Homeschool parents, you have so much more on your plate than just school. When you’re homeschooling, your day consists of teaching your children and also cooking meals, chauffeuring your kids around, getting the laundry folded, keeping the dog alive and somehow making time for yourself. Whew!
Homeschooling is a whole different animal.
This is why we designed these homeschool schedule templates to go beyond your homeschooling routine. We’ve included a place for you to write your daily to-dos, your shopping list and even what you’re thankful for. The reason is simple: School is just one part of your life. There, we said it. But it’s true! We want you to be a whole, happy person in all areas of your life. When your time is managed well, you’ll have so much more peace in your day. We’re here to help you manage your homeschool week confidently with a weekly plan and a daily plan in the homeschool schedule template. Just pop in your email to download the schedules.
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To give your students a sense of ownership over their work, get them each a binder (and one for you too) and print five daily plans for each person—Monday through Friday. Everyone gets their own. Hole punch them, write the dates of the week on them, and put them in the binder. Voilà! Your very own inexpensive but effective homeschool planner. Each student’s daily schedule will look different based on their subjects, their specific needs and your time as the teacher. But this will help things run smoother during the week and keep your students from asking, “What do I do now?”
Weekly Homeschool Schedule
The purpose of the homeschool schedule weekly plan template is to give you a big-picture view of the week ahead so you (and your students) can see what’s coming as you prep for school. Think of your weekly plan as your week at a glance. Let’s walk through how the different parts of your weekly homeschool schedule can work for you:
Take a look at your curriculum for the week. What lesson is your student on? What additional notes or memos do they need to see in their homeschool schedule? Under each day of the week on your homeschool schedule, you can write notes about the main events for that day. This isn’t a detailed schedule (that’s what your daily plan template is for), but it’s where you’ll see all the big stuff. So jot down any activities, lessons or events you need to remember: appointments, textbook chapters your students are on, when you have a co-op or group class, or any other notes that will help you gauge your week quickly. For example, Monday might say: Science co-op at 11 a.m., Timmy on math lesson 8, Jonathan history pre-test, Sarah to dance class at 4 p.m.
To-Do List and Top Three
An intentional to-do list will be a lifesaver in your busy week. But don’t just write down all the random tasks floating around in your brain. Start with a mental brain dump so you can sort out your tasks for the homeschool week ahead. Here’s how it works:
Sometime over the weekend (maybe Sunday night—whenever you like to prep for the week ahead), get out a blank piece of paper and write down every single task or random thought that’s in your head. Maybe you need to update your math curriculum or prep for the writing project tomorrow. Now, look at that piece of paper and take a deep breath—it might be a hot mess with 74 different items. That’s okay. The simple act of writing things down on paper will actually help free up some mental space and ease your anxiety.
Now, circle the things that have to get done this week. You can’t commit to 74 tasks (sorry for the tough love), so just pick a handful of items that set you up for success in the week to come. After you’ve chosen your tasks, write them on your homeschool schedule to-do list. If a new task pops up during the week, weigh it against the other items and see if it’s worth competing for your attention.
When you give yourself clear direction and focus, you’ll be more productive. You can face your week confidently, knowing you’ve prioritized what matters.
Pro tip: Try to check something off your list before adding something new.
Now, based on your to-do list, pick your top three most important tasks for the week. When you decide on your top three, think, If I get nothing else done this week, what three things need to happen? The priorities you set should give you a big sense of accomplishment as a homeschool teacher and parent when you check them off.
During a long day of homeschooling, the last thing you want to think about is what to cook for lunch or dinner. Meal planning is the unsung hero of your week as a parent, so why not put it on your homeschool schedule? Once you start planning and prepping your meals ahead of time, you’ll never go back! This does a few things for you:
- It frees up mental space and saves you stress. No more scrambling for lunch between lessons or staring at the fridge at the end of an exhausting day of school, hoping a beautifully cooked dinner for five will jump out at you on a silver platter. Just like you’d plan to send your child to school with a lunchbox or with cash to buy food, planning ahead with your meals at home can save a lot of stress. You might make a detailed plan for every meal of the day, or maybe you just write down your dinner ideas. But when you have a plan, you don’t waste mental energy wondering what you could whip up.
- It saves you time during the week. We make time for the things we love. This doesn’t mean you have to love cooking. It means you love having more time with your family. You love providing your kids with healthy meals. You love being a sane, calm parent instead of a frazzled mess at lunch or dinnertime. You love having more time for yourself—you get the picture. If you’re not a master chef who lives to cook, figuring out what to make in the moment could take twice as long as it should! Time management can be a struggle when you start your homeschool schedule, but a written plan will ensure you have the groceries and recipes you need ahead of time.
After you bring all of your groceries home, prep whatever you can. Try making one big batch of rice or chicken so all you have to do is heat it up, or peel and chop all your veggies so they’re ready to cook. Think of ways your kids can help too (hello, home economics class). Whatever you can do ahead of time will save you energy during the week and your future self will thank you.
