Homeschool Schedule Ideas

Homeschool Schedule Ideas for Pre-K – 2nd Grade

Getting Started with a Homeschool Schedule

One of the biggest keys to successfully educating your children at home is having a homeschool schedule. But it can be hard to come up with homeschool schedule ideas. If you’ve wondered what to do, how to set one up, and keep your sanity in the process – I have you covered! In this article we’ll talk about that, and some!

Homeschool Schedule Ideas (PreK - 2nd Grade)

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What is a Good Schedule for Homeschooling?

As much as you will probably hate this answer, a good schedule for homeschooling will really depend on your family. There are families who have no schedule whatsoever and prefer to have a homeschool routine instead – and that’s great! Some families need to homeschool in the evenings because of parents jobs, and that works too! So really, a good schedule for homeschooling is one that works for you!

I have tried and tried to start our homeschool day by 9 every morning. As much as I have tried to push my children toward my ideal time, it really has not worked. I had to let that go for the sake of my sanity.

There might be some trial and error involved in this process, especially if you are homeschooling with a newborn, are doing this for the first time, have multiple children learning together, or are going through a major life change.

How Do I Create a Daily Schedule for Homeschool?

Now that we have established that every family will have different needs and therefore different looking schedules, let’s jump into figuring out how to create a schedule that will work for your family.

How to create a daily schedule for homeschool is is one of the most asked questions in the world of homeschooling, and rightfully so. Some parents whose children were once in public (or private) school may want to keep a similar schedule at home. On the other hand, some parents want to do something completely different. Regardless of where you fall on that scale, there are a few components to consider that will help you simplify your homeschool schedule. Let’s take a look!

Homeschool schedule idea in a homeschool planner

Your Family

Your unique family dynamic should always be at the forefront of all your homeschool schedule prep. Take into consideration how many children you are homeschooling, their ages, grades, and any learning exceptions. These will certainly come into play when trying to nail down the perfect schedule or routine that everyone will enjoy.

Consistency

Just like a child learning to ride their bike, it will take consistency to get your homeschool schedule to stick. Not to mention, you don’t want to give up at the first sign of resistance. If you’re new to homeschooling, take it from me and embrace flexibility early. There will be times when the schedule goes out the window, but it doesn’t mean you stop doing it completely. Stick with it, but also be mindful of when you may need to change things up – whether it be for a day or long term.

Which leads me into the next component…

Be Prepared for Changes

As you navigate your homeschooling journey, changes will happen. They are inevitable because your children change, you change, and things change around your family. And if you are just starting out with homeschooling, there will be a learning curve. You will try things that simply don’t go they way you thought they would. Expect and prepare for the need to make any necessary changes.

Resources

There are many resources available to help with creating the best homeschool schedule for your family.

Here are some of my favorite go-to resources:

Homeschool Planner

A homeschool planner allows me to keep everything I need to do in one convenient space just for me. Here are a couple favorites in the homeschool world:

Well Planned Gal Homeschool Family Planner

Planner for Homeschool

This is the perfect planner for homeschool and daily organization. Each week, you have space to write your family meal plan, to-do list, and weekly activities right next to your lesson plans. Us mamas have a LOT on our plates each week, and this planner definitely helps keep everything organized in one place.

You can keep track of lesson plans, grades and attendance for up to four students. This homeschool planner provides a space for journaling at the end of each semester to write down any observations as well as report cards for the end of the year (if you choose to do that).

This is a fully dated homeschool planner that provides space for math, language arts, science, social studies and Bible. There are extra spaces at the bottom for you to add any custom courses as well.

So, if you are looking for a all-in-one homeschool planner, the Well Planned Gal Planner is a great option.

Erin Condren 12 Month Teacher Lesson Planner

homeschool planner

This planner is a great option for mamas who like to keep their homeschool organization separate from their daily tasks and plans. This planner is created for classroom teachers, but works perfectly for homeschooling too. I have been using a classroom teacher planner for years and have been loving it.

First, this planner is absolutely beautiful and high quality. It includes fun bonuses like stickers, encouraging monthly quotes, checklist pages and a folder in the back.

