You might be wondering what the recommended time is to start your homeschooling day, and the answers to this can vary greatly depending on many factors (which we will go into later in this post). With my 8 tips in this post, you will have the tools to help you decide what time you should start your homeschool day.
From the offset, I want to answer the question.
What time to should I start my homeschooling day?
Ultimately, the time you start your homeschool day is up to YOU as the homeschooling parent. Yep, there’s not really a right or wrong time to start your homeschooling day.
However, through this post, I will explain a bit more about choosing a time to start your homeschool day, and I hope to help you come up with the perfect time (is that a thing in the homeschooling world?!) for you to start your homeschool days.
“What Time Do you start homeschooling each day?”
When I’m asked this question, I sort of just chuckle, because almost every day of the week we start at slightly different times. I definitely take a more relaxed approach to our homeschool start times, within reason of course.
As you know, a traditional school has a specific start time and end time each day.
However, in the homeschooling world, there’s not this secret time that you’re “supposed to start” your homeschool day, or some “super magical homeschool hour” that’s supposed to be the “best” for learning.
One of the blessings of homeschooling is that you can fit homeschooling around your family’s schedule:
- When things need to be tweaked, no biggie!
- Have an appointment? No problem!
- Not a morning person? Who says you have to be up at 7 am to start school?
- Have an older child, plus younger kids homeschooling? Start them at different times!
- Have a morning meeting? Start school in the afternoon!
- Plan on doing year-round homeschooling? Your start time can be whatever you want it to be!
Your homeschool start time is completely up to you as the homeschool mom or parent.
Now, I’m going to tell you how we do it, and then I will give you tips on how to come up with your own homeschool scheduled start time.
Our homeschooling start time
For us, I take a more relaxed approach in our homeschool schedule, and what time we start our homeschool day, is one of them.
- Monday– We typically sleep in a tad bit because the day before, we have church two times. So when Monday rolls around, my homeschoolers are a bit pooped and need just a few more hours of snooze time. Therefore, Monday’s we are typically starting our homeschool morning around 10:00 am.
- Tuesday- I like to try and get up a bit earlier to begin our school day because we have church in the evening on both Tuesday and Wednesday, so I like us to begin homeschool around 9:00 am-9:30 am.
- Wednesday- (See above)
- Thursday– Thursdays are one of our free days from church, so Thursday’s homeschool start times vary. Sometimes we will get up early and knock out our school work, so we can have the rest of the day free. And sometimes we will sleep in a bit and start our homeschool schedule later.
- Friday- This is our off day, and we typically take off from school. Therefore, Friday is a no school day for us.
As you can see, the time you choose to start your homeschooling day can greatly vary.
8 Tips to help you choose what time to start your homeschool daily routine
As I mentioned above, what time you start your homeschool day will vary greatly from family to family, and depends on many factors.
So now, let me help you out with the deciding factors!
1. What important reoccurring events do you have during the week? Aka, what can affect your homeschool start time?
Do you have church in the evening on some days during the week?
Or maybe some sort of extracurricular activity, that has you getting home late on a school night, thus making really early homeschool start times, not a real convenient option?
For us, this is a major factor, and I have found that forcing my children to wake up early after they went to bed really late the night before, has caused a lot of meltdowns and frustration on all of us during school time.
Therefore, we give ourselves some grace and begin our homeschool start time later than typical public school hours.
What recurring events do you have each week that could possibly affect your homeschool start time?
2. Do you have a scheduled appointment during the week that can get in the way of your homeschool start time schedule?
In a perfect world, when possible, I like to schedule our appointments after school hours, that way we aren’t stopping in the middle of a homeschool lesson to go to an appointment.
But when this cannot be avoided and you have an early AM appointment or one directly in the middle of the afternoon, you might decide to start homeschool after the appointment, OR earlier in the morning to get some schooling done before you leave, and then continue with the rest of your daily homeschool routine afterwards.
If you have appointments, a morning meeting, etc., starting your homeschool day around that appointment or meeting works out the best.
3. Do you, as the homeschooling parent work a job?
For some homeschooling parents, this isn’t the case. * I work from home on a few different businesses I own, so usually, I can choose my hours, but sometimes I do have to get stuff done during our normal schooling hours.**
However, there have been times and are times when some working parents are either forced to homeschool, aka do remote learning or virtual learning (thanks COVID), and they might just need to begin their homeschool day after they get off of work.
Or, their are some homeschool parents who choose to homeschool their children even though they still work a full or part-time job. And if this is you, give yourself a pat on the back; you’re awesome!
Now, if you do work a job and are trying to juggle homeschool and work, this is when the “traditional school start time” might not be the best option for you.
