Homeschooling offers many freedoms including the ability to create your own schedule. While this flexibility is great, too much freedom can quickly lead to chaos and slowed progress in school. Here is how to set a schedule and stick with it.

Take it Seriously

This may seem obvious, but it can be easy to treat every activity as optional when you know you can. While rescheduling is sometimes necessary, like when an illness or work conflict enters the home, avoid changes plans unless you have to. Treat classes and homework time as appointments. You wouldn’t skip a dentist appointment to run errands, would you? The more seriously you take everyone’s time, the less likely you are to get too casual with things.

Set Short-Term Goals

Long-term homeschool goals like finishing a curriculum can be overwhelming to think about in a daily context. Break these goals down into more manageable ones like “finish three chapters of the textbook by March” or “master this math concept by the end of the year.” This will also help you resist the temptation to push things off because you have all year to get them done.

Eliminate Distractions

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to work through distractions all day. Reduce the problem by removing the distractions in the first place. If you receive texts and phone calls frequently, put your phone in another room while you’re teaching class. If you need your phone to teach, turn off notifications so you don’t get side-tracked in the middle of a lesson. Figure out what is most distracting to you and do your best to eliminate that problem during your school schedule.

Learn to Say No

While it’s certainly not a bad thing to help your friends and neighbors when they ask, you need to know how to turn them down when you need to honor your homeschool schedule. Be firm with your boundaries and let them know when you are free instead. It may be helpful to write down common requests you receive and how to respond to them so you don’t feel caught off guard. At the very least, learn how to say, “I’m sorry, that just doesn’t work for my family.”

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