I started using schedules in college so that I could get all my homework done and make sure I had enough time to study for exams. You see, I was a little nervous about succeeding in college.
Creating a schedule each semester worked perfectly for me, but I made an surprising discovery: I liked living on a schedule. Now, my schedules were never rigid and I was always flexible. If I needed to switch things around, I did. You see, I believe that a schedule is my servant, not my master.
I love the patterns and life rhythms that my schedule created. When I scheduled English homework on Thursday mornings, I got my homework done. I didn't put off the things I didn't like, I steadily followed my homework schedule and never had to pull an all-nighter. I was grateful. I love my sleep.
When I began homeschooling, I started a basic flexible schedule. By the time I was homeschooling five children of various ages, my schedule proved to be an invaluable tool in my homeschooling tool belt.
Here's how we used weekly schedules in our home school.
I used block scheduling, rather than rigid time schedules.
I created a schedule for myself and each of my children.
First I put all of our weekly events in each schedule: church, ballet lessons, homeschool co-op, and choir practice. Then I added all our family learning times like unit studies or reading books aloud together. Mike and I wanted our children to start the day doing their five things (make bed, clean room, brush teeth, dress, and have a Quiet Time) and doing their math. You can see that in our schedules.
Finally, I added all the independent learning the children needed to do. Some of my children like to do one subject like history all on one day and another like science on a different day. Other children like to do a little of each subject every day. That's one reason our schedules were personalized. We used our schedules for a couple of weeks and then revised them as needed.
I tried to make the kids' schedules bright and happy, uniquely their own, making two copies. One copy was taped up in the homeschool room and the other was in their assignment folder. That way, the schedule was always available to look at.
The schedules are simple to make--I just used Word, inserting a table with enough columns and rows for the whole week.
Do you have a homeschool schedule that works for you? If not, I encourage you to try different methods and discover what works best for your family. Feel free to try our method.
In our home, schedules are our servants, not our masters. We freely make changes when we need to. However, the structure our schedules have provided over the years have allowed us to finish all of our work during the school year and enjoy a long, relaxing summer break. More importantly, our schedules have provided an enjoyable pattern of living week after the week, allowing our lives to be disciplined and productive.
If you are looking for practical advice about homeschooling, you will love Joyful and Successful Homeschooling available at Amazon. The E-book is available at PayHip and Currclick. Full of tips, practical wisdom, and family stories from a family that's been homeschooling since 1991, Joyful and Successful Homeschooling has been a blessing to many homeschooling families with help on management, how to teach, educational philosophies, family dynamics, learning styles, how to keep your home running smoothly, and help to teach each subject with curriculum suggestions.
Blessings to you and your family!