The Family Guide to Homeschool Conventions

Finding Inspiration to Refresh and Renew Your Homeschool: The Family Guide to Homeschool Conventions

Homeschool convention season is in full swing. Conventions are a wonderful way to connect with other local homeschooling families, discover new curriculum, hear expert talks, and find refreshment. Often by this time of the year, we’re in the winter doldrums and may be beginning to feel burnt out on homeschooling. Perhaps we’re using a curriculum that’s not working well for our children, perhaps we’re struggling to find time management to get it all done or feeling pressure from family members about our homeschool choices. Find yourself a great convention to renew and find inspiration for the rest of our school year and the school ear to come.


However, they can also be incredibly overwhelming. With of people, tables, information overload. We hope to help you navigate homeschool conventions and get the most out of your experiences.


·        Pick wisely- it can be tempting to go to every convention in your area. Pick the main one you’re interested in and start with it this year. You can always try another convention next year.

·        Use the buddy system. If you have another homeschooling friend, go together! Especially if one of you has been to this conference before.

·       Connect in-person. Homeschool conventions are a fantastic way to meet people you know from online groups. Make sure to exchange numbers or pick a time & place for the members of your group to meet. Beautiful friendships can form from meeting your digital friends at conventions!

·        Get help with the kids. Many homeschool conventions offer a kid’s program. If not, consider getting a sitter or attending with your spouse, mom, mother-in-law, etc. Having another set of hands to help with kids ensures you can get all the information you want, ask lots of questions to vendors, and have a well-deserved break.

·        Make a schedule. Your convention will provide a master schedule of events. There will most likely be more to do than you’re able to do in your time there. Make your own schedule so you can get everything in that you’re hoping for. Make sure to think about what you’re hoping to accomplish most. If you’re most in need of curriculum, budget more time for looking through the tables. If you’re most going for the social time, budget that in. Allow some wiggle room too.

·        Check the rules. Yes, homeschool conventions have rules. Some have rules regarding what you can and cannot bring, as well as helpful suggestions on what to wear.

·       Familiarize yourself with the area. Do you need to bring your own food? If you have food allergies, make sure there is a restaurant nearby that you can safely eat at or see if there is a cafeteria or tables at the convention for you to eat a sack lunch. Scope out a park for the kids to burn off some energy at, and check out local attractions If you can tack on some extra time.

·       Budget your money and bring cash. It can be tempting to splurge on the sales you’ll find. Before you know it, you’ve spent an entire paycheck! Make sure to budget BEFORE you go. And bring cash, oftentimes at the end of conventions, vendors will have deep discounts on the materials left on-hand for cash payments only.

·        Look over the vendor list first. Your convention materials will provide a vendor list. Scope out their website, blog, and social media outlets before the conference. Make a list of questions you want to ask any vendors and know who your “must see,” “would like to see,” and “avoid” vendors are.

·        Know what you need and want. Before you go, make sure to make a list of your top priorities for what to buy, who to meet, and what to learn.

·        Scope out the venue. If you can, scope it out BEFORE the event & you create your schedule. This will help you get an idea for how big the event is. Sometimes larger conventions will even have a map on their website beforehand. When you arrive at the convention, do a quick walkthrough of the venue. Don’t stop, don’t talk to anyone yet. Just get a feel for it and scope out where your “must see” tables are.

·        Bring a rolling suitcase or comfortable bag. If you’re planning to buy a lot, bring a rolling suitcase or small cart to put all your purchases in. This will help you avoid having to haul heavy books through the exhibition hall.

·        Keep an extra bag on hand (or 2). Having an extra small-bag for flyers is always a clever idea. Then you can quickly sort out the flyers you’re interested in and what need to go in the recycling bin. A second bag for freebies is a good idea too.

·        Bring address labels. These conventions have giveaways galore- you could spend the entire time filling out entry forms, or bring sticky labels to plop on and go! Make sure they include address, number, and email address.

·        Hydrate, eat and be comfortable. Those cute shoes you have that are super uncomfortable?   Don’t even think about them. Wear comfortable shoes, your feet will thank you. Drink plenty of water & make sure to keep a snack in your bag for each member of your family. It’s easy to lose track of time in great convention halls that have no windows!

·        Don’t forget a notebook. You’re going to want to take a lot of notes. Bring a notebook and a couple pens.

·        Take some time to reflect afterwards. Give yourself time to discuss what you learned with family and friends, to incorporate any changes you learned, and to journal. Perhaps you can get together with friends from the convention and talk about what you all learned together.

·        Enjoy!!! Homeschool conventions can feel like summer camp for grownups 😊 Enjoy, ride the post-convention joy for a while and find refreshment & renewal from your convention experience.

Come visit us at the following conventions:

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Colorado. She loves Colorado’s outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >


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21 Free Montessori Based Winter Printable Activities

Fun Holiday-themed Activities to Engage Your Children with Math and Language Arts

If you haven’t seen our free winter printables pack yet you are in for a treat. This pack is the perfect addition for your Montessori based at home schooling. But I don’t want to spoil the surprise or bore you to tears by describing every detail of all 32 activities. So I wrote a little poem that I’d like to read to you instead. Or you can just watch Jonathan read it to you in the video below...

Twas 16 days before Christmas and all through the town
The printers where whirring, putting ink down;
ShillerLearning’s FREE activity pack was created with care,
To enrich homeschooling for kids everywhere;

The children were nestled in their homeschool room,
Where winter Montessori works would be done soon;
And mamma with her printables, all fresh from her pack,
Which she just printed from her Windows or Mac,

When out from the works there arose so much learning,
The children were matching shapes by carefully turning.
Away to the mailbox I flew like a flash,
To get greeting cards for lacing which were done in a dash.

The snowmen with numbers were done with a nod
Gave the children practice learning even and odd,
When, even numbers came with snowflakes cut out,
The students learned those with a shout!

With 3-part cards, of a winter theme,
I knew in a moment they were learning.
More eager than beavers the learning came,
And the children pointed and said objects by name;

Now snowflake! now coat! Now, sled and hat!
On we continue learning words on our mat!
To the top of the shelf the winter works go,
We’ve even matched flakes of snow.

As the achievement badges are colored and done,
The children learned and had fun,
So until next month we will now wait,
For the new ShillerLearning printable pack, which will also be great.

...Happy Holidays from ShillerLearning! We hope you enjoy the first of our monthly printable packs. Every month you'll find a brand new FREE Montessori based pack.

Here are some things about this pack in particular that we think you'll love. It...

  • Is 100% FREE!!

  • Designed to be used as standalone works. But for those of you who do have our curriculum, we include some suggestions from our materials. You will still be able to use these packs without them though.

  • For many ages. Most activities are for the preschool crowd. But we also do some activities for older children. And even some that can be enjoyed by all your kids together.

  • Includes a wide range of Montessori subjects

  • Is print and go. Just like our lessons, it requires very little prep work

  • Brings all of the fun of the holiday season to Montessori

We're excited to bring these to you! Click the link below to get your own copy of the 21 free Montessori activities with printables. And don't forget to take photos of your kids having fun with them too! We love seeing your family enjoy Montessori-based fun on our Facebook page.

See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Colorado. She loves Colorado’s outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >


Part II of the Winter Literature Printable

PART II of Our Free Winter Printables.

Playdough Trees Penguin Waddles and Sugar Cookies, Oh My!

Part 2 of our Winter Literature Inspired Activity Pack is here! This pack is full of free activities your kids are sure to enjoy. Perfect for homeschooling, winter break activities, and Montessori preschools. We're excited to share it with you.

How did you like part one? Did you enjoy working through it together? We’d love to see photos on our Facebook page of your family enjoying last month’s pack.  

