For new homeschoolers (and veteran homeschoolers too!) finding a homeschool routine or rhythm can be daunting and overwhelming.
But it doesn’t have to be! I absolutely do not operate well on a specific TIMED schedule. It stresses me out, haha. Yes , I know that we all have specific times we have to work, or be at sports, or what have you. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. We have a gentle rhythm that we follow everyday for our mornings. Let me show you our homeschool routine…
Our Homeschool Routine
I (try to) wake up around 5:30/6 every morning to have some quiet time to myself. Whether that’s time to read, do devotions, meditate, pray, exercise, personal hygiene, or a combo of all of the above. I need this time, otherwise I feel rushed and like my day has gotten away from me already. One of my kiddos is an early riser so he tends to be up around 6 as well, hopefully doing something quiet in his room, but honestly sometimes, he watches t.v. so I can have my time. The other 2 are up by 7 usually.
Once all the kiddos are up we have breakfast and make beds and do personal hygiene. Then we move onto morning chores. This is usually where we do our biggest chunk of chores. Spring and Fall our afternoons are completely occupied so morning cleaning it is. After chores the kids have some time to play, get outside, or do whatever for a bit.
School Portion of our Homeschool Routine
I like to sit down to school by 9. Yes, I have a start time even though I said I don’t like timed schedules. We don’t always start at 9, sometimes it is a bit earlier, sometimes it is a bit later. I just know that if we don’t start somewhere around this time we won’t finish by lunch. Once we start school, we do our morning basket. After that, the kids break off into their independent studies. While one is doing something they need me for, the other 2 are doing something they can do independently. And they rotate through their subjects like that. I do have written routines for them but they can switch them a bit to their liking that day as long as I can still work with them when they need me to. We usually have a snack around 10ish (that I do a schedule for…ain’t nobody got time to be in the kitchen all day y’all). They are also allowed to go jump on the trampoline, or play with kinetic sand, etc in between subjects if they need to.
After all schoolwork is done we break for lunch around noon. After lunch my 6th grader will finish up any of her independent studies. Then it’s a quick straighten up and off they for some play time. Depending on the weather, this could be in their rooms, together, or outside.
The Rest of our Day
After some free time we have a quiet time. As much as I would like it to last an hour, it usually only lasts about 30 minutes. They each go to their room and do something quiet. No electronics or anything like that involved.
After quiet time, if all chores (and exercise of some sort has been done if it’s off season from sports) they can have screen time for about an hour.
This is where our day starts to look different depending on the season. If sports are on (man I miss sports… #covid19cancellations) then this is when we start getting ready for them by getting everyone dressed and getting dinner in “to-go” containers. Getting the food is a big priority because I would prefer to not eat concessions or take out every night, know what I mean?! This fall (2020) concessions won’t even be open so it will be something I really need to make sure I’m being diligent about. If we don’t have sports the kids can do whatevs for a bit. Outside, inside, read, play, you get the idea. Then it’s time for dinner, sometimes a kid or 2 or 3 will help prepare, sometimes it’s just me. Then we all sit down as a family at the table.
After dinner we relax as a family. Sometimes we read, sometimes we watch t.v.. Sometimes we are outside. Variety is the spice of life, lol.
Then it’s bedtime for the kiddos and hubs and I can have some alone time. First we do our own thing for a bit, then we watch tv or just spend some time together. Then its our bedtime!
The Reality of it All
Of course, not every day goes exactly like this. Sometimes we have playdates, or field trips, or family adventures, or we just want a day off. Some days we may get started late, or some days we may do school after lunch. We might get super into reading or researching something and we will spend all day doing that.
I really strive to have spontaneity and fluidity in our life. Otherwise I am a mean and cranky person. If you operate best on a strict schedule, go for it, that’s just not me. Or my kids.