Our Simple Homeschool Schedule | Mon – Thur Hour by Hour

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We start homeschooling next week. Hours of working on the new school room, days spent on YouTube researching curriculum, and lots of time reviewing our school books and I think I’m as ready as can be to begin this new journey! How am I planning a schedule to keep us all on track? Today I bread down our daily homeschool schedule.

(Spoiler: 5 years after this post went live and we’re still going strong and use most of the same curriculum and timeline as when we started and a similar homeschool routine!)

I was homeschooled, because I was failing out of public school

First thing first, I’m not new to the homeschool life. I was homeschooled from 1st grade on after having reading difficulties and acting out in school. I begged my mom to take me out of school and homeschool because I hated the public school system. With a passion. I would hide from the bus at the busstop. I’d tell the driver he needed to take me home because I was sick. I even ran away from school one day and made it all the way home. I back talked the principal and basically shut down at school. Shortly after that, my parents did remove me, and within a few short months we were homeschooling like pros and I was reading proficiently. 

how to prepare your homeschool year and tips for making a homeschool schedule you can follow. #homeschooling #homeschoolschedule

My goal with homeschool: to be relaxed and enjoyable! Not too structured. 

One of the things I like most about homeschooling is there’s no-one looking over my shoulder, making sure we’ve done our schoolwork to whatever standard they think we should. If I’m homeschooling, I’m doing it my way. For this reason, our homeschool schedule will be flexible. It may change as the year goes on based on the kids specific needs.

Keeping the above in mind, I also realize that there are certain core subjects that need completed each day. That not every day is going to be amazing, and that we need to follow some kind of schedule to keep us on track. Once all the kids school books arrived, I spent a day in my office looking them over and coming up with our typical homeschool day and what I think will be an effective homeschool schedule.

Have a designated homeschool space

First off, before the kids ever open a book, I think it’s important to designate a certain area your “home school room” and set up shop there. Having a space set aside for school doesn’t mean work can only be done in this spot. What it does mean is you have a home-base of sorts. Where the kids know the homeschool items belong. This prevents waisting valuable time searching for school related items during school hours.

While I know not everyone can have a “room” designated to school, you can pick an area of your home. Find a bookshelf near the kitchen table and use that as your homeschool spot. Or, do like we did and make a homeschool cart. This can be rolled whenever you need, while keeping everything in one, tidy spot.

how to prepare your homeschool year and tips for making a homeschool schedule you can follow. #homeschooling #homeschoolschedule

How to schedule your day: Check the laws

We are in Washington State, (We’ve since moved to Tennessee) but most states require similar hours and days of schooling. We are required to complete 180 days of school a year, and 1,000 hours total. As far as what specific days and how long per day, that’s all up to you. Just make sure that you end up with a total of the days and hours required. You can find more about homeschool laws and requirements here. For this reason we’ve decided to do year around homeschooling, which I’ll go into deeper in another blog post. For now, simply knowing these things will help you plan out your year.


We have decided to do school four days a week. Why? Because why not! Friday will be our activity, field trip, or catch-up day depending on if we don’t finish other projects throughout the week. Who doesn’t love the idea of a three day weekend?

I’m still counting Friday as a school day and part of those 180 days. Why? Because if we do a “field trip”, it counts. If we bake cookies and they kids help measure out the ingredients, that’s math and home ec, and it counts. If we go on a nature walk and call out the names of the kinds of trees, that’s nature and science, and that’s also school. School is so much more than bookwork. How cool is that? It’s so nice to have Friday as a buffer and no one complains about a three day weekend in our house. 

Daily schedule

Because I know how I work best as a homeschooling mom, I get up quite a bit before the kids do. Thankfully they sleep until about 7 each day. I enjoy getting up early, working out, doing some chores around the house. Having my morning quiet time with the bible and drinking coffee in peace. It’s an important thing to my overall attitude for the day.

I realize this is a pretty big morning and a early start. Don’t feel pressured to do it the same. There are so many different types of homeschool schedules, and you need to work to find one that’s yours. The best homeschool schedule is the one that your family follows. Get inspiration from mine and others’ schedules, but in the end, make one that’s personalized to your family’s needs. 

Our typical Monday – Thursday general schedule will go as follows:

  • 5:30 – I’m up!
  • 5:35 – Head downstairs for quite time, reading and bible study
  • 6:00 – Office work
  • 6:45 – Workout
  • 7:15 – Shower, dressed, ready for day
  • 8:00 – House chores, breakfast for kids
  • 9:00 – Phone off, school starts

When the kids get up, they head downstairs for 30 minutes of morning cartoons. Lately they’ve been loving The Magic School-bus on Netflix, and Gummi Bears on Disney+. They also have a cup of 100% grape juice. I do this to keep their gut healthy. You can read about that here if you’d like.

After cartoon time they head upstairs to get dressed, make beds, and clean their rooms. Then they have free time until 9am when we begin school.

School Time schedule

Obviously I’m not quite sure of timelines, and will not be super rigid. These are just an estimation for how long I think each subject will take.

At the time of writing this post, my son was in 1st grate and my daughter was in kindergarten. Several years later, my son is now in 4th grade and my daughter in 3rd. We still maintain a morning schooling schedule with afternoons for free time, piano, reading, and play. 

