Homeschooling is a full-time job. You are a teacher, administrator and principal of your homeschool as well as your other full time job of cook, maid, nurse, taxi driver, and overall life coach. Not to mention the fact that many of us have part/full time jobs as well. How do we fit it all in? The answer is <Drum Roll>

We don’t! Be honest. Even the most organized of us can’t do EVERYTHING. People get sick, appliances break down, stuff happens. How do you react when something slides off the “perfect homeschool day” plan? I know how I react. I get frustrated, feel guilty, beat myself up for being behind and eventually go into stress paralysis and find myself unable to get anything done.  

Here’s an idea I picked up from Pam Barnhill and Sarah Mackenzie that has taken some of this stress out of my days. It’s called Loop Scheduling. I’m still a novice but here’s the general idea. Instead of blocking out a specific time each day for each subject, you set aside “school time” and then hit the subjects one at a time in a loop. Do them until they are done and stop when your time is up. The next day you pick up where you left off. 

I find this particularly helpful with the parts of our school day that we don’t do everyday. I block out time in the afternoon, usually 1pm-2pm to read aloud, nature study, music appreciation, and art. On Day 1 you do 30 minutes of read aloud and spend the next 30 minutes doing a nature study. Day 2 you pick up and finish your nature study for 15 minutes and move on to music for the next 45 minutes. Day 3 you get sidetracked by {sickness/curiosity/pest control… fill in the blank} Where do you start on Day 4? Art! And then move right along into read aloud. You take a breath, don’t fear getting behind, and move on to the next thing on your loop. At the end of the week I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how much you got done and how little you worried about it.  

Homeschoolers use loops within subjects like read aloud as well. Sometimes we are reading from several sources at the same time. We read scripture, poetry, a novel, and some non-fiction. Put those on a loop and read from them in the same order each time you sit down to read and you will get through your pile of books faster.

Here’s a link to one of my favorite podcasts and her take on Loop Scheduling. Enjoy!

Heather is a wife, mother, and nurturer with a big heart for others. She has homeschooled her four children since 2002 with the help of LOTS of coffee and chocolate.

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