This is our daily schedule for this year (2018). Big brother is 4.5years old and little sister is 2.5 years old.
- 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: Snack & 40 minutes screen time
- 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 7 to 7.30am. 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.
And yes, my kids get screen time every day. They get 20 minutes of screen time each, so 40 minutes in total, right after little sister’s nap. 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 where I sit down with my children and do activities together. I have written 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 just don’t do any housework while the children sleep or during the protected home learning time. I feel that this is really important that my children see how mum and dad are both working hard for the family and not take a clean house and their 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. I want to be fully with my children, playing and learning.
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 really simple, so they require little time to prep. Dinner is more elaborated and I start dinner prep at 5pm, after their home learning time. My kids usually leave me to cook dinner in the kitchen, it’s kind of a routine we had since day 1. My kids will be having their free play time or sometimes, they will help me in the kitchen.
Laundry: My husband usually helps me with folding away the clothes from the previous day laundry while the kids shower. And after everyone showers, we’ll put the dirty laundry in the washing machine.
Dishwashing: I find it easier to tackle the dishes in small batches so I wash the dirty dishes/load 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!