<

Timing is Everything with Homeschool

Written by Amber Marie | January 26, 2018

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commision if you click through and make a purchase. To read my full disclosure policy click here.

With the start of the new year, my homeschool schedule, routine, or whatever you want to call it, was weighing on my mind. In the fall, my schedule was sporadic and I didn’t feel there was any structure to my homeschool day or week. Add in the disruptions of a toddler (see toddler tips), frustration began to set in and I felt I wasn’t getting anything done. I’m sure some of you can relate or are dealing with this right now.

I needed to start somewhere, so I began looking at what other homeschoolers were doing. Through my search, I found many types of schedules to choose from. Let’s dive deeper into each method to get a better understanding, then I’ll share the schedule I have chosen to implement (which uses a few characteristics from each method).

Traditional Schedule

Traditional scheduling includes the subjects you want to teach planned on a regular basis. For example, say you want to teach math, reading, writing, science, geography, and social studies each week. You may schedule each of these subjects each day or decide to alternate and teach reading and writing one day, math and science the next day, and geography and social studies on the third day. This method of scheduling has some pros and cons.

Pros:

  • You fit all the subjects in everyday or every week
  • Your schedule is consistent and predictable

Cons:

  • You have little flexibility for interruptions or life events
  • There is too much planned in one day which can lead to burnout
  • There is too much space between subjects which can lead to gaps in learning
The traditional schedule can work in your homeschool, and it has for many homeschool moms. Check out these blog posts related to a traditional homeschool schedule.

Block Schedule

Block scheduling is setting blocks of time for scheduling homeschool classes. There are many ways you can use block scheduling in your homeschool. The first thing you must decide with block scheduling is the time periods you plan on using. Many homeschoolers who use this method will break their year into two semesters and further into 3 or 4 terms (sets of weeks followed by a break). Once you decide on a time period, you choose which subjects you would like to focus on during those times.

For example, let’s say you would like to rotate between History, Science, and Geography. The first term (lets say a 7 week period – 6 weeks on, 1 week off), you would focus on Science. During this period of time, you would only teach Science and not History or Geography. Once the first term ended, you would switch from Science to History and spend the next term focusing only on History. In the final term, you would switch to Geography. After you complete each block, you repeat the pattern.

Following this type of schedule allows for more focused time on one subject versus split time on multiple subjects. Although this method works with many subject areas, I would not suggest this type of schedule for younger students in regards to the core subjects of reading, writing and math. These subjects should be taught daily or every other day to help ensure a strong foundation in learning to read, write, and building number sense. For more on block scheduling, check out the links below.

Loop Schedule

Loop scheduling is as it sounds. You create a list of subjects, activities, projects, etc that you wish to complete in your homeschool and you loop through the activities as time presents itself. Many homeschoolers will keep the core subjects intact but loop through different studies for the other school time blocks. For example, maybe you keep your reading, writing, and math in the morning when your children are most focused. Then in the afternoon, you loop through history, science, geography, art and music. These subjects are not scheduled on a specific day. You just do them as you approach them on your list. Each day you complete one or two in order, then the next day you move down the list to the others. Once you reach the end, you start at the beginning. Simple enough, right?

Another way homeschoolers will use looping is through activities, lessons, and games within one subject. For example, for math you have a progression you like to follow with teaching a new math concept. Maybe you start with a focused lesson, then hands-on work, then a review game. You could use this list and loop throughout the week to vary the type of activities you complete during math time. It definitely will help keep things interesting for your different subjects.

If you’d like to learn more about loop scheduling, check out the posts below.

My Schedule

So you may be wondering which one of these scheduling methods I use and how I use it. Well, I would say my homeschool schedule is a mix of all, mostly traditional and loop, but some block scheduling included. Let me explain. I have created blocks of time for different subjects/tasks for school time. In the mornings while my toddler is awake, I have found it easier to complete handwriting, calendar, geography, and Classical Conversations (CC) review. While my oldest completes his handwriting practice, my toddler will practice his own handwriting (aka scribbling) in a dry erase book like this one. Then we will move to calendar where my oldest will use his dot-it calendar along with this magnet calendar board. My toddler is by this time playing with some toys or still scribbling away.

Finally our morning school block will end with CC review time through the use of youtube videos. Here is one area we implement loop and block scheduling. We loop through different weeks and block different subjects. Currently our schedule follows a rotation of week 1/2 math and history, followed by week 3/4 math and history, and so on until we reach week 11/12, then we repeat weeks 1 through 12 but with latin and science. This method has helped limit the stress of reviewing the abundance of memory work that comes with CC. Before, when I would try a review all the subjects and all the weeks, it would take too long and it was too repetitive. With implementing loops and blocks, it keeps things fresh and also allows us to review all 12 weeks of most CC subjects (the subjects I choose to review) within a months time.

The afternoon is where I implement the loop schedule with a more traditional approach. This block of school time is math and reading focused. Following the traditional schedule, we complete math and reading daily (except on CC community days…too much to add for one day). Loop scheduling occurs with the variety of math and reading lessons/activities. For both subjects, I like to follow a rotation that includes a lesson, a hands-on activity, and then a review game. After completing each on the list, we repeat the loop. Following a loop schedule like allows for interruptions to our schedule. If I miss one day, I don’t worry about a missed activity that was scheduled on a specific day. Instead I go to the next item on the list for that subject. This approach takes the stress out of the day, especially when things go ary due to sickness or other interruptions.

To help you visualize this type of schedule I’ve included the table below.

