5 Smart Tips for a Homeschool Schedule that Works for You

March 27, 2020

Before you start to homeschool, you need to think about a schedule that will work for your life at home. First and foremost, KEEP it SIMPLE and INVOLVE Your CHILDREN!

Tip 1: Choose an Appropriate Amount of Time to Match the Age of the Child.

Relax!  You do not have to run this like “regular school” from 8 to 3! Probably 2-4 hours is all you need, depending on the age of your child.

  • 2 hours for K-2
  • 3 hours for 3-8
  • 4 hours for 9-12

Add an extra hour for enrichment if you’d like to extend learning further.

The time does not necessarily need to be in one block of time.  For example, you can do half in the morning and the other half in the afternoon. 

Tip 2: Shift Activity Before You Lose Their Attention.

One more HUGE thing to remember is to shift activity as often as necessary to keep your child focused! What’s the attention span of different ages?  If you google it, you’ll find lots of different charts with lots of different numbers.  Be willing to experiment to see what works best for your child. Here’s what to expect for the average. 

Average Attention Span by Age
(Consecutive minutes on one single activity)

Age

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Mins

8-20

10-25

12-30

14-35

16-40

18-45

20-50

22-55

24-60

Remember, within that time, shift activity 2 or 3 times!  Look for clues that attention is drifting.  When your 7-year-old starts sliding down out of his chair or tapping randomly on his iPad, it’s time for a break!  When attention drifts, it’s time for a shift.  Be flexible.  This is about you and your child.

Tip 3: Set the Home School Schedule to Fit Your Time and Your Life.

Set your schedule. The big idea here is to make it work around YOUR time and YOUR life.  If you are working from the home factor that in.  Do you want older children to have the same “office hours” as you, or do you need to have separate office hours for yourself and spend two hours to be “present” with a younger child or a child who needs help staying on task?  Make it work for you and your child.  If they or you prefer to sleep in allow for this in your schedule.

Tip 4: Include Breaks

Remember to put breaks into your “school time.”  Breaks should allow time for your child to get up, move, get a drink or nutritious snack, and enjoy 5 to 10 minutes of a favorite activity of choice.

Yoga is a go-to favorite for many because of the calming and focusing effect on the brain and body.  Set a timer, or better yet, ask your child, “Would you like 5 or 10 minutes?” You know which one they will choose!  Be sure to offer them choices that work for you.  Then let the child set the timer.  Some children need a visual timer. If so, you can find plenty of those online. Google “classroom timers.”

Tip 5: Post Your Schedule

After you get the details of your schedule worked out, post it on a chart.  Have your child help you make the chart.  The more you involve your child with things like schedules, expectations, etc., the more buy-in and cooperation you will get from them.

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