Experienced homeschoolers know that you can’t just wake up each day, open the textbooks, and decide how much work to do that day. There are too many factors that can make this an inconsistent result from the student's mood when they wake up, unexpected events that come up during the day, and how much the parent feels like teaching that day, to name a few. Instead, it would be best if you had an organized plan that holds parent and student accountable, shows progress, and has flexibility included if some things need to be moved around.

Elementary students from K-2nd grade are typically enrolled in a print curriculum through the top homeschool programs because they are still young, and having a textbook to hold provides the visual learning they need for these ages. The best 2nd grade homeschool curriculum will prepare them for the next level and potentially transition to online if they feel ready. 

The student is comfortable with the switch. The print curriculum for every grade will come with a lesson planner for each subject as a tool so parents can see approximately how much work needs to be done daily. Holidays and breaks are built into the schedule, and parents can make notes when they need to change the plan due to family vacation or unplanned events. This is a critical resource and should be used to its fullest extent, possibly putting it on a calendar where everyone can regularly see the schedule.

The next part of planning out the day is setting a start and finish time for school hours. These don’t have to be rigid, but it helps give younger kids a definitive time when they need to be ready to begin their learning and an end time to look forward to when they can go into a different activity. Parents should decide whether they want to do further planning by creating an order for each subject and how much time will be spent before moving to the next class. This may be too strict to start with because younger students learn the process and may vary on how much time they need to grasp concepts until they figure out their strengths and weaknesses. With the best 2nd-grade homeschool curriculum, parents can try this structure out in this grade to see if it helps the process and then quickly revert if it appears to create more issues and pressure than is beneficial. As students get older, they may apply this type of schedule on their own to keep them task oriented and to ensure they get through all the work every day.

The majority of homeschool families have a specific area in the house set aside for school whether it is a room, desks in each of the bedrooms, the dining table or maybe even the porch. It is helpful to have a single location as a standard so kids know where to go to begin their school day, but it is nice to change this up every so often to give everyone a different scenery. If parents find this approach doesn’t work with their students, they can keep with the start/end time and set boundaries such as needing to be in one of the main living areas. Remember that this may also evolve based on grade levels as younger students need a hard surface and position to complete the textbooks. In comparison, older online students can have flexibility because they are on tablets or laptops and independent study with less parent interaction.

One of the critical mistakes that parents can make is not setting time aside during the day for grading, paperwork, and progress checks. With younger students, it is easier to do this as they go instead of leaving until the end of the day or assigning the elementary student a task they can do on their own and use that time. It is not fair to let it stack up or wait too long to submit documentation when needed or check online student's progress. Issues caught earlier are easier to handle and resolve, so parents should contact the program staff if they have any questions or need additional help to keep the students moving forward in their learning. If you start with the best 2nd grade homeschool curriculum with a lesson planner, then everything else can be built through trial and error until the family finds the schedule that works best. Kids don’t all need to start school at the crack of dawn if they do better with getting extra sleep and working later. Parents also need to build in additional days if they need to take a day off for whatever reason and then use that ‘extra’ as a catch-up day, so the entire schedule does not get off track. Keep in mind that even with using an online homeschool program, there is still plenty of room for flexibility and adjustments to make the family unit's homeschool experience work.