I think a common myth for homeschooling is that you need to have your day scheduled out such as a public school classroom would do. No one loves a good schedule as much as I do, but I also like to complete a task and get I frazzled when I feel too rushed. Due to this, trying to do math from 9:00 – 9:40 and reading from 9:45 – 10:15 and snack from 10:15- 10:30 didn’t work that well for me and the girls here in our homeschool.
Yet the opposite of that didn’t work well for us either! If we made no plan we would end up at with everyone complaining when I said it was school time or it being suppertime and needing to cram a bunch of school in before bed. So finding a good routine seems to be our sweet spot!
When I use routine over schedule, I give us a general feel and order to our day without adding the pressure of time restraints. Certain things like meals and extra curricular activities have set times of course, and the rest I just go through in order. I love this because if the girls are playing nicely together, I don’t interrupt. That means our school start time isn’t totally predictable. If one of the girls is frustrated with a lesson, we might skip it. Or we might grab the ipad and do some kookoo kangaroo on go noodle. Or we might back the bus up and re-teach a concept. If they are super interested and engaged we may push past what I have planned. I feel like a daily routine allows for this in a way that the rigiditity of a schedule would not allow.
A Glance at our DAily Routine
A family routine will look different for everyone but for us it looks loosely like this:
7:30ish (heavy on the ish) – everyone is up. I don’t wake the girls. They can sleep later if they like and sometimes they do. If Hailey is left undisturbed (rare in a house with 4 pets and a little sister) she will happily sleep until closer to 9.
They wake up and play for a while.
When they decide they want to eat breakfast I get their breakfast and we all sit together at the table. I’ve usually already eaten so I drink water or my tea. While they eat we do our morning activities. (I showed these more on my instagram stories). We do our devotion, our character trait study, our poem of the day, practice our sign language, and often review our phonogram sounds. If they are working on a memory verse in their Awana books we review it.
They clear their breakfast dishes, wipe the table and go play.
Usually around 10 they are ready for their morning snack. I cut up some apples or something like that and we sit back at the table for snack. At this time I will work on their morning lessons. These are the lessons I want to get done that day. I always prefer to finish them before lunch but sometimes it doesn’t happen. They do printing, language arts and math during this time. I mostly work with them one at a time. Sometimes the other works on their keyboarding program, writes in their journal, or does their school independently. If they decide to play through snack, I wouldn’t dare interrut a good sister play sesh!
They go play.
We eat lunch. I often read from our read aloud novel while they eat lunch.
After lunch we always (if we are home) have at least 30 min of quiet independent reading time and I love it so much. HAiley reads in my bed, Sophie listens to books on CD in her bed and I read and drink tea on the couch. And it’s magical.
The afternoon is a bit more unpredictable. They mostly play. Some days I try to do either science or social when they come for afternoon snack or I do tea time where we read from our current chapter book. Sometimes they have extra curricular activities. Somedays we are tired and have bubble baths and movies. Often, once the school bus drops off neighbourhood kids, we have extra kids here. I go with the flow pretty loosely for the afternoons!
The evening varies depending on if there are activities but we are, and always have been, consistent with our 7pm bedtime (except on Awana or care group nights) Hailey gets to read a while before lights out but Sophie is in bed and asleep shortly after 7pm.
So that is a bit of the rhythm of our day. It works. I feel like we all have a bit of an idea what is going on yet we aren’t tied to the clock and a tight schedule.
As per most everything I share about homeschooling, what works for me wont work for all. That is the beauty of homeschool! You pick what you like best for you and what works best for you and your kiddos. I love to see how other people run their homeschools!
How do you structure your homeschool days?