I'm told optimistic people are the worst at scheduling because they always believe that they can do one more thing. At least, that is what I optimistically tell myself about why I hate schedules and struggle to maintain a consistent daily schedule. When our kids were little, it didn't matter as much because I was home all day and they didn't have a heavy workload. When my oldest was in third grade and I had a new baby at home, I almost gave up hope that year. It was a struggle to balance it all. To maintain my sanity, I started researching everything I could about how to organize our lives so that we were not running around like crazies all day long. There were a lot of parts of our life that I simplified to find a balance that now works, but it didn't happen over night.
A lot of you have been thrown into the deep end. You are now being asked to work from home, balance having kids around all day....oh, and yeah, could you please help teach your kids also...in your free time? It's overwhelming to say the least. But we are here for you. This is the first year that we have both worked while trying to homeschool and it's been an adjustment for us as well. We have finally found systems that work for us and we will share those in this special series.
Unfortunately, there is not one simple way to schedule your day when teaching kids from home. The good news is that we have created a variety of schedules that may fit your family. Additionally, we've made them editable for your convenience.
For a lot of you, right now, the remote teaching schedule that your child's school has set up might dictate the type of schedule that you'll have to follow. If you have any flexibility, the best practice is to find a schedule that works for you and continue to adapt it every couple days to better meet your needs and schedule.
What Works for Us
Since our work changes day-by-day we use a combination of the checklist system and a general outline block schedule. Some of you may have a very consistent schedule and could use a more detailed daily schedule. Whatever works for you is the right schedule.
We recommend starting with a block schedule that isn't too restrictive on time. We've found when working with more than one kid and various grades, it's just too difficult for our family to time all subjects to the same amount of time blocks.
You'll notice that we separate school work into two categories: subjects we do together and subjects they do on-their-own. For the sake of your sanity, this is very important. Most kids would appreciate parents sitting beside them the whole time and helping with their work. If we did this all day, we'd never get any work done. So we pick which subjects are reasonable that they do on their own and only step in if they ask for help. Then we just review their work at a set time in the day and re-teach a topic if they need additional assistance. Other subjects we teach directly and check in throughout. Often math, writing, and reading (for non-readers) are subjects we provide instruction for on a daily basis.
An alternative to a daily schedule is a checklist. The checklist we use for our children does not have time blocks included. This allows our students to each work at their own pace. A checklist could be use in combination with a block schedule or even a detailed scheduled if that works best for your family.
WEEKEND | MORNING | EVENING
Scheduling for Working Parents
We will include another post specifically for working parents with tips on how best to make a schedule work for you, but the editable schedules are already available on our Resource Library. Download them and start customizing for your family's needs!
We have 9 FREE different variations of schedules available on our COVID-19 Special Resource Library. Click on this link to access our Resource Library.