Your schedule may just need a makeover. Whether you teach a large group of elementary children or you work with a wide range of age groups, trying to fit every subject and concept you want to cover into your day can be a balancing act! It can be very challenging and at times stressful. A key thing to remember when building a schedule is to do what works best for you and your family. That is the beauty of establishing your own program, and not having to conform to the normal “Monday through Friday” schedule. Teaching every subject EVERY day may be a bit much for some to fathom. Let's face it, life happens! Whether that be an illness, family emergency, or appointment which must be made, we try to plan our teaching days the best we can, yet, we must remember, Al hamdulillah, WE ARE NOT IN CONTROL OF THE DECREE. As educators and homemakers, we must learn how to adjust our schedule to life’s sudden trials and changes.
Traditionally, subjects are assigned to specific days. With loop or block scheduling, you are able to have the flexibility to set how often the number of days you would like to focus on a particular subject.
Let the battle between Loop Scheduling Vs Block Scheduling begin!
So what is Loop Scheduling?
Loop scheduling is a way for you to reduce the stress that comes from skipping or missing subjects. Loop scheduling doesn’t assign a particular subject to a particular day. Instead, you have a list (loop) of work that you do during a certain time period. At the start of your school week, you simply move from one subject to the next subject on the list and then so on the following day.
Let me give you a scenario …
Let’s say you would like to tie in geography, nature study, and science with your core subjects on a regular basis. You have allotted yourself about an hour to spend working on these areas.
On Monday, you begin with geography. You structure a writing assignment around a short National Geographic article and video.
On Tuesday, you are blessed with a beautiful day and you are able to get outside, observe and read about your local birds.
On Wednesday, you and a couple of your family members are faced with serious colds and you are not able to complete your day of instruction.
On Thursday, you are feeling a little better and can read a couple chapters with your students followed by a science experiment and report.
What will you do on a Friday? You have the choice to either begin with geography once again or enjoy Yaumul Jumuah with your family (after a long week of study, this can be a much needed refresher and beneficial reminder!)
There you have it! The next day you just pick up where you left off and do the next subject. You haven’t missed anything and you have not fallen behind.
How to create a loop schedule?
1. Decide which subjects to loop and list them on your FREE “Schedule Planning Sheet” printable.
*keep in mind core subjects like math or other basic skill subjects that may still be done daily and not put into the loop.
2. Determine how many times you want each subject to appear in the loop. Assign the frequency next to each subject in your printable.
*for example, you want to include geography and art in the loop, but you want to do geography two times for every one time you do art. Write the number two next to Geography and the number one next to art.
3. Complete! Now you have a clear vision at the start of your day that you can check off as each subject gets completed. After you complete the loop, erase and start again (or place in a page protector or frame for durability).
What is Block Scheduling?
If you are looking to focus deeper on just a few subjects at a time, block scheduling may be for you. You can use this method to organize your subjects in a way so you are doing fewer subjects at any given time, thus, allowing you to spend more time on a subject. Another way block scheduling can be really helpful is when you have an abundance of subjects you would like to offer your children. Let’s say you would like to incorporate nature study, biography study, and poetry into your core subjects. You could spend one four-week term on each subject, incorporating the subject into your schedule every day or a few times a week.