I love to make lists. I even have lists of the lists I have made and want to make. So, why not share all (well, some) of those lists during The Nester’s 31 Days series? Yes, 31 days of homeschool lists. It’ll be a ton of fun if you love lists as much as I do.

Organize your homeschool lists

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Plan a Homeschool Day

Homeschooling Lists Galore

The first list of this series today is one that you probably have in your mind if not written out: What, out of everything in the plan, is essential to make our homeschool day count?

Because more often than not, at least at my house, the entire plan doesn’t get checked off. So what does need to happen, without fail? Here’s my version.

Index: Get Organized with Homeschool Lists
Next: 5 Essential Habits for Sanity While Homeschooling

What makes a homeschool day count? Here's my list.

5 Essential Pieces of Our Homeschool Day

  1. Chores. This includes both morning chores and afternoon EHAP. It is essential that we work together to keep the chaos under at least a semblance of control. It’s amazing how quickly the house can explode during a busy day, and so we need to address the basics every day or it becomes quickly overwhelming for everyone.
  2. Circle Time. Our version of Morning Time is the bedrock of our homeschool. We pray; sing; and memorize Scripture, catechism, and poetry.
  3. Math. We use Math-U-See and xtramath.org. With the mastery approach and the plenty of practice for each concept, we aren’t unwittingly shuffled onto the next lesson when the previous has not been understood or mastered.
  4. Reading. Whether it’s audio books, reading silently, picture books on the couch, or reading aloud the history book together, our days will contain reading. And reading is a foundation of knowing.
  5. Language. This encompasses writing, grammar, and Latin. At least one of these will be accomplished in a school day, even if they don’t all get hit (though Latin always includes grammar, so it’s a double-whammy). I would like for this fifth to be Latin alone, but alas, that is last before lunch, and that means it’s most likely to get the short shrift.

You’ll notice these are more categories than specifics. It’s not “finish a math lesson” or “read 3 chapters of the history text.” In fact, I could also make the list this way:

  1. Working
  2. Reciting
  3. Figuring
  4. Reading
  5. Thinking

I kinda like it stated that way.


Make This List Useful For You

Do you have a list of what makes a homeschool day “count”? This is my list of 5

How we rate our days matters a lot, #homeschool moms! Tweet this.

Do you have a list of what makes a homeschool day “count”? This is my list of 5, but honestly, even a day where only 3 get hit still “count” in my mind. I do not live in a state where we have to keep track of attendance or school days, so “counting” is only a matter of how I rate our day and not a technical or even relevant question.

But how we, as the homeschool moms, rate our days, does matter. It’s much too easy to fall into the habit of giving ourselves Fs on our own daily report card because we don’t meet false or unreasonable expectations that we place on ourselves. Make a simplified list that allows room for you to give yourself grace in the midst of the crazy days of homeschooling a houseful of children.


  1. Just wanted to mention how very excited I am about this. I have been implementing your Paperless Organization system for some time now, but I seem to have bottomed out at getting our school time and meal time organized. There’s so many other facets of the day that could use a guiding hand, and I’m hoping these lists will inspire me.

  2. Our “essentials” list track with yours, almost precisely, except that math has been getting bumped lately for some reason. I do need to remind myself that when they do Xtramath alone, though, that still counts for math (even though I would really like to have both Saxon as well as the Xtramath drill count for math). The kids would throw a fit if we dared skip Morning Time or read-aloud time (which is when we read aloud Shakespeare and a missionary biography). Thanks for your lists, and I look forward to this series!

  3. It is encouraging to see that your top 5 are what I always get done! Now I feel like much less of a slacker, which I have been feeling these last few weeks. Mystie to the rescue! ;)

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