One of the toughest tasks in homeschooling is building a daily school schedule that everyone can stick to most of the time. It’s important to have a schedule in order to increase organization and commitment to getting the school work completed in a timely manner;  but, the schedule also needs to be fun and flexible for those days when life throws a curve ball.

Younger elementary students are generally between the ages of 5-7 years with plenty of energy, creativity and a desire to learn although they may not be enthusiastic about the actual curriculum. At this age, the majority of accredited homeschool programs encourage parents to be the primary teacher, assisted by their print curriculum for each subject. The benefit of this is that parents do not have to build their own school program, they have help with grading the schoolwork,  and all documentation is maintained by the program with easy access through an online portal.

So now that parents have the tools, it is still up to them to create a custom daily schedule that keeps the kids and themselves accountable.  This requires themto get the work done each day so that students do not fall behind and  then stress out trying to catch up. Schedules do not have to be rigid, but they should be adhered to as much as possible in order to be effective; so, it’s important to create a schedule that works for the family’s lifestyle and the different personalities. For example, if no one is a morning person and more will get accomplished by sleeping in a little later, then don’t schedule the start time for school at the crack of dawn. Also, keep in mind that elementary students are not going to study or take up a full 8 hour a day with schoolwork.

The best 2nd grade homeschool curriculum includes a lesson planner, so parents know how much work needs to be done each day to stay on track, and a teacher’s guide, to help parents on how to instruct the various concepts.  This is a great foundation to start the schedule and assign different time blocks for each subject. In between these, make time for a snack and/or time outside as young children need multiple breaks throughout the day to refresh their brain and help them work off energy. This ensures that when it’s time to focus again, they may be less fidgety and distracted because they were able to get up and move around and they can look forward to having another break later in the day. Another feature of a good homeschool schedule is planning trips and creative tasks during the week as these are not part of the standard 2nd grade homeschool curriculum. Parents should take the initiative to get involved with local homeschool groups, take the kids to museums and activities that align with what they are learning and make education exciting through fun tasks.  

Overall, the schedule should be a guide that everyone strives to stick to most of the time with flexibility when something unexpected happens so there is time to complete make-up work without disturbing family vacations or holidays. Lastly, make creating the schedule an art project so that the kids are involved with setting it up and then post it in a common place where everyone can see it. Young children enjoy checking things off, making lists, moving markers and being interactive so make sticking to the schedule a fun activity and get the benefit of organization as a bonus.

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