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 very unique to each family that homeschools, and it varies a lot depending on various 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 accordance with 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 schedule that you want to follow.
This is especially important if you know you’re going to need to prepare specific class materials, such as printed resources, books, arts and crafts supplies or even access to an electronic device during your homeschool day!
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. Involving the whole family also ensures everyone is on the same page about what will happen.
While homeschooling provides a little more flexibility for some families, it’s important to create and stick to a routine that your child recognises and that enables them to distinguish the difference between learning and leisure time. Establishing a routine 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 responsibility, accountability and discipline, which are always valuable attributes for your child to understand and have!
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 boundaries necessary 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.
Is there anything that needs 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.
Identifying priorities at the start of your homeschooling day will allow you to set and 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 prepping, household chores, … Setting your homeschool day to day up for success depends on many external factors!
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 or even allow them to play an educational game like nightzookeeper.com!
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 an “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, or something small that your child can do on a daily basis? Charts and graphs are a great way to put your whole homeschooling journey into perspective!
We hope you’ve found these tips useful! If you choose to try any of these out, let us know how it goes, we’d love to hear from you! You can tag us on social media using the hashtag #nigthzookeeper or email us at [email protected]!