This is our daily schedule from 2017 to 2018. Zachary is 4 in 2017 and 5 in 2018. Riley is 2 in 2017 and 3 in 2018.
- 7.00AM: Children wake up (I wake up with them)
- 7.30AM: Breakfast & get ready for the day
- 9AM: School or outside time
- 11AM: Snack
- 12PM: Pick up big brother from school/ Make our way home
- 12.30PM: Lunch & free play
- 1.30PM: Story time. 1 hr nap time for little sister. Big brother has 1 hr quiet time in the learning room.
- 3PM: 40 minutes screen time and light snack
- 4PM: HOME LEARNING
- 5PM: Free play (while I prep dinner)
- 6.30PM: Dinner
- 7.30PM: Shower
- 8PM: Story time and bed time
Our day usually starts around 7am. If big brother wakes up before 7, he goes to the home learning room and plays on his own. He only comes back to the bedroom to look for me after 7am (he has a digital clock in his learning room). I’ll go get ready first (while the children jump around in the bedroom). Then we have breakfast together. I’ll get my children ready (brushing teeth and changing out of pajamas) after breakfast and out of the house we go.
We like to (have to) be out in the morning, be it going to school for big brother or running in parks, exploring our neighborhood or grocery shopping in supermarkets.
Yes, my kids get screen time every day. They each get 20 minutes of screen time, that’s 40 minutes in total. This happens right after little sister’s nap at 3pm. Their favorite cartoons usually get little sister out from her sleepy/ grouchy state immediately.
While they are watching their cartoons in our bedroom, I’ll be getting the materials ready for our home learning time.
Home Learning Time
It took me awhile to figure out where we could set aside time for home learning since big brother started going to school in the morning (on Monday, Wednesday and Friday).
In the afternoon, after all of us have some time to rest (including me), the children are refreshed and able to focus well and that is a perfect time for us to do some learning together.
We set aside around 1 hour each day for home learning. This is a protected time (no housework and no phone) where I sit down with my children and do activities together.
I wrote a long post about how we do home learning during this one hour and you can read the post here.
Create a Schedule that Works for Your Family
This is our schedule which works for my family this year but your schedule will likely be different from ours.
For some of you with young toddlers who have not start school yet, scheduling home learning in the morning might work better. Or for families with multiple children, some mums prefer to do home learning with the older one while the younger sibling is napping or teach the younger sibling while the older kid is in school in the morning.
You will also find that you need to revise the schedule every year to accommodate changes like starting school, dropping naps or changes in attention span etc. Last year, I did home learning with older brother while little sister was having her afternoon nap. But this year, I feel that little sister is ready to learn alongside her big brother without being too disruptive.
When do I do housework and cook the meals?
I get this question a lot so I thought I’ll share how I manage the everyday housework at home with kids. Throughout the day whenever I have small pockets of time, I’ll try to do what I can.
I don’t do any housework while the children sleep or during the protected home learning time.
It is important that my children see how both mum and dad work hard for the family and they should never take a clean house and meals for granted.
My children help with simple chores whenever they can. As they get older, I will want to incorporate household chores as part of their routine. Also during the 1 hr home learning time, I don’t sneak out to do any housework.
There are 3 major daily chores that take up more time for me and they are meal prep, laundry and dishes:
Meal prep: Breakfast and lunch are kept simple, so they require little time to prep. Dinner is more elaborated and I start dinner prep at 5pm, after their home learning time.
This used to be the most challenging part of the day. Think: clingy toddler demanding that I carry her or play with her while I try to get dinner fixed on time.
What do I do?
I don’t push her away or distract her with another Paw Patrol video. Instead, I hold her, reassure her, hug her, carry her if I need to but I don’t leave the kitchen. It’s hard. But I need my toddler to know that I love her AND I have to cook our dinner. This is so important to let my children know that dinner preparation and housework are part of our family’s routines.
Now my kids usually let me cook dinner in peace. They will have their free play time or sometimes, they will help me in the kitchen.
Laundry: Once every 2 days, we’ll wash the dirty laundry in the evening. My husband folds away the clothes from the previous day laundry while I shower the kids.
Dishwashing: I tackle the dirty dishes in small batches by washing/ loading them into dishwasher right after each meal.
Other weekly major tasks like vacuuming and changing the bedsheets, I’ll find a day when dinner prep is simple and do them during their 5pm free play time. My children love helping me with the vacuuming and changing the bedsheets and we usually have fun doing them together.
Then when do I find time to prep for home learning activities and blogging?
Most of the time, after my kids go to bed in the afternoon and at night. That’s when I plan and create the activities, work on my blog, reply messages and emails and update my social media platforms.
Things (ALWAYS) Happen
A schedule is meant to provide structure and predictability to our days, not to control or stress us up. I try to keep by the schedule closely everyday as children (and me) thrive on routines.
But when things crop up on some days, I try not to get all uptight over missing home learning time or longer screen time or not vacuuming the floor. You shouldn’t too!
Parenting is hard enough, so don’t be too hard on ourselves.
What’s your daily schedule like? How do you incorporate home learning into your day? I love to hear about it!