A good daily homeschooling schedule will benefit your child in the same way having other routines do. The structure and stability found in routine help your child feel secure and confident in their environment and in you as their caretaker.
A daily preschool homeschooling schedule should start with a morning routine that includes attention to hygiene, breakfast, and other activities involved in preparing for the rest of the day. Many parents find that they can effectively homeschool their children in fewer hours than it would take in a traditional school setting. Many parents find that 1.5-3 hours is more than enough time for them to homeschool their preschoolers.
In addition to academic activities, a homeschool schedule should incorporate outdoor time and physical education activities, as well as time for creative activities and free play.
Preschool Homeschool Activities
While a homeschooling schedule differs from family to family, most preschool homeschool schedules will include the following activities.
Academic Learning Activities
Academic learning activities for preschoolers include developmentally appropriate academic concepts for preschoolers (math, literacy, science). Remember that a preschooler’s job is to play and have fun and a preschool’s job is to instill curiosity a love of learning in young children, so tailor your academic lessons to follow a play-guided learning model.
Math skills that can be incorporated into a preschool curriculum include the following:
- Shape, Color, and Pattern Recognition
- Object Sorting and Classification
- Numerical Recognition (numbers 1-10)
- Concepts of Measurement (quantities, sizes, and weight)
- Spatial Relationships
Literacy Skills that can be incorporated into a preschool curriculum include the following:
- Letter and Print Awareness
- Oral Language Development and Vocabulary
- Phonetic Instruction
- Narrative Construction
- Print Motivation
Science Skills that can be incorporated into a preschool curriculum include the following:
- Science Processes (observing, classifying, comparing, predicting, etc.)
Motor Skill Activities
Preschool-age children need to have mastery of their gross motor skills (large muscle movement) and fine motor skills (hand-eye coordination and small muscle movement).
Gross motor skills are often practiced when engaging in physical education or outside play. This may include running, climbing stairs, jumping, and playing sports.
Fine motor skills are practiced through handwriting and line tracing, as well as in handling small objects such as puzzle pieces, Lego blocks, buttons, and zippers. Art activities such as painting, cutting, gluing, and folding also practice fine motor skills.
Just like in traditional schooling, extracurricular activities help preschool homeschoolers find their passions and learn skills outside of the homeschool curriculum.
Incorporating occasional field trips into your homeschool schedule is also a great way to engage your child in hands-on real-world learning. Find museums, libraries, wildlife parks, and nature trails that will provide your child with age- and level-appropriate learning opportunities.
Independent play involves giving your child activities or games they can complete on their own. Independent play engages your child’s creativity and imagination, practices their fine motor skills, and teaches them skills in social independence and self-soothing. Independent play in a homeschool schedule could also include educational work that your child can complete on their own.
Independent play for your child means free time for you. You can now use this time to prepare for the next activity, get a snack or a meal ready, or just take a breather.
4 Effective Homeschool Templates
One of the beauties of homeschooling is the freedom from strict timing and scheduling. Preschool homeschooling offers children the chance to learn and develop at their own pace without too much pressure to keep up with a class.
Some families benefit from having highly structured, timed daily schedules. If your family thrives on structure and routine, consider using a traditional block schedule for your preschooler.
A block schedule operates similarly to a traditional school schedule. Activities are performed within their dedicated time blocks.
A block schedule for preschool homeschooling may look like this.
|9:00 am||Gross Motor Skill Activity|
|9:20 am||Math Activity 1|
|9:40 am||Math Activity 2|
|10:00 am||Break/Snack Time/Outside Time|
|10:30 am||Science Activity|
|10:45 am||Literacy Activity|
|11:00 am||Fine Motor Skills Activity|
|11:20 am||Literacy Activity|
|11:40 am||Independent Schoolwork/Independent Play|
|1:00 pm||Extracurricular Activity|
|2:00 pm||Free Play/Special Activities|
If you decide to follow a block schedule, it might be worth it to create a backup schedule for any interruptions that may occur throughout the day. You may also have a “plan b” schedule that accommodates any special events or activities such as birthdays and field trips.
As the name suggests, a checklist schedule is a relaxed schedule that involves the use of a daily checklist to keep track of lessons and activities that need to be accomplished within the day. For older children, a checklist schedule is a great tool for teaching independent learning and time management.
Unlike a block schedule, a checklist simply lists down what schoolwork needs to be accomplished on that day. You and your child can then tackle each item on the list at your own pace in whichever order, as long as all activities are accomplished.
A checklist schedule for preschool homeschooling may look like this:
With a semi-structured schedule, tasks are assigned a general period to be completed within, instead of a strict time schedule. A semi-structured homeschool schedule works well for families who enjoy having a stable schedule but find adhering to block scheduling too restrictive or stressful.
A semi-structured schedule for preschool homeschooling may look like this:
|Morning:||Motor Skill Activities, Extracurricular Activities|
|Afternoon:||Afternoon: Academic Learning Activities (Math, Literacy, Science)|
In a loop schedule, lessons and activities aren’t assigned for a particular time or day of the week. Instead, you and your family can decide which activities you would like to cover and how many times to cover each activity in a week.
You can then list down activities and other tasks according to their frequency. Start at the top of the list and work your way down. Once you finish the last item, simply start from the top again.
A loop schedule for preschool homeschooling may look like this:
|Activity Frequency||Loop Schedule
|Math Skills x4
Literacy Skills x4
Science Skills x3
Motor Skills x3
Tips for Creating a Preschool Homeschool Schedule
Use a Reputable Homeschool Curriculum
There are many homeschool programs available to fit different families’ scheduling needs.
Using a good homeschooling curriculum that is compliant with your state or country laws will provide you with the right materials and basis to create a successful homeschool schedule for your preschooler.
Choose a curriculum that fits well with your child’s learning style and goals. Some children learn best with an online program, some with print-based learning, and others with hands-on interactive models. It may take some trial and error to find the right curriculum for your child, so take your time finding the one that fits best.
Combine Different Schedule Types
Maybe you would like to follow a loop schedule but have certain subjects that you would like to tackle daily, or you may want to have a semi-structured schedule but have activities or extracurriculars that have specific times. Combining 2 or more schedule types gives you more flexibility and adaptability in creating your schedule.
A combined loop and semi-structured schedule may look like this.
|Morning:||Math Activities, Literacy Activities|
|Afternoon:||Loop Schedule Activities|
|Loop Activity Frequency||Loop Schedule|
|Science Skills x3
Motor Skills x3
Motor Skill Activity
Motor Skill Activity
Consider Your Child’s Attention Span
When scheduling individual activities and lessons, consider how long each one should be in order to keep your child engaged and paying attention.
Try to keep each activity to a maximum of 20 minutes. Preschool-age children aren’t known for having very long attention spans, and keeping activities short and varied will make the homeschool learning experience more effective.
Join a Homeschooling Group
A homeschooling group or co-op is typically comprised of a group of homeschooling families that arranges regular meetings. For preschoolers, a homeschool co-op meeting may work on socialization and provide extracurricular activities. The arranged meeting times homeschool groups usually have may also act as a block for you to build the rest of your homeschool schedule around.