of your routine, remember that nothing is really set in stone. It’s lovely to have a plan, but if something isn’t working, shake it up and keep tweaking your routine until you find what works for your homeschool.
For help with goal setting, lesson planning, keeping track of grades, and other homeschool record keeping, I recommend my friend Amy Sharony’s book, the A+ Homeschool Planner. It’s what I use and love.