Creating a functional homeschool mom daily schedule is one of the most important things you can do.
Taking the time to create a homeschool mom daily schedule will help you be more organized, feel more productive, and make time for yourself too.
I think we’ve all had homeschool days that seem to be a blur. We spend all day doing homeschool, making meals, running errands, and fall into bed at night wondering what in the world we did with our day. Has this happened to you, too?
Four years ago I realized my life was literally passing me by – I was in a total homeschool mom fog.
Surviving to thriving
Instead of surviving from day to day as a homeschool mom, I desperately wanted to start thriving.
It soon become clear that to start thriving, I needed a daily routine – a homeschool mom schedule that would work day in and day out for me and my family.
According to Very Well Mind, having a set daily routine can help you to:
- improve focus
- experience less stress
- be more organized
- create certainty and predictability
- be more productive
Um, what homeschool mom wouldn’t want that?!?!
Free Homeschool Mom Daily Schedule
Before we get into the nitty gritty, grab your free Homeschool Mom Daily Schedule from the Reluctant Homeschool Mama Free Printable Library!
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Okay, let’s dive in to the specifics for creating your personalized homeschool mom daily schedule!
One of the best ways to start creating your homeschool mom daily schedule is to divide your day into four parts:
- before homeschool
- after homeschool
Easy enough, right? Keep reading for suggestions about what to do during each part of the day.
Homeschool mom morning schedule (before homeschool)
You may have heard that how you spend your morning hours has a huge impact on the rest of your day.
Here’s why, according to Very Well Mind:
The morning routine helps us set the tone for the day, better allowing us to control our schedules rather than our schedule controlling us. As we start each day fresh, we can better focus on what is in front of us, where to prioritize our time, and, ultimately, increase our productivity.
Before Kids Wake Up
While your wake up time is completely up to you, I highly encourage you to decide now to start waking up at a consistent time BEFORE your kids.
Hear me on this: getting up before your kids can be THE game changer for your whole day.
If you’re not sure how to make waking up before your kids a habit, check out this article over on my mom blog – I’ve got you covered with actionable tips to actually make this a habit!
You may also consider reading the highly inspirational book, The 5AM Club by Robin Sharma. The subtitle: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life. really resonated with me, as did the entire book!
I also highly recommend Atomic Habits by James Clear for anyone who really wants to create better habits!
What to do with your mornings
To decide what time you need to set your alarm in the morning, let’s figure out what you want to do with your mornings first.
As a homeschool mom, I highly recommend that you spend at least part of your morning routine doing something that fills your cup (literally or figuratively!).
I love the adage that we can’t pour from an empty cup – and I find that is absolutely true when it comes to motherhood AND homeschool! Do you agree?
Here are some ideas you might consider making a part of your homeschool mom morning routine. Remember to choose at LEAST one thing that will help you get in some much-needed self care!
Ideas for your morning routine
Here are some activities you might include in your morning routine:
- Follow an at-home workout program
- Go for a walk or jog
- Do some yoga
- Study scripture or a book of devotionals – here’s my favorite devotional book!
- Listen to a motivational podcast
- Read an inspiring book
- Write in your journal – this little one question a day journal is perfect for moms!
- Enjoy a small breakfast or cup of coffee
- Sit outside and enjoy nature
- Take a shower and get dressed
- Put on a little makeup – check out my six-minute makeup routine!
- Send a text or DM to a friend
- Create a grocery list/order groceries
- Start some laundry
- Gather items for errands (ie: library books)
- Prep for meals (ie: mix a salad dressing or cook some noodles)
- Make your bed
- Drink water
- Review your homeschool plans for the day
- Gather materials for daily projects
- Write anything needed on your whiteboard
- Make sure you have all school books and read alouds handy
How to create your homeschool mom morning schedule
When you know what you want to do in the morning before your kids wake up, creating your routine is much simpler
Here’s an easy step-by-step process:
- Choose two or three things that you want to do every morning
- Figure out how much time these activities will take
- Write out your morning schedule
- Get a clear picture of when your kids typically wake up (write it down for a week!)