We’re continuing the theme of activities inspired by popular wintertime children’s books. The books these works are inspired by are:

• Without You by Sarah Weeks

• The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

• Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright

To give you a little preview, we’ve written our own rendition of “In the Bleak Midwinter”...


In the bleak mid-winter
ShillerLearning’s pack;
Language Arts and Math,
Favorite Children’s books;
Snowflake window art,
Snow ice cream,
In the bleak mid-winter

Our pack, free Montessori works
For all ages too,
STEM and science challenges
When kids come to learn:
In the bleak mid-winter
A warm and cozy time
For all of your students —
In your home.

Inspired by winterime books,
Sneezy the Snowman,
The Snowy Day too,
And Without You penguin games;
Plenty for your school time,
And new shelf works,
The children will learn together.

Make winter bird feeders
And homemade snow too,
Work on retelling stories;
Play some games without worries
From only ShillerLearning
Can you get these packs
Each and every month here
On our blog, you’ll find our tracks.

We hope you enjoy,
This part 2 pack —
If I were a student
I would sure love it;
If I were a teacher
I could use it too, —
Yes, we hope you like it, —
This free pack.

This pack is full of great Montessori inspired works.  There are over one dozen projects which you can easily incorporate into your homeschool day. Use them in your classroom, daycare, or co-op too. This month we’ve got activities for kids ages two and up and activities that muli-ages of kids can work on together. There are even some we think adults will enjoy as well.

The majority of the activities in this pack are open and go with no prep-work required. However, you will need to gather some supplies for a few of the works. Most should be things you already have around the house. If you live in an area that doesn’t get snow, or you don’t want to use snow for the “Snow ice cream” project, you can blend ice in your blender for the same effect.  

We hope you’ll enjoy these fun activities! We think they’ll help you enjoy these classic children’s books in a different way. Next month, we’re bringing you a pack that will be great for on-the-go. This way you can use them while homeschooling at homeschool conventions, Spring Break trips, and for all of you roadschoolers out there. It’s one you definitely don’t want to miss!

Grab your pack today by entering your email in the box below. Then get started right away with the first activity that catches your eye!

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Colorado. She loves Colorado’s outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >


Audrey McCormick

Audrey is a busy homeschool mom of 6, preacher’s wife, and the founder of David’s Gift, a non-profit organization that provides funds for funeral expenses for children. She was born and raised in northwest Louisiana, where she is also raising her family. When she has a little free time, she enjoys camping, hiking, scrapbooking, and other crafts. You can follow Audrey’s adventures on her blog  

Beautiful Grace. >

Montessori Free Listening Skills For Kids Activity Book

Free "Listening Skills For Kids" Activity Book

Working on listening skills with kids can feel like playing a broken record. We want our children to be attentive and aware. Yet we’re not quite sure how to *get* our children to listen and comprehend. These important skills can be difficult to teach. I can’t tell you how many frustrated parents I’ve talked to who say “My kids don’t listen to me!”

If we’re honest, we work on listening skills our whole lives. To this day I am still working on how to better hear and pay attention to the auditory input I have coming my way. Teaching our kids ways to listen, equipping them with comprehension skills, and helping them appreciate silence helps set them up for success.

Tips For Teaching Listening Skills to Children


Appreciate Silence- Recent studies have shown immense benefits of silence for the human brain. In a society that is constantly receiving auditory stimulation, silence is more golden than ever before. By allowing times of silence in our homes, we can help build listening skills. Our brains benefit from a break from all the sensory input, especially children’s brains! Plus when we embrace silence, we open our ears up to hear things we might otherwise not notice.


Repeat back- This one might seem silly. However, it’s a key tenant of communication skills. It is a highly valued listening skill. Teaching our children to “tell back” what they’ve heard helps them listen more carefully. It also helps the speaker ensure everything has been heard appropriately. Asking children to tell back what they’ve heard during story time can be a great way to build this skill. For young children, you may need to have the child tell back every few sentences. As children get older- you can move up to every few paragraphs, every few pages, and every chapter. This skill can be added to conversations as well. It’s especially helpful in conversations with details you don’t want to be missed. Have your child tell back details in their own words so you’re sure they are interpreting information as well.


