You might hear “daily homeschool routine” and run for the hills, but trust me, your homeschool will run so much smoother with a routine in place.
Your homeschool day will be a success with less brain-power required of you, less meltdowns from the kids, and less stress all around.
6 Simple Steps to Building the Perfect Daily Homeschool Routine
Remember Why You Want A Daily Homeschool Routine
We went over this a bit when we were talking about our weekly homeschooling routine. I understand that lots of people hate schedules and feel trapped by strict time clocks. Thank goodness, that’s not what I’m suggesting here!
What I am suggesting is giving yourself a rough routine so that you can go through your day without using brain power to decide what comes next.
I’d also like to say, if you’re homeschooling more than one kiddo, you absolutely need a daily homeschool routine. (Check out this handy guide to making a routine for your large family homeschool!) You need to know that one kid will be doing a teacher intensive subject while your other is doing independent work. Trust me, you’ll thank me for this!
Then finally, having a daily routine helps kids understand what comes next. This means less arguing and tears when it’s time to do math before science because every day you do math before science. (note, I’m not promising no tears, these are kids after all!)
Letting Go of The 8-3 Mentality in Your Daily Homeschool Routine
First and foremost, I want you to let go of the 8-3 public school mentality. We homeschool to keep our kids from public school, we absolutely do not need to recreate it at home!
Often times homeschooling can be done a lot quicker than public school because there are fewer distractions and kids don’t have to wait for every kid in the class to understand things before moving on. Many homeschool families are completely done with school by lunch!
Beyond that, you don’t need to start school first thing in the morning and finish in the early afternoon Monday through Friday. Some families school on the weekends. Others homeschool late at night. I have friends who school in the afternoon during the baby’s nap. Whatever works for your family is fair game!
Using Your Family’s Natural Rhythm in Your Daily Homeschool Routine
Okay, now that we’ve moved away from the public school schedule, it’s time to think about your family’s natural rhythms.
- Are you all early birds?
- Do you work best at night?
- Do you all need a nap after lunch?
- Are your afternoons busy with clubs and errands?
Make sure you don’t only consider your kids, but yourself. I know that I’m always a better mommy when I’m not trying to force myself to cheerfully teach when I’d naturally prefer to be in bed!
Once you know when your family works best, you know when you’ll plan to do the bulk of your homeschooling.
Using Natural Motivators in Your Daily Homeschool Routine
Now that you have the general hours that you’ll be homeschooling, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of building your daily homeschool routine. The best way to do that is to use natural motivators throughout your day.
What does that mean?
Pair undesirable tasks with desirable tasks. We learned the true value of this from A-Man’s Occupational Therapist. Some may call it bragging, I call it a method that works!
So as an example. Mr. C really doesn’t like writing, but he loves reading and math. In our daily routine we could put reading after writing, so he has a natural motivator to finish his writing lesson.
For A-Man, his favorite time of day is lunch, so I’ll make sure that his hardest subject comes before lunch!
Adding Time Buffers to Your Daily Homeschool Routine
I will forever shout this from the rooftops, (er, from this blog?) every single time I’m talking about any kind of routine or schedule.
Add. Time. Buffers.
If you think you can do every subject before lunch? Add a buffer of an hour or two after lunch for the days you go over.
If you plan to do reading and writing during the baby’s nap, make sure you have a plan for the baby when lessons run past nap-time.
Always. Add. Time. Buffers.
Can I say that enough? I don’t think so. Add some time buffers. You’ll thank me later!
(PS. Add some time buffers!)
Having Grace with Your Daily Homeschool Routine
Along with time buffers, always have grace.
There will be days where your homeschool routine is completely thrown off and you just have to do what you can to salvage the day. That’s okay. The next day, give your typical routine another shot.
When your kids get really excited about their science lesson and want to search youtube for more clips about volcanoes? Let them follow that passion!
Your daily homeschool routine will change and evolve over time, and that’s okay. You’ll have days where you never get past the first lesson, and that’s okay.
Have grace with your kids, have grace with your daily homeschool routine, and have grace with yourself, Mama. You’ve got this!