Time (approximate) Subject/Activity
Morning (9:00 – 10:00)
  • Handwriting
  • Calendar
  • Geography
  • CC Review (3 days a week)
    • 2 week block Math/History
    • 2 week block Latin/Science
Afternoon (1:30 – 2:00) Reading (loop through lesson, hands-on activity, review game)
Afternoon (2:00 – 2:30) Math (loop through lesson, hands-on activity, review game)

There are many ways to approach your homeschool schedule and I implore you to explore your options. Not every method will work for every homeschool family, but once you find what works, it can be freeing. Also, just because a type of schedule works right now does not mean it will work forever. Be flexible and accept change when it makes sense.

Amber Marie

Welcome to my homeschooling blog. I’m a former educator turned homeschool mom. Homeschooling is a relatively new adventure for our family. Click my picture to learn more about my story and why I homeschool my family.

Follow Me On

Recent and Related Posts

Math Lesson in the Life: Abeka Numbers Skills K5 Workbook

Math Lesson in the Life: Abeka Numbers Skills K5 Workbook

Math can be a tricky subject to teach a child and can be even harder if you don’t know where to start. Take a look at what I have learned about teaching math to my kindergartner.
Read More
Reading Lesson in the Life: The Good and the Beautiful

Reading Lesson in the Life: The Good and the Beautiful

If you have chosen to homeschool your children, and they are under the age of six, I’m sure you may have experienced the same anxiety I have on a particular issue. How do I teach my child to read? However, that fear subsided when I searched the web and found all the wonderful curriculums out there for homeschoolers. Suddenly, I wasn’t afraid anymore. I did a lot of research and even tried a curriculum out before using the curriculum I’m using now.
Read More
Why I Switched Curriculums Mid Year

Why I Switched Curriculums Mid Year

There comes a time in almost every homeschooler’s life when they question the curriculum they are using with their children. That time arrived for me this year around February. If you read one of my earlier posts about the curriculum I chose to use this school year, you would know that I was loving All About Reading for my Language Arts program along with Living Education for Math. I also mentioned that I would be trying RightStart Math when I saved up and purchased the curriculum. Needless to say, as the title already indicates this, I completely changed everything. Check out my reasons why below and what curriculum I’m now using with my five-year old son.
Read More
5 Meaningful Ways to Plan Your Spring

5 Meaningful Ways to Plan Your Spring

With just a short time left until summer you want to make the last stretch of the spring season count. Since we are short on time I have made a list of that has 5 ways to plan your spring using books and activities that will make this season memorable. It will bring a smile on your face every time you can look back on the memories that you created with your children. A meaningful spring will yield a great education.
Read More
Discover the Wonders of Botany through Play

Discover the Wonders of Botany through Play

Spring is such a lovely time to get outside, go for a walk and simply enjoy being outside. It's good for the body, it's good for the mind and it's good for the soul.
Read More
Felt Flowers Quiet Activity

Felt Flowers Quiet Activity

You create them, feel them, you transform them and invent some new species...Hours of fun for little fingers who like to manipulate and have an artistic touch. As a quiet activity or as a fun bounding time with mommy. Felt is one of my favorite material to use for creating educative activities for little ones
Read More
5 Things I Love About Homeschooling vs. Public Schooling (Shared by a Former Teacher)

5 Things I Love About Homeschooling vs. Public Schooling (Shared by a Former Teacher)

I get a lot of funny looks when I say I homeschool my son. However, those facial expressions change quickly to surprise when I mention I am a former elementary school teacher. So many people ask me “why I would want to homeschool my kids rather than send them to public school” among other questions. Normally, I give a quick run down of some brief reasons then go on my merry way. But as I sat down to think about it more, I was able to flesh out 5 things I LOVE about homeschooling that I (or my son) would never be able to get in a public school setting.
Read More
The Secret Garden’ BY F. H. Burnett – The Ultimate Homeschoolers Guide To Spring

The Secret Garden’ BY F. H. Burnett – The Ultimate Homeschoolers Guide To Spring

Spring time is a time of new beginnings, healing and growth. From reading the 'The Secret Garden' it is clear to me that F.H. Burnett understood the significant positive value to a child's mental, physical and educational health, when it comes to spending time outdoors with nature. This book is a calling to all parents and educators to let our children loose amongst the miracles of Spring and allow nature to nurture them just like it did for the three little children in this story.
Read More
We brought a Spring cooking class into our homeschool this week!

We brought a Spring cooking class into our homeschool this week!

My daughter and I were playing outside the other day.. We were having a blast and noticed we had TONS of dandelions in our yard.. What a bother those things are when they completely cover your yard! & they are almost impossible to get rid of. Dandelion So why not make lemonade out of lemons.. or rather dandelion jelly out of dandelion weeds? It is a very simple progress, but it does take about a full day!
Read More
Learning about Bulbs: Results and Conclusion

Learning about Bulbs: Results and Conclusion

About four weeks ago, my son and I did an experiment with bulbs (see more here). We dissected and talked about the different parts of a bulb. We then forced them to grow in glass vases. Needless to say I was very surprised how quickly the hyacinths grew and bloomed. From the day we “planted” them, it only took 7 days for them to get to full bloom! During this week long experiment, my son and I made observations about the bulbs growth along with others. There were some interesting discoveries that I came to analyze and took note of.
Read More

Follow on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Instagram

Products I Love

What type of schedule do you use in your homeschool? Is there another method you follow? Share in the comments below.

COMMENTS

1 Comment

  1. Ginger

    Amber Marie, I am amazed at how organized and well-planned your schedule is for your first year home schooling! I tried implementing loop work last year but it just didn’t stick. I did find a traditional schedule that’s working for us this year, albeit 6 days/week to keep it broken up and not have so much to do during the day. I definitely learned from my over-intensive near burn -out schedule my first year! And I’ve had to leave foreign language behind as it just kept being too hard to fit in too.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
%d bloggers like this: