Sunday, August 23, 2015

Reflections on Relationship: The Daily Routine

This is the final installment in my planning series Reflections on Relationship.  You can read the other parts of the series here:
Now that we have considered that the goal of our education is to enrich relationships,  and considered practically how we can do that in several key areas, now it's finally time translate all those ideas into a typical daily routine.   My basic planning process remains the same as it was a couple of years ago, although the daily schedule looks a little different now that I have 3 students.  Nicole at Sabbath Mood Homeschool and Brandy at Afterthoughts have some good thoughts on translating Charlotte Mason's ideas into a daily schedule as well.
Wednesday is our co-op day, and as we have a bit of a drive to get there that is the only thing we have planned for that day.  But on our four school-days of the week at home, this is what our daily routine generally looks like.  I am pleased with how this routine is going for us thus is a good marriage of structure and freedom; it is full without feeling completely overwhelming.
Breakfast and Morning Chores
I aim to get up around 6:30 (although sometimes in reality that means closer to 7) and aim to start our school morning around 8:30 - this gives me a good 2 hours to ease into the day.  I get up, drink my coffee, check in briefly online, and have a bit of time for devotional reading, journaling, and prayer.  Somewhere in there the kids start getting up - some get up earlier, others later.  We eat breakfast, although not necessarily all at the same time.  My husband helps with this, and my older kids can get themselves cereal and toast now, so breakfast tends to be a bit more of a casual-eat-when-you're-ready affair in our home now because of those staggered wake-up times.  After that, we all move towards morning chores: clean up breakfast and attend to any other kitchen jobs, throw in a load of laundry, oversee the kids' morning jobs (again....they are old enough now to handle basic morning chores and hygiene more or less on their own), get the idea.  I used to have a much more highly structured morning routine, but this sort of basic "things that need to be done" and a reasonable amount of time in which to do them has been really helpful for me in this season.  (So has slightly more independent children who don't need so much of me first thing in the morning!!)
Morning Time – All Children
We aim to start Morning Time around 8:30 or so, and it typically lasts 30-45 minutes depending on length of the readings for the day and how much discussion we get into.   Another post coming soon with our Morning Time selections for this year.
After Morning Time: The older two children – Michelle especially – are able to do some of their work independently, so they will start their independent work checklists and I will work with each child one-on-one from youngest to oldest.  Michelle may come to me to narrate independent readings as she is finished with them.  The younger children are dismissed to go play after their time with me is finished. 
Elizabeth – Age 5 – Kindergarten
Elizabeth's kindergarten time takes 30-45 minutes. 
James – Age 7 – First Grade 
James does a few independent items (math drill, drawing, reading) while waiting for me, and then we work together for 45 minutes to an hour.
Michelle – Age 9.5 – Fourth Grade
Michelle can do quite a bit independently, so works through her checklist while I work with the younger two.  Sometimes she finishes everything before I'm ready for her, in which case she is free to do what she likes until I am, as long as she doesn't wander too far and I can easily call her to come.  We spend somewhere between and hour and an hour-and-a-half  going over her independent work and doing certain readings and lessons together.

(Detailed posts on curriculum choices, etc, coming soon.)
 Ideally, all of our school-book-work is finished by lunch.  We've been able to follow this schedule consistently and while it's a full morning, it doesn't feel harried and rushed, and we've been able to jump back on track fairly easily if there is a disruption somewhere along the way.
Lunch - Listen to Composer Music and Folksongs, Habit Training on Table Manners
Clean Up Chores
Rest Time
Sadly naptime has completely disappeared in our home. :(  We have replaced it with a 30-40 minute quiet time in which we all separate to read or do other quiet projects and no one can talk.  I use it to do a bit of reading and try to avoid working on household tasks or the computer until time is up. 
Afternoon Activities May Include Any Combination of the Following Depending on the Day, the Weather, and My Mood...:
  • Free Play Indoors and Out
  • Handicrafts or Drawing
  • Nature Outing and Journaling
  • Homeschool PE Class
  • Mama Gets Her Other Work Done - household or computer tasks, planning the co-op class I teach, errand running, etc.
Clean Up - Dinner Prep - Baths/Showers as needed

Dinner – Habit Training on Table Manners
Evening Family Time: Most evenings this includes a family activity of some sort - often a walk or watching the guys who fly remote control airplanes across the street since we still have quite a bit of daylight.  If we need to stay indoors, then we might play a game or perhaps watch a TV episode or movie.   We close with our family reading time - both Bible reading and a literature read-aloud.
Bed - Kids Go Down by 8:30 at the latest, although the oldest is allowed to sit up in bed reading until 9 or so.  This gives my husband and I some time to hang out together or get a few more things done before we head to bed, ideally by 10:30.

Do you have a daily routine that is working for you in this season?


  1. Your day sounds almost identitcal to mine. your planning series from a couple of years ago had a big influence on how we do school, so that is not surprising. Thank you for sharing what you do. I've really appreciated this series as you've discussed relationships. It has helped me focus on what's important in my homeschool and not get bogged down in the doing, to the detriment of our relationships with God, each other, and his creation. I have been blessed by your thoughtful reflections. Thank you.

    1. Thank you Tania! I'm glad that what I write in this space and blessed and helped your family. Blessings on your new school year.

  2. Love your blog! Your blog has helped me do yr1 with so much peace and confidence. Thankyou.

    One question though, when do you di your housework? Dusting, mopping, laundry, meal prep? When??? I am bogged down with those drspite having only one husband, one child and one house to look after! I seem to be the only one forever cleaning or cooking! Yikessss