- Set your alarm for the amount of time it will take to do the things you want to do before your kids wake up
- Display your morning routine in a prominent place so your family can support you
It’s vitally important that you set realistic expectations for yourself!
If your kids wake up everyday at 5am, it would be best to choose one quick activity that you could do before they wake up.
Even if you only get ten extra minutes to write in a journal and say a prayer, you will feel more more in control of your day when you follow a morning routine.
Finally, writing down your homeschool mom morning schedule is hugely important! Don’t skip this step, okay? Writing it down helps you remind yourself what you want to focus on and helps you feel more committed to carrying it out.
I highly recommend displaying your schedule where you can see it easily right when you wake up. And don’t forget – download the Homeschool Mama Daily Schedule and Routines printable as a perfect way to record your morning routine!
(Just a quick note: if you are a mom of a newborn, have difficulty sleeping yourself, or have a kid with special needs, this morning schedule can be tricky. If it is too much for you right now, that’s okay – you can give it a try when you have a more stable sleep schedule.)
When Kids Wake Up
Once your kids wake up, it’s a great idea to have a set morning routine for them to follow too (more on this coming ASAP!).
Typical things homeschool kids can do in the morning are:
- make their beds
- eat breakfast
- get dressed or take a shower
- practice a musical instrument
- brush their teeth
- do their hair
- practice math facts
- work on a logic puzzle
- clean the breakfast dishes
- empty the dishwasher
- help with laundry
- do morning basket activities
- get started on independent school work
There’s no doubt that as a homeschool mom, a good of chunk of your day will be spent doing homeschool!
To find out more about how we structure our homeschool day, read this article here.
For all intents and purposes, I highly recommend keeping homeschool as short as possible, while still helping your kids learn everything they need to!
While it’s easy to compare how much time you might spend homeschooling with the length of a public school day, be sure to keep in mind that the average amount of instructional time for public school is only about 3.5 hours per day (notation!).
In March of 2020, amidst the global coronavirus pandemic, the Illinois State Board of Education, produced a 62-page document entitled “Remote Learning Recommendations During the Covid-19 Emergency.”
Check out this insightful chart about the amount of recommended instructional time per grade that was included on page 18:
I don’t know about you, but I was honestly surprised at how LOW these numbers are! (And it made me feel even better about recommending the next tip for your homeschool day…)
Goal: finish school before lunchtime
Our family goal is to finish homeschool by lunchtime. Having a set finishing time helps everyone stay on task and work harder than they would otherwise.
Sure there are days we don’t have lunch until 1pm, but not having to return to all things homeschool is worth it!
Finally, it is becoming the norm for my oldest homeschool kids to do some independent work after lunch. This time is typically spent writing and revising essays, reviewing spelling words, or completing reading assignments.
After school homeschool mom daily schedule
Now let’s cover some suggestions and ideas for your homeschool mom afternoon schedule.
Oh, I love quiet time!
Quiet time is pretty self-explanatory: it’s time for everyone to be quiet in their rooms.
Although my kids are old enough that they no longer need naps, I still insist on a quiet time everyday.
Staying relatively still gives them some time to relax, read, or play quietly with their toys.
This time away from screens and too much mental stimulation has become a welcome routine for everyone – but it can take a while to establish the habit!
If you aren’t currently having quiet time, I recommend starting small! For the first week of quiet time, you could set a timer for ten to fifteen minutes. The following week, set the timer for twenty or thirty minutes. Gradually work your way up to one hour.
During quiet time, you could give yourself some time to relax with a good book, start dinner prep, work on household chores or even take a nap!
(In all honesty, I tend to work on my blogs during quiet time – but one of my goals for 2021 is to spend two days a week reading and resting during quiet time!)
Unstructured afternoon time
After holding homeschool in the morning, it is nice for everyone to have a less structured afternoon.
The afternoon is a great time for kids to play with friends, have some screen time, or play outside.
At our house, we limit video games to two hours on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday afternoons. My kids set a timer and switch off choosing the game they play together.
Having a set expectation for video games helps them to not spend too many hours playing.
While kids have unstructured time, this is a great time for you to plan homeschool, work on your own hobbies or business, or accomplish other household tasks.
