How To Make a Kindergarten Homeschool Schedule
Making a kindergarten homeschool schedule can be overwhelming and stressful, especially to new homeschooling moms. So today, I’m going to take away all of that fear by teaching you the basics of how to make a homeschool schedule that works best for you and your family.
If you have never homeschooled before, making your first kindergarten homeschool schedule can be equal parts intimidating and exciting.
Homeschooling kindergartners is different from homeschooling other age groups because technically this is their first year in “official” school. They spent the first few years of their lives playing, snacking, and taking naps at home. So suddenly having to adapt to a new learning environment and schedule can be scary for them, too.
The minute you start Googling homeschooling topics, you will be surprised at how much information is available on the internet. Unfortunately, this can quickly lead to information overload!
If you can remember these three things, you will be instantly relieved. As a homeschooling family…
- You and your kids are not bound by a strict schedule
- There is no right or wrong way to create a schedule
- No one schedule fits all
So the first thing I want you to do before we go any farther is check out The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Kindergarten. You’ll find so much helpful information including how to determine your teaching style and how to match your child’s learning style with a method for the most success.
Understanding these things will help you create a schedule that reflects the goals of your homeschool and aligns those goals with the ever-changing needs of your family.
But before we get to the actual daily schedule, we need a general overview of kindergarten learning objectives including what subjects need to be taught.
How Many Hours a Day Do You Homeschool a Kindergartner?
Let’s be honest with each other for a minute.
The idea that you have to teach your 5 or 6-year old for up to eight hours a day is terrifying…isn’t it?
Well, I have some amazing news for you! You DO NOT have to teach your child anywhere NEAR this amount of time.
Resources say that once you omit their lunch period, bathroom breaks, recess, transitions, and other small breaks kindergarteners spend no more than one and half hours per day engaged in learning activities!
And remember that the amount of time you teach is totally dependent on how many subjects you include and any extras you choose to incorporate.
Be sure to check the homeschooling laws in your state to determine if your kindergartener needs to complete a specific number of hours each day.
What Subjects Do You Need to Teach to Kindergarteners in Homeschool?
As a homeschooling parent, you have complete control over the subjects that are taught within your home. However, most parents include some form of Math, Science, Reading/Writing instruction as well as Art and Physical Education (PE).
Many Christian families will include morning devotions or Bible time to get the day started with everyone in the best frame of mind.
Certain methods of homeschooling tend to incorporate additional subjects or focus on specific areas. Remember, you don’t have to choose one method and stick with that method for the extent of your homeschooling journey.
Just start somewhere and then be willing to adjust as your needs and your child’s needs change. Being flexible will be the best skill you can adopt for yourself and you can teach your child.
What Should Kindergartners be Learning?
While your goals as a parent may vary from these general learning objectives, you can use these as a guideline. It’s helpful to know what students in the same grade level as your child are expected to know at any given point. That way if you decide to send your child to public or private school, they will be prepared for the traditional curriculum.
- Recognize the first 100 sight words
- The ability to differentiate between upper and lowercase letters
- Be able to print their name and most letters
- Sort common objects into categories
- Recognize and say rhyming words
- Ask questions and identify parts of a story
- Know and recognize numbers 1-20 and be able to write them
How To Make Your Kindergarten Homeschool Schedule
Now that we know all of the basics, creating a homeschool schedule will be a lot easier! And remember, there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to homeschooling schedules.
So let’s start by asking ourselves some essential questions.
Which subjects will you teach each day?
Some parents choose to teach all subjects every day, while others choose to alternate and only teach specific subjects on certain days of the week. You have the liberty to try each method and see what works better for you and your child.
You can also change mid-year if that is what you and your child need. Just figure out what works best with your work and life schedules.
How much time will you spend teaching your child each day?
When scheduling your core learning time, only plan to teach in 15-minute increments. Five and six year olds have short attention spans and can only attend to one task for a brief period of time.
And since you’re not in a traditional school setting attempting to teach 30 students, you don’t need an hour for math. Spend 15 minutes working on a new skill and then allow your child to take a break or spend time on an activity that reinforces the new concept.
Remember, learning doesn’t have to be formal.
Get creative and incorporate hands-on activities like STEM activities and online games that align with your goals. These not only make learning fun, but they will keep your kindergartner engaged from start to finish!
How can you divide up the learning?
Because our kids need lots of breaks during the day, you want to think about scheduling school blocks in between breakfast, lunch, and snack times as well as outside time or play time.
Try to alternate focused learning time with some form of movement, play time, or hands-on activity time. This will allow your child to stay focused at the right times!
Do you have any appointments or extracurricular activities this week?
Assess your schedule on a weekly basis by thinking about all of your family’s extracurricular activities and upcoming appointments. You want to account for anything that could possibly encroach on learning time.
On these days, your schedule may need to be altered. You might choose to shorten the “school” day, select easier subjects, change the time of day when you do school, or skip school entirely. It’s completely up to you!
Sample Kindergarten Homeschool Schedule
Here are a couple of example schedules that you can use when building your perfect schedule. This one is ideal for the stay at home parents or those who want to accomplish school earlier in the day.
- 8:15 am – Breakfast
- 8:45 am – Morning Meeting
- 9:00 am – Calendar Time & Bible
- 9:30 am – Reading & Writing
- 10:00 am – Play (Movement/PE)
- 10:30 am – Math
- 10:45 am – Science
- 11:00 am – Art
- 11:30 am – Lunch
- 1:00 pm – Outdoor/Play time
I highlighted the “school” subjects so that you could see that it is only necessary to spend about 1 hour – 1.5 hours on what we might consider traditional school activities.
Much of a kindergartener’s day is spent doing other important tasks like playing (inside & outside), eating to fuel those little bodies, and participating in art or music.
Remember, this is just a sample schedule to help you think about what will work best for you and your child in the beginning. Feel free to adjust the starting times as well as the ending times to meet the needs of your family.
This next sample schedule is better suited for parents who work in the mornings or those kids who focus better in the afternoon. You’ll notice that the subjects alternate every other day.
This schedule allows for family time and dinner in addition to schooling in the afternoon and evening.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
- 4:00 pm – Calendar Time & Bible
- 4:30 pm – Reading/Writing
- 5:00 pm – Play
- 5:30 pm – Math
- 5:45 pm – Art
- 4:00 pm – Calendar Time & Bible
- 4:30 pm – Reading/Writing
- 5:00 pm – Play
- 5:30 pm – Science
- 5:45 pm – Music
In this particular schedule, you will notice that the times for each subject are 30 minutes instead of 15. Since we are covering fewer topics, we can spend more time in each subject.
Posting a visual calendar with schedule cards helps your child see which subjects and activities are coming next without having to be able to tell time. They just know that after Calendar time and Bible time we read books and then I get to play!
Want to know how to add calendar time into your schedule? Click here to learn more!
I can’t wait to see how you decide to create your kindergarten homeschool schedule! Once you get in a routine, you and your kindergartner will have so much fun together and you will be amazed at how much they are learning in such a short amount of time!
Want to know more about how I became a homeschooler? You can read my story here, Why I Homeschool: The Unlikely Story of a Former Classroom Teacher.
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