The Family Hour: Recess for Everyone

Here’s a challenge for you — spend 30 solid minutes with your children each day for the next week.

This may seem more an issue with families of schooled children than those who homeschool. After all, most of us spend the whole day with our kids already. But I think that is precisely why we need a Family Hour.

We need a break from schoolwork and time to just be.

There is a fine line between home and school, and sometimes we get so caught up with lessons and projects, that we forget the relationships.

For some, the line doesn’t exist and everyday life becomes a lesson — food prep is math, a walk in the park is science, story time is language arts. Even time commuting in the car becomes educational, with recorded books and pop quizzes. This kind of routine could get draining on anybody–parents included.

The Family Hour doesn’t have to be anything complicated. It doesn’t even have to last an actual hour.

Start small — pencil in 20 or 30 minutes. Make it as much a priority as you would schoolwork. This could be as simple as a family meal together or a shared bedtime routine.

At our house, we have one solid routine that is accomplished 95% of the time — brush, change, stories, bed. It is a chant that my youngest had memorized since she started stringing words together.

It is our time to unwind and enjoy each other’s company, with no strings attached. It is a time we all look forward to after school has ended.

Ideas for Family Hour:

  • a pre-breakfast/midday/ after dinner walk
  • game night
  • video games (with the kids)
  • story time
  • game of catch
  • family jam session
  • all out NERF battle

Remember, you are more than a school.

You are a family.

How will you spend your Family Hour?

About Amida

Amida is the mom to three darn kids. She used to stress about state standards and test scores but has since come to her senses and enjoys blogging about her family's journey into unschooling.


  1. Legos are a favorite at our house. They are entertaining at any age.

  2. We like to take walks and play board games. We are also big on makeovers and fashion shows… my husband is a good sport and plays the audience.
    .-= Angela @ Homegrown Mom’s last blog: Do You Remember your Grandma? =-.

    • Our kids had asked for new board games last Christmas and every now and then, we skip school altogether and go on a game marathon. Needless to say, they love when that happens!
      .-= Amida’s last blog: Launching Boats =-.

  3. Family dinner is our no-excuses all-together time. We have a busy teenager who is always running off to rehearsals, and dad doesn’t come home from work until almost 7:00. Family dinner is the only time we are *all* together and can catch up. Essential to our family culture!
    .-= Laura’s last blog: Speaking of Imperfection =-.

  4. We like to have a story before bed, and we love Legos and baby dolls.
    .-= Rana’s last blog: When is it going to end? =-.

  5. We read out loud every night. My husband reads to the two younger kids and I read to the bigs—they are 8 and 10 years old and we’re in the thick of To Kill A Mockingbird. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day (aside from when everyone is sleeping and I can do as I please…).
    .-= Jennifer Jo’s last blog: Punchy pie =-.

    • We do the same thing! My husband reads to the youngest and I read to the oldest. Then at some point the little one joins in and snuggles (or plays) until we are all done.
      .-= Amida’s last blog: Launching Boats =-.

  6. I think baking together is one of the times that represents our family culture. I’m not a gourmet cook by any means, but there is something nurturing and comforting about being in the kitchen with little people. We all love it.

    Thanks for the great post, Amida!

    .-= Simple Homeschool~Jamie’s last blog: The Family Hour: Recess for Everyone =-.

  7. We’ve started a bedtime routine of reading a chapter from The Jesus Storybook Bible each night before bed. It helps us to come together as a family and spend some quality time together at the end of the day.
    .-= Ashley’s last blog: I love Oxi-Clean! =-.

  8. Amida – I love, love, love this and how you say it. It is entirely possible to be with my kids all day and never “be” with them. So beautiful.
    .-= Misha’s last blog: And So They Say =-.

  9. I really love this. I’m getting a little overwhelmed and stressed out with homeschool right now, and maybe what we need is a family “day” not just an hour! I need to re-connect, and just enjoy my kids for a day – get back to the basics of loving and playing, and maybe then we can move forward with school in a more positive way.
    .-= Leslie’s last blog: spontaneous math =-.

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