Just to let you know up front- this post is long and it covers not only our school day but our entire routine for a normal day. If you want to know just about our school day, feel free to scroll down to just that part! Thanks for stopping by!
Developing a routine that we can stick with and that is actually reasonable for my family has been one of my biggest missions for this year! As I have mentioned before, we are kind of in that in between stage of transitioning from having small kids being able to just do whatever whenever, to having a homeschooler who needs some structure and routine. What a task! It has been, and in many ways still is, a huge adjustment for all of us but I can already see the efforts paying off.
I put a lot of time, thought and effort into planning out this routine. I tried to take into account what all I wanted to accomplish in a day and a week (certain tasks happen only on certain days, such as particular chores and errands) and then fuse that with what was actually feasible for our family. The end result became three color-coded "routines" that detailed our days- one for "At Home Days," one for "Errand Days," and one for "Activity Days," just so I could make sure that I had all our bases covered!
Today I am going to share with you our base, "At Home Day" routine, which is what our day is supposed to look like! Later this week (hopefully) I will post about what a day actually looks like, but hopefully it will be something close to this!
- Between 6:00-6:30 I get up, get my tea and have time with the Lord, followed by some blogging and Google Reader time.
- By 7:40 I try to have breakfast going, which, if I have followed my pre-prep schedule, should usually only involve throwing something in the oven.
- At 8:00 I wake up Rhythm, if he isn't up already, and get him upstairs for breakfast (which should be done by now, or very close to).
- During breakfast we read a story from our Jesus Storybook Bible and do some of the questions from our Young Children's Catechism
- As soon as breakfast is over it is chore time for all of us! Rhythm has a chore pack (which I will be posting on soon) that has things such as putting his dishes in the sink, emptying silverware from the dishwasher, emptying bathroom garbages, making his bed, brushing his teeth and getting dressed. I empty the dishwasher, do the breakfast dishes, put out some laundry and also do the following things, based on the day:
- I then put on Baby Einstein (which actually has taught Rhythm some signs) and take a quick shower (if I haven't already the night before) and get dressed.
- We aim to start school between 9:00-9:30 (usually closer to 9:30). We use a workbox system to keep things organized, and generally our school day goes something like this:
- Calendar Time & Morning Board (which I will also be posting on in detail soon)
- Introduction to our Raising Rock Stars work for the day using the RRSP Board
- Snack while mama reads aloud (books usually focus around our unit theme)
- Our Raising Rock Stars work for the day (during which we usually have our RRSP music for the week playing quietly in the background)
- An extra activity or two (Piano, Nature Study, various preschool printables, file folder games, etc...)
- And eventually, somewhere in there, we will be adding a project to go along with our unit study
- Also, while Rhythm is doing some of his more independent work I start to prep for the following day and begin refilling our bags for our workbox, all the while trying to keep Lion Cub busy as well!
- Around 12:00 we try to start preparing for lunch (which, once again, is hopefully very minimal if I have done my prep-ahead work the day before). During lunch we read "Leading Little Ones to God"
- Directly after lunch we have free play time and maybe try to get a little bit of time outside (which is currently difficult because our backyard is a weed pit in desperate need of landscaping).
- By 1:00ish I try to get Lion Cub down for a nap. I usually have Rhythm nap also every few days so that he doesn't get over-tired (his tiredness tends to accumulate). If it isn't a nap day for Rhythm, we typically try to get in a little bit more reading time together or play a game after Lion Cub is down. After that Rhythm will typically either play quietly or watch Phineas and Ferb- his end-all, absolute FAVORITE TV show (that the whole family secretly loves!). He also usually has another snack around now (3:00ish).
- During that time I try to get in some blogging time, catch up on my Google Reader some more and work on my Prep Work for the next day:
- Between 3:45-4:00 I try to start working on meal prep. This includes not only dinner but the following day's breakfast and lunch as well. You can read more about this on The Mama Kenz Studio.
- We aim to eat dinner right around 5:00. Directly following dinner (or while Rhythm is still eating- he's even slower than ME!) we do family devotions, typically reading from the One Year Bible for Kids.
- After dinner the boys typically play with dad while I clean up the kitchen and try to get some laundry put away. We occasionally try to sneak in a family game, which I am hoping to make more consistent.
- Throughout the evening I try to do the following:
- At 7:30 I bathe the boys if it is a bath night or at 7:45 we start having the boys clean up their toys and and begin winding down.
- At 8:00 we head downstairs where I, generally, get Rhythm ready for bed and put him down and then take Judah in and nurse him to sleep. My aim is to be back upstairs by 8:45 but no later than 9:00.
- The rest of the evening is usually spent watching a favorite show and sometimes even reading together with Jer. We also both usually end up on our computers at some point during this time.
- This is where it gets really difficult for me. My plan is to be heading downstairs to get ready for bed between 10:00-10:30. The idea is that I could be downstairs, ready by 10:30 with a half an hour to read and have lights out by 11:00. This has yet to happen, but I keep telling myself that if I continue to get up early and not nap with the boys, one of these days I am just going to be so flat out exhausted that I will have no choice but to go to bed early! Ok, hopefully it won't come to that- it is just a really hard adjustment for this night owl!
So there is our day, all boiled down. I am still tweaking and reconfiguring things, but for the most part it seems to be working and giving us more of a predictable rhythm which is helping me to accomplish more and feel more on top of my game.
I have linked this post up to The Heart of the Matter Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop. Head over there to see more Days in the Life of more homeschool families across the nation!