Creating an effective homeschool plan can be overwhelming and challenging as there are many different aspects, direct and indirect, that must be considered. Homeschooling is unique to each family that chooses this style of education, and depends on lots of factors, including your family’s lifestyle, your location and your approach to teaching. From working with many homeschooling families, we’ve compiled the best tips on how to organize your homeschool day, which have worked for thousands of families!
Create an overall plan for the whole homeschool year. This should be in relation to the topics you want to cover and should fit your family’s lifestyle. Once you’re happy with the yearly plan, we recommend drafting a flexible, daily homeschool schedule that you want to follow - you may want to buy yourself a homeschool planner, a student planner for your child, or maybe diy your own!
We’re also big fans of to do lists (download your Night Zookeeper homeschool to do list now)!
This is especially important if you know you’re going to need to prepare specific class materials, such as printed resources, workbooks, art supplies, access to an electronic device, or use educational programs or apps during your homeschool day! If you’re using various physical class materials, it’s also a great idea to keep them neatly organized in different binders for easy access.
Get the whole family involved in the planning of your homeschool day! Your child may want to contribute and have a say on how they’d like to be taught (within reason) and you may discover things you didn’t know about how your child likes to learn. Allowing your family to help develop an effective weekly homeschool schedule that works for everyone will also give you an opportunity to come up with lesson plans, gather your homeschool materials, art supplies, worksheets and any other homeschool supplies you may need throughout the week together. This can even become a great weekly family bonding activity!
Involving the whole family also ensures everyone is on the same page about your homeschool schedule and that everyone agrees on the schoolwork to be completed each day.
While homeschooling provides a little more flexibility for some families, it’s important to create and stick to a routine that your child recognizes and that enables them to distinguish the difference between learning and leisure time.
Establishing a weekly schedule is crucial for the success of your homeschooling journey, as it will allow you to segment your time effectively and encourage you to start your homeschool day confidently. It will also promote accountability, discipline, and teach time management and organizational skills, which are always valuable attributes for your child to understand and have!
Essentially, all school days should bring a sense of familiarity and responsibility to your child, whether that consists of starting your homeschool day at the same time everyday, or working on the same subject on the same day of the week. However you choose to plan your homeschool day, it’s important to keep in mind that stability is key!
Developing a flexible routine also means establishing clear breaks. These breaks will help your child to make the most out of their homeschool day and they’ll create necessary boundaries to separate school time from free / play time. Breaks will also allow you to organize the subjects you want to cover and set clear expectations for your homeschool day.
In order to do this, you should set an exact amount of time for each individual study break, especially at the beginning of the school year. This is another way to ensure that clear boundaries and expectations are set.
You should start your day with things that need immediate attention. This can be something you know your child is particularly struggling with or even leftover work from the previous day that must be completed before a new topic of activity is introduced. Whatever it may be, be sure to allocate some time in your homeschool schedule to go over more challenging topics before moving on!
Identifying priorities at the start of your homeschooling day is a great hack to track targets and stay on top of all the work!
As homeschoolers, life doesn’t stop! Sometimes homeschooling duties and other responsibilities can be mixed up and it can be difficult to set clear boundaries and expectations for your homeschool day.
Are there areas of everyday life you can organize in advance? This may include your grocery shopping schedule, meal planning, household chores, amongst other things. Setting your homeschool day to day up for success depends on many external factors.
Homeschool organization is crucial and should be something that you focus on. Being organized ensures that you’re successfully following your homeschool curriculum choice, but it will also create clear boundaries and establish all other aspects of your daily routine to make the most out of each school year!
Homeschooling can be challenging and you may find it difficult to keep your child engaged for a full day. We really recommend surprising your child with something unexpected! For example, could you introduce a new activity, organize a field trip, or even allow them to play an educational game like Night Zookeeper!
The ultimate goal is to present something that grabs their attention - this is a particularly effective tactic to use toward the end of your homeschool day.
If your current homeschooling approach isn’t working, why not try something else? It’s all about trial and error! Homeschooling is really unique and not at all a “one size fits all” experience. For example, if you know that your child tends to lose focus at the end of their homeschool day, starting the day with a task that is slightly more difficult or something that your child isn’t a fan of will result in a sense of achievement and will set the rest of your homeschool day up for success! Try different approaches and find what works best for your family!
Your homeschooling journey will fly by, so make sure you have fun and take the time to create memories your family can look back on! Why not schedule an arts and crafts session every week using different materials as your art supplies, or use games to teach language arts or math to make it more engaging and fun for your child? Charts and graphs are a great way to put your whole homeschooling journey into perspective!
We hope these tips make your homeschool planning a little easier. If you’re on the hunt for unique and effective homeschool resources, our fantastically fun reading & writing program covers the full language arts curriculum, and includes interactive lessons, word games, challenges and free printable materials perfect to fit into your homeschool schedule!
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If you choose to try any of these homeschooling tips out, let us know how it goes, we’d love to hear from you! Reach out to us on social media or email us at [email protected]!