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Homeschool Planning 101: Block Scheduling

Homeschool Planning 101: The Block Scheduling Method

By | Homeschool Planning

The block scheduling method is very popular among homeschoolers for a reason. It is practical, efficient, and flexible. What more could a homeschool mom want?

I personally think this method of homeschool scheduling is a great method for anyone – both the Type A homeschooler who loves organization and lists, as well as the Type B homeschooler who values freedom in her days. It is sort of the best of both worlds!
Homeschool Planning 101: Block Scheduling

There are two ways to utilize a block schedule in your homeschool and really you could use both these ways at once or separately, whatever fits your family’s needs best.

Block Scheduling of Time

Think of daily block scheduling as setting aside various blocks of your time to devote to specific tasks. During those tasks you purpose not to be distracted by other things. That block of time is for that specified task only and when that block’s time is finished, you move to the next block of time and its specific tasks.

How is block scheduling different from traditional scheduling?

Traditional scheduling is much more rigid. It would look something like this:

  • 8:00-8:30am Breakfast
  • 8:30-9:00am Cleanup
  • 9:00-10:00am Morning Time Routine
  • 10:00-10:30am Math
  • 10:30-11:00am Grammar
  • 11:00-11:30am Science
  • 11:30-12:00pm Lunch

Traditional schedules leave very little wiggle room for the realities of life to interrupt like an illness or last minute appointments. Block scheduling on the other hand gives flexibility to move your blocks of time around at will and not lose your time. Block scheduling will feel more efficient to some.

What does block scheduling of time look like?

A more generalized block schedule would look something like this:

  • Early morning: Breakfast, Clean Up, and Morning Time Routine
  • Late morning: Homeschool Subjects
  • Early Afternoon: Lunch, Clean Up, Homeschool Subjects
  • Late Afternoon: Chores

For the more Type A homeschooling mom who likes the more precise nature of a traditional schedule but needs the fluidity of block scheduling, a schedule like this might work:

  • 8-9am Breakfast and Clean Up
  • 9-10am Morning Time Routine
  • 10am-Noon Homeschool Subjects
  • Noon-1pm Lunch and Clean up
  • 1pm-3pm Homeschool Subjects
  • 3pm-4pm Chores

As you can see, there are many ways to breakdown a daily block schedule. There is no one right way, just the method and style that fits your family’s needs. Block scheduling in this way can apply to so much more than homeschooling. Many people have found it very effective at helping them complete their work tasks and household chores as well.

Block Scheduling of Subjects

Block scheduling of time has more to do with how you block your time for tasks, as the name suggests. Block scheduling of subjects, as you may guess, has more to do with how you organize your student’s subjects.

Many students find it easier and many homeschool moms find it to be more practical to teach certain subjects in condensed blocks of time rather than spread out over two semesters. Even though I use a mix of planning methods in our homeschool, I specifically use block scheduling for science. We do not do science during the calendar school year as one of our subjects. We reserve science for the summer when we can do experiments outside and get messy without mama having to worry about clean up. We finish a year’s worth of science curriculum over the summer. This lightens our subject load during the school year. It’s a win-win.

So much flexibility!

Some homeschooling moms who use block scheduling for subjects, do this on a week to week basis, month to month basis, semester to semester basis, or even season to season basis.

You could select only certain subjects to teach during certain quarters of the year, or do history on Monday through Wednesday, and science on Thursday and Friday. You could plan more difficult classes earlier in the year and easier classes for the end of the year.

What is the benefit to students?

Less transitions during the day can really benefit some kids who do better focusing on one subject for longer periods of time. Constant transition can decrease retention of information and focus for some children.

Also, if you are a family who enjoys lingering on subjects like history or chasing rabbit trails in science, block scheduling might be right for you because it affords you more time to soak in the information and explore more.

An important note when block scheduling subjects for your high school student, be sure to account for the number of hours and extra workload needed to complete certain high school credits. This may be more difficult using the block scheduling method for some subjects during the high school years.

As you can see, there are so many ways to block schedule for subjects. This gives you full control over your schedule, and gives you full flexibility if changes need to be made. You are not restricted by the standard, traditional calendar school year, but free to use any block of time as you will to complete your homeschool subjects.

Homeschool Planet Users Can Block Schedule in their Online Planner!

Managing Time with Block Scheduling

Block scheduling is an easy method of planning that can be taught to children to help them manage their time and tasks. In addition to homeschool planning, block scheduling is great for chores. I recommend beginning your block schedule experiment with your family’s chores. Devote a certain time of day to chores without distraction and devote certain portions of the week to particular sections of the house or specific tasks. It might look something like this:

Daily: 3-4pm chores

Weekly:

  • Monday: Clean Bathrooms
  • Tuesday: Vacuum and Mop Floors
  • Wednesday: Laundry and Yard Work
  • Thursday: Dusting
  • Friday: Clean Bedrooms

Teaching your children to manage their time early can save them a world of hurt later. Disciplining yourself to manage your own time and plan your homeschool day or your homeschool year can be tough especially if planning doesn’t come easy for you. Block scheduling is very practical, efficient, and flexible method of homeschool planning. Whether you like a more rigid schedule or fluid schedule there is a way to make block scheduling fit both your personality and your family’s needs.