Give them your full attention- I get it, hearing about Minecraft for the bazzillionth time today is not exactly what you are interested in hearing about. However, our kids are watching. When we display positive listening skills, our kids learn from our example. Taking our eyes off whatever else we might be doing to fully engage in conversation is the first step. This demonstrates we’re not distracted and can be fully present. How often have we asked our children a question while they were engrossed in a show only to realize later on they totally didn’t hear us at all? One of the top reasons kids don’t “hear” is because they’re distracted and not actually listening. We may respond while watching TV or browsing Facebook. The truth is our minds are not fully aware and we’re responded by rote habit, not true attentive listening. If we model attentiveness, eye contact, and active listening it helps our children become better listeners. It will also benefit communication in your home too.


Read-a-loud and audiobooks- Nothing can capture a child’s attention better than a story! Sometimes one simply needs to sit in the middle of the room with children playing around them and begin to read. Soon a quiet fills the room and the children are lost in the story. By incorporating the other tips above, stories can build listening skills immensely.


Practice at home- Home is the best place to practice and build skills. Work on engaging your child in conversations they’re interested in. Download our FREE Listening Activity Pack below for over a dozen activities to help build listening skills in the comfort of your own home! You’ll find the classic Montessori Sitting in Silence activity, crafts, games, and more. Your children preschool all the way through high school can build listening skills. There are even activities that you may find a benefit from as well. Plus, a few activities can be incorporated on a regular basis in your homeschool.

Refer to the ShillerLearning Parent Guide from your Math kit or at the beginning of each Language Arts books for more tips on engaging your child.


Like this?

Check out all our FREE activity packs here, we add a new one every month!

See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Washington. She loves Washington's outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >


Free Montessori Thanksgiving Printables

12+ FREE Montessori Activities for Thanksgiving

Autumn is upon us. The crisp cool air lingers throughout the day. Beautiful fall leaves line our streets. In our homeschool we have found the steady flow of our school year. We embrace relaxed mornings in our jammies and afternoon math by the fire. Our printers whir out warm Thanksgiving printables that we work on over a slice of hot apple pie.  What’s not to love about this time of year?

Showing Gratitude in Our Homeschool


A spirit of thankfulness and gratitude is always a good spirit to have. It’s especially prevalent this time of year. As we approach Thanksgiving, here are some ideas to incorporate a spirit of gratitude and thankfulness into the rhythm of your schooling.  


  • Stick a poster board or large piece of butcher paper on your wall. Encourage your children to record moments of gratitude throughout the day. For example, your youngest might write about how they were thankful their older sibling helped them with math.

  • Research your family history. Find out where your ancestors immigrated from. Learn more about their journey to get here, what early life was like, and the lineage of people who brought you to this moment in history. Learning about our past can be a great way to bring gratitude for where we’re at today.

  • Tell your family members thank you more often. So often we ignore the simple act of thanking one another for their kindness.

  • Make “caught in the act” cards. Write the word “caught in the act of ___________” on a small paper, or make business card size cards. Everyone in the family gets a stack. Family members hand them out to one another to show appreciation for one another. Examples of times you may wish to use them, when you see someone else doing a kind deed, going above and beyond, or working hard at something they struggle with. Fill in the blank for the recipient.

  • Write “Thank You” notes as part of your daily Language Arts or Writing time.

  • Visit your local library and do something nice for the librarians. As homeschoolers, librarians are some of our best helpers! Bring them a nice card, ask if there’s a way you can help, or tidy up the toys.

  • Cook a meal for a local military or public service member’s family.

  • Start a “Thankfulness Jar.” You’ll find all the information on starting this in the FREE Activity Pack download below.


