Thousands of parents are dealing with kids home for extended periods, concerned about what to include in a homeschool routine and how detailed the plan should be. Nine years of homeschooling experience means I’m not too concerned about my kids being home for 6 weeks or longer due to COVID-19 and I want to share my routines that have worked over the years.  A homeschool schedule improves your child’s cyber safety, because you can set clear boundaries on limiting time, filtering internet and monitoring behavior. 

Here’s how to create your homeschool plan:

  1. Start with a family meeting to talk about what goals your kids might have for time off from school and what they might want to learn about. Then integrate those goals into your bigger educational plan. Around here, my kids are talking   about learning a foreign language, making more expert videos with intros, outros and visuals, organizing a bedroom, sewing a pencil skirt.. I wonder what else will get on the list?
  2. Propose a schedule for your weekdays with your kids. Be sure to include scheduled OFFLINE time (aka “boredom”).
  3. Try your final schedule for 3-4 days and see how it goes. Adjust along the way. Be flexible.

Sample Homeschool Schedule

What I like about this schedule is that it’s not just academics. It starts with gratitude, goals and family check in and requires that chores are done. Screen time is a reward that happens AFTER the necessities are done. And it’s simple–if school and chores aren’t done, no screen time.

To get this homeschool schedule downloaded, click here.

Before 9am is unscheduled free time. Kids can shower, eat, hang out, go outside, check social media, sleep….

Be ready for school.
The kitchen is now closed.
Quick family check in to start the day focused on one character trait or virtue, the daily goals and a quick “Mindful Morning” checklist.

9:30-11:00am School work.
Some teachers sent packets home, some schools sent chromebooks, some classes are meeting virtually, some sent educational websites to try. And the internet is exploding with resources to supplement what you already have. For now, just cover the basics: reading, writing and math. I’d recommend practicing math every day because those skills tend to evaporate when not used daily.

Personal Goals
Creator time**
Kitchen is open again for the rest of the day.

**”Creator time” is make something online or offline time–bake, sew, craft, draw, computer program, video, Legos, etc. Be creative!

Pro tip for parents with younger kids: You need a break built into your day! When my kids were younger, right after lunch we always had “Quiet time”. Everyone would head to their rooms and play or read or nap for an hour. This was a re-set for them and for me. Being “on” all day at home is hard and you will look forward to this break in the day to recharge.

1:00pm Check in:
 Are chores done?
 School work?
 Have you helped someone in the family?

If yes, you’ve earned _____ minutes/hours of screen time for games and social media. If no, you have til 2pm. If those 3 things are still not done, no screens.

4pm Check in with the child who is helping me with dinner to figure out the timeline.

A note on screen time:

It’s okay to limit your kids’ screen time. I do!

Time limits make a person prioritize what they want to do online and they learn time management skills. Rather than hop online and scroll on social media because they’re bored, they’ll do what matters most first and scroll if they have extra time. This is a habit you want to encourage–to prioritize what matters most.

As you can see, there’s a framework in place with this schedule, but every second isn’t scheduled. Leave room for fun!

What would you add?

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