It’s fairly easy to sit down with the Schedule page in your planner and fill in time slots to create a schedule. But it’s a little harder to turn that beautiful paper plan into a workable family rhythm that will withstand good days and bad, interruptions, illness, or the need for a break.
Fortunately, harder doesn’t mean impossible. It simply means that you have to be a little more intentional and attentive. And it might mean a bit of trial and error in the process. Here are a few tips to help you create a workable schedule for homeschool and life.
Solid planning starts with right thinking. Remember, there is no “perfect” homeschool day. Also, while it can be helpful to see how other families succeed in homeschooling, we have to remember that what works for one family will probably not work so well for another.
Your family is unique! Work schedules, ages of your children, and seasons of life – such as new babies, moves, work schedule changes, extracurricular commitments, times of caregiving, illnesses, etc. – all impact your schedule and distinguish it from that of the family down the street.
By recognizing this uniqueness, both in your family and in this particular season of life, you can start with a right thinking that will help you maintain an attitude of grace and flexibility even as you set those all-important boundaries.
By writing down every single thing you can think of that impacts your schedule, from biggest to smallest, you will be less likely to be surprised by interruptions. There will always be the unexpected big interruptions that pop up, but we are more often stymied by the forgotten small details of regular activities, like remembering to put the laundry in the dryer, than by the big things.
When we make a list of every big and little thing that impacts our schedule, then try to fit it all into the schedule, we can more easily evaluate what needs to stay and what needs to go in order to facilitate the addition of homeschooling to our daily and weekly rhythm.
Implementation of a schedule is much more about finding your family’s rhythm than sticking to a schedule. That rhythm requires flexibility. Instead of thinking of your schedule as a solid foundation or permanent framework, think of it as a living entity like coral. It is a tool for you to use to help shape each day, not a structure to hold you in place.
As you create and implement your schedule, remember to take time to enjoy the journey, even if it means putting math aside for a day or two. The full training of your children is more important than the specifics of a math lesson. Don’t lose sight of the end goal, but don’t get so fixated on the details that you miss your children along the way.
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Learn how to juggle the day to day, plan for the week, and stay on track your entire homeschool year!
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