FREE Montessori Activities and Thanksgiving Printables


In the spirit of gratitude and harvest season, we have put together this Homeschooling Harvest Pack. You’ll find activities for preschoolers through teens, including works for mixed ages to work on together. This pack of free Montessori activities is one you may want to include in your shelf works. It would also be fun to have these Thanksgiving printables available while you’re in Thanksgiving-prep-mode.  


You’ll find a couple projects designed to enhance your Thanksgiving meal. We included a fun and easy craft for your student to make place cards to put around the table. They’ll also learn how to roll napkins. It’s amazing what pride and joy our children find when they get to contribute something beautiful to the family table. We also have included a couple Thanksgiving research activities. Your children might enjoy sharing what they have learned over the Thanksgiving table.


Your students may also enjoy completing these activities on Thanksgiving Day if they start to get a little restless. The Apple Taste Test Comparison would be a fun activity for the whole family over Thanksgiving weekend.

We hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and are able to find a new season of joy and gratitude in your homeschool this year. Make sure to fill out the form below for your download of our Harvest Activity Pack.

See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Washington. She loves Washington's outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >


Study the World With Montessori Activities

Study the World with 80 Montessori-Inspired Activities

Geography and Social Studies are subjects Montessori homeschool parents often struggle with teaching. Parents often browse the Internet for ideas and see beautiful baskets full of items from around the world. While these are lovely, they can be cost prohibitive for many families. Educating our children to be good global citizens is an important task and calling. It begins with a good understanding of our world.

Homeschool Geography Curriculum Made Simple & Cost-Effective


A great homeschool Geography curriculum doesn’t have to cost much. Educating with Montessori at home can sometimes seem expensive! Simply head to your local library. Hundreds of beautiful books exist to help. Your children can immerse themselves in different cultures. From the comfort of their own room, they can travel the world! Book characters are an easily relatable way to learn. Children easily identify with characters.  


Studying international cuisine is fun too. Try sampling different herbs and spices from other nations. Grab groceries at an International Market for a whole new experience. Add on a trip to a restaurant for a real sample of international flavor!  


We want to make these subjects easy and accessible for all homeschool families. (Co-ops and classrooms are welcome to adapt and use these materials as well!) That’s why we’ve been working hard to bring you this FREE activity pack. At almost 100 pages, this is our largest activity pack yet. Unlike our previous packs, we’ve designed this to last at least a semester. With 80 activities, you could make it last up to a couple of years!

Travel Around the World with 80 Montessori-Inspired Activities

This pack is full of high-quality content. Everything you’ve come to know and love from us. It requires very little prep work on your part. Do make sure to pre-read this pack, however. This will give you an idea of how you’d like to plan, supplies needed, and what you will come back to or repeat.

What you'll find:



  • 80 activities. 40 books, 10 International recipes, 11 art projects, and 19 Montessori-inspired works.

    - There are a number of ways you could incorporate this pack into your homeschool. You'll find ideas within the welcome letter of the pack.

      - Several works will be repeated throughout your studies.



  • A book list of books about the world.  

    - We have books for preschoolers through teens.  
    - These are some of the best-loved Geography and cultural studies books out there.  

    - Hint- If using the library, make sure to put these books on hold ahead of time! You might find a few aren’t readily available because of how popular they are.

    - These would be great read-aloud books. Try placing a few out on shelves as well. A couple of books also include additional homeschool Geography and Social Studies activities.


  • Classic and unique works.

    - Me On the Map, Nomenclature Cards, Pin Punches, and more classic Montessori activities. These are works you’ll find Montessorians around the world working on! Enjoy them in your Montessori at home education too.
    - We’ve added our own flare and created new works as well. Your children will love making continent boxes, researching international jewelry, and learning other languages.


  • Exploration through Art- The arts are an excellent way to get to know another culture.

    - You’ll find art projects from every continent. We’ve included information to make them accessible for a wide range of ages. These are great projects for older students to work on with younger too.
    - Several of these projects might give way to something bigger! Your student might find a new passion, gift idea, or a small business.
    - You may want to consider a field trip to an art museum. This is another excellent way to view art from around the world.