  • 8:30 – Morning basket. (Filled with fun picture books, small arts and craft projects, nature study books. Items to get the kids learning juices flowing)
  • 9:00 – Bible study with kids and memory work (memorizing versus)
  • 9:10 – Chapter book read aloud time for 15-30 minutes (I read to the kids)
  • 9:30 – Tyrion math / Evelyn writing (Tyrion will need my assistance with his math lesson while writing for Evelyn is independent work. She will finish before Tyrion and then play quietly while we finish.)
  • 9:45 – Tyrion writing (independently) / Evelyn language arts with my assistance
  • 10:00 – Tyrion language arts / Evelyn educational free time (she will have some educational games she can play or look at books)
  • 10:20 – Break time – snacks
  • 10:45 – History or science family style. We will alternate these daily.
  • 11:45 – Lunch

Repeat the next day. It’s simple, and straightforward. 

Homeschooling is not hard, it’ shouldn’t feel difficult. It also shouldn’t take up the whole day. As homeschool parents, it’s a good idea to offer our kids lots of free time. Especially in the early years when children’s attention spans are short and developing the brain in other areas is so vitally important. Which leads us in to my best tips for the afternoons. 

Extracurricular activities / Independent play

The rest of the day is free time/independent play. (Arguably the most important time of the day for younger children. It’s their time to build up their imagination, thinking, and reasoning skills.) I try to get them to spend as much time outdoors as possible in the afternoons. But if it’s bad weather, we might take a short field trips, play board games, or the kids find other different ways to spend the afternoons. 

When you leave the children to their own devices and offer them an environment of learning, creativity, and fun activities, it’s amazing to see what they do. 

Tyrion is taking piano lessons and does have to practice Piano for 15 minutes daily. He also has to read independently small chapter books for 10 minutes daily. He gets to decide when to complete these, as long as they’re done by 5pm. 

We also do Awana through our Church on Wednesday nights, which can count towards school hours. 

The kids have a chore chart thats part of their daily routine. I encourage them to start chore times early each day, but again, as long as it’s done by 5pm it’s fine. 

A note on Independent Playtime

Independent playtime truly is crucial for the development of young children for several reasons. I don’t homeschool to map out my children’s entire day and keep them occupied. I homeschool because I know schoolwork can be completed quickly, leaving room for other important developmental tasks. 

Here’s a breakdown of why independent playtime is so important:

  1. Cognitive Development:
    • Imagination and Creativity: During independent play, children often engage in imaginative and creative activities, which stimulate their cognitive abilities. This helps them develop problem-solving skills and enhances their capacity for abstract thinking. 
    • Decision-Making Skills: Making choices during playtime, even simple ones like deciding what toys to play with, helps children develop decision-making skills, promoting a sense of autonomy.
  2. Emotional Development:
    • Self-Regulation: Independent play allows children to explore their emotions and learn how to self-regulate. They can experience a range of feelings and find ways to cope with them on their own. This is especially important in the younger children, 1st and 2nd grade.
    • Building Confidence: Successfully navigating independent play builds a sense of accomplishment and boosts self-esteem, contributing to a child’s overall confidence. This is a precious gift of a skill you can impart to your children. 
  3. Social Skills:
    • Conflict Resolution: Through solo play, children often encounter scenarios that require conflict resolution, even if it’s just between their siblings, or their toys. This helps them develop the ability to resolve disputes and negotiate in social situations.
    • Communication: While playing alone, children may engage in self-talk or create dialogue for their toys, contributing to the development of language and communication skills.
  4. Motor Skills:
    • Fine and Gross Motor Skills: Engaging in various activities during independent play, such as building with blocks or running around, helps children develop both fine and gross motor skills. This is essential for their physical development.
  5. Independence and Self-Reliance:
    • Self-Entertainment: Independent play teaches children how to entertain themselves without relying on constant external stimulation. This skill is valuable for fostering independence and self-reliance.
    • Time Management: Managing their time during play fosters a sense of responsibility and helps children understand the concept of time.
  6. Preparation for School:
    • Focus and Attention: Learning to focus on an activity during independent playtime prepares children for the structured environment of school, where attention and concentration are essential.
  7. Stress Relief and Relaxation:
    • Unstructured Time: Having unstructured playtime provides a break from structured activities, reducing stress and promoting relaxation. It allows children to decompress and recharge.

Independent playtime lays the foundation for lifelong skills and contributes to a well-rounded and resilient individual. To me, its arguably almost more important than regular lesson plans. Our family schedule will include as much independent play time as possible, even and the kids become older students and eventually high schoolers. 

Our curriculum this year

What to know more about the curriculum we’re using for specific subjects this year and why? Make sure to check out this blog post where I cover it all in depth.

Have more questions about schedules or homeschooling in general? Make sure to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you, or follow me over on Instagram, my favorite platform to communicate. I’m also in stories daily sharing our life and our recent move to Tennessee and purchasing a 100 acre farm! 

And that’s our 1st year homeschooling schedule.

I hope this article was encouraging and motivating! 

A note on Homeschool year-round.

It allows us to take time off when we want throughout the entire year. We can vacation when the rest of the public schooled kids are in school, giving us free reign to great spots in the off season which means less crowds and more fun. I also make it a priority to take all of December off each year to fully embrace one of my favorite seasons. To do that, we work on and off throughout the summer to make it happen. Homeschooling is about making school work around your life, not work your life around school. 

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