Tag Archives: scheduling

Homeschool Question from a New Homeschool Mom

Schooling at home

Here’s a question from one of our readers who has just become a homeschool mom because of the coronavirus pandemic:

I understand that children in Grade 1, 3, and 6 (twins) will have different material, but how does one effectively manage different attention spans? My youngest boy was a good sport for about 30 minutes, and then he wanted to play but not alone, with me or his siblings. They had work, and I needed to help my daughter with music theory. I tried to redirect with a book and LEGOS and was successful, but I can see this becoming an issue day to day. A mom

This is where a schedule really helps. What about figuring out activities to keep the first-grader occupied? You could have each of the older children spend 1/2 hour playing with him. That gives him a playmate for 1.5 hours of academic time. They lose a 1/2 hour of school time but gain an hour of uninterrupted work time, and so do you. 

You could schedule him for play alone time. While it might not be his favorite time of the day, doing it consistently each day should eliminate his grumbling about a playtime alone because it soon is habitual—simply what he does every day. You won’t have him pestering you to play with him at that time and you feeling guilty because you can’t. I expect that he would soon be creative and able to occupy himself for whatever amount of time you scheduled for him, perhaps 1/2 hour.

If you spent 1/2 hour with him each morning and if he had another 1/2 hour of book time, you would have filled a three hour time block for him each morning if his play alone time was 1/2 hour. 

When each piece of the schedule happens at the same time every day and becomes habitual, it is easy—just like brushing your teeth. You aren’t having to tell every one what to do or telling them “no” when they ask to do something but should do school. Simplify your new homeschooling life with a schedule.

Trusting in Jesus,

Blog reader son home from school

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall
be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9 

More Help for Coronavirus-Induced Homeschool Moms

Start with a Schedule

May I again encourage you on the importance of a schedule? Don’t make it complicated, but get it down on paper where everyone can see it. I guarantee you that it will eliminate many decisions and distractions and help you accomplish what you need to do each day during these circumstances.

If your children were sent home with schoolwork or your school is doing it online, the schedule will eliminate getting to the end of the day with school or other tasks not accomplished and piling up for the next day.

Ideas for Academic Work If You Don’t Have Any

If you weren’t sent home with your children’s school books and you are winging it, here are some ideas for academic work:

  • Have your child read aloud to you. That will develop your child’s reading skills immensely, no matter how good a reader he is already.
  • Have your child write an email or letter. Then go over it with him for spelling, grammar, handwriting (if handwritten), and interesting content. This covers several subjects in one and connects the child with grandparents or friends.
  • Have your child keep a journal. Again you will be covering writing skills plus grammar and spelling if you go over that with him.
  • Look for math facts worksheets online. Knowing the basic math facts equips your child for furthering his math knowledge throughout the grades. 

You might be surprised if you had your child do those 3 things each day: read aloud, write something, and complete math facts worksheets, where he would be academically when he is allowed to go back to school compared to his classmates who didn’t have direction and structure in their days.

No matter what your child was or wasn’t sent home with for school, it is likely that their academic work won’t take as long as the hours they were at school each day. If you schedule time for them to play together, play alone, play outside, do chores, play games, and do craft projects, you will help to fill that extra time without having bickering, destructive children on your hands. Remember, keep the schedule simple.

Trusting in Jesus,

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good
works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”
(Matthew 5:16). 

What to Do with the Kids Home From School

With many public school children home from school, you might be wondering how to make the most of this time or simply be interested in how to keep your children from driving you crazy. Maybe some thoughts from a homeschooling mom could be helpful.

What about putting together a basic schedule? Make it simple. Maybe maintain the schedule you use with your children in school and then just fill in the school hours. Everyone is used to that schedule and there are no changes that would need to take place to implement it.

Here are some ideas for what could go in that schedule.

Grow spiritually with your children by having morning devotions with them. You can read some Scripture and discuss it, pray, sing, and memorize Scripture. 

If your children are older, help them learn to have their own personal Bible and prayer time. What better time to get into the Word and learn to have a relationship with Jesus?

Teach your children some new chores, especially chores they can accomplish when they are back in school. You can take time to teach the skills and oversee them and they have time to practice those chores.

Read to your children and have them read to you. Media has taken over so much of our lives, but you can make these weeks very special by setting aside time to read aloud some great books to your children.

Have your children read out loud to you. This is especially helpful for those children who are at the learning-to-read stage. Often all they need to cause them to make the leap to being great readers is practice reading out loud.

You could also schedule quiet time for your children to themselves.

