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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! I seem to be constantly in pursuit of my perfect routine/schedule. I would like to go with the flow, but not sure which way the flow should go


I seem to be struggling with my priorities. We are a Homeschooling Family. But we are also a Family With Young Children. It seems that most homeschoolers do lessons in the morning, and outings after lunch. Most little kid activities, like storytime, LLL, classes, etc. are in the mornings.

I have a 5 yr. old, who I do some lessons with. There is also an almost 3 yr. old and a 4 month old baby. I am wondering if people with babies tend to stay home during the morning nap or go out and about during that nap and come home for the afternoon nap. I would kind of like to keep the afternoon siesta as a pretty regular thing. If I stay home during the morning nap and then go somewhere right after, it is 11 before we're out of the house and our outing runs into lunchtime. And then I feel all out of sorts.
:

Add to this a toddler who sometimes naps, sometimes doesn't, often falls asleep in the car and is hard to hold while sleeping while I also have a baby.

And also that ideally I would like to have some morning time to have coffee before rushing into my day, and some time in the evenings to be in stillness and have a beer. Too much to ask?

I guess my main question is does anyone have input into organizing the day with different ages of young children, while also fitting in lessons, activities, fun outings, quiet times, and plenty of exercise, reading, and relaxation? Ha ha. What a tall order!

Thanks for any replies!
 

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: Be back!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ms. pacman View Post

I guess my main question is does anyone have input into organizing the day with different ages of young children, while also fitting in lessons, activities, fun outings, quiet times, and plenty of exercise, reading, and relaxation? Ha ha. What a tall order!
Hi! I have three boys: 6, 4, 2 and a girl on the way.

I just wrote out a "flow"/ routine for us this week after thinking about it. I'll share it here. I realized that over time we've figured out some things that work well fairly consistently. With a baby on the way, and you know how this goes!, things will change again!

This is how most days go. I kinda steer the ship, but there's lots of leeway for them to have a say in what we do (as well as do what they need at the moment, like snack or quiet time). Sorry if it looks complicated. When it's in practice for us, it is a flow. Most days look like this, except with illness or a special day where I have a sitter, etc.

ETA: We do most things in the morning as it is so hot where we live (100+) and that is when my pregnant energy is at it's highest
. YMMV.

Morning: Wake up, potty, dress
Breakfast/chores (put a load of laundry in, put away dishes, fold and put away load from day before)
Choice of either:
A. Walk to park up the street or ride bikes
B. Backyard play, silly dancing (kiddie pool, jump rope, trampoline)
--Basically, get their bodies moving--

If we plan to go somewhere in the morning, it is maybe once or twice a week, and we forego the exercise time. (Library trips, park with friends, etc)
If we plan to have friends over to our home for a playdate, it is in the morning.

Mid Morning: Each child can choose the activity they want, or I can choose to do one all together. Pick what fits the mood:

C. Play music in background. Creativity: paint, playdough, craft, etc.
D. Play book or radio show on CD or computer while they do Legos
(sometimes I can get a little sewing in if they are busy)
E. Science experiments, baking (bread, cookies, etc)
F. When fall starts, introduce some Charlotte Mason type things at table.
(while littles play with playdough or toys, etc) (or try a CM style "tea time")

Afternoon:

Lunch with a character story or scripture story (about 2-3 minute story aloud w/ picture)

Quiet time with rest (usually for mom and baby!)
1-2 hours. Read books with kids to settle them, put on DVD or allow the big kids computer time.

Play with friends getting home from daycare or school. (not every day, but allows time for it in the routine)

Evening:

Dinner as a family (dishes from day rinsed and stacked and in dishwasher)
(sometimes campfire with hot dogs or tin foil dinner in summertime or grill)
If we have family or friends over to eat, scrap everything from here to bedtime!

Walk or ride bikes or jump in the jump house in the garage (I have all boys for now, remember!)

Musical instrument exploration (fun stuff), board games, Lego.

Bath

Read aloud together (this is our main reading time, other than CDs in the car when we drive together)

Bed

All computers, TVs, etc off by 9 p.m.
Mom doesn't always follow that rule

Maybe I should!

Anyhow, best of luck with finding your rhythm!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just what I was looking for! Thanks so much for taking the time, greenthumb 3! Would love to see from other people too
 

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You have to see where it fits best into the natural routines of your house. For us it has always worked out to do outside playtime and working with the youngest students in the morning and then buckling down on the more difficult topics during afternoon naps.

It sounds like, for you, that would be going out of the house in the AM - wear the baby and they should still get their morning nap - and then doing school in the afternoon.

I don't know where you are and what the weather is like, but you may need to adjust that in the winter so that you're out in the "warmest" part of the day.

