For my family, the biggest thing for when I set a homeschool routine is flexibility. My kids are 9, 7, 4, and 1. The first three are very active boys. We just need a lot of space to rest, play, and just be. It’s hard to just set one routine and be good to go because life here is not like that. I periodically reassess to see if I need to tweak things. With that saying, today on the blog I’m going to share with you our “ideal homeschool routine,” our current homeschool summer routine, and how I assess day to day what is needed for my kids and myself.
Our “ideal” homeschool routine
Breakfast is at around 8ish and we start our school then during our morning time. This time of the day is pretty quiet for us usually. We read a devotional together, read and recite poetry, and sing a couple songs. We do a family readaloud here too and do one group activity that I loop through (1-2 a day) such as a simple drawing lesson or looking at beautiful art together.
After this, we move into independent work time. My four year old might read a book with me during this time too. My boys have a catchall composition notebook where they have their weekly assignments in and pick which ones they want to do each day (I’ll give them x number of choices): Math, french, copywork, exercise, piano, timeline, typing. Then they have a reading to do or two after that. Each activity takes about 10-15 minutes. We are usually done well before 11. Then we have play until lunch. After lunch, we have a period of quiet time which you can read about here.
Our current summer homeschool routine
Our summer homeschooling routine is always slower. And simpler. Because our summers are short here, so we need to take advantage of that. We have a shorter morning time at the breakfast table. I write their weekly reading assignments and the list of activities they can pick from each day. The oldest does two readings a day and two activities. The second oldest has one reading a day and two activities he can pick from. We then have play and quiet time as usual.
How I assess day to day what is needed for my kids and myself
We take breaks as needed throughout the year, but my family does better with having some sort of routine consistently all year, we just may go slower or faster depending on what is needed.
I pay attention to our energy levels. Do we need a down day? Do we need rest? Extra time for play? Is someone sick or not feeling well? Is it really sunny? Do we have appointments? Teething toddlers? So much can affect our routine, so I go day by day based on these needs as well. And keep things flexible in that way. Our routines are more of a guide in that way vs. a rigid schedule.
Resources I’ve found helpful
- Minimalist homeschooling Facebook group - this group helped me find our current homeschooling curriculum that we’ve been loving. It’s saved a lot of brain space for me too to have a lot laid out for me.
- Ambleside online (the free curriculum we use)
- Amazon shop US shop - Canadian shop (under kids’ school and planning)
- Pam Barnhill’s course on planning your homeschool year (I am affiliate of her course, so this would mean I’d make a small cut if you liked the look of this course too! She’s a wealth of knowledge in this area).
The book Teaching From Rest that I recommend to everyone starting out. It’s so encouraging and helpful.
PS I guest blogged over on my friend Jessica’s blog titled “All Your Homeschool Questions Answered By Guest Blogger Kelly Briggs” if you’d like to read that too!
Hi, I’m Kelly! I’m a mother of four children - three boys, one toddler girl - and our family lives on the beautiful east coast of Canada. I’m a past elementary teacher, turned stay at home, work at home mom eight years ago after I had my second child. I’ve found that the busier I’ve become and as my children age, that it’s become even more important to figure out what is most important to me and us as a family. Living a simpler lifestyle has helped us in so many ways in our home life - from better routines to faster tidying up times. It has been through my children that I have been inspired to learn how to effectively manage my time and to simplify in all areas of my home and life. I enjoy helping busy moms simplify home life by teaching flexible planning methods and skills. Enjoyed this blog and think it would be helpful to others? I'd love if you shared it. Thank you!