Block scheduling is a way to schedule everything that needs to be accomplished daily for every member of the family in your charge. Though it may not work for everyone, some of the most productive and successful homeschooling families schedule in “blocks” — usually 30 – 60 minutes at a time. See if it can work for you, too.
Block scheduling begins by making a list of everything that every member of the family should accomplish every day and then finding a way to squeeze it all into one giant scheduling puzzle. It’s isn’t as hard as it sounds…here’s how to create one of your own:
For starters, with block scheduling, begin with the assumption that everything must be scheduled, using either 30- or 60-minute blocks of time from waking up in the morning until bedtime at night. You’ll schedule homeschool subjects, outside activities, social events, and everything you and your children do during the week. You’ll also schedule meals and snack times, outside time, nap time, chore time, reading blocks, TV or computer time, baths and showers, and everything else your family does, too. Even babies and toddlers can be scheduled to some degree.
Next is to juggle all activities until they fit (eliminating any that don’t), and writing all activities on a giant grid, calendar, white-erase board, computer spreadsheet or other display that is posted prominently somewhere in the home.
Finally, family members should be trained to follow the block schedule. It may take some time, but eventually everyone in the family will know what is expected at any given time of day. Never again should children question what to do, because every block of time is displayed — along with every childs’ assigned activity – during every time block on the schedule. (Non-readers will need help with this part.)
When the chart is ready, look it over and see what a typical day for every family member looks like. Look for places where children can work together, by charting the same activities at the same time. Also look for places when children can spend time apart, to give every child quiet time of his own. Think of what mom’s (or dad’s) day looks like, too, making sure that the primary homeschooling parent isn’t needed in too many places at once. Be sure to give parents time to make phone calls, pay bills, plan meals, check email, and other things that are important to them, otherwise there won’t be time for these things on the chart, either.
Sound excessive? Think of it this way: If something isn’t on the schedule, how can it possible get done? It’s that simple.