  • Related Lessons

    - This is to help those using ShillerLearning’s materials. We have listed related lessons to enhance your studies.  
    - Remember, students enjoy coming back to lessons multiple times. Even if a child has already completed a lesson, they can be repeated. You may wish to include these again to help reinforce concepts.


  • Delicious Dishes- Cultural studies aren’t complete without something to eat!

    - Ten perfectly-sized recipe cards await. Your family will enjoy savory to sweet from around the world!


  • Beautiful printables

    - As always, we’re bringing you the most beautiful printables out there.
    - Take a peek through the printables before you print them. Several you may want to laminate or print on cardstock for durability.  
    - We suggest laminating the recipe cards and world map.
    - The Grammar Cards, Nomenclature Cards, and Matching Cards are best printed on cardstock  
    - You’ll need multiple copies of the Continent Research page. Or, laminate it and work it dry erase for each continent.
    - To save on ink, you may want to keep the instructions on your phone or e-reader. Then print the recipe cards and printables.  


  • High-quality and affordable

Only a few inexpensive craft supplies are needed. Most supplies you already have on hand!


Happy Travels!

The ShillerLearning team has loved creating this pack. It is our hope you’ll LOVE this 100% FREE homeschool geography curriculum.   We’re excited to be sharing it with you. Have fun exploring the world from the comfort of your own home. We’d love to see what you’ve been working on too! Tag us on Instagram @shillerlearning with your completed projects and shelf set-ups.

We hope this pack will encourage you to enjoy and learn more about Homeschooling. Plus this month’s pack is just as free as fresh air and sunshine! So download it now and start reading with your child!

See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Colorado. She loves Colorado’s outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >


10 Tips for Easy Homeschool Planning

Have Your Best Homeschool Year Yet With These Great Planning Tips

What is it that happens between the fresh excitement of homeschool planning and the Spring slump? Why do we go from being motivated, organized, and passionate to burned out? The back-to-school season is a season of excitement. Even those who homeschool year-round feel it. The season comes with a crisp touch in the air and a renewed motivation in our hearts. Only to find a few months later we’re exhausted, disorganized, and in a slump.

Burnout at Home and in the Classroom


I came to homeschooling after years of working in schools. First, I worked in a traditional Montessori Preschool for almost a decade. It was actually my first ever “real” job. I stayed in that job throughout college. My head-of-school gave me a chance to work in every single classroom. I also worked in the before & after school program. I even helped in administration and office duties. Throughout college and my first few years after graduation, I continued to work in education in one capacity or another.


After a few years, I landed at an incredible school for Learning Disabled and Special Needs kids.   I worked in a K-2 class and sometimes substituted with older kids. I was given the chance to see many different teaching styles and approaches. I stayed there for several years until my son was born. Now I continue my work in education as an at-home-educator with Montessori homeschooling.


Why do I tell you this? Because teachers burn out too! In fact, I observed that many teachers burn out faster than moms at home. What I have observed through all my years in education is something that seems to separate those who burn out from those who don’t. Systems and organization. Those who came into a school year with an organizational system seemed to stay motivated. I also noticed they were much less likely to get in over their heads. Yes, the systems adapted as the year progressed. And, yes, sometimes things didn’t work.   Now I have worked my way from class educator to home educator. I find so much value in having good systems in place to bring ease to our days.

Today I hope to offer a few homeschool time management tips. It is my hope these tips will be something you can incorporate to avoid slump and overwhelm later


Back-to-School Time Management Tips


Pick a method and stick with it- Don’t “throw the baby out with the bathwater” too fast. It takes at least 40 days to adjust to a new routine. Just because a routine or planning method doesn’t work at first, doesn’t mean it will never work. You may need more time to iron out the wrinkles.


