you plan to fail...
I remember my teachers in school often telling us this. And honestly, I totally ignored them. I am a fly by the seat of your pants kind of girl. Routine and I have never been best friends... or even distant second cousins. But, if I have learned anything these past few months it is that when you are a homeschooling mama of 4 kiddos ages 6 and under... IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU PLAN TO FAIL!
So, finally, after much arguing (with myself) I decided I needed to get myself organized and get me and the little peeps in some sort of routine. So, I thought it would be fun to share our little daily routine with you all. This is a rough sketch of how our days go and of course these are only the days we spend at home without anything else going on. But, I have found that if we stick to the routine we generally have a pretty good day. (Turns out the other key to a good day is having my house all picked up and clean for the next day... for me there is nothing worse than starting the day already behind!!)
7-8AM: Everyone wakes up (Dad is already up and dressed) and we have breakfast. Now, I am lucky, I have my own live-in breakfast chef that makes breakfast for everyone every morning. He also happens to be my husband so it is a fairly affordable situation... We have breakfast together as a whole family almost every morning.
8-9AM: Dad leaves for work and then it is get dressed and ready/chore time. I use this time to do my own housework and to help the kiddos. Lately I have been training them on a lot of new jobs they haven't done in the past so most of the time I am working with the kiddos. It is a little crazy because I am training Max and Soph on "big kid" chores and trying to keep Jack entertained or doing simple "little kid" chores and keep Sam happy too. But, that is why I give myself a full hour!
9-10:30AM: Homeschool time! I do math and reading with Max and Sophie. Jack alternates between sitting at the table with us and playing in the living room or playroom with toys. Sam is in my lap most of the time or in the Moby Wrap if I need my hands free. If we finish early we move on to playtime a little early!
10:30-11:30AM- Playtime! We pretty much do whatever at this time. I will read books or play with whoever is interested in having mom play. If everyone is happy playing by themselves or with each other I do housework or check e-mail/Facebook, whatever.
11:30AM- Mom gets lunch ready!
11:45-1PM- Lunch time followed by more playtime/freetime. My kiddos eat super simple lunches like peanut butter sandwiches with carrot sticks and apple slices or sliced ham and cut up peppers and applesauce. I am talking simple!
1-1:30PM- Read aloud time. I read books to all three kiddos on the living room couch. Usually they want to read their library books at this time.
1:30-3PM- Jack goes down for his nap. I do more school with Sophie and Max if we have any or we read, play a board game, or whatever. This is a good time for Sophie and Max to do activities that they have a hard time doing when Jack is up and trying to "participate" (like building with Legos).
3-4PM- Max and Sophie have quiet time in their rooms. I finish up any housework I have going on and then prop up my feet and have a cup of tea and read a book or watch a short TV show (lately it has been Everybody Loves Raymond on Netflix!... I make this sound so leisurely... I am usually also nursing a baby at the same time!)
4-5:30PM- Everybody gets up and has a snack and then they get to watch a movie (we rotate who gets to pick the movie that day). I make dinner while everyone is occupied!
5:30-6PM- Clean up time and get ready for dinner.
6-7PM- Nick gets home from work and we have dinner as a family and then clean-up after dinner.
7-7:30PM- Bath time
7:30-8PM- Family Worship
8-8:30PM- Jack goes to bed and Max and Sophie stay up for storytime. Nick and I have been kind of taking turns reading chapter books to the kiddos. Nick just finished up The Hobbit and I have started reading Little House in the Big Woods to the kiddos! Then we put the "big kids" to bed.
8:30-9ishPM- Finish up housework, get laundry put away, and get the house ready for the next day.
9:30-10:30PM- Hang out with the hubs!
10:30PM- Bed time for Mom and Dad and Sam has his last feeding of the day.
Wake up and do it all again the next day! This is really working for us right now but I know things change all of the time. So, we will see how long it lasts. Right now it is making for a much more sane and happy mama!