Why Are Consistent Homeschool Routines So Hard To Maintain?

Every single book and expert tells us that a steady routine is essential for our children’s well-being. So why are consistent homeschool routines so hard?

Mom confession time.

I let my son watch YouTube all day long one day this week.

I dozed on the couch with the aggravating sounds of gamers in the background. It was my son who stopped the incessant banter on the screen.

The rest of the day was a mad scramble to get back to normal.

We were off routine. I know better.

And yet…some days, being consistent with our routine feels impossible.

consistent homeschool routine

Every single book I have ever read about parenting say it. Most homeschool mom blogs will tell you it’s true, special needs or not.

A steady routine is essential for our children’s well-being. 

It’s essential for mom’s well-being too. I know it to be true.

So why is it so hard to actually do?

child resists transitions

Why Are Consistent Routines So Hard?

There are four main reasons why our routines fail around here.

1. I’m Tired.

This one, hands down, wins the Sure To Derail Our Routine award.

When I am not getting enough sleep, I start to lose my will to do the right thing. I start to crave naps and carbs. I start to care less about things like math and cleaning the house.

Rather than fighting it, I need to account for it in our routine. 

This week, instead of getting up early to work, I am sleeping an extra hour.

In order to accomplish this, I am having to be more intentional about my work time when my son is rock climbing or otherwise engaged in outside classes.

2. I’m a Little too Confident.

I am so guilty here. As soon as we have a really good rhythm established, I tend to get cocky.

“Everything is going so well. I don’t need to manage it all so much.”

I have thought this way too many times. And every single time, it becomes a slippery slope to naps on the couch and YouTube.

My life requires a certain level of planning and management – period. The more I see it as a constant, the easier our life flows.

3. Too Much Scheduling, Not Enough Routine

This is the evil twin of being overconfident but is just as detrimental to our days. When our life becomes hectic, I tend to swing the pendulum way over into maybe I can just schedule and control every single minute of our waking hours.

I do know some moms that have a complete, timed schedule in 30-minute increments throughout the day. It works for them.

It doesn’t around here.

My son struggles with rigid thinking. If I post a schedule that says we will be done with reading at 10:30 AM, we must be done with reading at 10:30 AM. Period. No matter what. Even if the washer floods and the electricity goes out (ask me how I know…).

A rigid schedule is counterproductive for us.

My son needs help learning that flexibility does not have to be chaotic. A rhythmic structured routine, rather than a strict schedule, allows us all to thrive.

4. My Child Is Struggling

Sometimes, the routine just has to be second to the very real needs of my family.

Anxiety, last minute doctors appointments, and panic attacks are sure to derail our day – and rightly so.

Although it can be frustrating, it’s just life. Sometimes, the routine implodes for all the right reasons.

Yes, it will require me to get us back on track when the difficulties are behind us. Yes, it can be incredibly overwhelming to get us to our normal.

But it’s real life.

Flexible Homeschool Lesson Planning

Honestly, being consistent in how we live our days is one of the most difficult parts of homeschooling for me.

For far too long, I felt guilty and ashamed of my own inability to keep us on track.

I looked at other moms that seemed to have it all together and allowed the comparison to make me even less consistent in my home. (Read: I can’t do it right so I might as well just not do it at all.)

I want to encourage you that if you struggle with consistency in your days, you are not alone.

We do the best we can and more importantly, we accept that trial and error is an unfortunate, but necessary part of being a mom.

As our children grow, we grow.

As our children struggle, we struggle.

As our children learn, we learn.

“Life doesn’t come with a manual. It comes with a mother” – Author Unknown

A Look At Our Homeschool Lessons and Routine Last Week

All year long, I have been sharing lesson plans and recaps to demonstrate exactly what our routine (or lack thereof) really looks like in the day to day.

Here is our lesson plan recap from last week.

Weekly Lesson Plan vs. Reality #39



  • Physical Therapy – 2 hours
  • YouTube Video or Google Search About A Preferred Topic
  • Blood Plasma Infusion – 4 hours


  • Physical Therapy – 2 hours
  • Current Events, Homelessness In America
  • Blood Plasma Infusion – 4 hours



  • Audiobook and Discussion
  • Social Time with friends at school – 1 hour
  • Art class – 1 hour
  • Voice class – 1 hour


  • Audiobook and Discussion – Banned Books
  • Social Time with friends at school – 1 hour
  • Art class – 1 hour
  • Voice class – 1 hour



  • Physical Therapy – 2 hours
  • CTCMath
  • Banned Books Study
  • Chemistry Experiment – Halloween Themed
  • Creative Writing – Poetry


  • Physical Therapy – 2 hours
  • Too much YouTube



  • Audiobook and Discussion
  • Social Time with friends at school – 1 hour
  • Guitar Class – 1 hour
  • Rock Climbing Class – 2 hours


  • Audiobook and Discussion
  • Social Time with friends at school – 1 hour
  • Guitar class – 1 hour
  • Rock Climbing Class – 2 hours



  • MapWork – South America
  • Rock Climbing
  • Current Events Discussion
  • Audiobook and discussion
  • US History – The Civil War


  • Rock Climbing Practice
  • Banned Books Audiobook and discussion
  • Current Events Discussion
  • Atmospheric Pressure (Chemistry)


I am adding Saturday to our recap again this week because it is a huge learning experience, even if it was not part of our lesson plan.

My son competed in a second qualifying tournament for the national rock climbing league. All day long, he advocated for himself, managed his anxiety well, socialized with other climbers, and read countless score sheets and rule books.

Our Nontraditional Homeschool Lesson Plan For This Week

Week 40Lesson Plan
Monday1. Physical Therapy – 2 hours
2. YouTube Video or Google Search About A Preferred Topic
3. Blood Plasma Infusion – 4 hours
Tuesday1. Audiobook and Discussion
2. Social Time with friends at school – 1 hour
3. Art class – 1 hour
4. Voice class – 1 hour
Wednesday1. Physical Therapy – 2 hours
2. CTCMath
3. Banned Books Study
5. Creative Writing – Poetry
Thursday1. Audiobook and Discussion in car
2. Social Time with friends at school – 1 hour
3. Guitar Class – 1 hour
4. Rock Climbing Class – 2 hours
Friday1. Halloween Chemistry
2. Rock Climbing
3. Current Events Discussion
4. Audiobook and discussion
Reference Note: Every Monday, my son has subcutaneous immunoglobin infusions. This means we typically keep learning to a minimum for the day.
Reference Note: My son attends classes on both Tuesday and Thursday at a specialized private school. This is for elective classes like art and music, as well as social skills.

New Interest-Led Homeschool Lesson Plans And Updates, Every Week

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    Additional Resources For Strength-Based And Interest-Led Homeschooling

    Take a look at all of our past lesson plans and recaps.

    Research has shown that a learner who spends the most time studying in areas of strength, tends to perform exponentially better in all academics including the areas of weakness.These resources are a great place to start!

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    1. Thank you for keeping it real. I so relate to this post, and it really helps not to be alone.

      1. I appreciate your kind words, Morag – and yes, You Are Not Alone!!!

    2. Tears in my eyes.
      You hit my heart on this.
      Can’t express its magnitude.
      Simply Thank You!

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