Homeschooling Tips: The Importance of Schedule

Now that everyone’s kids are home full-time and folks are trying to find a home-school rhythm that works, we’ve run across so many friends and acquaintances who are struggling with the “how long”, “how much” and “what” questions of home schooling.

We started home schooling our two oldest kids four years ago, and prior to that had over a decade of experience in staff training and tutoring. Our own kids, as well as the various other kids she’s worked with (both at home and in our various STEM and outdoors classes she volunteers with) represent a variety of ages and requirements.

So, she and my daughter wanted to put together a video talking about what’s been successful, as well as what challenges we’ve faced, in implementing home school curriculum that works well.

Piecing together our home school reading, math and other curriculum for our kids when we first started home schooling them.

One of the core pieces that Kathryn brings up in the video above is to focus on running good control on the day with a schedule. This schedule, to be really effective, has to be known by all of the kids, and agreed-to by all the kids, and then actually run well.

The principle behind this, and the full reasoning, is detailed in a book called The Problems of Work, in a chapter titled The Anatomy of Control. I’ve queued the video of this chapter here:

The point is, first, look at the person you have in front of you and look at what they can reasonably be able to start, change and stop to their own satisfaction.

Some older kids might be able to sit for two hours straight and burn on a math lesson. Other younger kids might only be good for 5-10 minutes while you take them through a spelling page to spell three-letter words. But as long as they can start and finish their lesson, and you don’t interrupt them, and they can be permitted to finish that before starting the next thing, it will add so much smoothness to trying to run the day.

Every week, my wife draws up a new schedule and posts it on the fridge, and lets all the kids know what their days look like. It’s a little more challenging than usual these days, given that we have these WONDERFUL Zoom lessons that The Delphian School puts on each day (math, creative writing, space, chemistry, zoology, poetry, singing, crossfit, etc – they’re FABULOUS) that do need to be planned into the day.

A sample schedule from a recent week

But the key has been finding activities they all are good with (and that has taken a fair bit of trial & error) and then getting their buy-in on the activity, and how long they’ll be doing it.

That way, they’ve eventually started doing a lot of the own “running” of their schedule – vitally important given that I work from home, and my wife also runs the books for my IT consulting company. We actually, at this stage, have enough time & sanity in our lives to work as well as run the kids on daily schooling which is pretty fabulous.

Comments Please!

If there’s anything you’re running into in home schooling your kids, or if there’s anything you’ve found to be really workable, please share it here! We’re planning a whole series of videos, so would love to take up a variety of aspects of this. Please – feedback is welcome!

5 thoughts on “Homeschooling Tips: The Importance of Schedule

  1. I am very happy that I found your page. I am a single parent of two girls in Alabama. I’ve been studying and learning Scientology for several years. I am about to join in Org in Dallas Texas. And I have considered homeschooling them for the remainder of the year to see how it goes. And then either continuing to homeschool with it works for me but it’s very challenging being a single father. Or it re-enter them into the school at the beginning of the next school year. I just hate to create them stress by entering public school in the middle of the year. So I will definitely be reading up on all of your wins. Thank you so much.

    1. Thanks for that, Mike! Homeschooling is one of these things which definitely is not for everyone, and the right answer for how to implement it really varies by who you have and what sort of guidance they need. Happy to chat about our experience with such!

  2. Hi! I’ve checked out your blog several times, since I found out I was pregnant.
    I’m also a Scientologist, and had a baby a little over a year (a third generation Scientologist on both sides of the family 😁). My husband and I started looking into homeschooling, mostly because of how crazy things are out there. We want to limit the exposure of said craziness our kiddo receives. I would love to “pick your brain” on the subject. There is so much info out there. Obviously, study tech gives any kid a great advantage, but coming up with a curriculum is mind boggling. Also we are an international family (I’m Colombian and my husband is French, we also live part time in Bogotá and part time in East Grinstead, but are planning a move soonish) and I’m not sure how to navigate homeschooling requirements in different countries.

  3. Hi Michelle!

    I’d love to help. I’ll fire you an email and we can see what resources might be helpful. With respect to requirements, I couldn’t find much on the Colombian side (though my lack of Spanish hinders me there) but this page has info on requirements in West Sussex. With respect to curriculum, there are TONS of homeschooling resources out there, though for young kids you won’t have to worry too much about finding a math and language program you like for a few years yet. But I’ll have my wife get in touch (as she ran our homeschool setup for years) and what we can do to help. 🙂

    1. Thanks a million Thaddeus! You guys are awesome! Looking forward to getting to talk to you guys about homeschooling!

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