The dated planner divides the months with tabs to help you find your lessons easily. It also includes weekly, monthly and yearly spreads to help you see the big picture of your academic goals during the school year as well as the more detailed daily plans.

Big Wall Calendar

The big wall calendar allows us to write down everyone’s plans and activities in a place where the whole family can see them. This helps so much with knowing how to plan our weeks and how to NOT overbook our days! This gets more and more important as kids get older and involved in more activities and as you add more children into the mix.

This wall calendar is the perfect size and is neutral and beautiful at the same time.

Student Planner

The individual planners or planner page printables for my children help teach them about time management and other important life skills. 

For younger kids, I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on a planner, but as kids get older they may enjoy picking out a planner for themselves. I remember being so disappointed in the homeschool planner that my school gave out in 5th grade. Haha. It will stick with some children, so let them participate in choosing one for themselves.

How Many Hours a Day Do You Homeschool?

Are you wondering how many hours a day you need to homeschool? Well, the number of hours a day you spend homeschooling depends on several things.

First, check the requirements for your state. Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a wonderful resource that provides parents with a wealth of knowledge when it comes to homeschooling. They make it really easy for you to find what your state mandates.

Second, expect for formal learning to be a lot shorter than it is in public or private school. Not only are you not having to manage whole class transitions, but you are educating your child one-on-one or in a small group setting the entire time.

The following image gives you an idea of how long your homeschool days can be for each grade level. I am hesitant to share this, because I don’t want you to feel tied down to the length of time that’s listed, but I know that sometimes it can be helpful to have a visual or a guideline of what you can shoot for each day. Yes, the time range for each day is pretty big, but this is because there are SO many variables that determine how long each homeschool day will take.

Daily homeschool hours by grade level infographic

Keep in mind that the learning hours that I mention for each grade level include only the structured learning time. Structured learning time is the direct teaching or the formal learning that is happening. This includes you teaching the lesson, doing whatever activity goes along with it and your child doing any seat work for the lesson.

So, things like life skills (cooking, cleaning, gardening, sewing, grocery shopping, budgeting, home projects, etc.), outdoor play or nature walks, sensory play, art or music are not included in these hours.

BUT, by all means, if your state has a requirement for you to school your children for “X” amount of hours, count those “extras” as a part of your school day. Those activities are invaluable, and there is no way that I am having a first grader sit in front of a textbook for four hours a day!

With these tips in mind, let’s look at some ideas for creating a simple homeschool schedule for your family!

Homeschool Schedule Ideas

The ideas you’ll read below are simply that – ideas. Glean what you can and use what you want. Remember that homeschoolers wake up at different times, get their days started at different times, and even homeschool throughout the day at different times. Always put a schedule together that’s best for your family.

Homeschool Schedule Ideas: Preschool

Mom and daughter playing with blocks during homeschool.

For the average preschool-aged child, you can expect their attention to span to be about 15 minutes long before they are ready to move onto something else. It is typical for them to want to read for 5 minutes, play with a toy for another 5 minutes, before jumping to yet another activity. With their little bursts of energy in mind, only try to schedule roughly 20-60 minutes of structured learning per day.

Work in your preschooler’s schedule with normal, everyday activities and keep it consistent. A sample homeschool preschool schedule may look like this:

  • 8:00am – breakfast
  • 8:30am – help clean kitchen (life skill, chore)
  • 8:45am – circle time with calendar time (days of the week, month, season, weather, etc.)
  • 9:00am – daily learning notebook (writing/coloring practice), flashcards, etc.
  • 9:15am – storytime
  • 9:30am – free play (indoor or outdoor)
  • 10:00am – math activities (counting, shapes, etc.)
  • 10:15am – fine motor skills practice (sensory bin)
  • 10:30am – help prepare lunch (life skills)
  • 11:00am – lunch
  • 11:30am – help clean kitchen (life skills)
  • 12:00pm – nap/rest
  • 1:00pm – free play (indoor/outdoor)
  • 1:30pm – specials (art, music, etc.)

