Why a schedule stressed me out!

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Finding a schedule or routine is key to finding peace in your homeschool.

A homeschool schedule or routine

When we first started homeschooling it seemed like everywhere I turned there were suggestions on setting up your homeschool schedule. I have not been one to stick to a schedule in the past. At least not in a home setting. I thought since most of the suggestions were to set up a schedule for homeschooling, that’s what I needed to do. This seemed simple enough. {huh!}

Homeschool Fails

Trying to be the good homeschool parent, I set up a schedule……. my first mistake.

We quickly discovered that we were not the schedule types. Everyday is not the same for us. Like I’m sure they aren’t the same for you either. We are, I guess you could say, spontaneous relaxed.

I was acting like a crazy woman trying to play catch up the rest of the day when we would get behind. I found that I was actually getting more behind by trying to stay on a timed schedule.  This my friends, was NOT a good feeling. It was not good for our homeschool mojo either.

{This is why I never plan our lessons too far in advance either. More on that in a future post.}

How does not having a schedule work for the lollygagger in the family?
How do we all stay on track?

Our kids have been on a routine since day they were born. Nap times around the same times, bed time routine, and the same bed times. So why didn’t I just stick with a (routine) for our home school? Who knows?

It’s probably because I wanted to be “perfect” and wanted the “perfect” day. Guess what? They don’t exist here!   Well, that’s not entirely true. Our perfect day is just using a simple routine. 

Daily Homeschool Task Cards

I went back to what I know works best for us. A routine!

I made these Daily Task Checklist Cards  to help us maintain our daily routine. I used colored index cards, wrote what subjects needed to be done on what day. I then laminated them with thrifty make-shift clear contact paper. (I have yet to find a laminating machine at a yard sale but I’m always on the look-out) The kiddos use a dry erase marker to mark off what subject they have done that day.

I’m not concerned that they get the subjects done in order. Just as I am not so concerned that they get the subjects done at a certain time of the day.

I do need to add that I had to make these cards because our son (Drummer Boy) HAS to know what we are doing next. He is the reason we have the checklist. He has to see what is expected of him for the day. Trust me, if I hadn’t created the checklist I would be in a padded room. Before we had the checklist he would ask me constantly what was next and how many things he had to do and left to do. eeeekk!   Honestly, he doesn’t realize how much he helped me us out. It is much simpler to keep track of what is going on throughout the day this way.

This may not work for everyone. Some of you will definitely work better with timed schedules.

But for those of you who find yourselves and/or your children getting frustrated and stressed out over set times, maybe you should try a routine instead of a schedule.

Know what you have to get done for the day and create a checklist. This will help everyone stay on track.

Now it’s your turn!
Leave a comment below letting me know if you like a schedule or a routine. And why?






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  1. Amanda writes:

    My oldest is always asking me about what we need to get done next. I just let her look at my teacher’s curriculum guide, and it makes her happy to check off the stuff as she does them. Sometimes she checks off what her sisters do too. She also wants to know exactly what time we are doing this or that. Oh my! Daddy and I are ALOT more unscheduled than that! I do need to organize something. It’s really stressing me out!

  2. I tried homeschooling for a while and the schedule never worked with me. Actually scheduling anything in my life just freaks me out and I always end up feeling like I am failing at everything. I might try homeschooling again someday but always freestyle! I like your images btw.

  3. Thank you!
    It’s always important to find what works for you. Makes all the difference.

  4. Oh yes! I have to have our task cards for our middle child. If not, I would surely be in the crazy house of too many questions! They are super easy and thrifty to make. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. We are more routine based too. I only created a schedule to see if we would be able to do most things, and then I let it go. I’ve learn as the days pass most of our lessons go by quicker and quicker. I really like your task cards.

  6. Thank you for stopping by and leaving me a comment. Yes, I find a routine works best for our personalities. I am glad you were able to make that work for you as well. Our task cards keep us…..well….on task!

  7. I loved reading this article. We have routines we follow too…not too rigid, not too loose.
    In our house, I make up weekly charts for their schoolwork, otherwise we’re a little too free & things don’t get done. In our family of “rabbit trailers”, we need the schedule as a reference point to our school day. Also my boys get up early, they’re early risers. And they don’t like doing school in the later afternoon. So a normal school day is btwn 8 & 3, and they get their list of school done within those hours. They’re beginning to see that if they finish early, around 12:30 or so, they can start the next day’s assignments & then have less to do the following day. The oldest likes the idea of working ahead so that he doesn’t have much (if anything) to do at the end of the week. The youngest likes the freedom to do what he wants 1st, 2nd or 3rd; yet appreciates the perimeters of the school day. It’s taken us a few years to find what works best for all of us. LoL!

  8. We do the checklist too! Works great for us. I like the idea of the laminated, colored paper. Ours is one I created to print; four days per side, double sided. Now I think I’ll laminate and use dry erase instead. Thanks!

  9. I’m so glad you stopped by. Thank you for your comment. We love our laminated list. It really helps our kids stay focused on what they need to get done for the day.

  10. Carla,
    It’s fantastic that you found what works for you. I love that they are taking responsibility for their own days. Sounds you are teaching them to be good stewards of their own time. That is wonderful. Thanks for stopping by and leaving me your comment.

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