How to Create a Homeschooling Routine (and Include Learning Spanish!)
Are you ready to overcome some major challenges to setting up your homeschooling routine?
Homeschooling is such an amazing journey—it’s an ever-changing experience as your children grow and learn and change. And you, as their “parent-teacher,” also grow, learn, and change.
But how do you achieve your goals without having to deal with too many “growing pains”?
The success of your homeschooling experience has a lot to do with two major elements:
- Mindset, and
The freedom that you find in homeschooling is a beautiful thing, but I know all too well that it can also create challenges for you to be consistent and get the work done that you want to get accomplished in a year.
Through my personal experience bilingual homeschooling my kids, I’ve come up with 5 essential tips to creating the homeschool routine that leads to accomplishing your goals and dreams within the year.
See which ones may work for you!
5 Essential Tips to the Homeschool Routine of Your Dreams
1. Homeschool with your own chosen style
I always say (as do a lot of homeschool parents) to new homeschooling families, “Don’t try to replicate traditional school at home.”
Why not, though? Because trying to replicate a traditional school schedule and environment at home can quickly snuff out the fire you had for homeschooling.
Instead, learn to homeschool with your own chosen style.
The fact is, it’s unnecessary to schedule as many hours as a public school because now you have one-on-one time with your child and they can go at their own pace without the distractions of a big class.
This is such a huge perk to homeschooling!
There may be days that take longer than expected because they have a hard time focusing, need extra motivation, or are struggling with a particular topic. But most days, it will take much less time to accomplish your educational goals than it would in a classroom setting and that leaves more room for fun, imaginative, exploratory learning and life!
What a treat!
2. Set learning goals for each week
In my house, the way we accomplish “enough” each day is by setting our learning goals for the week.
This year, we’re using a box curriculum that lays out our lesson plans for all 180 days of the school year.
I love the convenience of this and I still feel like I’m in control of our days.
For example, I can look ahead at their lesson plans and determine if I think there’s anything we feel confident skipping or if there are certain lessons or assignments we can combine into one day in order to free up a day for a field trip or fun schooling day!
3. Make a routine, not a schedule
What you don’t want to do is fall into a lazy or chaotic lifestyle that does not foster daily learning.
One way to be sure you stay on top of your educational goals for your children is to set up a routine.
The key here is to set up a rhythm for your day, rather than a strict hour-by-hour schedule.
The difference between a routine and a schedule is that you don’t have set times for things to start and stop. That’s not to say that you don’t try to complete subjects and assignments in a timely manner, but it means that you’re not subject to the clock.
For example, your child may fly through their reading for the day, but then they have a hard time with math and need more time and guidance to work through that subject.
Having a flexible routine allows for the right amount of time that your child needs for each subject and assignment.
You’ll find that if you flow through the day and move from one subject to the next (with short breaks in between subjects), instead of working by a set schedule, then you end up with a better-balanced routine for the day.
Want to know what that looks like in real life?
The Homeschool Routine at My House
Here’s an example of our school day for my 4th grader, 2nd grader, and kindergartener (while I also have a 3 year old running around!):
8 AM – Brush teeth, make the bed, unload the dishwasher
Eat breakfast while doing Bible time together
8:45 AM – Start school
- 4th grader starts with his hardest subject, English, while my 2nd grader starts with something easy, so I can be available to help my 4th grader.
- 2nd grader begins her 2nd subject which is her hardest, Math, so I can be available to help her.
- After their hardest subjects are completed, they are fairly independent with the rest of their subjects, aside from asking me questions and having me check their assignments because we use video-based curriculums.
- Then I can sit with my Kindergartener for 30 minutes to work on his school for the day (we usually only do Kindergarten learning for 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week).
12:30 PM – Lunch
Our aim is to accomplish everything by lunchtime.
Occasionally, we still have one more thing to work on right after lunch, then they can have independent playtime, get chores done, and play with friends until dinner time!
Incorporate Spanish Into Your Routine
If practicing Spanish is something you’re tempted to skip when the school day goes long, try starting the school day with just 10 minutes of Spanish memory work!
Ten minutes is not a long chunk of time to commit to, your kids’ attention span should last through that time, and then you can check it off of your list and go on with the rest of your learning goals for the day feeling accomplished after just 10 minutes of school!
Homeschool Spanish Academy online Spanish classes are the perfect way to ensure you actually do a new lesson every week. Since you have to schedule it ahead of time, you will already have it on your calendar and will be less likely to skip it as you could do with a self-paced, independent program.
This live program has become such an excellent way to keep us accountable in my house!
4. Fearlessly employ trial and error
There is no one perfect answer across the board. Believe me, we have tried many different routines and schedules to get where we are today.
It’s taken a lot of trial and error to figure out what works best for me and my kids. I know things will continue to change as they grow older and have different needs, harder subjects, and more demanding work.
