This is our third installment of a day in our homeschool. Why is that? because we are always evaluating how things are going and entirely open to making changes, even mid year, quarter year, one month in. Don't keep yourself in a rut. If something is not working for you, make a change for the better.
We are pretty relaxed these days with our routine. We spent a couple of weeks doing nothing but observing the natural flow of our family. That helped us put together a routine that is working well, is still loose, and totally ignored at times. It is easy to fall back into though and that is how I know it is working for us to some extent. I am coming to terms with the fact that a strict schedule is just not going to work for us, and even a loose routine is more than we want to handle at times. That is okay! So here is what our daily flow looks like right now.
Before 10 am: Basically nothing. We eat breakfast, get groceries, do the laundry, read stories, sleep as late as the tot will let us. There are pretty much no expectations before 10 am. It is especially good for the kiddo because he can sleep late since he stays up late.
10-11 am: This is my hands on school time with the kiddo (12). We read history together, do math, or work on chemistry. Usually we do one of these for the hour. Sometimes we do two for half an hour each. If he needs help with a specific project he is working on, this is the main time I help him with that. We do not study every subject every day or even every week. The tot (3) is left to his own devices.
11-12 pm: We cook and eat lunch.
12-1 pm: This is my hands on time with the tot. We read stories, play games, do crafts, look up animals online, play apps. I really follow his lead and let him pick the activities. I always suggest his alphabet and number books. The kiddo has study time. He tends to read, do research, board game design, or work on French during this time. You can read my post about following your child's lead here.
1-3 pm: This is a work time for me. The boys play or what ever, as long as they are out of my hair. During this time I usually work on our website, writing blog posts, adding things to the site, or working on unit studies. Sometimes, Adam and I will watch some news videos on YouTube since the kids are occupied.
3-4:30 pm: This is supposed to be outside time. Often it has turned into board game time. We use board games for learning, so this becomes an extra learning time for the kids. If you want to know more about why you should use games for learning, check out this post.
4:30-5 pm: Cleaning time? This time slot had good intentions, but it gets skipped a lot. Like, most of the time. We do get in cleaning time a couple times a week though, and that is better than before, so a win for us!
5-6 pm: We cook and eat supper.
6-6:30 pm: We read a book together as a family (more learning time). Right now we are reading The Phantom Tollbooth. Reading together as a family has been a tradition for us for a long time. I highly recommend it, even when your kids are older.
6:30-7 pm: This is bed time routine for the tot. Yes, it is early. He didn't used to go to bed this early, but he can't seem to handle staying up later right now. Plus, we get an extra hour of quiet, so who's complaining?
7-9 or 10 pm: This is just personal time. I like to do yoga with my Down Dog app and read a book. Adam and the kiddo tend to play a board game (more learning time). Sometimes we watch shows, movies, or documentaries (more learning time).
10-11 pm: We are in bed, but the kiddo is up reading. He likes the quiet time to read his books. This is also another hour of learning time. He is very responsible about getting to bed at 11, which I appreciate. I also know because I am often still awake by then.
If you total up the hours of learning for the kiddo, we are looking at anywhere from 3-8 hours a day. Anytime he is listening to a book or reading a book counts. Every board game counts. All the documentaries and educational YouTube videos count. Most of his learning is fun and something he actually wants to do it. Every child's learning experience should feel like that. I sure wish mine had. Even the tot, who is doing preschool, is getting 1.5-3 hours of learning in each day.
I want to encourage you to look for the moments of learning in your day. Learning does not only take place in front of a text book. I talk more about this in my blog post about how I make my portfolios. Check it out here.