Start dinner time
Next, having a set time to start dinner preparations is a really important part of the homeschool mom schedule.
I have come to see that the time I start dinner has a huge impact on all whether or not my kids get to bed on time – and whether I get to bed on time too!
For me, I know I need to start dinner prep no later than 5p (but 4:30p is better) if I want the kids to be in bed by 8:30p.
If you feel unmotivated about dinner or find yourself scrambling around your kitchen wondering what to make for dinner everyday, check out this post on my mom blog about meal planning!
Homeschool mom evening routine
Creating an evening routine is so important for the homeschool mom schedule to work well!
We hear frequently how necessary morning routines are (and I agree!), but it is so easy overlook creating an evening routine for your homeschool mom daily schedule.
Here’s an analogy as to why I think BOTH morning and evening routines are essential:
Think of the morning and evening routines as bookends to your day. If the bookends are sturdy, they hold up all of the books in the middle, right?
Taking the time to create a morning and an evening routine will help you keep everything else in between much better organized.
Also, when you have an intentional start and end to your day, you can feel better about what you accomplished and be more prepared for the day ahead.
To create your homeschool mom evening schedule, it helps to break down the evening into three parts: after dinner, after kids are in bed, and before your bedtime.
At our house, our after dinner hours are very focused on getting the kids ready for bed and the kitchen cleaned.
Some things you may consider for your evening after dinner routine are:
- clearing and cleaning the table
- washing the dishes/loading the dishwasher
- sweeping the floor
- cleaning the kitchen counters
- taking out the trash
- doing a short, restful activity as a family, such as playing a board game or card game
- going for a family walk
- picking up and organizing bedrooms
- share the day’s school work with dad
- prepare lunches for the next day
- check your meal calendar and make sure you have all ingredients
After kids are in bed
Once your little sweethearts are tucked in, it is helpful to do a few quick things to help you prepare for the next day.
Here are a few ideas:
- do a quick pick up around the house – focus on the schoolroom!
- prepare for tomorrow’s chores – for example, bring laundry baskets to the laundry room
- set your handbag, library books, and anything items for running errands near the door or in the car
- set out breakfast dishes
- write tomorrow’s date on your whiteboard/chalkboard
- set assignment sheets are your kids’ workspace
- gather books and supplies for tomorrow’s homeschool lessons and activities
I recommend spending less than 20 minutes doing any of these things!
But spending these few minutes preparing will give you a huge jumpstart on the next day and help you feel more motivated to get going.
This is the perfect time for you to relax and unwind after your day.
Although you may feel a strong temptation to sit down in front of the TV and do nothing else, carrying out the final routine of the day for your homeschool mom daily schedule can set you up for success the next day.
Again, what you do doesn’t have to be earth-shattering or intense, the routine just needs to happen.
Here are some of my favorite suggestions for what to do during your pre-bedtime routine:
- turn off screens one hour before bed (or wear blue light blocking glasses like these ones!)
- develop a personal skin care routine
- set out your clothes and workout clothes
- write a gratitude list of five things that happened during the day
- spend time with your spouse
- read a book
- run a diffuser
- do some light stretching or bedtime yoga
- review tomorrow’s schedule
For scheduling my days, I absolutely LOVE the Spaces Planner! It is designed for any woman who needs a combination of structure AND flexibility throughout the day – which is why it’s perfect for homeschool moms!
Check it out by clicking the image below:
Remember, your evening routine is the bookend on your day so be sure that it is intentional and will set you up for success the next day too!
Final thoughts about how to create the best homeschool mom daily schedule
If you’ve never created a homeschool mom daily schedule for yourself before – that is okay!
Remember, you can start by simply dividing your day into four parts: before homeschool, homeschool, after homeschool, and evening.
Next, focus on creating a routine for only one of those four time periods! Once you have that routine in place, then consider creating and adding another routine during a different time of day.
Remember that small and simple things can have a big impact – so don’t be afraid to start small.
Be sure to download the free Homeschool Mom Daily Schedule Planner Page so you can get started planning your personalized daily schedule!