If your homeschool schedule is stressing you out, you are probably trying to fit too much into your day. The biggest culprit of a scheduling issue is too many things and not enough time to do them.
You’re likely feeling overwhelmed and stressed-out by the number of things staring back at you from that schedule.
And, instead of enjoying your homeschool days, you’re just barreling through or skipping things. Because there always seems to be too much.
What you need is a simple homeschool schedule that consistently works.
Treating your homeschool schedule like your grocery budget is a great way to simplify your homeschool days and create a schedule that will work day after day.
Treat Your Homeschool Schedule like A Grocery Budget
Budget before you put anything on the schedule or in your cart.
You can’t just throw filet mignon and an expensive bottle of wine in your shopping cart without knowing there’s money in the budget to pay for it. Know what you can spend before you go shopping or you’ll be standing at the checkout deciding what to leave behind.
The same goes for your homeschool schedule, you have to know how much time you’re working with before you make the schedule or you’ll be trying to fit all kinds of things in you don’t have time for and leaving some of the things that are really important to you, out entirely.
It took me years to make this change. I consistently piled too many subjects into our homeschool day. Hardly ever getting to the last few on our list. I spent my time rushing my son through his work to get to the next thing, rescheduling part way through the week to get to the things we had already missed. It was ludicrous. It was stressful and complicated. And, of course, the most important part: My son felt that stress and honestly couldn’t have been learning all of those subjects on a deep level.
But, you get to learn from my mistakes and stop the madness sooner.
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Time is a resource just like money
Start thinking of your time the way you think of your money. It is, most likely, limited and you have to budget or you run out before the bills are paid.
A grocery budget, just like our homeschool schedules has constraints. Your grocery budget, a monetary one, and your homeschool schedule an hourly budget.
You can’t do school all day long. There has to be time to eat, sleep, spend time with family, and have a life outside of textbooks. Decide how many hours you will allot for schoolwork each day. Be honest about what that looks like for your family. You can’t fit 15 subjects into a 4-hour timeframe.
It’s just not going to work.
You and I didn’t decide the length of the day, so you’ve got to work with what you’ve got. Don’t stress yourself out thinking about how great your schedule would be if you had “just a few more hours.”
You don’t. So, move on and work with the constraint.
While making this decision, take into account any homeschooling laws in your state that apply. Then, make your considerations and come up with the daily and the weekly number of hours you have to work with.
Once you have this “time budget” decided, you can look at the subjects you want to include and come up with a more feasible way to schedule your homeschool days.
Start with Subjects You Will do Every Day
To take this grocery analogy a little further. After deciding your budget, you went to the store and picked out great nourishing food to feed your family for the week. When you get home, you don’t sit down and try to eat a bit of everything you bought in one day do you? Of course not. You spread those foods out over the week.
Once you make a time budget for your homeschool schedule you have to consume it the way you do your groceries.
Select only a very few subjects to do every day. You might have oatmeal for breakfast every day, maybe leftovers from dinner at lunch a few times a week and then something new for dinner.
The oatmeal on your homeschool schedule might be math and reading. You know you want to include those every day, but maybe you don’t feel the same way about science, music, or grammar. You could try doing these subjects once, twice, or three times a week instead of every day. There’s no wrong answer.
Try to look at your homeschool days as an extension of your week. As just parts of the whole.
Have a short list of subjects you must get-to every day and spread the rest out over the week. It will help you get to everything without you having to play catch-up with your overbooked schedule. And, give you some breathing room.
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Evaluating Your Current Homeschool Schedule
The next step in simplifying your homeschool is to do a simple evaluation. Check out the next post in this series on Simple Homeschool Evaluation.
You have to know what you need and want to include in your days in order to cut anything out. It’s time for some Simple Homeschool Evaluation and assessment of your current schedule.
First, you have to do some reflection and thinking about what has to be included.
Make a list of subjects your state requires that you include and keep these in mind as you start to think about what needs to be a part of your daily and weekly schedule.
Look at each thing on your list and give it a value. What can’t be missed? What’s at the top of your list?
This is a great starting point and time to find ways to add in those things at the end of the list without having 86 things on your schedule every day.