It’s important to realize this now so that you’re not trying to force the same thing to work forever.
Being capable of change is key in this role as parent-teacher. If things feel too hard or inefficient, then it is likely time to take a step back and analyze how you’ve laid out the day and your expectations. It is probably time to change some things around and try a new routine.
Resources to Plan Your Homeschooling Day
There are so many wonderful resources and ideas on how to layout a homeschooling day! I would highly recommend heading to YouTube to check out some of these fabulous homeschooling channels for some new inspiration on how to set a new routine in your home!
- Just Makin’ It Work
- Pennies and Salt
- Plan Prep Pray
- Rooted in Rest
- My Cathedral Garden
- Called to Cultivate
- Angela Braniff
- Life in the Mundane
- One Blessed Mess
I love sharing all about how we homeschool over on my YouTube channel as well: The Johnson Crew. I would love to have you join our homeschooling community over on YouTube
5. Find new ways to motivate your kids
One of the keys to having an efficient and productive school day is getting your kids to stay on track and not get distracted.
Here are a few ways we have found to motivate our kids to stay focused:
1. Using a Timer
When it comes to independent work, one of the best ways to motivate your child to get their work done in a timely manner is by using a timer. You can buy a cheap kitchen timer or use your phone (which is what I do) and set a reasonable amount of time for them to get their work done.
For the first time implementing this, if you’re not sure how long the assignment should take, you could use a stopwatch or the stopwatch setting on your phone and time them.
Get them excited about being timed and write it down and tell them, “Tomorrow you’re going to see if you can beat this time and if you do, you’ll get a piece of candy (or whatever)!”
The motivating factor is that your kids are likely to try and beat their record!
2. Implementing a Behavior System
Having a behavior reward or consequence system for homeschool is extremely helpful in keeping your kids on task during school.
I highly recommend checking out my video about our Star System for a solid example that you may want to try out in your homeschool.
It can be disruptive to dole out our normal parenting discipline for every infraction during school, so having a separate way of handling our kid’s poor attitudes, not wanting to listen, and not wanting to do their work is a necessity for us!
3. Checking off a to-do list that leads to rewards
Now, for a subject that your child really doesn’t like, you can motivate them with a chart where they check off each lesson they’ve completed, and then once they’ve completed the whole chart, they earn a big reward!
For instance, my son hated learning to read, so we made a sticker chart with 30 spots on it and once he completed 30 lessons, he earned the chance to go to a big play place near us.
In fact, he was so excited about earning that reward, that anytime he started to whine and I reminded him to focus on his goal, he would settle down and do the lesson with a better attitude!
If you’d like to know more about the video-based curriculums we use, you can head over to my YouTube channel where I have a video for each of my children’s grades and what curriculums they’re each using.
Are You Ready to Add Spanish to Your Homeschool?
Learning Spanish online provides countless benefits for homeschool families that include flexibility, accessibility, and affordability. The programs are designed for K-12 students and if your learner is in high school, they can earn language credit from the comfort of home—while engaging with native Spanish-speaking certified teachers from Guatemala!
Enjoy a Free Trial Spanish Class Today
To see if HSA is a good fit for your family, give them a try for free. Sign up your child for a free trial class today! Think no more and become part of the more than 24,000 monthly enrolled student community of HSA that have trusted our decade of experience. If you’d like more information, check out their pricing packages and flexible program options.
Join one of the 40,000 classes that we teach each month and you can experience results like these
“This is the best way for your kid to learn Spanish. It’s one-on-one, taught by native Spanish speakers, and uses a curriculum.”
– Sharon K, Parent of 3
“It’s a great way to learn Spanish, from native Spanish speakers in a 1-on-1 environment. It’s been fairly easy to schedule classes around my daughter’s other classes. The best value for us has been ordering multiple classes at a time. All the instructors have been great!”
– Cindy D, Parent of 3
“HSA offers very affordable, quality, one on one classes with a native speaker. My son has greatly benefited from taking classes. We have seen his confidence increase as well as his pronunciation improve, because he learns from a native Spanish speaker. HSA has quick, personal customer service. Our family has been very pleased with our experience so far!”
– Erica P. Parent of 1
Want more Spanish homeschooling resources? Check these out!
- How To Teach Sight Words in Spanish to Kids
- 21 Unschooling Activities You Haven’t Tried Yet
- Homeschooling, Unschooling, or Deschooling: Which Is Right for Your Family?
- 20 Ways to Homeschool Spanish as a Non-Native Speaker
- 18 Creative Homeschool Storage Solutions You Definitely Need
- 9 Free Homeschool Curriculum Options with Daily Lesson Plans
- How to Homeschool for Free in 2023
- The Brilliant Way to Homeschool Your Preschool (Pre-K) Child, Ages 2-5
- How to Create a Homeschooling Routine (and Include Learning Spanish!) - February 18, 2022