homeschooling · schedule

Homeschool: Routine, Schedule, & Planning

Before becoming a mother, I was a hardcore schedule gal. I loved to create charts that divided my day into teeny-tiny fifteen minutes segments, and schedule out my day. Frequently I even achieved living according to my schedule!


Then our son arrived on the scene. Schedules were a thing of the past, but I realized that he thrived on routine. It wasn’t long before we had our routine: wake up, have a bottle, play for a while, take a nap, and repeat.

As he has grown, our routine has, of course, grown with us. I was really hoping that this year would be the year I could schedule our schooling, but, alas, it appears we are a routine family.

Schedule Families

I know and dearly love some schedule families. They have alarm clocks set, breakfast at a certain time (and everyone comes to the table in clothing instead of pajamas), and begin school at precisely 8:00 am every day.

I am rarely mentally conscious by 8:00 am every day. ­čÖé

These families run their days the same every day: chores, breakfast, Bible, math, reading, spelling, CC review, etc. Lunch is always served hot at 12:15, and dishes are washed and put away by 1:30. There are charts, checklists, markers, and stickers. I’d love to imagine everything runs like clockwork (but that probably┬áisn’t the truth).

I’m a bit jealous of these families. I would love to have our days scheduled like this. I love to know what is going to happen, when, and I love checklists and charts! Are you one of those families? I’d love to hear your experiences and schedules!

Routine Families

We, on the other hand, fall into what I call routine families. Our day starts…when it starts. Some days we do school in the morning right after breakfast,and some days after lunch. Some days it works best for us to accomplish our school work after dinner, with Daddy, before he leaves for work.

School has a rhythm to it, though: we always start with math, move on to writing or spelling, work on Latin, and finish with our CC review. Throughout the day, regardless of when we do our “table work,” we are listening to our songs. There is a routine, but not a nailed down schedule.

Again, I had hoped to be a schedule family this year. But our son works so much better as a routine kid. If he’s had a bad night’s sleep, or the sun is shining for the first time in three weeks in Indiana, it’s better to go play outside all morning. First grade is the perfect time to take advantage of that, in my opinion. So, for now, it is working for us, well.

Planning Your Day

Regardless of where you fall on the schedule – routine continuum, planning your school day is important! I use a planner specifically dedicated for lessons (having been a middle school teacher for seven years, that’s how my brain works best: school is separate from “life”). This year I am using the Well Planned Day planner from Well Planned Gal. I removed the coil binding, placed it in a three ring binder, and use it to track everything school-related.

I plan our school week the week before, usually on Wednesday. I write out, in pencil, what I want us to accomplish in Bible, Math, Reading, Writing, Latin, Spelling, Poetry, CC, and “Extra.” A typical day’s lessons look like this:

  • Bible: Ephesians 6:1-2
  • Math: Lesson #67
  • Reading: 20 minutes silent reading (his choice) & whatever read aloud we’re doing
  • Writing: Bible copywork (writing the verse above)
  • Latin: listen to song #14 3x
  • Spelling: beginning sounds
  • Poetry: #1-9
  • CC: listen to all weeks 1x, listen to week 16 & week 23 3x
  • Extra: piano theory & practice piano

When we accomplish our lessons for the day, I simply check them off. If we don’t get to it, because our plans have changed or I sense maybe it’s too much for the day, I don’t check it off. I now have a record of our entire school year so far. Then I flip to the calendar in the back and place a check mark on the day, and that’s how I track attendance.

So even though we are not the schedule people I wanted to be, I am still on top of our curriculum and learning plan!

How about you? Routine, or schedule? And how do you plan your lessons?

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