If I’ve learned anything in our previous three years of homeschooing, it’s this: flexibility is key!
Our day-to-day schedule has changed so much since I wrote these previous posts about our morning and afternoon routines. What works for our family might not work for yours, but I’ve found it’s helpful to read how other homeschoolers structure their day!
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Lots of homeschooling/homemaking blogs stress the importance of mom getting up before the kids. You’re not going to get that here. 😉 My own natural rhythm leans strongly to the night owl side of the continuum, so this post from Kirsten Oliphant was really encouraging for me.
Our family time starts at 8:00 a.m. with a little happy music casting from YouTube to our T.V. These days, we’re rotating between the Happy (Despicable Me/minions) video, anything from the Okee Dokee Brothers, and/or Elizabeth Mitchell. One song usually gets both girls running to the “stage” in the living room. After the song, we have a quick family “meeting” to run through the day’s events and say good-bye to dad.
The girls have until 8:45 to get dressed, get brushed (hair and teeth), make their beds, and eat breakfast. Our line leader gets to choose music for breakfast time and I set the iPad alarm to go off at 8:40 so they have time to clear the table and wash their hands. (I’ll be cleaning up the kitchen, eating my breakfast, starting a load of laundry, etc.)
Math will start promptly at 8:45 with our calendar time. Kate (nearly 4) does really well keeping up with Addie as we go over days of the week, months of the year, skip counting, and more, which is one of the reasons why Saxon math works for us.
Four mornings out of the week, we’ll move directly from calendar to those “must-do” parts of our weekly curriculum: math, grammar, and spelling. We also have lots of “fun” activities: science, history, geography, art, typing, and Five in a Row. I haven’t decided how we’ll loop through all of those subjects, but I’m sure we’ll find a flow. My goal is to be done with all of our second-grader’s “must-do”s by 11:15. (See more about our 2nd grade curriculum choices and how I plan for science/social studies.)
Preschool note: We include Kate in any of Addie’s school activities that she wants to participate in. She’s really good about playing quietly/independently when she craves a little down-time. Her learning style is mostly auditory/kinesthetic, and she loves sensory play and tinkering with loose parts. We’ve chosen Five in a Row for her preK curriculum, so I plan to let her lead the way when it comes to tablework.
On Wednesday and Friday mornings, we’ll host signing classes. Depending on how her school work is going, Addie will either work independently at the table in the adjoining room, play quietly in her room, or help me in class.
I believe strongly in learning through play, so if the girls have not had unstructured time yet–it will happen before lunch. (My introvert alarm is usually sounding off by this point, anyway.) At 12:30, we’ll reconvene for a little “brain break”–praise videos from YouTube and our daily devotion. The girls will help me get lunch on the table, and just like at breakfast, our daily line leader will choose the music for mealtime.
A note about music: Raising two auditory learners has taught me the power of music throughout the day. We have a handful of iTunes radio stations that the girls can choose from (classic Sesame Street, PBS kids/Daniel Tiger, Music Together, etc.). I cannot tell you how many helpful things my girls have learned from this well-curated collection of music!
By 1:30, both girls need to be finished with lunch and their afternoon chores, and heading to their room for rest. Kate still naps two hours every day (hallelujah!), and Addie needs to lay down for about an hour of quiet time. For the second hour of Kate’s nap, she will have a fun, independent activity to complete. (Read more about raising an extraverted child as an introverted parent.)
At 3:30, Addie’s “quiet time” will be over, giving us a chance to do any one-on-one work that needs to be finished! Kate will wake up and want a snack. To kick off the second half of the day, we’ll curl up on the couch for read-aloud time at 3:45, and then the girls will have free-play time until dinner. (Since the hottest part of the year is just arriving, we’ll spend most of the day indoors, with lots of evening trips to the pool as a family!)