By request on How to Homeschool High School: Scheduling for Homeschool High School.
How to Homeschool High School: Scheduling for Homeschool High School
We sometimes receive questions about scheduling for homeschool high school. That is understandable. There are so many things that must be covered for each year of high school. Not only that, teens (even in these more secluded days of COVID-19) have more demands on them to be part of extracurriculars, volunteer work and activities that will prepare them for life after graduation.
SO, let’s talk about scheduling for your high schoolers!
The first thing you have to know is that there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school.
- Beware of “experts” who try to tell you they have THE right way to schedule your teens! The truth is that they have the right way to schedule THEIR teens.
- However, you can happily glean ideas from scheduling experts, then shape ideas to fit your unique high schoolers’ needs.
We 7Sisters have had so many different kinds of homeschool high schoolers! We have found that different ways to manage time varies by teens. Here are some ideas we have learned over the decades of homeschooling our teens (and advising hundreds of other local homeschoolers through their graduation).
Find a format for scheduling
We all have something that works (even if it only works for us for one year).
- We asked our 7th Sisters (there are 6 of us 7Sisters, you know…so who’s the 7th Sister? YOU are!) what they and their teens like to use for their schedules. Their suggestions (along with other time management tips) are in this post.
- For instance, some use Google calendars, some use Trello, some use paper planners. There are so many choices! (Our friend, Melanie Wilson has a good planner. We are not affiliates, btw.)
Work with your teens to set goals for the year so you are all on the same page on priorities
- Here’s our Authoritative Guide to Planning Homeschool High School which covers what you need for goal setting (check out all our Authoritative Guide posts).
- You might also like Homeschool Highschool Podcast episodes on goals
Once goals are clear, work with your teens to understand their learning rhythms
- Some teens have definite opinions and are self-aware enough that they will have definite opinions about their daily and/or weekly schedules
- Some teens do not have a clue about what kind of schedule will work. These teens may need you to come up with a basic schedule to try for a month, then make changes as you go. There’s a basic schedule suggestion in this post that you can adapt to your needs (along with some cool resources).
- Some teens want to figure it out on their own (this requires more checkins with mom to make sure things are actually getting done).
- Some teens will feel best if they have the same schedule each week.
- Some teens want the same schedule each week but need a change-up at the end of each semester
- Some teens like the rhythm of block scheduling best.
- Some teens need the consistency of year-round homeschooling.
- Check out this post for specifics on these scheduling ideas, this post on integrating your planning and scheduling, as well as this Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode.
Once you have an idea about your homeschool high schoolers’ learning rhythms, help them set SMART goals
- This is a key adulting skill that teens can learn now for success this year and in adulthood! SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Limited goals that help them keep schedules and priorities in line.
- Download this freebie SMART goals worksheet to help.
Don’t forget to use a syllabus!
- While syllabi are not necessary in all courses, it is nice for teens to use them to keep themselves organized on specifically WHAT to study each day.
- We have some suggested syllabi for a number of our texts. They are no-charge in the ebookstore.
No matter what you decide, stay in touch with your teens
Homeschool high schoolers are like any human, they do better when they know someone cares about what they are doing.
- Decide on when to have check-ins: weekly, daily, monthly?
- It’s kind of like being in the workplace, if we have a good boss, we look forward to regular one-on-one’s for support and accountability. Here’s a post with ideas.
- That does not mean we don’t expect independent learning. One of the most important gifts we can give our teens is the gift of guiding their own learning on a day-to-day basis.
Whatever you do for scheduling, remember, it is adjustable. If it quits working, try something else. And remember: you 7Sisters care. (One place you can see this is in our Facebook group: there are lots of 7th Sisters ready with ideas to help, so join us!)
Here are some more resources from 7Sisters and our friends (BTW, we’re not affiliates, we just like our friends’ wisdom):
- If you have a senior and need help scheduling that last year’s writing, check out this post.
- Homeschool Mastery Academy shares Three Ways to Schedule Homeschool High School.
- Adventures in Mommydom shares: Plan Your Homeschool Year!
- BJ’s Homeschool shares: A Week in my Homeschool Teen’s Life