Homeschool Block Schedule
Creating a simple homeschool block schedule can help you stay on track and relieve overwhelm throughout the year. When you plan out your homeschooling year in blocks, inspiration and fortitude are sure to follow.
In this episode of the Art of Homeschooling podcast, Ill share this simple, yet powerful planning technique. Because diving deep into one subject for several weeks at time is one of the guiding principles of holistic homeschooling.
Create a Homeschool Block Schedule for Your Year
To create a “big picture” block schedule, you assign a topic or theme to each month of your homeschooling year. Then you can plan your homeschooling lessons around this theme or block topic by choosing a read aloud or story material, developing academic, artistic, or development goals, collecting resources, focusing in on skills, and weaving in the lively arts.
When I first started planning with a block schedule, I loved creating a big, visual map of our year.
I used a large piece of paper divided into 12 squares, one for each month. Each square was titled with a month and in the square I listed the topics for each age and grade that my children were at that time. I also included resources, read alouds, or projects for each month.
I loved to chart our homeschool year like this because it strengthened my sense of purpose so much. Seeing your big picture plan can ground and inspire you!
Choosing Age-Appropriate Block Topics
Many different educational approaches can guide you to choose age-appropriate topics for each grade and age.
In the Waldorf approach, the topics for each grade are chosen to meet the developmental needs of the child at that age. I talk about this often here on the podcast and in more depth in my guides and masterclasses.
My experience has been over and over again that children respond so well to the traditional themes and topics set out in this Waldorf-inspired block rotation. And I’ve used this as a reference for all of my block planning.
Below are some highlights of the Waldorf Block Rotation and you can read a more detailed article here.
- Second Grade is a year of such sweetness, but also some mischievousness, which the Aesop’s fables and Anansi trickster tales meet so well.
- Studying measurement in Third Grade gives kiddos the skills they need for lots of hands-on, practical projects.
- The Norse myths of Fourth Grade and the Greek myths of Fifth Grade capture the imagination of children in the upper elementary grades.
- For the child in Sixth Grade, mastering that tricky decimal point can lead to fun projects in business math, such as organizing a bake sale, lemonade stand, or craft show.
Make Your Homeschool Block Schedule Work for You!
Here are some tips to craft your homeschool block schedule to meet your family’s needs and your kiddos needs:
- Consider any travel plans that your family may have as well as holidays.
- Consider bringing on theme or topic to all of your kiddos for some months. This is not always possible, so align topics and simplify wherever you can.
- Plan with the seasons, especially for block topics that can be taught outdoors, such as nature study or gardening. And also for topics that might include field trips.
- Keep a file for notes about upcoming topics to collect ideas.
Holistic Homeschooling Planning Tips
Three things to remember when creating your homeschool block schedule:
- You get to decide. You are the leader of your homeschool, the captain of the ship. And you get to choose which block topics you bring to your children and when.
- Keep in mind what’s best for you and your family when choosing when you’re going to do what topics.
- Sometimes it’s easier to just take out a piece of paper and begin to map out your vision instead of sorting through a 300-page curriculum that someone else wrote in order to figure out how to implement it with your unique children.
Learning how to design and implement my own homeschool block schedule was one of the biggest lessons learned during my 25+ years of homeschooling.
Check out the resources below if you want to learn more about my approach!
Dive Deeper as a Home Educator
- Block Outlines for Grades One through Eight: As a classroom teacher turned home educator, I began collecting resources, methods, and guidelines for homeschooling along my journey. And in my conversations at co-ops and homeschool conferences, I was often asked for resources and recommendations.
When I realized this knowledge was so helpful to homeschoolers, I gathered up notes from years of homeschooling and created block outlines for grades one through eight to guide new and experienced homeschoolers alike from year to year. You’ll find this resource as part of my Homeschool Simplicity Bundle. It’s newly revised and a great foundational resource for your homeschool journey.
- Plan It Out: Creating a homeschool block schedule is just step one of a comprehensive planning process I created, Plan It Out. This course is taught within my Inspired at Home membership and our live run through is held every June and July. If a guided planning process would be helpful to you, please join us!
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