So, you’re a homeschooling mom of lots of little ones and you’re struggling to keep up. Maybe you need a routine! Keep reading to find out practical steps to establish a routine to get your sanity back!
Routine versus schedule…
What’s the difference between a schedule and a routine? A schedule is super structured and honestly will NOT work with little ones. Small children do not abide by specific times for everything. My little 1-year-old does not need a diaper change and feeding at 10 and noon every day. Instead she may need something every 15 minutes. I have to be flexible.
Whereas a schedule sets very specific time frames for everything a routine sets up a progression of events you want to happen.
Here’s an example from our day with 4 children under 9:
6-8 AM: wake up, eat, and watch character-building resources
8-11 AM: read-a-loud, Bible study, reading practice, history, science, copywork
11-12:30 PM: outside exploration, lunch
1-4 PM: naptime
4-5 PM: clean up and make supper
5-8 PM: spend time with Dad, family movie, supper, snack ECT.
Now none of these time frames are set into stone. They’re just a rough suggestion. I just think of what I want to get done in the mornings and work on achieving those. There is no “8-8:30, Bible”. In fact, if one subject takes longer because they’re enjoying it we just go with the flow and do whatever is left out the next day. We don’t cram every subject in every day.
Because we do have a 1, 3, and 6-year-old we do have a lot of interruptions. It would be super easy to become frustrated at those and quite honestly sometimes I do! But I try to remember that God placed all those interruptions in my life for a purpose. Now that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for an orderly day. It just means our order will look completely different from someone who has 2 older teenagers or 3 children spread out far in ages.
What should you include in your routine?
Start by making a list of all the things you want to accomplish daily. Now look long and hard at that list. What is necessary? What is nice but not necessary? And finally, what is unnecessary completely? An example of these might be meals, clean bathrooms, main school subjects, extra baking, and dusting baseboards.
Ok, so you know meals, clean bathrooms and main school subjects are the necessary ones, extra baking is nice but not necessary and in my opinion lol, dusting baseboards are completely unnecessary. Hehe! You have to make your choices but that would be mine.
Now, you start by doing the important things first! Take breaks in there and sneak in a few nice but not necessary tasks if you can. And if you’re just overflowing with time and energy do your unnecessary tasks too!
Remember, routines take time.
They probably won’t flow perfectly but you will get into a groove. Give it some time for everyone to get used to it, especially if you’re really changing things around. And if it really DOESN’T work then do some tweaking. Nothing says you can’t change what isn’t working!
Don’t forget why you’re doing this! Its to bring peace and the ability to accomplish your desired tasks without being overloaded and overwhelmed constantly!
You can do this Mama! Set down, build your list, and make that routine work for you! You won’t be sorry!