There have been many schedules floating around the internet the past few days. Some of them more realistic than others…
So I wanted to share what we’ve been doing for a few months now and how it’s working for us.
To start with, I’d like to say that there is no wrong schedule. Whatever works for your family is the right schedule.
It might not work for your friends or neighbors. That doesn’t make it wrong.
And it’s going to take some trial and error to find what works for you. There is no one size fits all. Some kids need more guidance and some need less.
Last year, we had to make a major pivot in our homeschooling. Not only did I find myself a single, FT working, homeschooling mom, but my youngest son had a complete fracture of his tibia and was out for 9 weeks. And it wasn’t 9 easy-breezy weeks. It was 9 tough and grueling, living in survival mode, awful weeks.
When we decided to attempt schoolwork again, it was hard. We were out of the routine and everyone had been just surviving.
It took us months to really get back into things.
What I’m sharing today is the routine we settled on and that worked best for our family.
Watch Me Discuss the Schedule Here
What Kind of Schedule Do You Need?
Before I share my schedule, I want you to consider what kind of schedule would work for you.
Do you work from home? Do you need your kids to be more independent/entertained? Or do you have time to spare to work one-on-one?
How many kids are you trying to school at home? Doing schoolwork with 1 kid will look very different than schooling 3 or 5.
If you have babies or toddlers at home, you’ll need to account for them, too.
So please consider your family dynamic. You might choose to use different kinds of schedules for each kid, and that’s fine, too.
Relaxed and Child-Driven
So I’ll admit this is less of a schedule and more of a ‘to do’ list. But I like to think of it as part of our schedule.
It’s very relaxed. I work from home and have 3 kids. I know I cannot keep up with working one-on-one with them all every day. I do my best to fit in one-on-one time somewhere, but it’s not always school work.
I needed our schedule to be very relaxed. Some days I’m not as busy and have more to give. Other days I need them to work entirely independently.
It’s also mostly child-driven. There are 5 tasks I assign, but the rest is their choice.
How it Works
There are two parts to our schedule. The top part is 5 tasks that I assign. These change daily – but repeat every week.
For instance, my teen has ‘shower’ on his list every Monday.
I wanted the lists to be predictable but also not too predictible.
I have two reasons for this.
- People do well with predictability (kids and adults alike)
- I didn’t want to print out a new sheet for every single day. It’s too wasteful.
But I didn’t want them to do the exact same things every single day. That would get boring. Also, none of them need to take a shower every single day.
The Top Portion
The top half, as I said, is 5 tasks that I assign. This usually consists of 3-4 ‘educational’ tasks and 1-2 chores/self-care type things.
The educational portion could be writing, copy work, math, watching a documentary, working on a science project, etc. It all depends on our goals at that moment.
The chores I try to split up evenly. Laundry, emptying the dishwasher, sweeping, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, taking out the trash etc.
I love having chores on the schedule even if they don’t count as ‘educational’ work. I don’t have to worry about reminding them to shower or bathe, I don’t have to worry about them arguing over chores, and the stuff actually gets done.
Don’t get me wrong, the system isn’t perfect. Sometimes it requires a few reminders.
But they are much more on top of it than before we used this system.
The Bottom Portion
The bottom portion of the page is a ‘pick any three’.
I originally wanted to keep this list very short and vague. My hope was that my kids would find activities and subjects of interest to them and then dive in.
But I found that they were kind of lost.
And I get it. Imagine if someone came up to you and said ‘pick 3 cool things to do today’. It could be a bit daunting.
So I put the list together and it’s worked pretty well. Every once in a while a new idea comes up and we add it to the list.
I also told my kids that they are welcome to suggest activities for the list. If they can make an argument for an activity being somewhat educational, I am willing to listen.
I didn’t include time requirements for most of these because I felt that it took away from the ‘diving in’ aspect. I didn’t want them counting down the minutes until they could be done.
And I didn’t want them to stop doing something cool just because the timer went up.
My suggestion is to keep an eye on them and see how much time they are investing. If it’s not enough, just have a discussion on how they could dive more into it.
Will This Work For You?
I don’t know!
If you think it might work, I encourage you to give it a try. Test it for a week or two and see how it goes.
Mine were very enthusiastic at first. But after a week, it wasn’t new anymore. So we had to push through that time.
How to Get This Started
I highly recommend sitting down with your kids and talking through a list like this. Tell them your intentions and ask them what their goals are.
Kids can be surprisingly insightful. Mine are more than willing to tell me when they think something won’t work or little tweaks to make it even better. But I usually have to open the floor to discussion first.
So make a sample list. Sit down with your kids. Explain it. And ask them what they think.
Get Your Download here
This file is editable. That means that if you open it in Adobe Reader, you can type in your chid’s name and their 5 tasks. This won’t work if you open it in your browser.