How to Create Consistency in Your Homeschool Day

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When I ask other homeschool moms what their biggest struggle is with homeschooling, they often say consistency.  I have to be honest and say that it is one of my biggest struggles as well.  By consistency we mean - getting into a regular routine where you are able to cover all the subjects necessary.

Why is it so difficult for you to find consistency in your homeschool day?

The biggest reason is because you are including too much in your day.  How can that possibly be the case, you ask yourself.

When I started “officially” homeschooling Emma in Kindergarten I tried to do all the things.  There are so many amazing subjects to explore, and I wanted her to have the opportunity to do all of them.  This was in addition to the normal reading, writing, arithmetic type classes.  Here I was, knowing that I needed to complete 175 days of every.single.subject.  I was boxing myself into a corner before I even started homeschooling.  I finally realized that I did not, in fact, need to complete 175 days of every subject, and to think that I needed to in the first place was completely misguided.

How to Create Consistency in Your Homeschool Day

You want to give your child the best education that they possibly can have.  You want to read all the amazing literature, go on all the field trips, give them the life skills they need to live an amazing and productive life.  You want to give them the best math curriculum so they learn to love math (even if you hated math when you were in school), you want to include nature walks and let them explore their interests.  Honestly, the entire homeschool journey can make your head spin!

When you look at all the different activities and subjects you want to explore with your child throughout the year, it can be extremely daunting.  You end up giving up before you even start.

Let me tell you a little secret – you cannot teach them everything.

This is an incredibly hard lesson to learn, because there are so many wonderful subjects and ways to teach, but it is also incredibly freeing.  Once you accept this, you will be able to move forward with some winning strategies on consistency in your day.


Part of the reason we decided to homeschool was to give our kids the opportunity to learn about and explore those out of the box ideas that they have.  If my kids want to learn how to sew costumes and make their own movie, I want to include that in our curriculum.  But, they also still need to continue on with all of the other schooling they need to do.

How do you manage to find consistency with all the noise?

The best way that you can find consistency is to start removing items from your to-do list.  Yes, you heard me correctly, you need to do less in order to do more.

When you plan our your homeschool days, do you fill them up with all of your subjects, planned all out nicely in your Erin Condren Teacher Planner just to end the day with a quarter of them checked off?

How to Create Consistency in Your Homeschool Day

Let me take you through our days – I want to wake up earlier than my kids and have time to center myself and prepare for the day, but in reality my oldest is up at 6am and starving.  Followed shortly by my 2 year old who wants to play with her brother who is sleeping in.  The dog decides that she needs to go for a walk right.this.second even though I have already taken her for one this morning.  We start school, but the 2 year old decides she needs to be the center of attention and screams at the top of her lungs.  And this is all before 9:30 in the morning.  Finally everyone settles down to do school, but the book Emma is reading is boring, and takes her forever to read her two chapters.  They want to play outside, and then it is lunch time and we have completed 2 subjects.  Then it is time for the baby to take a nap, and I am already starting to think about dinner.  Where did the day go?  Did we even do any school?

Now, that is not every day of course, but it easily can happen if I let it get that way.

How to Create Consistency in Your Homeschool Day

The first step to finding consistency is to really look at your schedule for the day.  Are you putting too many things on the list? 

We use a wonderful curriculum that includes an instructor’s guide.  But, if I follow that instructor’s guide, for two different levels, we are doing school for over 8 hours a day.  While I believe that homeschooling is a job, it doesn’t have to be that intense.  So, we pick and choose and move things around to make it a better fit for our family.

One of the strategies we are incorporating this year is to do heavy school for 4 days and then do fun school on Fridays.  This allows us to explore our interests, get to the library, or plan for field trips.

How to Create Consistency in Your Homeschool Day
Working on their current film - Elsa and Mario team up against Evil Anna

There are other strategies as well.  You can work on a loop schedule for certain subjects. 

A loop schedule is really easy to start.  First you make a list of subjects you want on your loop schedule – this can be all the subjects, it can be the fun subjects, it can be any different combination that you would like to use.  Once you have that list you set your time for the day to work on these subjects and start moving through the list, starting at the top.  When you finish the first subject, move to the next, and the next, until your time is over.  Once your time is over, you stop wherever you are on your list of subjects.  The next day, during your loop schedule time, you start with the subject that you left off at, and continue moving through the list. 

A great resource on using loop scheduling can be found in the book Teaching from Rest by Sarah MacKenzie.

Another helpful tip is to stop multi-tasking. 

I know, who would think multi-tasking would be bad?  I will let you in on a little secret though, it is bad.  It makes us think that we are accomplishing so many things, when in reality we are not.  Or if we are, it isn’t to the best of our ability.

Try to block off specific time for school, and while you are doing school – just do school.  Don’t get up to do laundry, or check your e-mail, or work on cleaning the kitchen, sit with your kids and do school.  Obviously if your kids are able to be more independent on specific subjects, you don’t need to sit with them constantly.  But, I have found that when I am sitting with my kids while they do their different school tasks, they move faster.  Emma reads faster when I am sitting with her, Jack is able to complete math faster if I am coaching him along the way.  Otherwise, kids are easily distracted, and can start doodling and day dreaming about other activities they would rather be doing.


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The biggest hurdle you need to cross, however, is the power to let go.  You think you need to do all the things, but you really do not.  You need to give yourself some slack when it comes to “getting school done” during the day.

I am a firm believer in life as school.  Every different situation in our lives is a learning opportunity for our children.  Math can be done in the grocery store, science on nature walks, and history on field trips to the museum.  If you allow yourself to let go of some of the pressure, some of the concern that your child is missing out – that Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) – you will find more consistency in your days.  And not only will you find consistency, but you will find peace.

How to Create Consistency in Your Homeschool Day

Look at what you are accomplishing every day.  Look for ways to be more realistic with your scheduling.  Will reading really only take 20 minutes, or is it more likely to take 30-40 minutes?  Make sure you include time for mothering as well as teaching.  Put recess into your day, so when you complete a subject or two, you can then send the kids outside to run off some steam.

Do you struggle with consistency in your homeschool day?  What are you able to let go of in order to create more peace in your home?

3 comments:

  1. Great ideas. As I've really gotten into Charlotte Mason this year, I've almost completely let go of any idea of how much material must be got through in a particular lesson and it has really helped with consistency. If literature is 20 minutes, they he reads his book for 20 minutes and picks up there tomorrow, etc. That way our school day is as long as I have planned it to be, not a bit longer. And if there is any dawdling, we stop the lesson, move on to the next lesson and come back and finish the balance of time to the previous lesson later. Just wanted to share what is working for me.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing! I love the idea of just moving onto the next thing after the time allotted is over. Sometimes I get stuck on making sure we finish everything that I have a hard time doing that - but I am getting better at it! Thanks for visiting :-)

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