Learn what a homeschool loop schedule is and how to use one to simplify your day. Spend less time stressing and more time connecting.
When we first started homeschooling, everything was so basic. With only a kindergartner to teach the core subjects of math, language arts, and handwriting, it was super easy to cover everything in a short period of time. But as I add more school age kids and subjects, things get more complicated.
My mindset is always how can I cover the most topics without us doing school all day? How can I make sure we have time to get to the necessary items, but also dive more into the things that interest us? (And I say us because I love learning too! Sometimes the subjects I love learning about are a great way to introduce the kids to a new topic.) What is the best schedule to ensure we have time for learning AND all of the extras, like field trips, exploring, playing, hiking, baking, etc.?
With the plan to homeschool all four kids eventually, I knew I needed a way to cover all of the subjects, without stressing out about finding the time. And still have plenty of time for connection and building relationships. (Because we all have the same amount of time in our day…it’s just a matter of how many kids we have and how we use our time.)
So when I heard a few friends talking about a loop schedule, I was curious and began to ask questions. The more I heard about it, the more it sounded like the solution to all of my problems.
What Is a Homeschool Loop Schedule?
First let’s talk about two other types of schedules. First, you could complete a lesson in every subject each day. This works great with a kindergartener or even first grader. But as you add more students or get to higher grade levels, the problem with this method is that it drastically reduces the number of topics you can cover in a day.
The second way is called a block schedule. This is where you block out times of the day for specific things. For example, you might say 7-8:00 am is breakfast and morning chores, morning basket is 8-9:00 am, 9-9:30 am is math, 9:30-10:00 am is language arts, etc. The problem with this type of schedule is that it can easily get thrown off, leaving you feeling frustrated and taking it out on the kids. Kids sleeping in randomly, tantrums, potty breaks, snacks, all of the toddler and baby interruptions, etc. (You know! You’re a mom too, lol.)
A homeschool loop schedule is a way to get to all of the subjects, but not necessarily cover all of them every day. If you keep getting to the end of “school” time without covering every subject, a loop schedule may be just what you need!
You create your homeschool loop schedule by making a list of EVERY subject you want to cover. Then you work your way through the list from top to bottom. Once you reach the bottom, you start back at the top again. Instead of focusing on time, you focus on the order of tasks to complete.
Don’t worry. I’m going to break this down more for you, so keep reading!
But first, add your email below to get a super helpful download for planning your loop schedule.
Benefits of a Homeschool Loop Schedule
Using a loop schedule is amazing for reducing stress and allowing you to cover more subjects! Whether you have 30 minutes or 2 hours, start at the next subject on your list and go until you run out of time. Then the next day start back at the subject where you left off. This gives you the freedom to add that nature study, Shakespeare reading, poetry time, or composer study that you have been dreaming about.
A loop schedule also helps you get to the end of your school day and feel accomplished. Instead of getting to the end of the day and seeing all the subjects you didn’t have time to get to. By rotating subjects, you will be able to cover more instead of leaving the same subject off every day because there wasn’t time.
Another huge benefit of implementing a loop schedule is that it allows for interruptions…because we know there will be plenty! If you always plan to do art on Fridays, but then something is always coming up like sickness, trips, grocery runs, etc., then you will never get to art. But if you include it in your homeschool loop schedule, then it is covered when you get to it on the list no matter the day.
Subjects to Include in Your Homeschool Loop Schedule
Now it’s time to decide what subjects to include in your homeschool loop schedule. For most families, math and language arts are covered every day. That means they aren’t included in the loop. (We do things a little bit differently as you will see below…) Other subjects that probably need to be every day are foreign language and music. Learning either of these requires lots of practice so putting them into a loop schedule isn’t the best option.
Note: If music for your family looks more like learning about different composers, that is perfect to incorporate into a loop schedule.
The subjects you want to include in your homeschool loop schedule are ones that only need to be covered once or twice a week. Subjects like geography, history, science, art, music, poetry, etc.
How do you decide if a subject belongs in your homeschool loop schedule? Take a look at the curriculum and see how many lessons are in it. Then, check out your school calendar and see roughly how many weeks you plan to do school. Divide the number of lessons by the number of weeks and see what you get. If you don’t plan way ahead and have the exact number of weeks, that’s ok. I don’t either! It’s a rough estimate based on holidays and about how much time I would like to take off for summer. We take lots of other random breaks throughout the year too.
Example: Our history curriculum has 90 lessons. We plan to do schoolwork roughly 42 weeks out of the year. That means we need to complete two lessons a week. Geography has 36 lessons, so we need to do one lesson a week.
Create the Perfect Homeschool Loop Schedule
First thing to note…you will probably never have the “perfect” homeschool loop schedule because there will always be something that needs to be tweaked or changed. That is what I love so much about homeschooling! We have the ability to change whatever we want, whenever we want. If you hate the curriculum you bought, no one is really into learning about music, or you are struggling to get through your read aloud book…change it. There is no need to force something that isn’t working!
When you are ready to sit down and create your homeschool loop schedule, write out all of the subjects for the year. Make sure to include core subjects (math, language arts, etc.), non-negotiable subjects (Bible, music, etc.), and extras you would like to find time to cover. Once you have everything listed, it’s time to decide what to include in your loop.
Create the perfect homeschool loop schedule for your family by constantly reevaluating and being willing to change things up.
Example Homeschool Loop Schedule:
Most families choose to complete a lesson in both math and language arts each day, so they are not in the loop schedule. Then you have your non-negotiable subjects that you want to cover every day. Bible is our subject that we cover every day first thing. Other non-negotiables could be learning/practicing a new language or music if it involves taking lessons and practicing an instrument. Anything that you feel strongly about covering every day.
Loop 1: History & Science
Both of these subjects need two lessons completed every week. That leaves one school day that is either much shorter or a day that can be spent with hands on learning, field trips, hiking, etc.
This is for all the extras. All the little studies you want to cover but can’t figure out where to include them. Want to focus on poetry once a week? Interested in learning hymns with your children? Do you want to spend time learning more about famous artists and composers? Add each subject to your homeschool loop schedule to ensure that it doesn’t get left off anymore.
What are the subjects consistently getting left out of your homeschool day? How can I help you fit them in to your day? Let’s chat in the COMMENTS.
More Posts Like This:
- Daily Rhythm for Homeschool Moms
- Summer Homeschool Schedule Ideas
- How to Put Together a Morning Basket
- Read Aloud Activities to Improve Listening
- How to Put Together a Simple Bat Study