5 Steps to Update Your Homeschool Schedule Mid-Year ~
Written by Amber O’Neal Johnston from Heritage Mom
Now is the time of year for new beginnings. Yes, they can technically happen at any time, but the new year always feels like a fresh slate to sketch out our vision, update goals, and realign our practices with our values.
During this season of introspection and evaluation, I like to slow down, look back at what we’ve done so far in the school year, and update our homeschool schedule to best serve our family in the coming months.
I spend hours each summer working on the perfect-for-us homeschooling schedule. It’s not a strict hour-by-hour masterpiece, but rather a simple spreadsheet that informs each of us on what we hope to accomplish for the week. It also gives a snapshot of where we need to be and when, and it ends up being the heartbeat of our days and weeks.
Over the years, I’ve used different processes to create and streamline our schedule. Honestly, every strategy worked well for our age and stage, so I’m not a stickler for a particular system or format. But I am insistent on one thing: re-evaluating our schedule mid-year.
Things don’t always play out how I think they will when planning in the summer months. My children don’t learn evenly over a steady cadence, so someone will inevitably read or do more than I anticipated, and another will need more time than I allotted.
Outside commitments require different levels of engagement, and changes in my kids’ maturity levels and interests drive a need to reevaluate how we spend our time. And beyond the three Rs, other aspects of our daily and weekly rhythms shift through the months.
With all of this in mind, I follow the steps below to help frame our mid-year schedule updates:
1. Sit down to discuss all outside commitments as a family.
We have a heart-to-heart at the dinner table as we work together to determine what to keep and release for the remainder of the year. Once we’ve settled on our priorities, I add the outside-the-house commitments we plan to continue (or begin) to a blank schedule.
2. Review the current subjects being studied and the resources used for each.
I think about what’s working best for various subjects and try to be honest about things that simply aren’t moving the needle. I shift discarded items that aren’t working for us to a “parking lot” page in my notebook so they can be reviewed for future use since sometimes “no” is really “not right now.” I then add each subject to be covered daily or weekly to the schedule and write in the books or resources used for those subjects.
3. Add family house responsibilities (chores) to each person’s schedule.
This may seem odd for a homeschooling schedule, but I’ve found it necessary to view each child’s responsibilities beyond schoolwork to ensure their schedule remains realistic and balanced.
4. Consider in-house appointments or commitments.
In the past, I failed to give much attention to activities that didn’t require us to leave home, but in-house commitments impact our schedule just as much as other things.
Online classes or special teachers (piano, art, etc.) who come to the house to help with hobbies or interests must all be considered, and I layer those things in at the end.
5. Finally, I give the entire updated schedule one more careful review.
I go through it with everyone in the family to ensure they feel good about it before printing copies for each person.
Updating your homeschool schedule may sound like a daunting task to take on mid-year when we’re looking forward to smoother days instead of shaking things up.
But rest assured, the peace that comes from knowing that your schedule is serving your family in the best possible way more than makes up for the hassle or inconvenience of redoing something you worked so hard on.
When you expect and welcome mid-year changes rather than resist them, digging into the details and walking away with something better than what you started with makes the entire process a delight.
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