And not one way or the other is necessarily “better”.
I mean, who’s the one who establishes what’s better?!
Let me give you an example of how you could balance homeschool and working
Let’s say you work a part-time job from 8 am-12 pm.
You can have your children who are older, do some of their homeschool lessons that are “open and go” by themselves in the morning.
Then, complete the larger activities and assignments such as science projects or anything that requires more hands-on from the parent, to be done after you get off of work.
Or, you can choose to start your homeschool day after you get off, aka, more of an evening schooling approach. Which is fine also!
Do what works for you and your family!
4. Does your child seem more attentive early in the morning, afternoon, or evening when learning or studying?
Okay, I might get some haters for this, but hear me out.
All of our children are different and some might function well with a morning routine.
However, some children might learn better when starting in the afternoons.
And some, might do better studying in the evenings.
I know for me personally, the time I’m able to get super focused and knock out a bunch of work, is in the evenings, as I am a total evening and night person. Now, try and get me to do something really productive in the early morning, and I’m not as good at that.
If you have noticed that early morning start times have your kiddos dragging, whining, and not focused on their schooling because they’re too tired or their brains aren’t awake yet, then maybe starting a bit later, say, early in the afternoon might work better for your family.
While children are young, such as early elementary school age, this is when I am a bit lax on them and their start times. I want them to sleep as long as their little bodies need to, to function properly, especially because we have many late nights in our weekly schedules.
And yes, I know this is where the whole, “send your kids to bed early, so they can wake up early” idea comes in. And yes, that’s all fine and dandy on some nights.
But again, if you’re like our family and you have church or other activities multiple times during the week, and you don’t get home until almost 10 pm in the evening on those nights, this means your kids don’t get to bed until around 11 pm.
I’d rather them sleep in until 8 am or 9 am, get a good night’s rest, so they’re not sleepy zombies during their lessons in the morning, and do school until 2 pm – 3 pm, rather than them getting up at 6 am and be done at school by 12 pm.
Do you see what I’m saying?
5. Will you take a summer break, or not?
To take a summer break, or not to take a summer break, that is the question!
For some homeschooling families, they choose to do year-round schooling, meaning, they don’t take off school for a summer break during the summer.
If you choose to do year round homeschooling, you could be a bit more lax with your school start times, because you’re schooling year round and will cover a ton of hours of schooling each year.
If you DO want a summer break, then you’ll want to make sure you get enough schooling done to finish off the homeschool year before summertime, thus, starting at decent times each day to where your kiddos can finish their lessons and the state requirements for “total hours of homeschooling”.
Psst.. did you know that you can “school” without it being solely relied upon pen and paper? If so, You would like my post, “19 Non-Traditional Learning Activities for Your Homeschool Mornings”!
6. How much structure do you really want in your homeschool?
Let me be straight up with you. Choosing NOT TO start a specific time each day would equal, LESS STRUCTURED.
Choosing to start at 8 am on Monday, 10 am on Tuesday, 9:30 am on Wednesday, and so on, each week, would= structured, even though they are different school start times, they are still planned and started on time each day.
Depending on what start time you choose, this does not mean that your children doesn’t need structure, or shouldn’t be made to do some things they don’t want to in order to learn some valuable life skills.
Because there will be a time when they WILL have to get up early when they don’t want to, like, get up for work, or a meeting.
And school starting early does help them get in the groove of that. For sure!
So, if you are super big on structure, then the approach you take to starting your homeschool days should reflect that, and block scheduling might also be helpful for you!
7. How much flexibility do you want in your homeschool?
If you want flexibility in your life, even though you’re homeschooling, then choosing to let your start times vary from day to day depending on what’s going on, and fluctuate, is what probably would work best for you.
8. Doing things backwards!
What time do you want your homeschool day to end?
This idea is simple- Choose the time you’d like to have school lessons finished by, calculate the hours you think it will take to complete your lessons and homeschool projects for the day, and work backward to figure out your start time!
Example- If I want to be done with school by 2 pm, and we have about 4 hours of homeschool lessons and projects, take about two 15 minute quick breaks, plus take a 30 minute lunch break, I’d want us to begin school at 9 am.
You see what I mean?
Final thoughts on deciding what time to start your homeschooling day
At the end of the day, your homeschool start time is up to you as the homeschool parent.
Remember that not one idea, or one person’s schedule works for everyone.
Choose what works for you, create a homeschool daily schedule if needbe, and roll with it!
If you want to learn all about keeping your homeschool ideas, lessons, and more all organized in one place…
Then you’ll love my digital homeschool planning system that I give away for free.
Check out how I use Trello to plan out and keep our homeschool organized!
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