How to Create A Morning Time Routine that Works!

How to Create a Morning Time Routine that Works

By | Homeschool Planning

Morning time routines have become all the rage in homeschooling in the last few years. Homeschool bloggers, podcasters, publishers, and more have promoted this practice that goes by many different names: morning time, morning basket, circle time, etc. Whatever you call it in your homeschool, the purpose is the same. It is  a time intended to set the tone and atmosphere for your homeschool day.

What is a Morning Time Routine?

Morning time, as the name suggests, usually takes place in the morning. The homeschool family meets together and learns together following a pre-determined schedule of subjects. Unlike most other school subjects though, morning time encourages a more relaxed and intimate atmosphere. This time is purposeful. It is not a lecture, but a time purposed to engage the child in listening and responding as he discusses the content with his family.

You may be wondering how to begin a morning time routine that actually works for your family. Many homeschooling parents have tried and failed, only to wonder what they are doing wrong. The concept sounds so lovely, but in reality it can be difficult to make your children sit still or know which subjects to include in your morning time. Keep reading to discover how you can create a morning time routine that works!

How to Create A Morning Time Routine that Works!

Wakey Wakey Eggs and Bakey

The most difficult part of finding a morning time routine for most families is getting up at the same time every day. We are homeschoolers, and homeschoolers like to sleep in, right?

Morning time is going to look different for every family, but one thing that is similar is that it happens in the morning. This ritual, at this time every day, has the potential to set the tone and atmosphere for a successful day of homeschooling.

Your family time doesn’t have to happen at 6am. If your family does like to sleep in, find a reasonable time that works for you. Consider ways to make getting breakfast for the kids easier, like overnight oatmeal or smoothies and toast.

The point is to set yourself up for success and not doom yourself to failure because you are setting expectations upon your family that you’re never going to meet.

Don’t Dive in Head First

Do not – I repeat – do not expect that your family is going to do morning time perfectly now or ever.  You will wake up one day and not feel like gathering the kids around for morning time. You may take a few weeks off. This is not failure. You can pick up morning time where you left off and begin again. There are a few things you may want to consider though before jumping into a morning time routine head first.

Please do not begin your morning time routine for the first time with a lengthy schedule thinking you are going to fit in all of the good and lovely things. You may find that your children do not tolerate a long schedule of reading, art history, classical music listening, and poetry recitation the way that you imagined they would. Start slow and move slow, slowly adding to your time and subjects as you progress. You will find this building block approach to morning time helps to develop a long lasting habit of morning time, rather than a disastrous sprint.

Practice Makes Perfect

It is important to remember that morning time is not only a new routine for you, but for your children too. Developing the habit of morning time will benefit you all, but there will be some growing pains, and that’s to be expected.

You will have days, many days, that your children will not behave perfectly during morning time. This is to be expected. This is not failure. Use this time to develop character. There are multiple ways to handle children who struggle to sit still or behave appropriately during morning time:

  • Dismiss and reconvene the next day after attitudes have been adjusted
  • Provide busy time boxes or sensory toys to occupy hands
  • Host morning time around the breakfast table while children are busy sitting and eating
  • Give each child a seat of their own to avoid bothering another child

However, you choose to occupy your children during morning time, the point is to keep gathering and developing a love for being together and learning together.

If you are homeshcooling a child that has ADHD you might enjoy this article >> 4 Tips for Homeschooling Students With ADHD

Now that we have talked about what a morning time routine is and how to approach it, you may be wondering what subjects you should include in your morning routine.

Include All the Lovely Subjects

I like to include all of the subjects I enjoy in my morning time routine, and often those subjects that I am most likely to ditch because they aren’t considered “core subjects” according to state standards.

Those activities that we love to do as a family like reading aloud are first to go on our schedule. You can read a single chapter a day or multiple chapters, depending on what your family can handle. If you have small children, read a picture book.

Many morning time routines include art and music appreciation, poetry recitation, and even nature study. These subjects are often the first ones we drop when our school day goes long, so it works better to put these at the beginning of the day, since I know we won’t skip subjects like math and phonics.

Determine which subjects work best for you to study as a family. Decide how much time you need to allot for all those subjects to be covered. Remember not to attempt everything at once. Consider just doing a read aloud your first week attempting a new morning time routine to get the kids used to something new. The second week add on listening to classical music. The third week have one of the children read some poetry aloud. Build your way up to what your ideal morning time routine looks like.

Getting up early to greet the day and your children with a smile is not an easy feat. It won’t always look perfect. It may never look perfect, but it is a very good and beautiful thing that you are presenting all these good and beautiful things to your children.

Simplify Your Homeschool with Ready Made School

Ready Made School Will Simplify Your Homeschool Year

By | Homeschool Planning

Have you ever lacked confidence in your ability to homeschool your children or felt unsure in how much work is appropriate to schedule each day for your child’s age and stage of learning? Do you have family or friends who don’t support your decision to homeschool and this has left you feeling insecure in your curriculum choices? Does your family have special circumstances this year that means you need a change to your homeschool routine and curriculum?