Expect the unexpected- We lay out our bright, shiny new schedule at the beginning of the year. Then life happens. Someone gets sick. There’s a job transfer. You face a death in the family. Your schedule gets out of whack and you get frustrated. Leave in flex time! Add in a few “buffer” days- sort of like how public schools add in extra days for snow days.


Buffer your day- Often we forget to add in transitional time to our daily routine. It can take children a while to transition from activity to activity. This is not because they are stubborn or not listening. It’s because their brains take longer to transition and transition is sometimes hard. Give yourself a 5-10 minute buffer between each activity. You may even need to make that longer if you have young children, a baby at home, or a child with special needs. This can make a dramatic change in your homeschool routine.


Plan like a funnel- Start out with a broad overview of where you hope to be by the end of the year. Then schedule out each element. It can be helpful to have goals for each month set at the beginning of the school year. Then, perhaps, only do a detailed schedule for every six-eight weeks. Keeping the idea of a funnel in mind is helpful. Broad for what’s to come, narrow for what’s happening now.


Schedule in time for YOU- Give yourself at least an hour a week of YOU time. No kids, no responsibility. Make it two if you can. An hour to relax and unwind alone does remarkable things. If you can add in another hour to take time to learn and nurture your interests, even better.


Track your time- Use a time tracker app, a Bullet Journal spread, or a piece of paper. Write out everything you spend your time on in a week. Then evaluate it and see what you can drop, outsource, or needs better balance. Use this to help inform your decisions about scheduling.

Put it down in paper and pen (or pencil)- The neurological process is different when we plan with paper vs digital. Using real paper and writing out goals, schedules, and plans can be revolutionary in and of itself. We even made it easy for you with a beautiful FREE printable planner. Homeschool planning takes on a new life on paper!


Give loop scheduling a try- Instead of scheduling specific subjects on certain days, try looping. This way if you have something come up on, say your “History Tuesday” you won’t miss it. To loop, write down the subjects you want to cover daily and the subjects you want to cover weekly. Start at the top of your weekly list and cover at least one of those subjects a day. The next day, move to the next subject(s) on the list. Then if you miss a day of school, you won’t miss a topic- you move to what’s next on the loop.


Follow the lead of the child- This is a core component of a Montessori education. If your child needs to spend an entire quarter covering the same 4 sections in Math Book 1, that ’s ok. Adjust your plans to follow their lead. This also applies you find your child dawdles, struggles with focus, or seems to zone out. We’ll talk more about this in an upcoming blog. Montessori homeschooling is the perfect environment to follow your child’s lead.

Get a little help from ShillerLearning- We have made planning easy for both parents and students. Check out our FREE printable planners- there’s a set for homeschool parents that we brought you last month. This month, we’re happy to bring you a Student Planner Pack. In it you’ll find back-to-school activities your kids will love. We have activities like timer races, schedule card creation, cutting strips, clockworks, and more! Plus it has a FREE Student printable planner to help your child get organized along with you!

Focus on your next best thing- A time will come in planning, or in your year when you’ll get overwhelmed. Or an unexpected situation will arise, a new baby will come, etc. and your schedule will get backed up. In those moments of overwhelm, ask yourself “What is my best next thing?” Maybe that’s working on Math, or maybe it’s going out back to lay in the grass and watch the clouds. In moments of overwhelming- all you need to focus on is one thing at a time. No matter what it is, go from one best thing to the next and before you know it- you’ll be feeling calmer.


I hope some of these tips and tricks are helpful. I would love to hear about some of the things you do to help schedule and plan too. Plus, make sure to check out these other blogs and resources:

Montessori Homeschool Parent Planner Pack

How The Montessori Three-Period Lesson Changed My Homeschool

TED Talks For Homeschool Reading Inspiration


We hope this pack will encourage you to enjoy and learn more about Homeschooling. Plus this month’s pack is just as free as fresh air and sunshine! So download it now and start reading with your child!

See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Colorado. She loves Colorado’s outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

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