- It keeps your grocery budget down. Did you see this one coming from a mile away? Meal planning can save you a ton of money on groceries! We recommend spending 10–15% of your take-home pay on food (that includes groceries and eating out), but this is the first place people tend to overspend. If you’re a homeschool parent who’s balling on a budget, there are dozens of ways to save money on groceries, and meal planning is a big one.
Pro tip: Keep it simple! When it comes to saving time and serving your family well, easy meals beat complicated recipes every single time. Instead of beef Bourguignon, go for simple, cheap and healthy meals. Also, you don’t need too many options. Choose two options for each meal before you go grocery shopping (as much as you love eggs on avocado toast, give yourself another option in case you’re sick of it by Thursday), and then decide what you’re in the mood for when it’s time to eat.
If you’ve ever gone to the store without a plan, you know how easy it is for your impulses to take over. (Never go grocery shopping hungry!) That eight-pack of Pringles snuck its way into your cart somehow, but you left the store without getting anything for breakfast this week.
The same principle applies to shopping for school supplies. We know you likely have a running grocery list, so don’t worry about putting your food items here. Use this spot for any and all school-related items.
Your homeschool schedule shopping list could include anything from science project materials to new notebooks. You might want more whiteboard markers or a new personal finance curriculum.
Whatever it is, write it down! You’re much more likely to blow your homeschool budget by walking into the school supplies aisle without a list. Give your shopping list items a minute to breathe on paper, and then decide what you actually need and what just sounded fun. (We know how cute those mini gel pens are, but do you really need the 18-pack?)
Daily Homeschool Schedule
While your homeschool schedule weekly plan is the broad overview, your daily plan involves the nitty-gritty details. We suggest taking some time at the end of each day to plan the specifics of the following day. This will curb confusion so you can start your homeschool morning off strong!
I’m Thankful For
Gratitude breeds joy. Really, it does! It’s nearly impossible to feel truly miserable when you’re thinking about all the things you’re thankful for. Start your day with gratitude, and before you start school, take a moment to remember your blessings as a family. You’ll find that your school day is more joyful, and you might even get into the habit of looking for things to be grateful for throughout your homeschooling day.
Gratitude is contagious, so watch out! You might start seeing inconveniences as blessings in disguise. That huge pile of laundry on your bed? That means your family has clothes to wear. The schoolroom with books and paper scattered across the floor? That’s just evidence that your children are learning. Those dirty dishes in the sink piled a mile high? Yep, looks like you all had a delicious breakfast, and homeschooling your children took priority over cleaning. Set the tone for your school day with an attitude of gratitude.
With homeschooling, there’s so much to be thankful for. Find gratitude for the resources available to your family, the time to teach your children from home, the ability to do school from your warm home and the quick “commute” that saves your kids a bus trip. Think of things to be grateful for and write them down!
Here’s a challenge: Instead of your kids writing down generic items like “my house” or “my family” on their homeschool schedules, challenge them to get as specific as they can. Instead of “clothes,” they might write “my favorite denim jacket.” Make it a fun part of your morning routine as you and your kids all write what you’re thankful for on your own daily plan. Watch how it brightens your morning. At the end of the year, your students will know much more than just math, science and language arts. They’ll also know how to express gratitude.
We created an example homeschool schedule to help get you started, but you have the freedom and flexibility (thanks, homeschooling!) to create the daily schedule that fits the unique needs of your family. Some things to consider when making your daily schedule:
- Your child’s personality and level of independence. Does your child work best when each activity is scheduled for a specific time, or would that make them feel rushed? Maybe they’d rather list the school subjects and simply work through them one at a time. Each of your child’s schedules might look a little different. For example, your high schooler probably won’t need scheduled snack and bathroom breaks. But that kind of structure could be really helpful for your preschooler. There’s no right or wrong answer here, so don’t be afraid to play around with your routine until it clicks.
- Outside events. This is a great place to include any co-ops, appointments or breaks in your homeschool schedule. If it’s part of your day, schedule it in. This is when it would be helpful to leave a specific time stamp. Jonathan can’t be late for his piano lesson! But sometimes you just need to go for a family walk or bike ride (sitting still all day can be tough on everyone), so write a general time frame on the schedule, like “Family walk at lunch” so you don’t forget.
- Your curriculum. Remember how you mapped out all of the week’s lessons in your weekly plan? This is where you get into the specifics. A good way to create your schedule is to lay out all five daily plans (Monday through Friday) at once and schedule each subject across the board for the week. Use your curriculum as a guide as you write each day’s lessons and activities in your daily schedule. For example, in personal finance you could write a category for each day like: Pre-test, Chapter 1, Textbook activity, Review, and Post-test each on a different day of the week. If your students are rotating between reading books, write down which book they should read each day. If they’re studying a new spelling word every day, write down their word of the day. Also, try to think about how long each subject will take. Gauging the time frame of each class will come more naturally after a few weeks, so just do your best here. Your students might fly through the grammar lesson but need a little longer to finish their social studies project.
