Though I have shared our routine many times over the years, along with the times of tweaking and changing with new visitors coming by all the time I thought my Mommy Homework may as well be posted here too. This is my assignment….
First, tell us a brief bit about your family (that makes a world of difference in helping others who may need some ideas for their own schedules–they can find a family with children the same age, etc). Ages, any details that you want to add (it was very different when my hubby was a State Trooper, working 2nd shift….or, now that we balance two family businesses and teens).
Then, share what your day looks like. If there is something “different” that you do (like I call my afternoon time when everyone works on projects/business/etc by PRODUCTIVE FREE TIME), then just explain what that means briefly.
We live in the north of Australia and like most places where you live it affects your lifestyle. Sun is up early, so are we. My husband is a vet (large animals) and flies around the various Cattle Stations working with cattle and horses. I am a stay at home mum, who homeschools her kids as well as involved in several support type ministries locally, one for Mums and one for Homeschoolers. Recently I have started my own website for the support of homeschoolers and I enjoy blogging, scrapbooking and naive country crafts.
My children are 15.5ds, 14dd, 11.5dd, 9.5ds. My older two are independent learners and my younger two are still dependent. This affects our daily routine.
What is our day like?
I divide our day into blocks of time
From when we wake up (which is 4.30ish for me and anywhere before 6.00am for the kids) till 8.00am we have our personal responsibilities. This includes Devotions/Quiet Time, Exercise, getting dressed, doing our bedrooms, and household chores. Most of the housework is divided up between the kids and myself and is done throughout the day in little bursts.
8.00am – 12.30 is our study time. The older children work through their studies in whatever order and time frame they desire. They have their goals and are responsible for maintaining regular study. The younger two are still dependent learners, meaning they need my instruction and/or supervision. Any family or learning activity that comes our way just slips into this time block if necessary. The idea is that I keep this block of time, every morning, for our children’s education. This can be planned lessons/study or it could be a lifestyle experience or opportunity.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays are our straight study days
Thursday is a little disrupted as Jessica is involved in an outreach programme every Thursday morning, I do our grocery shop while in town. The younger children come with me or stay home and work on independent activities, play together, or do a sporting activity with big brother. Josh has Thursday as a full study day.
For the younger children our study time is broken up loosely like this
1 hour discipline studies – anything that needs daily repetition – math, phonics, typing, writing
1 hour Bible or Character
1 hour General knowledge (Five in a Row)
½ hour misc studies dependent on the need – independent activity, reading, Auslan – sign language, Nature, Writing lessons, public speaking,
12.30-1.30pm – we take a break for lunch and a few quick chores.
1.30-5.00 pm – Is our Productive Time. They can work on any project of their choice – it can be academic, it can be creative, or even relational. Our afternoons are full of all sorts of activity – from blogging, creative projects, strategy war games, chess, gardening, computer lessons, and social opportunities. They have to be intentional with how they spend this time, as opposed to wafting around. The younger two are still “in training” so to speak and have different boundaries than the older two. One such boundary is that they both have “Room Time” regularly. They both have to read for ½ hour and then they can have free time, but in their room for the next ½ hour; Nomi often writes, Daniel plays. Room time helps them focus as their choices are limited. The older two often spend an hour or so reading during this time in order to finish their study goals.
I also use this Productive time to guide my activities – I have housework, office work, writing, creative projects or catch up with friends, and of course I am still supervising, encouraging and training my kids!
We get together with other families occasionally in the afternoon, for extra activities such as Keepers and Contenders of the Faith (a lifeskills / club-like programme), Speak up (a public speaking programme we are using this year) or just for the fun of being with friends.
The older kids also have paid work a couple of afternoons a week.
5.00pm we start to prepare for our Family Time with household chores and personal responsibilities, this includes showers. Dinner is at 6.00pm and we have our read aloud over dessert. Dishes are done all together (while I blog on my laptop nearby). We then meet in the lounge room for prayer. The kids then get ready for bed, and read in their beds till lights out at 8.00pm. I head to bed around 9.30pm (if I am being disciplined) 10.30 if I’m not!
Fridays are a little different. I have a four week rotation for our Friday mornings; Study day, Co-op, Study day, Excursion/Nature day. Friday afternoons are free time unless we have a family commitment. Friday night is always pizza in front of a movie!
Saturdays – the kids help with a little extra housework, or we have sport or town commitments. Otherwise the day is mostly their own. If they are not focusing I get them to do “table time” for one hour in the morning and the younger two still have Room time after lunch. We stop our activities at 4.00pm and get ready for Sunday – tidy the house, iron clothes, check food. We have a family dinner (with or without other folk joining us) where we sit and enjoy each other a little more.
Sundays – Our tradition for Sunday morning is that Peter cook breakfast on the BBQ for us – bacon, eggs, tomato, onion, mushrooms. Then off to Church – we are always the last to leave so that means home for lunch, which is more often than not help yourself to whatever you can find. Sunday afternoon is just relaxation for everyone though Pete and I often go out for Coffee together (without the kids) Peter and I spend Sunday evening preparing for our coming week.
As we educate and train our children I believe we have to address each aspect of our lives – spiritual, moral, emotional, social, intellectual, and practical. Dividing our day into these bigger blocks of time helps me see these 6 aspects being covered in our day over the course of a week.