Good luck finding your groove.
 

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Here's my schedule when I was homeschooling a 6 yo with a 4 yo and a baby:

8-10am: 3 Rs (reading, writing, and math)

10am: nurse baby and put her down for nap. Older girls had snack/recess. Baby slept up to 5 hours--one long nap. Her schedule was nursing at 5am, short nap, nurse at 7am, up until 10am, long nap of about 5 hours (got progressively shorter toward the afternoon, ending with a 2 hour nap from 1-3 when she was 2 yo), nursing, up until 5pm, nurse and short nap during dinner, nurse 7pm, awak until 10pm, nurse and bedtime. Nurse 1-2 x during the night--2am and 5am.

10:30 to lunch: history/social studies/science.

after lunch: walk, music, then nap/rest time for the older girls. All my girls took naps until they were 5-6. And still will nap in the middle of the day as adults. Besides, I needed the down time.

3:00: friends came home from school; played with friends

6:00-8:00: dinner, bath, bedtime routines, bed.

On Wednesday we went to the library for story time in the morning. Anything that happened in the morning was counted as school.

With variations due to ages, we kept this schedule through out homeschooling when the girls went to school at 8th grade, 6th grade, and 2nd grade.

All times are approximate. We mostly unschooled with unit studies on what the girls were interested in. Field trips (any outing for that matter, even it was only to the grocery store or bank) were always taken in the mornings as Erica needed her down time in the afternoons in her own bed.
 

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For you, I'd suggest going out in the morning when you want to get out of the house, since your LO should still sleep on the go in a sling. Afternoon naptime is sacred here, so I understand how you're feeling. If we go out in the morning, we have a much harder time getting school done, since school is mostly done in the morning and afternoons are for play.
 

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Just want to say that I understand. I centered our days around ds2 nap schedule. Ds1 understood, and I think it made him realize and appreciate that we have to consider the needs of the family. I really believe that kids need consistent, regular rest times at the appropriate ages for healthy development (our family's beliefs, I know that everyone is different and has to do what is best for them).

Last year we were in your shoes, but this year, ds2 has dropped the morning nap so everything is easier and we get out more, but ALWAYS make it home in time for that afternoon nap, which means independent quiet time for ds1 and rest time for mom! Just about everything on your list!

You'll get there soon too. The limiting schedule of 2 naps doesn't last forever. We alos scheduled everything around regular meal times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
nak

Thank you thank you everyone so much for taking the time to post! You guys are awesome, and it helps so much to hear your thoughts and see what some of you do. It really is a matter of what works for our family but it sure does help to have suggestions.

briansmama, I definitely love nap times and do think they are important...for baby AND a chance to put him down. I love carrying him around, but I also love the chance to lay him down!
 

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You know, I hit a point with #3 where I dropped most of the little people activities. We would do a library storytime, but when my 3rd was around 2, it became less needed for us. After all, we really had our own built in group right at home!


We still do outings, but we go after our babies (who take 1 nap from 11-2) wake from nap. They get a snack and we are off.

Also, once my eldest was into more formal lessons (and she ended up being the only school age child at those events
), we started hooking up with homeschooler groups where the whole family could do something fun together at the same time, in the same place (there are co-ops, scouts, etc. around here).

As far as a schedule goes, I like to schedule blocks of time that I can shift around when a nap is taken at a strange time, or something unexpected happens. The blocks of time allow way more time to accomplish something than is really needed so that there is a lot of wiggle room. For example:
7-9 Waking/Hygiene/Morning Chores
9-11 Lessons
11-12 Free time (I get babies to sleep)
12-1 Lunch, Afternoon chores
1-2 Quiet time
2-4 Lessons
4-5 Tidy, DInner prep
5-6 DInner, Evening Chores
6-8 Reading, night Prayers, Bedtime prep
8 Bedtime
8-10 Free time for parents!!, then bedtime for parents

Now, I almost never do 4 hours of lessons, but the time is there. If we finish and there is still time left, it is free time or whatever. On days where I know we want to go out, we do lighter lessons on that day only in the morning.

Hope that helps, and enjoy those little ones!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks herdingkittens! That helps a lot actually! Just when I thought I was figuring out the baby's general rhythm, he took a huge nap from 9-12:30. So then lunch and afternoon nap were all different. I like the idea of chunks that are inflated for variations. My girls enjoy their outside activities that we do, and my husband thinks it's important for them to be around other kids. I am trying to get involved with some homeschooling groups, but it's been real slow-going for me. I want to take everyone's needs into consideration. I decided I'm going to start planning by season because of how things change all the time with the seasons AND with kids!
 
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