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!
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
- 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.