Whatever your circumstances are or reasons causing you to consider a change, Ready Made School can help simplify your homeschool curricula search, lesson planning, and so much more!

Ready Made School PIN

So What Is Ready Made School?

Ready Made School makes homeschooling easier by providing parents with a ready-made curriculum bundle, digital planner with lesson plans for the year, and parent-teacher training.

We have built Ready Made School to accommodate all families of students grades 1-12, offering a variety of format and worldviews that that makes space at the table for all. With all the different ways we have provided for you to customize your selections, you are sure to find what you need to meet your student’s needs.

There are four categories of packages to choose from for grades 1-12:

  • Faith Focused Book Based Packages
  • Faith Focused Video Based Packages
  • Secular/ Neutral Book Based Packages
  • Secular/ Neutral Video Based Packages

CLICK HERE to see all the ways that you can customize these packages to fit the needs and desires of your unique family.

Ready Made School Categories

Sit back and relax … Ready Made School relieves the stress and pressure from planning the next school year.

We understand the stress today’s homeschooling parents are under. As an experienced homeschooling family you are probably being bombarded with questions and comments regularly. In conjunction with The Homeschooling Expert, and several top curricula companies we have created a solution for families looking for answers. Whether you are a beginning homeschooler and don’t know where to start or a seasoned pro and just need a change, we have a solution to help!

Watch the video below to learn more…

4 Year Plan Square

How to Create a 4-Year High School Plan for Your Student

By | Homeschool Planning, Free Printables

The idea of forecasting your child’s course of study four years before he or she graduates can feel like an overwhelming task. You still may see your child as too young and immature to be wrestling with the ideas of Aristotle or delivering a convincing speech on the
impact that homesteading has on the environment. The one thing we can rest assured of is that our children will grow whether we as parents are prepared or not. Equip your child for the future by preparing for the challenges ahead with this tutorial on how to create a 4-year high school plan.

Parent Guide to Creating a 4-Year High School Plan

It is important to think about high school before it happens. It is important to create a 4-year high school plan for your student. This exercise will help your child know what to expect and it will keep you as a parent from scrambling your child’s senior year to cover credits you missed. Being strategic, will bring both you and your student peace and confidence during these crucial years.

These are your final four years homeschooling this child. I know you don’t want to be stressed. Plan to be strategic so that you can enjoy these years and not dread them.

Ask Questions

As you prepare your 4-year high school plan, you should include your student in the process. You will have much more success in getting your child to complete the necessary tasks to finish high school strong, if he or she is part of the process of choosing those tasks to be completed.

Homeschooling is different from classic, public schooling in so many ways. It allows for a greater flexibility in schedule and in content. Here are just a few strategic things that parents must keep in mind while preparing their child’s 4-year high school plan.

  1. Flexible High School Credits: Many states allow for creativity in which sciences you choose to complete in high school. You may have a child that would thrive taking a science in forensics but would find physics boring.
  2. Completing College Credits Early: Some states have programs that make testing out of college courses very affordable if completed in high school.
  3. Career Aspirations and Scholarships: As a parent, you will need to keep both your child’s future career aspirations in mind, as well as scholarships necessary to pay for the education to get your student in that career field.

The FREE Homeschool Parent’s Guide to Creating a Strategic 4-Year High School Plan will walk you through these pertinent questions and more!

Parent Guide to Creating a 4-Year High School Plan

Stay Flexible

The Homeschool Parent’s Guide to Creating a Strategic 4-Year High School Plan is free to download. This tool will instruct you as you process what the final four years of your child’s education will look like. You will take into account both state standards, your personal standards, and what your child’s college course of study will require for entry.

Your student may not have his or her career chosen yet, and that is perfectly natural at such a young age. We have included a career exploration mind map to help explore what career fields might fit his or her interests and skill sets currently.

The best thing about creating a 4-year high school plan is that it is meant to be flexible. You are encouraged to revisit your 4-year plan annually at a minimum in order to keep your student on track or change course if necessary. The 4-year plan is meant to serve you and your child. It is not written in stone. It can change as much or as little as you need it to in order to set both you and your student up for success.

Download the FREE 4-Year High School Plan Parent Guide

What can you expect? This free, downloadable parent aid includes the following:

  • Guidance for strategic planning
  • Career exploration mind map
  • One example 4-year high school plan
  • Two blank 4-year high school plans

Complete the form below to receive your FREE copy of The Homeschool Parent’s Guide to Creating a Strategic 4-Year High School Plan.

If you liked this article, you will also enjoy High School Transcripts: How to Generate Them in a Click!

Let Your Homeschool Schedule Guide You Not Enslave You

Let Your Schedule Guide You, Not Enslave You

By | Homeschool Planning

People plan in a variety of ways.  Some people like lists, some like to check things off, some scribble on sticky notes all over their desks.  Regardless of the way you like to plan or schedule things, most would agree that in order to homeschool successfully, you will need some sort of plan.  The main thing all of us need to start with is a general layout, an overview schedule to guide us through our day, week, month, and year.  Once that is taken care of, each of us can then choose a more tailored, detailed plan from there.

Let Your Homeschool Schedule Guide You

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