Our Homeschool Routine - More Than Checking Off The Boxes


For our family, a routine is key to a successful homeschool experience.

Children long to know "what comes next". They want to know their teacher (that's you, mom!) has it all under control.

I know on many days this might seem next to impossible, but with a few up front investments and training of your children, your homeschool can run somewhat efficiently, even on those days when life isn't so efficient.

Know what I mean?

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know I love to take off on interest led tangents, take field trips, and seize every moment.  You might also know, however, that I love routine and structure.

In our five years of homeschooling I've learned a few things about how to structure a homeschool day. I'm not claiming this works for everyone, but maybe if it works for us, it MIGHT work for you, too.

Get Up!

My husband leaves for work every morning between 5 and 6 a.m. The nature of our lives is that we get up early.

It works for us.

I used to not think that was the case, and there was a period of time when everyone (not my husband) would wake up on their own. This DID NOT work.


Each morning my alarm clock rings at 5:45 a.m. I know, that's early - it requires I get in bed at a decent hour.

My daughter's alarm clock goes off at 6:45 a.m. My son is always awake by this time, too.

{During this time I've showered and started some laundry}

We follow the SAME morning routine every day. It is comforting to the kids - even when my oldest says she doesn't like it.

Breakfast, devotions, CNN Student News, Classical Conversations Memory Work, and a SQUILT lesson always start the morning. All of this takes about an hour.

My goal is to have us starting the meat of our day by 9:00 or 9:30 a.m.

The "Essentials"

We ALWAYS start the day with math. My brain is more fresh and the kids' brains are more fresh, too.

A typical Saxon math lesson takes a little more than an hour for my daughter and about 45 minutes for my son. 

After that, my son knows he has to complete "The Essentials" before we go on to anything else.

I am flexible, however. He is a little boy and needs frequent breaks. We might stop inbetween two subjects and do some timed laps around the house. Or, we might stop and have a granola bar and just chat for a bit.

Or, he might ask me if he can build LEGOS for a few minutes.

I am FINE with that, as long as we're working on the essentials. 



Lunch time is when we regroup and plan out our afternoon.

It is also when I read aloud. 

My daughter sometimes has a favorite book she is reading, so she sits at the table with us and reads her book while I read aloud (I have no idea how she does this, but it works for her!).

We have every single afternoon free except for Tuesdays, when the kids have piano lessons at 2:30.

Other than that, no other activities happen until at least 5:30, so we have a huge chunk of time in the afternoons.

These afternoon hours are for science or history (never both on the same day), a fun art project, or outside play. 

I also try to take at least an hour (hopefully two) to devote time to the blog, returning emails, and taking care of business in general. 

Clean Up

Since part of our learning area is downstairs in our main kitchen/family room area I make sure everything is cleaned up before I'm starting dinner or we leave for an activity. 

I'm a little obsessive about having everything cleaned up, because I just don't think well when the house is a wreck.


The "Real World"

In the real world life doesn't always go as planned.

There are MANY days that don't go exactly as planned.

On those days I realize that God's grace covers all of our faults and problems. I have to trust that we are getting done what needs to get done in GOD'S TIME and not mine.

Some days may call for us to just STOP at 10 in the morning and go for a nature walk.

Now that fall is approaching we may want to be outside A LOT more. We may decide to take a spur of the moment field trip. I might wake up with a migraine. One of the kids might be sick.

You never know what life throws at you.

I am finding, though, that with enough routines in place and enough structure to guide our days, we are more productive, happier, and learning more.

Life is more than just checking off the boxes. It's about living.

Hopefully our homeschool reflects that fact! 

What does a day in your homeschool look like?

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