How to Set Up Your Homeschool Schedule (Part 1 of 4) – Time Blocking!

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Do you struggle with figuring out a homeschool schedule that works for you and your family?

How to Set Up Your Homeschool Schedule- Time Blocking

Well, in this 4-part blog series I want to share some tips that have helped me and hopefully you will be able to glean something that you can apply and use in your own homeschool. Please just use these steps as a guide and apply what works for you! That is what makes homeschooling awesome — we get to make it a part of our lives, which will look a little different for each family.

Are you ready to dig in? Here is the first step to take to set up your homeschool schedule – Time Blocking!

Divide the Day Up into Blocks of Time

I have tried elaborate schedules before and they just didn’t work for me. If you like that kind of thing and want to schedule your homeschool in 1/2 hour increments, go for it!

But what I have found that works the best for us is to schedule our day in blocks of time. Here are some suggested blocks for you to consider:

  • Chore Time Block
  • Read-Aloud Time Block
  • Together School Time Block
  • Independent Work/Table Time Block
  • Free Time Block

Once you have decided on the blocks of time that you want to schedule for your family, then chart out what an ideal day would look like. Attach times to each of the blocks so that your day has a flow to it, being careful not to overlap the blocks. To give you an example, here is what our days mostly look like during the homeschool year:

  • 8:30-9:15 – Breakfast & Together School Time Block
  • 9:15-9:30 – Bedroom Chores
  • 9:30-12:00 – Independent Work/Table Time Block
  • 12:00-12:30 – Lunch
  • 12:30-1:30 – Free Time Block
  • 1:30-2:30 – Read-Aloud Time Block
  • 2:30-4:30 – Free Time Block (If needed, finish up any homeschooling work first.)
  • 4:30-5:00 – Chore Time Block (Pick up house and prep for dinner)
  • 6:00-7:00 – Dinner and Cleanup
  • 7:00-9:00 – Family Time

The wonderful thing about scheduling your homeschool in blocks is that if something comes up you can simply move the blocks around.

For example, let’s say that one day one of the kids had a dentist appointment in the morning. You tried to set it in the afternoon, but they only had an opening in the morning. So you may choose to move your blocks around and do your Independent Work/Table Time Block in the afternoon instead of in the morning, and then do your Read-Aloud Time Block (a shortened version) before bed that night. Even though your day got messed up a bit because of the dentist appointment, you were still able to get in most of your homeschool work for the day. See how easy that is?

Ok, now that you’ve selected the time blocks you want to schedule and made a rough schedule for the day, it’s time to look closer at actually scheduling the work for those time blocks. In the next few posts in this series, I am going to outline a plan to schedule your Together School Block, Independent Work/Table Time Block, and the Read-Aloud Time Block. Those are the main ones that you will use for your homeschool, but the methods will work for any other block of time you want to schedule.

By the way, I would encourage you to NOT schedule anything for the kids during the Free Time Blocks. Only step in if they need help finding something to do. They need that down time where nothing is planned to unwind and rest. Don’t we all?

In the next post we will move on to scheduling the Together School Block!

Read all the posts in this series!

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  1. This is exactly how I managed my family when we started homeschooling in 2008. At first all the children fit into my weekly overlaps and daily, minimally organised blocks, but by the time my eldest was 12 I had 2 pages of "block overlays" to navigate homeschooling 5 children, keep a busy home and take care of an ill family member. This time-blocking system turned out to be a practical way to fit in "more than I could manage". It worked so well that it made it look from the outside like I was coping. Doing it all is great for a short while but it's not sustainable long term. I ended up with burn out and then a lower spine injury really knocked me down. The time-block scheduling even helped me navigate the next 4 years of slow recovery... so it really is a very useful and flexible system for someone like me who struggles to allocate importance and urgency to tasks - because every task is urgent and important 😂 I took a break from using this system when I enlisted my husbands help with the home and children because it didn't work well for his flexitime work schedule, but I am thinking of taking it up again to gain some control over my now rather aimless honey bee lifestyle.
  2. I like the idea of thinking of the day in different time blocks. That is kind of how I think about our day even though I don't generally use the word "blocks". We have certain times of the day that are concentrated school (subjects that require lots of concentration), and other blocks of time that are read aloud and discussion times. We also have "do your chores so the house doesn't fall apart" blocks of time. ;) Thank you for sharing this-I am always looking to increase the productivity and peace in our house!
    1. Thanks Kristie! Glad you liked the post. I am so much a concrete person, it really helped me to think of our day in blocks of time. Anyway, thanks for commenting!
  3. Sheri, thank you so much for this series. I struggle with scheduling homeschool activities, and this is very helpful!
    1. So glad this series is helping you Jeanetta! I don't claim it is the only way to plan, but thought sharing what I am doing might help someone. So glad it is! Have a great week!

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