Previously, we talked about planning your ideal day. Building a homeschool routine is basically the next step in that process.
This is Day 7 of 10 Days of Getting Ready for the New School Year series. If you are looking for a different day in this series, you can find them all here.
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On Day 6 you brainstormed and wrote out what your ideal day would look like. If you haven’t done that yet, grab this printable, fill it out, and them come back here because we’ll be building on what that page says.
Consider how everyone wakes up
As I’m sure you already know, each kid is crazy different. Isaac, my two-year-old, always wakes up happy, jumping, and ready to start his day. Louisa, my four-year-old, always wakes up fussing. She has to snuggle with mommy for a good 15-20 minutes before she’s ready to do anything. Caroline, my six-year-old, wakes up smiling and ready to eat. . .
You get my point.
If you want to reach a point of gently stepping into productivity, you have to allow time each morning for everyone to get on the same page. Also, you need to be prepared for the day.
Preparing for the day
There are really two ways of going about this. Preparing the night before or getting up before the kids. I go back and forth with this, depending on our season of life, but ideally, I like to be up before them.
So what do I mean by preparing for the day?
- know what you’ll be having for breakfast, lunch, and supper
- have a plan for homeschooling that day
- do you have any appointments or places to be?
- if the kids have to get dressed, have their clothes laid out
- does your husband need to you to do anything? (pay bills, make a phone call, run an errand . . .)
By being prepared for the day, you minimize frustrations and time wasted when trying to figure out what to do next.
Basically, you need to have a written plan for the day, something you can check off or cross off as you make progress. By having a list to lead your day, you’ve got a prioritized guide to help you make sure you get the musts done.
Establishing your routine
Generally, your routine will be filled with things that you do on a regular basis. The trick is to figure out when during your day is the best time for each task.
Here’s a look at our daily homeschool routine . . .
- I get ready for the day (teeth brushed, hair up, check my weekly calendar)
- breakfast (we eat together and read through our two devotion books (Indescribable) & Wisdom and the Millers)
- kids make beds, get ready for the day, and find something quiet to do in the living room
- I read our read alouds while the kids play quietly
- after read alouds, the kids go outside (sometimes these two are reversed, depending on season and weather)
- while the kids are outside I do some mom chores
- I make lunch and after clean up (and some other family chores) the baby goes down for a nap and we do our table work
- after table work the kids are free and I take care of whatever else needs to be done
Our routine is simple and allows for all the musts to happen on a regular basis.
By working the musts into our homeschool routine, we get used to doing things in the same order each day. The kids know what comes next and what is expected of them throughout the day. <— that’s important
If your children don’t know what is expected of them, how can they succeed? Without routine and direction, they are aimless and often times end up doing things they ought not to be. Which inevitably leads to frustration and conflict.
Getting it on paper
Now, grab that ideal day paper you filled out and on a different sheet, start writing down a possible daily routine that incorporates both the things that must happen as well as those you’d like to see happen.
Consider talking to your family and asking their opinion. I’ve found that when the kids are involved in making the routine, they’re more inclined to follow it from the get-go.
Once you’ve got a working idea of how things might flow, put the routine where everyone can see it. Consider making copies for each person or to put in several rooms.
Be prepared to give yourself grace. I can promise you that the first routine you write out will not be the final one. Your homeschool routine will grow and change as your family’s season of life changes.