1. Create a Schedule that Works for YOU!
Are you type A that needs every second planned out, or are you more 'go with the flow' where structure freaks you out? I've learned that even though I am more of the latter, kids need structure! What has worked best for us, is to map out the flow of the day, and give each day grace to change or be different than planned. We still get ready in the same order, do morning basket first, then the 'harder' subjects, but if it happens at 2 pm instead of 10 am, it won't be too big of a deal. Our goal will be what's on the paper, but if something happens, we will roll with it!
I also give myself a blank side in in my bullet journal, to change the schedule later, when we've figured out what works and what doesn't. This way I'm not beating myself up every day for something that is simply not working for our family. Once you figure out how you want your day to flow, you figure out how you want to write it out.
If you are artsy, let the creative juices flow when creating your schedule. Make something that is pleasing to look at, and motivates you to tackle each morning. Kids love color and pictures (and it's helpful when they don't know how to read yet!) , so making something interesting for them to look at, also helps them to look forward to each day.
This goes back to what I said before, but even this can vary from person to person on what works and doesn't work. I'll give a few suggestions (and what I am using), but ultimately it's up to you. You may need to try 2 or 3 ways before you figure out what works, but that's okay! The beauty of homeschool is that you can change things up, and customize things to fit your family.
Types of schedules:
Simply writing/typing it out.
This is what I did, and we will see how it works! I am also using the Melissa and Doug Responsibility Chart to keep up with Little Man's Chores. I let Little Man put his favorite stickers on his schedule to decorate it, and although it's still pretty simple, he loves it!
This is what my mom used. I am linking something similar, but essentially, she would have a short summery of what the young ones would be doing, plus an activity they could do while the older ones did their school. She would then draw and laminate the paper with the activities listed, let the kids pick out small stickers and laminate and apply velcro to the backs. When the kids had completed their tasks, they would put the sticker beside it. For her own planner, she would use an actual homeschool planner created for homeschooling several at once (she had 6 children).
I love this one by Peaceful Press! Graphics are simple, but cute, and I could see the kids loving this. After doing research for this post I am now wondering if I want to switch and use this! It's only $5, and everything I've bought from them, I've absolutely loved!
3. Implement Your Schedule Early
My last tip is to start a 'trial' of your schedule a couple of weeks before you start school (don't worry if you've already started! That's what nice about having a schedule that's flexible). The way I did this, this time, is have it start the week my husband went back to work. We had one complete week with him gone, and now we will have one week of me adding my piano lessons (I am a piano teacher) before we start school. This way we can already get a routine flowing before the 'real deal' begins.
Which method works best for you? Let me know in the comments!