Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom
When my kids were younger, I needed a detailed schedule to infuse our home with a little peace. Life was CHAOTIC with a newly-adopted four-year-old on top of a three- and two-year-old, and many days my head swam dizzy with the busy-ness of it all.
It was good crazy, but crazy it was. As it seemed my kids didn’t have much of an attention span (because they didn’t, ha!), no activity lasted longer than 15 minutes. So for a while, I scheduled accordingly.
All times in this post are merely a guideline–we flex as much or as little as needed. Plenty of days we call the whole thing off. As my friend Renee Tougas from FIMBY puts it so well, this is our “usually, not always” rhythm:
The Mama’s Day
6:15 – My writing time (I get my most focused writing of the day done here)
7:15 – I shower, dress, eat breakfast, read my Bible, & make my to-do list
9:15 – Then starts what I call our “learning sections.” It’s the time of our day set aside for academic/schoolish pursuits. The children play and work in different areas of the house, rotating after 30 or 45 minutes.
This gives me a chunk of time with each child alone, during which we work on whatever might excite them that day: creating handwriting books (our current project), taking turns reading aloud, a riveting chapter book, some sewing, etc. If one child starts a project during our time together, they may continue it when they rotate to another room.
11:00 – Finish up our learning sections for the morning
11:45 – The kids have a short recess, inside or out, while I put away the laundry.
Noon – Jonathan helps me make lunch, then we eat and I read to the kids from our current chapter book.
12:45 – I call this Mommy’s work time. Most days I try to do light blogging work at this point in the day–like emails, formatting posts and photos, and so on. The kids watch a video.
1:45 – It’s outside time now, and we live in the loveliest area for outdoor play. I help get everyone bundled up, then send them out with a smile. If I’m lucky, I may even get to read a chapter from my own book while they play. Then I usually head out for a bit of playtime myself (Well, that and the settling of a few sibling squabbles. ;))
2:45 – Another snack (my babes can eat!!), maybe a quick story, and then kids head upstairs
3:15 – Rest Time (which used to be nap time, but now just means you can play, read, & work on whatever you’d like in your room) During rest time I do a bit of resting myself, then use the second half for writing/blog work.
4:45 – We regroup and the kids loudly bound down the stairs. After getting everyone settled with whatever they need for playing indoors or out, I start on dinner.
After an hour or so, I’ll put on one more short video episode for the kids while I finish cooking and chat with Steve when he gets home from his day at the office.
6:15 – Family dinner, then we all clean up
6:45 – Our pre-bedtime routine begins here with any children who need baths or showers starting on that process. Those who don’t need showers may listen to one or two Sparkle Stories, our favorite calming pre-bedtime activity.
7:45 – Heading upstairs to tuck everyone in–I rotate spending time one-on-one with a child most evenings. Often this means I read a chapter aloud from a book that child has chosen.
8:15 – I stumble downstairs sluggishly and give Steve a tired smile. I used to try to work a bit here, but my brain is generally too fried and Steve and I need time together too. I aim to be in bed by 10:30 so I can get up early again the next day for my early morning writing time.
Further reading about Jamie’s days:
- 2012 – My homeschool day with a 6, 7, & 8-year-old
- 2011 – My homeschool day with a 5, 6, & 7-year-old
- the secret behind a schedule that actually works
- on how (& why) I use tv as a babysitter
Do you need a detailed routine during your season of life or a more open-ended one?