Each year I have to sit down and think about what worked the previous year and what just didn’t work. As I did that about a month ago, I realized several things just weren’t working. I needed to take a step back and be content with the simple things. Today, I am sharing a day in the life of us. We are a homeschooling family of five. I have three boys ages 8, 7, and 4.
My husband wakes up and gets ready for work. I stay in bed. I used to feel guilty about this but I have a chronic illness that keeps me awake much of the night so I sleep until my children get up.
My husband leaves for work and my children and I get up. I grab a cup of coffee and make breakfast for my crew. This usually consists of eggs, toast, and milk for them.
Clean up from breakfast and the start of morning chores. I have laminated chore charts for each of my boys. They have things to do each morning such as: make their beds, brush their teeth, get dressed, let the dog out, etc. Not much but it needs to get done. I unload the dishwasher and reload with the breakfast dishes. I wipe down the counters and start a load of laundry. I also take out meat for dinner to thaw or put it in the slow cooker.
The boys may go outside to play for 30 minutes or play in their play room. This gets the wiggles out of them before school starts at 9am. I catch up on my Bible reading and devotion time.
School is in session. I don’t have a schedule of things to do each day. Just a list of what I would like to accomplish. Since all of my children are younger, it doesn’t take us too long to get everything done.
School is usually done by now. If not, we put it away until after lunch. I start lunch preparations. I use this time to switch the laundry over to the dryer as well.
We eat lunch and talk at the table.
We clean up from lunch. I check the laundry and bring it in to fold (our laundry is in the garage so that’s why it has to be brought “in”).
If we have finished all school work for the day, the boys are allowed to go outside and play if it’s nice. If it’s too cold or rainy, they play in the play room for a while. If we have school work to finish, we get it done pretty quickly so they can play. I fold laundry and put clothes away (except for the boys…they put their own away).
This is the time I have set aside for “quiet time”. The whole two hours isn’t required to be quiet but one hour of this time is. I give them options such as: reading a book, laying on their bed, watching an educational program (I do provide popcorn for this one), or playing quietly in their room. This time varies depending on what we have going on that day and how behind we may have gotten. I do like to read aloud during this time as well. I make muffins, scones, or cookies and we have tea. It has been a nice addition to our routine. I also get a few other chores of my own done after we have finished.
I begin dinner preparations. My boys play outside during this time. I open my kitchen window to hear them playing.
My husband comes home from work and we eat dinner. We have made it a priority to eat together at our dining room table as a family. Once or twice a week, my boys will eat at our bar area in the kitchen and my husband and I will eat alone at the dining room table and just talk.
The boys take turns clearing the table and helping me in the kitchen with dinner clean-up. My husband usually goes outside to sit in the garden on the swing or the front porch to watch the boys play. I like to do the dishes right after dinner so I don’t wake up to a sink full of dirty, smelly dishes.
The rest of the evening varies. Once a week we have Awana for my boys. We would finish dinner a lot earlier on that day and be at church by 5:45pm. They will be gone until 8pm when I pick them up. On all other nights, my boys play outside or in their play room and my husband and I read or watch the news. We love to sit on the front porch and watch the kids playing with neighbor girls.
Bedtime routine begins. The boys take a bath or shower (not every night since sometimes they don’t even step foot outside), brush their teeth, and put on pajamas.
Bedtime for the boys. They all share a room so they all go to bed together. They really need it since they get up so early. My husband and I enjoy a couple of hours of quiet and watch Netflix or a movie. We talk about our day or upcoming events we are attending. It is our time to enjoy one another and just be together.
We rarely leave our house for anything. One day a week we have a co-op. That is Thursday and it is a field trip/Bible study group. We meet from 2-4pm every Thursday. There are occasions when it is an all day field trip but it is rare. It might sound like a bad thing that we rarely leave our home. But, we have learned to be content and to be okay with less. I want my boys to be best friends and grow their relationships with one another.
Do you have a “normal” routine for your family? If not, think about the things that are really important to you, and start a list. If your goal is to do less, then prioritize each item and get rid of the less important things. My stress level has gone way down since we gave up one co-op (the co-op wasn’t stressful, but getting out of the house several days a week was), decided to stay home more, and enjoy being content with what we have.