One of the first things friends ask us about homeschooling is “How do you do it?” and “What do your days look like?” My children are 5, 3 and 15 months, so it’s an understandable question. I’ve had a handful of prospective homeschooling families ask me the same thing this past week. So, here’s a rough version of our routine.
The wonderful thing about homeschooling is that there isn’t a right or wrong way to do things. We have simply tailored our time to the rhythm that fits our family (versus my idealized vision of what that was going to look like when we first began. But, that’s another post). This is not a schedule for certain. Our times flex everyday depending on how quickly we get moving, our moods and the day’s agenda, but the flow happens in roughly the same order:
07:00 – 07:45 Boys wake up and play quietly (hee hee) in their room. They clean their room and playroom. Liam gets dressed.
07:30 – 08:00 Scout wakes up and boys come downstairs. Mom wakes up too.
08:00 – 9:30 Morning routines. Morning chores. Mom cooks breakfast. Everyone gets dressed and kids play.
09:30 – 10:30 Finn and Scout play in playroom, while Mom + Liam begin schoolwork. Sometime in here, Scout goes downstairs for her morning nap.
10:30 – 12:30 Liam + Mom continue to work on school, while Finn plays and pops in and out to work on various activities (sorting tiles, coloring, painting, blocks, trains, sensory boxes etc.). Liam’s core subjects are: Bible, Reading, Math and Handwriting. We also work on language arts, science, history, and social studies – but not every day. Our studies involve a lot of read aloud books to supplement as well. And games, lots of games–especially for math since those are a favorite. Total focused “academic time” averages 2 – 3 hours/day. This is very manageable (even for a very ‘busy’ kid like him), and we include 5-10 minute breaks as necessary, as well as snack.
12:30 – 2:00 Scout wakes by 12/12:30. Outside playtime and lunch. Afternoon cleanup. We stretch the outside time when it is warmer. This is also when we take field trips, visit friends or go on most outings.
2:00 – 4:00 In this block everyone has at least 1.5 hours of quiet time at the same time. Individual play in separate rooms. Liam will use some of the time on his computer to play reading or math games, listen to music and books on CD, play legos etc. Finn sometimes naps, but lately will play in his room with cars, trains, and other special “quiet time” toys. Scout has her afternoon nap. Mom does computer work, bills, admin, afternoon chores, dinner prep or naps! Being in the first trimester again has certainly made the “nap time” happen more frequently. I cannot begin to express how important quiet time is to our day — and to my sanity!
4:00 – 5:00 Afternoon playtime (sometimes playdough or another planned low-energy activity). Outside time if it’s warm. Mom makes dinner.
5:00 – 5:30 Afternoon TV time (30 minutes, usually Wildkrats)
5:30 – 6:30 Dinner together with Dad (if he is home!)
6:30 – 7:00 Daddy time – play or an outing.
7:00 – 7:30 Bedtime routines and bed.