How to Build a Homeschool Routine

I’ve talked before about our gentle morning homeschool routine. In fact, it’s one of my most popular posts! Apparently gently stepping into productivity each morning is something that many homeschoolers would like to achieve. That’s why Day 7 in this series is all about how to do just that, how to build your own homeschool routine. Previously, we talked about planning your ideal day. Building a homeschool routine is basically the next step in that process.
This is Day 7 of 10 Days of Getting Ready for the New School Year series. If you are looking for a different day in this series, you can find them all here.

How to Build a Homeschool Routine

*This post contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure here.*

On Day 6 you brainstormed and wrote out what your ideal day would look like. If you haven’t done that yet, grab this printable, fill it out, and them come back here because we’ll be building on what that page says.

Consider how everyone wakes up

As I’m sure you already know, each kid is crazy different. Isaac, my two-year-old, always wakes up happy, jumping, and ready to start his day. Louisa, my four-year-old, always wakes up fussing. She has to snuggle with mommy for a good 15-20 minutes before she’s ready to do anything. Caroline, my six-year-old, wakes up smiling and ready to eat. . .

You get my point.

If you want to reach a point of gently stepping into productivity, you have to allow time each morning for everyone to get on the same page. Also, you need to be prepared for the day.

Preparing for the day

There are really two ways of going about this. Preparing the night before or getting up before the kids. I go back and forth with this, depending on our season of life, but ideally, I like to be up before them.

So what do I mean by preparing for the day? 

  • know what you’ll be having for breakfast, lunch, and supper
  • have a plan for homeschooling that day
  • do you have any appointments or places to be?
  • if the kids have to get dressed, have their clothes laid out
  • does your husband need to you to do anything? (pay bills, make a phone call, run an errand . . .)

By being prepared for the day, you minimize frustrations and time wasted when trying to figure out what to do next.

Basically, you need to have a written plan for the day, something you can check off or cross off as you make progress. By having a list to lead your day, you’ve got a prioritized guide to help you make sure you get the musts done.

Establishing your routine

Generally, your routine will be filled with things that you do on a regular basis. The trick is to figure out when during your day is the best time for each task.

Here’s a look at our daily homeschool routine . . .

  • I get ready for the day (teeth brushed, hair up, check my weekly calendar)
  • breakfast (we eat together and read through our two devotion books (Indescribable) & Wisdom and the Millers)
  • kids make beds, get ready for the day, and find something quiet to do in the living room
  • I read our read alouds while the kids play quietly
  • after read alouds, the kids go outside (sometimes these two are reversed, depending on season and weather)
  • while the kids are outside I do some mom chores
  • I make lunch and after clean up (and some other family chores) the baby goes down for a nap and we do our table work
  • after table work the kids are free and I take care of whatever else needs to be done

Our routine is simple and allows for all the musts to happen on a regular basis.

By working the musts into our homeschool routine, we get used to doing things in the same order each day. The kids know what comes next and what is expected of them throughout the day. <— that’s important

If your children don’t know what is expected of them, how can they succeed? Without routine and direction, they are aimless and often times end up doing things they ought not to be. Which inevitably leads to frustration and conflict.

Getting it on paper

Now, grab that ideal day paper you filled out and on a different sheet, start writing down a possible daily routine that incorporates both the things that must happen as well as those you’d like to see happen.

Consider talking to your family and asking their opinion. I’ve found that when the kids are involved in making the routine, they’re more inclined to follow it from the get-go.

Once you’ve got a working idea of how things might flow, put the routine where everyone can see it. Consider making copies for each person or to put in several rooms.

Be prepared to give yourself grace. I can promise you that the first routine you write out will not be the final one. Your homeschool routine will grow and change as your family’s season of life changes.

5 thoughts on “How to Build a Homeschool Routine”

  1. Do you have any ideas on how to get my 2nd grader to do his creative writing journal? I have been trying to find a way to get him to do his creative writing without a fuss. Needless to say IT DOESN’T HAPPEN! I’m starting to feel like I am failing with this whole homeschooling thing.

    • I realize many months have passed since this comment, but I’ll give you my thoughts anyways.
      I am a mom of 4 children, ages 9, 8, 6, & 4 years old respectively. My oldest daughter absolutely loves writing, journaling, scribbling down thoughts and ideas, and my second daughter hates every second her pen is on paper unless she is making a birthday or Christmas list. 😂
      There are some very distinct personality differences between my two, and I have learned that forcing my daughter to write when she isn’t interested, isn’t always necessary. Now, obviously, at times, she has no choice. We can’t do every single subject orally every single day, and obedience must be enforced. However, if your son isn’t a writer, and you can skip that portion of the curriculum sometimes, I’d give it a try. My second daughter is very talented at working with her hands. She already knows how to crochet, and is naturally skilled at sewing, with a machine or by hand. I try to play to her strengths, and cut her some slack where she struggles, if I can.
      Again, if it is an obedience concern, that is a different thing entirely. 😬

    • Hi Jennifer. I had my second grader draw pictures in her creative writing journal. She loves drawing pictures to tell stories. She never fusses. She has naturally started to add words to her pictures now. Ans as we learn more in Language Arts, she wants to incorporate and show she can do it! Homeschooling is difficult when we try to make our children go faster than they can… it causes anxiety. I am sneaky with my daughter and stretch her educational muscles gently… by-the-way… most homeschooling moms feel like they are failing at some point.


Leave a Comment