Schedule for a particular time each day, children who are old enough for board games to play those together or with you if you have time available. 

Have your children write letters to friends or relatives. Work with them on their grammar, punctuation, and making the letter interesting.

With nicer weather in the U.S., you can plan time for a neighborhood walk and also outside playtime. 

Work together in your children’s bedrooms, sorting and organizing the room itself and prepping clothes for the change of season.

Keep up music practice if your children are taking lessons even if they can’t go to lessons for a while.

Make sure your children have time for any school work that they are to accomplish while they are home.

I promise you that if any of these ideas look good to you, they will likely only be implemented if you put together a schedule and set time aside for them.

Here’s an idea of what that might look like:

7:00 a.m. Children up, dressed, and room pick up
7:30  Breakfast, clean up, teeth brushing
8:30  Morning chores
9:00 Family devotions
9:30 Mom reads aloud
10:00 Academics (School work, internet worksheets, letter writing, children read aloud)
11:00 Outside play
12:00 noon Lunch hour (Make, eat, and clean up)
1:00 p.m. Family walk
2:00 Quiet/nap time (Reading/academics for older children)
3:00 Board games/other play for non-napping children
4:00 Music practice/organizing projects/free play
5:00 Dinner prep (Some help, some play with each other or younger children)
6:00 Dinner

That’s just an idea. Put in what your priorities for this time might be. That schedule is a powerful tool that costs you nothing. Don’t try to make it perfect. Just put something down and do it. If you don’t like it so much, you can do it a bit differently the next day until you get it where you really like it. 

Trusting in Jesus,

“Let the people praise thee, O God; let all
the people praise thee” (Psalm 67:3). 

Daughter and Mom Time

I enjoy seeing how Mom has embraced the value of scheduling things that are important to her. As you know, she has scheduled reading time with her grandchildren, play time with them, weekly lunch and grocery shopping with GiGi, etc. 

Mom invited us girls for a day out, and because of how crazy and complicated our schedules were, we scheduled it over a month in advance to get it to work!

We got supplies for our caroling treats at Hobby Lobby, ate lunch out, and enjoyed shopping at Eddie Bauer, Home Goods, and Carters (our outlet shopping center is great!). I’m grateful for a loving, close-knit family.

For you moms, how about starting to schedule specific time with your girls? Those relationships are some of the most important in all the world!  


Anna checking out all the fine print exclusions for a $10 off coupon we wanted to use. You know those work! 
Searching for the perfect turkey.

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an
example of the believers, in word, in conversation,
in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
1 Timothy 4:12

Help for the Time Pressured Homeschool Mom!

To kick-start your week, we want to share a video Teri did to encourage moms. Let’s face it. Homeschool moms have a ton on their plate. Teri’s experienced what it’s like to homeschool multiple grades, manage babies and toddlers, and still keep the house in order. Those days weren’t easy, but the Lord gave her grace and creativity to fit in what she needed to do.

Please share this video with others you think would enjoy it. Just click the little paper airplane icon in the upper right of the video.

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children,
guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary
to speak reproachfully.”
1 Timothy 5:14

Scheduled Meal Times

Every one in our family knows our meal schedule:

  • Breakfast – each on his own
  • Lunch – 12:30
  • Dinner – 6:00

Having a set meal time simplifies much for us such as:

  • Not having to have family members ask me what time a meal will occur.
  • Not having to call people when it is meal time.
  • Being able to plan my schedule so that there is an appropriate amount of meal prep time for the meal to be ready on time.
  • Family members counting on the consistency of the meal times for their personal scheduling needs.
  • Making it a priority to enjoy two meals together each day.

There are occasions when those meal times flex such as when a family member has something that would cause them to need an earlier or later dinner. Then with communication, the meal time is scheduled for that night for a time that will work. Those are occasional exceptions. Overall we enjoy the peace and order consistent meal times bring to our home.

If you don’t have consistent meal times, it isn’t difficult to establish that habit. Remember, habits make life easier. Think about meal times that would likely work well for your family, then backward plan so that you allow the necessary time to prepare the meal. Set timers on your computer, stove, phone or whatever you have accessible to you so that you are reminded to stop what you are doing to begin the meal. Avoid the temptation to “just do a little bit more” of whatever you were doing, and head straight for the kitchen.  I expect your family will like knowing they can count on meals at a particular time and that those expectations will be fulfilled.

Trusting in Jesus,


“Walk in wisdom toward them that are
without, redeeming the time.”
Colossians 4:5