Flow Charts and Schedules For Homeschoolers

Hi Kendra & Fletch!

I listened to your podcast on organization today, and would love to look at your flow chart for planning your day. I've been homeschooling 8 years and have yet to find a schedule plan that works for us!!

Thank you and blessings to you for your gift to the homeschool world!

-Katrina


Happy to help, Katrina!

Back when we began homeschooling, I knew we'd have to have some sort of routine to our day or I was going to drown. At the time, our oldest was 4 and a half and we also had a 2-year-old and a newborn. I was breastfeeding, so there was that, and also involved in stuff at church. If there wasn't a plan for the day, nothing was going to get accomplished.

We went along swimmingly until school became more academic. Somewhere in there I learned about strict scheduling and decided that would take care of any little issues we were having. I made a great color-coded spreadsheet with a plan for what everyone would be doing, half hour by half hour. It looked so gorgeous!

Unfortunately, children do not pay any attention to color-coded spreadsheets. My babies cut teeth, skipped naps, and needed to nurse longer, while my toddlers had diaper blow-outs, the dog threw up, the eggs were left to boil too long on the stove, and my husband had an emergency patient at the end of the day. More often than not, we found ourselves 2 hours behind and reading aloud at night instead of in the afternoons. I also became majorly grumpy, barking, "Stop fooling around! We're 10 minutes late for starting math!" Not pretty.

One morning I sat down with the kids at breakfast and pulled out a piece of paper and a pen. Super high tech. I made a list that looked a little like this:

Breakfast/Clean-up
Circle Time
Math
Art
Lunch Prep/Lunch/Clean-up
Babies down for naps
Mom Read Aloud
English/Handwriting
History or Science (depending on day)
Free Time
Dinner Prep

And peace returned to our days. We had a backbone, but it was flexible and able to take into account the changing needs of each person in our home. When we found ourselves in the hospital for long stretches with one child or another, those at home could follow the flow and get some things done, even if Mom wasn't home.

I actually wrote a post over on Preschoolers and Peace about why a flow chart works for me, so hop over there if you want even more info.

-Kendra