Wondering if a homeschool block schedule could meet your planning needs? I’m sharing how I plan my homeschool lessons and how block scheduling keeps us on track, but gives me freedom to embrace child-led learning.
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Homeschool planning can be a daunting task, and there are so many different ways you can plan.
I’ve tried a variety of ways to plan for our homeschool lessons, but nothing really worked until I tried the block schedule.
The way I plan with a block schedule has helped me make planning faster and in a way that doesn’t make me feel like I’m behind if I miss something.
Today I’m going to share my homeschool planning process with you by creating a block schedule.
How I Do My Homeschool Planning
We follow a child-led approach to learning in our homeschool. Even though we do use a curriculum for every subject, it’s more of a guide than a strict lesson plan to follow.
I tend to read over what the curriculum says to do so I have some idea of what to do, but then let my kiddos lead the way. They are in control of how long (or short) we spend on each lesson.
With block scheduling, I can give my kids as much or as little time as they need. Even though we have specific blocks of time for schoolwork, the times are very loose. We have more of a flexible routine rather than a schedule to follow.
I start every new semester by creating a routine that works for my unique family.
Then I take our routine and plug it into a timed schedule. I only do this to get an idea of how the day will go and see where our large time blocks are. I don’t follow the times.
I start by plugging in time-specific activities then I look for the empty spots. Those become our learning blocks.
Now that you have your blocks figured out, you can start planning out what to do in each block.
Ways to Plan Homeschool Lessons
Inside Each Block
There are a few ways to plan out each block. Below are the top 3 ways you can use each block to plan your day’s homeschool lessons.
1. Weekly Checklist
A checklist is my favorite because it really helps with not feeling like you’re getting behind.
You can create a checklist of activities for each specific block.
Or you can create an overall daily checklist that would allow more freedom. If you don’t feel like doing something at a specific time you have more of a choice of when you do each individual activity.
For even more flexibility, you could create a weekly checklist of activities. Then you’ll be able to choose which day and which block to do it in.
This is a great idea if you have kids who balk when you tell them to do a specific activity. It gives them more freedom to choose what to learn and when as long as the checklist is completed by the end of the week.
To be honest, I’m not a fan of loop schedules. I always get confused about where we are and don’t feel like I have any consistency in my days.
But if loop schedules are your thing, you can create one for each block.
You can do this in a few different ways. Each block could be a subject-specific loop. For example, if you have one block for language you could create a loop that rotates through read aloud, phonics, writing, and grammar. Then each day when that block time comes up, you do the next item in the loop.
Another way to do this is to create a loop that goes across all your blocks. For example, you could create a loop of subjects like math, social studies, language, and science. Then at every block, you move to the next item in your loop. If you like variety to your days and weeks, this is a great option because every day you’d be doing something different.
3. Set Daily Subjects
The last way you can schedule your blocks is by assigning each block to a specific subject. If you like consistency in your weeks, this will be your best option. That way you know you’re reaching each subject every week.
This is what I do… sort of. I assign specific subjects to each block, but also create a checklist.
Once I know what blocks I have, I assign each block 1-2 subject areas. Most of my blocks are 2 hours long and I have 1-2 blocks each day.
I like long blocks of time, so we have lots of time to explore. I usually start the first hour with an activity then they get some free time to explore or play. Then at the start of the second hour, I pull them back for another lesson.
I like giving them free time after each lesson. Sometimes they choose to continue exploring the lesson on their own and other times they choose to play with something else or work on their own projects.
Every Sunday, I sit down with my curriculum and create a checklist for each schoolwork block. Once Monday comes, we work through their lists and that’s that.
Amanda helps homeschoolers find consistency and balance to their day, so they can get it all done and enjoy their days learning with their kiddos. She uses her framework called The Learning Lifestyle to help families create a homeschool around their family’s unique needs. She is also the creator of Custom Design Your Homeschool.
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