Overview: Do you have a homeschool routine? It doesn’t have to be a strict schedule, but a definitely routine and structure to your day is a must.
I am horrible at keeping a consistent structure to our day and without something planned, we end up just watching TV all day.
When Sicily was 18 months, I turned to my trusty sidekide…Pinterest…to help me find the perfect routine for our Tot School days. I think I tried over 20 different “perfect” homeschool routines according to Pinterest.
It finally hit me…
Those routines are not going to work for us because just like every child is different, every family lifestyle is different as well.
I was already following Sicily’s lead with learning, so it just made sense to follow her lead with our daily routine as well.
So we sort of just had a free for all. I let Sicily lead us through the day.
She decided when went outside and when we ate lunch. She decided if we watched TV or did learning games.
This was great at first, but it soon turned into watching TV all day soon after brother was born.
I knew we needed a bit more structure, but I also wanted to follow their lead as much as possible.
So I observed my kiddos for a week. The only rule was no TV.
At the end of the week, I started noticing a pattern in their days…which is now our new routine.
Importance of a Homeschool Routine
Having a routine is important.
And not just to keep us sane either. Routines actually help teach our kiddos some important life lessons.
Routines help kids feel safe.
Imagine walking through a haunted house on Halloween. You have no idea what’s going to pop out on the other side of that doorway. You’re scared, anxious, and just really don’t want to check it out.
That’s exactly how our kids feel when we don’t have a consistent routine in place.
Kids need predictability.
Now that doesn’t mean you have to do the same things at the same time every single day. But your days should have some predictability to them week after week.
Routines help kids regulate emotions
Do you know the number one cause of tantrums?
When we interrupt our children to go do something else, especially when it’s something they don’t want to do, what usually happens?
They fling themselves to the ground and start wailing.
Teaching your child how to follow a predictable routine helps cut back on those tantrums because he knows what to expect and when to expect it.
Add reminders and timed warnings (10 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 minute), and you just created a recipe for peaceful days.
Routines teach kids self-discipline
Having a predictable routine teaches your child how to control themselves and their environment.
Brushing your teeth everyday after breakfast or making your bed as soon as you wake up…
These simple routine tasks helps your child internalize healthy habits that will be carried on throughout their adult life.
How to Create a Homeschool Routine
Creating a homeschool routine is simple. I do recommend you create this homeschool routine around your youngest child since they are less adaptable.
Step One: Observe
Spend a week observing your youngest child. Write down their tired times, active times, and focused times.
Focused times don’t have to be long either. Depending on their age, 2-3 minutes of focused time playing or engaging in an activity counts, so write it down.
Step Two: Create Your Homeschool Routine
At the end of the week, you should start to see a pattern. Take this information and create your homeschool routine.
The tired times become naps (or quiet time) and meals. This is also a great time to plan time to work with other children in your homeschool.
Plan to go outside during your child’s most active times.
Do NOT plan activities for older children that require your attention during this time. Either make it a time that you all take a break or your older kiddos do independent work.
Last, turn your youngest child’s focused times into free play/learning time.
This should be a time when your littlest learner is capable of working for a few minutes independently.
This time should also take up the majority of your day. If you have older kiddos, use this time to bounce back and forth between helping the younger ones and older ones.
Step Three: Test & Tweak
Give this new routine a week before you make any changes. If you are new to following your child’s lead, it may take younger children more time to adjust to this new routine.
Tips & Tricks
Most of your day should be free play/child-led learning. We never have less than a solid 1.5 hours each day for their free choice time. This is where most of the learning happens.
Remember to plan your routine around your youngest child. They are the least adaptable. Keep in mind that a young child’s daily rhythm changes often. If you routine stops working spend some time observing the new rhythm to create a new routine.
It’s okay to do different things on different day. It’s more important to keep your weekly routine consistent as well as important parts of the day like sleep, quiet time, and meals.
Have one specific day each week that you do scheduled classes, go to the library, or take a field trip. We only do classes on Tuesday and Thursday. Friday is more of a relaxed day, we either go to the park/libray or we take a field trip.
If you’re ready to get started with a child led approach to learning, click the image below to download our getting started guide.
Hey Beautiful Mama!
I’m Amanda! With over 11 years of teaching experience, I quit my dream job to homeschool my kiddos. Now I’m sharing our days and my experience, so you can raise a child who is confident, independent, and most importantly loves learning.
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