What is a Homeschool Loop Schedule?
When I first heard someone mention the term looping, I was incredibly intrigued.
What in the world is this homeschool loop thing, and how can I fit it into my little corner of the world?
After some research and hearing firsthand how other homeschool parents utilize a homeschool loop schedule for all their extras, I quickly decided that homeschool looping was simply something I had to try.
The concept of looping is simple.
You set aside a small (or large if you wish) portion of your homeschool day for specific core subjects, extra hands-on activities, or electives.
Then, you take all the subjects and activities you wish to loop through and create a simple homeschool loop schedule.
For example, if your kiddo has 3 core subjects that they do on a daily basis but they also have 3 additional core subjects that you are struggling to fit in, you can simply loop through the remaining subjects by only working on one of them at a time.
Monday can be core subjects + subject a, while Tuesday is core subjects + subject b, and so on.
With that said, you can do activity-based looping or you can strictly stick to core subjects and electives.
As a busy homeschool mom, I totally understand how incredibly easy it is to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of activities that need to be completed throughout the day, all while homeschooling multiple ages.
While I totally want my kiddos to learn all the things, I simply don’t have the time or energy to make that happen.
Creating a homeschool loop schedule allows you the flexibility you need during your homeschool day while keeping things fresh and interesting from week to week.
Our Homeschool Loop Schedule
When I first decided I wanted to create a homeschool loop schedule as a part of our 3 day homeschool week, I wasn’t quite sure how to make it work.
Then it hit me.
My 5-year-old daughter participates in a 45-minute quiet time routine every afternoon and this would be the perfect time to experiment with a loop schedule of activity-based extras for my 2 older boys.
So, I set up some tables in our living room, put out a few different hands-on activities, and let them enjoy 45 uninterrupted minutes of homeschool extras.
I had a puzzle table, a workbook station, and a table for science extras we had skipped over earlier in the year.
Our first day of adding in extras was a total success!
With that said, my 5-year-old daughter quickly felt as though she was missing out on something amazing when the boys’ quiet time routine changed to an activity-based looping time.
So, after some brainstorming, I decided to create a homeschool loop schedule for all of my kiddos!
Homeschool Looping for Littles
After our test run, the first thing I wanted to tackle was the what.
What did I want our homeschool loop schedule to consist of?
For my youngest, I decided we would only loop through hands-on activities.
Her list of educational subjects was already pretty short and I didn’t have a ton of extras built in, so there simply wasn’t a need for looping through those.
So, I quickly made out a list of activities I wanted to include in her loop schedule and we traded our full 45-minute quiet time routine for a 25-minute quiet time followed by a 20-minute loop time.
My daughter rests for 25-30 minutes and gets to choose an activity as a reward.
Surprisingly, this was a super smooth transition.
After a hefty brainstorming session, I finally had a long list of items and activities to lean on for my youngest and I simply put 2-3 of those on her schedule for each day.
I do this simply because it gives her the option to choose which activity to do for that particular day.
She is a very independent child so giving options is definitely a must!
With that said, I do try to keep all activity options for the day in a similar category.
For example, I plan math-based activities for one day and motor skills for another.
Homeschool Looping for Bigs
Once I tackled the what for my youngest, I moved on to figuring out what I wanted my boys to loop through during this time.
Since their workload was a little heavier, I chose to do a mixture of hands-on activities and electives.
While my daughter’s looping time is pretty straightforward and simple to plan, my boys’ loop schedule takes a little more planning time and effort.
Every few weeks I sit down with my big kids to brainstorm ideas for our upcoming looping sessions and we write out a list.
Sometimes we need to keep things more academically focused because we have experiments or projects we have put off, while other times we can simply focus on adding more fun to our homeschool schedule!
Homeschool Loop Activities & Ideas
Setting aside a small portion of our homeschool day to loop through different activities has been such a blessing for our homeschool!
My older kids get the chance to work through their educational extras like workbooks and electives while still fitting in fun activities like board games and free play.
My youngest has a more successful quiet time because she has something fun to look forward to and I get a solid 45 minutes to accomplish something on my own.
Sometimes I even plan an activity for all my kids to partake in together.
Check out some of my favorite homeschool loop activities to lean on!
- Board games that can be played with siblings or independently.
- Crafting with things like play-dough, clay, beads, or watercolors.
- Marble mazes or other physics-type activities kids can build on their own.
- Science studies with library books. Pick an animal, draw it, write 3 facts about it, etc…
- Coloring books or specific drawing activities such as drawing with eyes closed or Pictionary.
- Legos, blocks, or magnetic building toys. Jazz it up by creating challenges for them to build!
- Foreign languages that kids can work on independently, such as workbooks or apps.
- Osmo learning system or other learning apps and devices.
- Workbooks or flashcards that can be done independently to brush up on skills.
- Simple puzzles that can be completed within the time allotted (or leave it up for several looping sessions)
- Simple STEAM projects or science experiments
*Note: Your homeschool loop schedule can be filled with anything you choose!
These are just some of the fun ideas we lean on in our own home.
Creating Your Own Homeschool Loop Schedule
While some homeschool parents tend to be super structured and others lean on the side of unschooling, I consider myself somewhere in between.
I truly believe that being stuck in the middle is why looping through extra activities just works, you guys.
It gives our homeschool the balance it needs while allowing me to be the mom who doesn’t have to do it all.
I’m able to create a structured plan for learning and allow a little free-range play
If creating a homeschool loop schedule is something you’d like to test with your own kiddos, I highly encourage you to take those first steps and give it a try!
You can easily create a realistic plan for your homeschool in these simple steps.
Create a Plan
Take some time to sit down and do a little brainstorming.
Figure out what you want looping to look like for your homeschool.
Do you have too many subjects on your plate or do you need to allow time for more hands-on activities?
You can easily use your homeschool loop schedule to focus on additional educational material and have your children loop through a different subject each day — from foreign languages to science experiments.
The choice really is up to you!
*TIP: While random and spontaneous can be fun at times, you will find that looping goes much better when you know what’s coming!
While planning your loop schedule, simply think about what your children enjoy doing during their free time and what things keep them engaged while still learning, but don’t forget to consider what you need to accomplish in your homeschool as well.
Test the Waters
Once your plan is in place, it’s time to do a test run.
Start with simple, easy-to-complete tasks.
Then, mix it up.
Don’t be afraid to change it up week after week and try something completely different.
Once you have figured out your best fit, stick with it!
Taking the time to plan your homeschool loop schedule while you lesson plan is essential.
With that said, don’t forget to allow yourself a little grace and flexibility as you go.
While being consistent with a looping schedule can be wonderful, letting your kiddos throw the schedule out the window to swap it for field trips or outdoor play instead can be completely refreshing as well.
Love this article? Check out our full list of activities to loop through and don’t forget to share this post on social media!