Sunday, February 9, 2020

Blogging Through the Alphabet: R is for Routine

We don't exactly have a schedule for our homeschool day - my 14 month old, Zeke, would definitely put a wrench in that - but we do follow a pretty predictable routine each day.

I wake up very early every morning, usually around 5, sometimes a bit before that. I've always done this so it's become a habit. I will take my bath and get ready for the day first. Then I will read my Bible, clean up the house, lesson plan and blog until it's time to get the kids up.

I wake up Mikaela and Eli around 6:30. They leave for school around 7:20. While they're getting ready, I am still doing the things I need to do.

I wake up Mercie, Silas, and Titus around the time the big kids leave for school. Zeke is normally up around 7 or 7:30. They eat breakfast, get dressed, brush their teeth, make their beds, and clean up.

We start school around 8:00. The first thing we do is read the Bible. We read a chapter or two and fill out a notebook page. We also work on scripture memory and pray.

Next, we do geography. We are currently using Expedition Earth. It usually takes us around 30-45 minutes to do this. We read books, complete worksheets, do crafts, and learn interesting facts about our country of the week.

Then we roll right into science. We are working through the book "God's Design for Science: The World of Animals." This takes us around 30 minutes. We read, discuss, and complete a notebook page or worksheet. Some days we have hands-on activities and it lasts a bit longer.

It's usually 9:30 or 10:00 by the time we are through with our "together school", as I call it. Zeke gets into everything we do - drawing on our paper, stepping on our books, climbing on the table, fussing while I'm reading, and bringing me books to read to him. It's a challenge to get anything done, but I just press through the morning and try not to lose my temper (and my mind). I try to give him small spurts of attention throughout the morning, especially while the kids are working on their worksheets or doing a craft or activity. I usually fit his "schoolwork" in between theirs - a coloring page here, a story there, a poem here, a song there.

I get the kids started on their independent work, and Titus will read to me and complete his reading worksheet. I have to help him with math and language arts, usually holding a grumpy Zeke. I also try to get my laundry swapped at this time and maybe sweep or tidy up the homeschool area.

I usually lay down with Zeke around 10:30 or 11:00. He will only fall asleep while nursing (I know, I know...I'm ready to stop this but it's so easy to get him down this way).

When he is asleep, I cook lunch for the kids and I, and I help anyone who needs help. I check and correct their work and then send them off for free time. They normally eat and go outside to help their dad with the cows or to play, but if it's raining or bad weather, they'll play inside or watch a movie. I get the house back in order (or try to) while Zeke naps. Some days he will nap for an hour and a half, some days for half an hour. I try to cram as much cleaning as I can into his naptime.

When he wakes up, if the weather is nice, we will go outside and play. If it's not good weather for him to play in, we play inside. I am usually playing with him a bit, sorting clean laundry into baskets, playing with him some more, washing dishes, playing with him, sweeping and mopping. If I have to go run errands, now is the time I normally do this.

If the big kids don't have practice or games they are home by 3:30. I talk to them a bit and start dinner. If I cooked a big lunch, dinner is leftovers. If we ate a simple lunch, I cook a big dinner. Some days, Zeke will take an afternoon nap, some days he won't.

We will go outside for a bit, sit on the porch, clean up, eat, and hang out the rest of the evening. If the kids have a game we will go to that. I try to get some lesson planning and blogging done in the evening, but I don't always get to.

Around 6:30 or 7:00 we start baths and teeth brushing. I lay down with Zeke around 7:30 or 8:00 normally, and the kids will stay up a little later watching TV or reading. They usually go to bed around 9:00 on school nights and a bit later on the weekend.

Having a routine helps the kids to know basically what we are going to do every day so there are no surprises. I do let them know in the morning if we have any appointments or errands to run. Do you have a routine or schedule? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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  1. having a routine is a helpful thing. It wasn't something I thrive at though to be honest. :)

    1. I have always thrived on routine. My husband jokes that I don't like when my routine gets messed up -he is telling the truth, though!

  2. We have a general routine. I wish that I could get started with homeschooling a bit earlier but for now we have been doing it after lunch and into the evenings. But it works for us.

    1. I have always been a morning person, and I like to tackle homeschooling first thing! But whatever works for your family is what you should do, for sure.