Back-to-home-school starts for us August 25th. That means that for the next two weeks, I’m doing the final things to get ready, such as creating our daily and weekly schedules. Which is a bit like making spaghetti bookends.
Why? Because first, I make a list of All The Things that must get done each day. Then, I shudder in horror just for a moment. Then, I take a deep breath and say, “You can do this“.
Having a routine (note I use the word routine, not schedule, because it implies a bit more flexibility I need) makes everything easier because my brain can relax. Instead of constantly asking “What’s next?” and flapping around ineffectively not doing much at all, I know what’s next.
All I have to do is do it (which is hard enough, so I don’t want to make things even harder for myself by not knowing what to do, now do I?).
A routine, like habits, means your brain can stop fussing at you, stressing you out. (I love talking about habits. I wrote a book on the subject.) With habits, you’re on autopilot and everything runs more smoothly.
Creating Daily and Weekly Routines for Homeschooling
List your big rocks. These are the most important things that, if they were all that got done that day (or week), you would be okay with it. This also includes things that are prearranged, like worship services or standing appointments. Self care and margin time go here too!
Add the “like to do” stuff. These are the other things that are really nice, but your life won’t fall apart if they don’t happen.
Think about your natural energy cycles. If you’re a morning person, you probably want to schedule your most difficult tasks then, when your willpower is naturally higher. If you’re waking with a newborn, shift everything later and give yourself grace in the mornings. Think about things like your afternoon slump. I find, for example, that it works best if I schedule my reading at that time, when I’m tired. First thing in the AM is reserved for things that require more brainpower (like French lessons and blogging).
Draft your schedule in pencil. Trust me on this.
Now edit. See? Pencil.
Try it out and be flexible. This is important, because as real life starts to happen you’ll see flaws in your life-on-paper. Don’t get upset. Just make the changes.
Type up your routine on the computer and print it out. I use Google Drive (easy to use, accessible from any internet-enabled device, and free). This is a very important step. Print out several copies to keep handy, with your homeschool supplies, at your desk, or wherever else is most convenient, to refer to as you go about your day. Until the routine is well-established in your mind, it’s easy to forget things.
A few related posts:
- Review: Crystal Paine’s “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode
- On Not Filling The Margins
- Getting Ready For a New Homeschool Year