When I first started homeschooling, or even considering homeschooling, the most helpful blogs posts were those that laid out the homeschooling day, step by step. I felt like I could finally grasp how this homeschool life could actually work! Managing three kids, schooling, housework, side jobs and everything else can be a lot some days, but a daily rhythm keeps my sanity.
Each day is different, so that’s why we call it a rhythm, rather than a schedule. Attitudes, visitors, and a plethora of interruptions can change our plans at a minutes notice, so flexibility is key! Each school year our rhythms are similar, but with changing ages there is always some shift. This school year, my kids are 1st grade (age 6 turning 7), preschool (age 4 turning 5) and tag-along (age 2 turning 3). Here’s a look at an average day!
OUR DAILY RHYTHM
The best thing I can do to start our day on the right foot is to get up before my children. I try to check my email for 20 minutes before getting out of bed (and putting my phone away for the morning), then I get dressed, and head downstairs for my own breakfast and Bible reading before my kids wake up. I try to get dishes taken care of, coffee started and our school books laid out as my kids trickle downstairs.
Usually by 8am all of my children are awake and downstairs looking at books or drawing in the other room. They listen to a story on the Yoto player or help me with breakfast prep. I usually toss in laundry and finish making food and then it’s time for morning time. During morning time the kids eat breakfast and we sing our hymn, read our poem, recite our memory work, read a Bible story and talk about the date and weather.
After breakfast, the kids clean up their dishes from the table and head upstairs to make their beds and get dressed. We use these chore charts from Treehouse Schoolhouse and the kids love checking off their tasks. My littlest one is mostly able to dress herself but I help make her bed and brush her teeth. Once everyone is ready for the day the kids play some more. If they’re playing nicely I try not to interrupt and I use this time to clean around the house. Often times, I use this time to give extra attention to my toddler. I’ll grab down a puzzle, book or special activity to do with just her. Giving her attention before we dive into lessons “fills up her bucket” and seems to lead to less interruptions!
Mid morning we gather with snacks for our loop subjects like history, geography, artist study, composer study, folk songs, foreign language, read-aloud book, handicrafts, nature journaling and personal timeline. Loop subjects are on a list and we choose 3 to complete each day (history and literature we do twice a week). I usually bring an activity for my toddler to do beside us, and my preschooler is welcome to join in if she wants (usually all three of my kids like to be together for this). On mornings we have activities outside our home, we complete loop subjects during the afternoon. So, we might read a section from our history book, bake bread and listen to a chapter or two of an audiobook. Or this time might look like completing a geography lesson, water coloring an entry in our nature journals while listening to our composers music. Each day is different!
Around 11am, my kids go and play while I clean up our morning school and activities and start on lunch prep. Some days I feel like I spend all morning in the kitchen! I usually grab a second cup of coffee, check instagram, or call my mom. My kids play with toys, dress up, playdough or a myriad of other toys. We will gather for lunch anytime between 11:30am and 12:30pm, depending on the day. After lunch, my kids help clean up their dishes, we sweep and wipe down the table and then they’re free to play until it’s rest time.
Rest time is a time for all of us to take a break! My youngest still naps most days and my preschooler occasionally naps as well. On days they’re not napping they play quietly in their rooms looking at books or a tag reader, listening to the yoto player or playing with toys quietly. My oldest plays with legos, or cars, listens to music or audiobooks, or draws in his room. We try to have everyone resting for 90 minutes! I use this time to work, change the laundry, read or chat with a friend on the phone.
Most days, my girls are still sleeping or playing quietly, so my son and I sit down to work on his independent work. This includes math, reading lessons and handwriting. Some days he likes to do this work when we do the loop subjects, just to get the schoolwork done. But other days we need to quiet for extra focus.
Once everyone is up, we have our afternoon snack and then head outside to play. We usually play in the yard or head to a park or meet up with friends!
After playing outside, my kids come in and we pick up before my husband comes home. We call it our blessing hour and everyone has their own tasks to complete. For example: My oldest (age 6) has to tidy his bedroom and clean up all the papers in our school room. If it’s messy, he helps sweep or vacuum too. My middle (age 4) picks up toys and wipes the kitchen table and counters. And my youngest (age 2.5) helps pick up blankets and pillows in the living room, cleans up her toys with directions and helps me with any tasks.
After cleaning up, we watch a cartoon and I prep for supper. Our favorite cartoons are Bluey, Daniel Tiger, Wild Kratts, and Little Bear. We rotate in others from time to time, but we’re very selective about what we watch, and these are the main ones.
When my husband comes home from work we sit down for supper together and catch up on the day. My husband will take the kids outside or play a special game after supper so that I can finish cleaning up. Then, the kids head inside and get ready for bed. Once everyone is ready we read together and then the kids head to their room.
Around 7pm our kids head to bed with books to read until they’re tired. They usually read for 15-30 minutes and then we shut the light off and the kids know it’s time to stay in bed.
My oldest stays up a little later listening to music and reading with a lamp but he’s usually in bed asleep by 8:30pm I use this time to read, spend time with my husband, watch a show or another hobby. I also work a little bit more and try to prep for the next day by laying out our school books. We try to be asleep by 10pm at the latest!
EVERY DAY IS DIFFERENT
Well, that’s it in a nutshell! I hope it’s helpful to you to see it laid out. Each day brings it’s own challenges, and no two days are every alike. But, like Matthew 6:34 says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” I try to take it day by day and be gracious when things often don’t go as planned.