You can also choose to rotate which activities or subjects you focus on different days of the week. For example, Mondays can be for introducing new letters, numbers, colors, and other concepts. Tuesdays can be for reviewing the concepts taught with a variety of activities (coloring pages, do-a-dots, puzzles, etc.), and so on. The overall idea is to begin introducing your preschooler to a set schedule that will help them thrive in academics and life.

If you need some extra help for your homeschool preschool, I have you covered!! Jump on over to read about EVERYTHING you need to know about homeschooling your preschooler.

Homeschool Schedule Ideas: Kindergarten

Kindergarten girl painting during homeschool

As your child approaches kindergarten age, their attention span lasts a bit longer. Although this is the case, a typical kindergartener homeschooler only spends about 2 hours in instruction per day. They may also have more subjects introduced. A sample kindergarten schedule may look like this:

  • 8:00am – breakfast
  • 8:30am – breakfast cleanup
  • 9:00am – calendar lessons (same as preschool but in a little more depth)
  • 9:30am – storytime
  • 10:00am – phonics/reading
  • 10:30am – handwriting
  • 10:45am – math
  • 11:00am – lunch
  • 11:30am – lunch cleanup
  • 12:00pm – rest
  • 1:00pm – science/social studies
  • 1:30pm – specials

You can also work in indoor/outdoor time similar to a preschool-schedule. As more concepts are taught, you can follow a similar sample given for preschoolers and allot for certain activities or subjects to be done on certain days of the week so that you and your child don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of work each day.

If you are still looking for excellent kindergarten homeschool curriculum, look no further. We LOVED our curriculum picks for K5.

Homeschool Schedule Ideas: First Grade

First grade boy working independently during homeschool hours.

By first grade, children should have even longer attention spans and be able to do some work independently. The skill of independent learning will grow as they practice more and more.

In first grade, you will most likely add a few more subjects, such as history, geography, and social studies. Even with more added, the time spent on each subject can still be anywhere between 15-30 minutes.

  • 8:00am – breakfast
  • 8:30am – breakfast cleanup
  • 9:00am – calendar (at this point, this should be pretty brief)
  • 9:10am – storytime
  • 9:30am – phonics/reading
  • 10:00am – handwriting
  • 10:15am – math
  • 10:45am – social studies
  • 11:15am – lunch
  • 11:45am – lunch cleanup
  • 12:00pm – rest/independent reading
  • 1:00pm – social studies
  • 1:30pm – specials

Consider using a method that pairs subjects together, such as the unit study method. Since individual subjects do not have to be the focal point, they can be combined and taught without giving each one its own block of time.

Stay tuned for the unit study curriculum that we are using this year! I can’t wait to tell you all about it!!

Homeschool Schedule Ideas: Second Grade

A second grader working independently in her homeschool.

By second grade, your homeschooler is ready to build on all the foundational concepts taught the previous three years. No worries if you still find yourself working on some of the same foundational skills. There is still some room in the early elementary years to master them.

Here is a good homeschool schedule example for second grade:

  • 8:00am – breakfast
  • 8:30am – breakfast cleanup
  • 9:00am – english/language arts
  • 9:30am – handwriting practice (cursive may be introduced)
  • 10:00am – math
  • 10:30am – social studies
  • 11:00am – lunch
  • 11:30am – independent reading
  • 12:00pm – geography
  • 12:30pm – science
  • 1:00pm – history
  • 1:30pm – specials

Help foster independent learning skills by giving your child workbooks, printables, a desk calendar, and checklist.

Some parents also use a workbox system which gives children the ability to work at their own pace and “turning in” their work when completed. Basically, you just set out the child’s books and assignments the night before and have them show you the work either when it is all completed or as they complete it throughout the day.

Homeschool Schedule Ideas Wrap-Up

With these homeschool schedule ideas as a guide, create one that compliments your unique family dynamic!

I would love to know what your homeschool day looks like! Let me know in the comments! What is the thing in your day that makes everything go smoothly? Maybe it’s just coffee, and that’s okay too!

Homeschool Schedule Ideas (Preschool - 2nd Grade)

Homeschool Schedule Ideas

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