Flexible Scheduling Can Work for You!

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Finish Well Homeschool Podcast, Podcast #141, Flexible Scheduling Can Work for You!, with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast NetworkFlexible Scheduling Can Work for You!

In “Flexible Scheduling Can Work for You!,” Episode, #141, Meredith Curtis can help you if you feel overwhelmed by trying to get it all done. Is there a way to schedule that is flexible enough to deal with the interruptions every day brings? Can a free spirit live a scheduled life? Yes! If it’s flexible. Flexible scheduling brings order to the chaos while still leaving room to be spontaneous and fun!




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Show Notes

I sat down with another homeschool mom who confessed her kids hadn’t gotten any schoolwork done the whole year (it was November), the house was a constant mess, and she had all these homeschool dreams, but she was giving up.

She needed help!

We can be led by the moment or derailed by the interruptions of our day. It is hard to direct children who want to do their own thing when you are up all night with a sick baby.

Yet, you look at rigid moms who run a tight ship and you think, “That’s not me.”

Or you were on a rigid schedule at one time in your life and now it is IMPOSSIBLE to stay on a schedule. What can  you do?

I have help for everyone! A schedule is your servant, not your master, but it is a great servant.

Change the Template

Instead of thinking in hours (from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.), I have learned to think in blocks of time (between breakfast and lunch). It makes more sense as a mom.

Our days have these blocks of time:

  • Before Breakfast
  • Breakfast (short for some and long for others)
  • Between Breakfast and Lunch
  • Lunch
  • Between Lunch and Dinner
  • Dinner
  • After Dinner
  • Bedtime Ritual.

These things happened in your house every day. Your bedtime ritual might be a nightmareish showdown, but you have one. Breakfast may be on the run dashing to homeschool co-op, but your kids eat it.

Reality Check!

When we don’t have a plan, things fall into chaos.

When we don’t give direction to our children for the day, they slide into neutral, the easiest thing for their brains—TV, videos, internet, napping, eating.

If I am led by my “heart” I will eat candy and watch old TV shows or talk on the phone all day. Poof! The day is gone.

Psalm 90 verse 12 addresses this:

So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

What Really Matters

I like to step back and thing about what really matters to me.

  • What do I want to run my days and weeks to look like?
  • What do I want to accomplish each week (chores, school work, free time, reading time)?
  • I want Jesus to be Lord of my homeschool. But what does that look like?

Ask yourself questions like these so you can determine what you want the days/weeks to look like. Be practical and realistic, not idealistic here.

Then examine yourself, your husband, and your children. What factors will play into this plan?

When my children were little, I discovered that we all worked best in the morning.

In addition, my parents raised me to work first, play second.

Now everyone will come up with their own values and priorities. What’s important is that you know what truly matters to you because if  you don’t take that into account, it will derail your plans.

Planning Blocks of Time

  • Think about when your family members get up and when you eat breakfast on average. How much time is there?
  • Think about eating breakfast. Is there time to read the Bible during breakfast and pray together afterward? Will that work or not?
  • Think about mornings. About how much time do you normally have between breakfast and lunch? Remember the real not ideal.
  • Lunch time. Does everyone talk? Is everyone on their phone? Can the phones be turned in and read poetry together or listen to audios during lunch? Or does everyone need that time to just eat and visit?
  • How long is there normally between lunch and dinner? When thinking about time, exclude time you need to prepare dinner?
  • After dinner. We are unable to commit to any schoolwork or chores after dinner, but some families are just revving up. What is your family like after dinner?

Now plug in subjects, chores, reading time, play time, screen time, and free time into the schedule.

Example from out house:

  • For us, we’ve always done math first thing five days a week. It’s like a good brain stretch.
  • My children do their “5 things” (brush teeth/hair; get dressed; make bed; straighten room; personal Quiet Time) before breakfast.
  • We like to read quietly after lunch while babies nap.
  • We do history and science all together, but everyone does spelling and grammar on their own.

Here is a sample weekly (M-F) schedule using Flexible Scheduling.

Monday Schedule Tuesday Schedule Wednesday Schedule Thursday Schedule Friday Schedule

Reality Check!

One thing I had to constantly remind myself was that to HOMEschool, I had to be at home quite a bit. I often overscheduled.

Moving Blocks of Time

That’s why I always schedule free time in. Then when things come up, I can move my schedule around.

Reality Check!

When the kids were older, there was a family schedule and then each teen had a schedule. I helped them make it, but really they made it. We would make a schedule at the beginning of the year and then tweak it after 3-4 weeks.

Tweaking Schedules

I cannot tell you how many schedules I have made that were unrealistic. No, I just can’t seem to get up at 5 a.m. for the spin class at the Y. No, I can’t get math work check in 20 minutes per day. No, I can’t fit ballet lessons, piano lessons, and tennis lessons. One or things will have to go.

Posting Schedules

I would always give each child a copy of the family schedule and their own personal one. Next, I hung all the schedules on the homeschool cabinet door. It made it easy to remember what they were working on. High school schedules were super complicated as they added co-op classes, sports, and ministry at church.

You can see some of our schedules below.


Week Schedule Week Schedule

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How-to-Homeschool Books if you want to learn more about homeschooling or plan to homeschool 😊

Joyful and Successful Homeschooling by Meredith Curtis Unlocking the Mystery of Homeschooling High School by Meredith Curtis and Laura Nolette Quick & EZ Unit Study Fun by Meredith Curtis Seven R's of Homeschooling by Meredith Curtis

The following books give detailed instructions so you can have your own History Parties.

Let's Have Our Own Archaeological Dig by Meredith Curtis Let's Have Our Own Luau by Meredith Curtis Let's Have Our Own Medieval Banquet by Meredith Curtis Let's Have Our Own Olympic Games

These are just a few of our many resources that work well for all ages together!

Newspaper Reporting by Meredith Curtis Travel God's World Geography by Meredith Curtis Travel God's World Cookbook by Meredith Curtis HIS Story of the 20th Century by Meredith Curtis

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