My first lesson plans as a homeschool parent were very detailed. I scheduled every minute and included a lot of “school” activities. I learned to quickly write my plans in pencil, because an eraser became my best friend!
Routine is defined by Dictionary.com as
a customary or regular course of procedure, typical or everyday activity, and a regular, unvarying, habitual or rote procedure.
Caring for babies and toddlers, I discovered the power of routine. A routine offers sanity. Children thrive when life is secure and predictable. Consistency establishes the safety to learn and grow.
So, I learned that a list of activities did not bring sanity or peace for our school days. We needed to first establish what the typical day or week would bring.
Here are things I consider when establishing a school day routine:
Yes, I’m going to mention that Why again. My Why helps me to determine what is the primary focus of our days. THEN, I can watch that non-essentials don’t sneak in and rob us of our time.
I have learned that personal care is an aspect of life in which every child needs to learn consistency and to develop independence.
Every day I make eating breakfast, getting dressed, brushing hair, and brushing teeth our first order of business. I only have to occasionally remind my older ones now, but I am still working on this with the little ones.
Each day may hold a different activity. For example, we have art classes on Tuesdays and a history/literature class on Thursdays. This is added to our routine, so I will be careful to only schedule educational goals which can be accomplished.
Ever scheduled a major project for a day when you have to be out of the house? It inevitably brings failure, and we often lose the excitement to complete the project.
This is the actual schoolwork. We don’t complete every subject every day, and I purposefully set our routines to break up the school week with variety.
Bible, math, and language arts are needed every day for us. Science and social studies get special focus twice a week. Other subjects like foreign language or art are added in as time permits.
Our family’s ultimate educational goal is independence. The fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic always get top priority for our homeschool routine.
Life as a Family
Our daily routine also has to include the care and keeping of our home. I know it has been said that it takes a village to raise a child, but I say it also takes a village to keep a home in order!
My children are given daily tasks to participate in maintaining a clean and healthy home. These tasks are scheduled each afternoon when our brains are tired of inputting and exporting information.
I am the manager, but I don’t leave my children to do all the tasks. While I’m cleaning my own bathroom, my children are cleaning their bathrooms. This helps them to see me at work with them. It also promotes that we are doing this as a family for the benefit of each other.
Time to Explore
Every child needs time to just be. Be quiet. Run outside. Read a book. Watch a video. Play pretend.
Exploration MUST be a part of our daily routine. For my older ones, this can be hard to incorporate, but I am working to stay intentional with this aspect of the day.
Our Daily Routine
Here’s a quick overview of our routine. I mainly include times to help me have checkpoints during the day, but times are flexible…routine is more important!
7am – Wake up, have personal devotion, eat breakfast, get dressed, make bed, brush hair, and brush teeth
7:45am – Meet together for family prayer
8am – Start schoolwork and work in the order below. I now ask my older ones to make sure that Mom-needed work is completed by 1pm or before we leave for a class. We always do Bible together though.
- Science or History (for high school student, these are every day)
- Other – Foreign Language, Logic, Test Prep
- Art or Music
10:30am – Snack Time and Break to breathe, then back to schoolwork
12pm – Lunch for an hour, then back to schoolwork if needed
1pm – Quiet time (little ones nap, older ones complete reading or quiet activities)
3pm – Stop schoolwork if still working and complete chores
5pm – Dinner and family time
7pm – Finish any schoolwork (mainly for my high school student) or enjoy time with family
8:30pm – Get ready for bed
9pm – Bedtime which means phones/iPods off and put away
As you look over my routine, I hope it will encourage you to set up a routine for you and your children.
Every morning I wake up with a sense of what needs to happen that day. I may not have all the details written out, but the routine helps me keep the day productive and in order.
I’ll write about how to organize all those details, like math lessons and field trips days, in an upcoming post. So, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog posts to get a free ebook and to make sure you don’t miss the next homeschool planning post!
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Disclosure: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.