- Lunch and snack breaks. Yes, you need breaks! Students can only focus for so long, so press pause for snacks and lunch. You could keep the lessons going while you munch on your sandwich, but there’s something powerful about taking time to recharge. Schedule time to give your brain a break, stretch your legs, and fuel up on healthy foods. And with your meal plan in place, you won’t have to hear the question “What’s for lunch?” every day.
Eventually, your student will get the hang of the homeschool schedule and learn how to plan out their week ahead of time. At the end of every school day, pull out the daily plan and double-check that you have everything written down and ready to go for the next morning. Don’t forget to dish yourself an extra helping of grace here. Your homeschool schedule might be bumpy the first week or two, but it’s a learning curve for the whole family. It’ll take time for you to find your rhythm, but you’ll be in a consistent daily routine before you know it!
To Do: The Eisenhower Matrix
So, what’s that urgent/important chart on your homeschool schedule? This tool could look confusing if you’ve never seen it before. It’s called the Eisenhower Matrix, after Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States. He created this as a system for weeding through his to-do list and deciding which tasks took priority, and it’s been helping people prioritize work ever since. Here’s how it works:
- Urgent/Important: This quadrant is for any of your to-do list tasks that need to happen, like, now. They keep things running smoothly and are nonnegotiables. Do these tasks first.
- Not Urgent/Important: These are things that definitely need to happen, but there’s not a time crunch. It might be exercising, getting your car oil changed, planning for the next homeschool quarter, reading a book about the topic you’re currently teaching, or building relationships with the other homeschool families in your area. These tasks are easy to avoid, but the quality of your life depends on them. So schedule these activities to make sure they get done later. If you procrastinate these tasks, they’ll become urgent.
- Urgent/Not Important: These tasks seem time sensitive, but they’re not taking you to your goals. When the phone rings or your email inbox dings, the urgency makes it seem important in the moment. But ask yourself, Is this a waste or time for me? Is this something only I can do? If you can, delegate it to someone else.
- Not Urgent/Not Important: These tasks probably won’t be on your to-do list because you don’t intentionally do them. Things like watching too much TV or checking social media several times a day steal time and keep you unproductive. Write them as reminders to avoid these sneaky time-wasters.
Grab the to-do list you created in your homeschool schedule weekly plan and use it to fill out the Eisenhower Matrix. You might be surprised by which tasks take top priority and which ones don’t deserve your attention.
As soon as you’re focused on something important (like homeschooling your children), random thoughts will start popping into your head. It’s a law of nature! Instead of feeling frustrated by the distraction, give those thoughts a place to land. Whether they’re important reminders or small notes to yourself, jot them down. Trying to remember something in the back of your head all day will just keep you distracted. So write it down, finish school for the day, and then revisit your homeschool schedule notes.
Tips for Your Homeschool Schedule
You won’t find these on your homeschool schedule, but here are some helpful tips to ease your load as a homeschool parent:
- Wake up before your kids. Your morning will set the tone of your whole day. So wake up 30 minutes early, get your coffee, and spend some quiet time reading or planning for the day before your kids wake up. Setbacks or grumpy moods are less likely to faze you if you’ve had some time to focus your heart first.
- Combine subjects. Think of creative ways to combine subjects as you teach. This is different from multitasking, which is when your mind is split between two subjects at once. To combine subjects, you can read a story out loud while your students work on their art project. Your geography lesson could be directly tied to the time in history you’re studying. Visit an art museum and have your students complete a writing assignment on their favorite piece of art (this is also a good place to tie in history). Pick spelling words based on the science lesson that week. Have your students give a presentation about what they’re learning in our Foundations of Personal Finance and how they can apply the money principles to their own life. The options are endless! Combining subjects will help you teach to multiple age levels at the same time.
- Pick a school space. Your kids are much more likely to treat the kitchen table as their school desk and to think of you as their teacher if there’s a clear break between home and school. We’re naturally more comfortable at home, so try to differentiate between school mode and relaxation mode whenever you can. If you can dedicate a different room of the house (or even just a different table or chair) just for school, your children will be less likely to jump up in the middle of their lesson to check their cell phone. If you’re homeschooling at your kitchen table, ring a bell or turn on a special lamp to signal that you’re leaving home and school is beginning.
As a homeschooling parent, each day can be its own kind of crazy. Homeschooling provides so much flexibility, but you and your students will benefit from a routine. Planning ahead and sticking to a consistent homeschool schedule will help you save time, prioritize what matters to your family, and move confidently into the week ahead. Again, give yourself grace as you figure out your routine. Some days you might follow the plan perfectly, and other days you might throw the schedule out the window and decide everyone needs a field trip. But that is the beauty of homeschooling. Enter your email, download the template, and let this homeschool schedule serve as a guide as you merge life and learning.