So tell me, have you started losing hair yet? 😉
I get it, I know it’s hard! I was going stir crazy last year trying to figure out a schedule and some sort of balance between work, homeschool, baby and home – I’ve been where you currently are. That is why I am sharing my kids schedule with you because I so wish somebody was here to guide me last year! (pssst – there is also a free download!)
If you are new here, welcome! My name is Samia and I am a working and homeschooling mom of two kids. I am so excited that you are here! Leave your e-mail so that I can send you more helpful tips on managing a job and homeschool ❤️
Let’s get right into it because if you are here, chances are that you are a busy parent and do not have time to waste! I use a block schedule for my kids because with homeschooled kids, you need to be flexible. For instance, we don’t have to wakeup at 7am sharp to get ready for school or catch a bus. We also do not have to finish school at 3pm because it is time to go home. Therefore, flexibility is key. If he wants to sleep in until 8am, I account for that because we are not on an hour-to-hour routine. Our routine is broken down into 2-3 hour chunks. So, if we get a late start to the day, we have a 2 hour chunk of time to get everything done in our morning routine. Here is what my kids schedule looks like:
MORNING ROUTINE: 8am – 10am
During this 2 hour block, the kids wake up and get ready for the day. My four year old will get ready by himself and meet me downstairs, whereas the younger one needs help. If I am upstairs, I will get them to pickup their rooms (getting them to clean by themselves is still a work-in-progress). We meet in the kitchen where my 4 year old will help make breakfast and clean up the kitchen. If he is not in the mood to help (I do not force him as he is usually willing to help in the kitchen), then he does some independent reading or free play. By 10am, we are finished with breakfasts, kitchen is clean and I am out of the kitchen.
HOMESCHOOL: 10am – 12pm
This is a no-phones block of time for me. Unless I am taking their pictures for memories, I will stay off my phone. The reason is, when my attention is divided, it affects my son. I notice a sudden decline in his performance and I also noticed that I get frustrated if I am trying to reply to a message and he is trying to get my attention. So, for everyone’s sanity and happiness, phone gets put away. This is why you will not see me record any real-time Instagram stories related to homeschool 😃.
We start off with writing practice, followed by some reading activities and then math worksheets. Because my son is only 4.5 years old so he usually starts getting fidgety after an hour of homeschool. At this point, we change courses and do some crafts, colouring or online stories. Normally, we are a screen free family but due to quarantine and all of our extracurricular activities being cancelled, I have thrown in online stories. They are always non-fiction (something along the lines of Stories of the Prophets or National Geographic documentaries). Homeschool wraps up around 11:30am and they have some free play time or reading for the next half hour.
AFTERNOON ROUTINE: 12pm – 2pm
I have to login to work at noon so my mother-in-law takes over. The kids have some free play time, followed by lunch. She will also take them out for a walk or bike ride (the playgrounds near our home are closed due to the quarantine). This is so the kids can get their energy out before the next block of time (nap/quiet time!) After this, the kids will come upstairs and get ready for some quiet time (the young one will take a nap).
NAP/QUIET TIME: 2pm – 4pm
This block of the routine is simple for the baby as she naps. For my son, he has some quiet time with books or puzzles in his room. If he starts getting antsy after an hour, I will let him hang out in my office (as long as he is being quiet). He will usually lay on our bed (my “office” is in our bedroom) or bring his books and look at pictures. But the first hour is strictly in his room and I will be honest, there are days that it is hard to enforce this but we are very strict about this rule. Consistency is key here, don’t relax on the rules.
EVENING ROUTINE: 4pm – 7pm
This chunk of the day is always the most sporadic. The kids end their naps/quiet time at approximately 4pm and will go downstairs. My MIL will give them a snack and they have some free play time. At 5:30pm, I will finish work and come downstairs. The first thing I do is read a book with both of them. I think these few minutes spent cuddling and reading really grounds us and sets the tone for the evening. The kids miss me and they are happy to see me. As tempting as it is to go to the kitchen and start prepping dinner, I focus on them. They are important and I want them to feel that.
If it is a nice day then either my husband or I will take them outside. As playgrounds are not an option right now and more people are outside for walks at this time, we like to stick to the driveway. We will play with chalks or bubbles or simply just read on the porch. After that, we will come inside and if they are being clingy then I will get them involved in the kitchen with me. They help me prep dinner, set the table, etc.
Then, we have dinner as a family somewhere between 6:30pm and 7:30pm.
BEDTIME ROUTINE: 7pm – 10pm
We have dinner and my MIL and I will clean up the kitchen. My husband and kids will tidy up the floor (to be honest – 98% of the mess is toys and books!) During this quarantine, I have started taking an Arabic class, which begins at 8:30pm so my husband and I have to rush after dinner. We take the kids upstairs, showered and into their pajamas. At 8:30pm, I will go into my bedroom/office to attend my online Arabic class while my husband (God bless him!) will brush their teeth, read and pray with them. Between 9pm – 9:30pm, I finish my class and join them again. We have some cuddles and kisses, we talk about what we will do the next day and then we say good night. I will take the baby into her nursery and put her to sleep.
I know what you’re thinking: yes, my kids go to sleep close to 10pm. No, this is not normal routine for us. This is “self-isolation-do-what-works-for-you” routine. The kids are just not tired enough without their usual activities so we find that an earlier bedtime just does not work. Also, they wake up at 8am – which is really nice for me. This way, I have some time in the morning to gather myself before the chaos begins.
I have also written about my Morning Routine, you can have a read HERE and watch the video HERE. I hope you enjoyed reading about our quarantine kids routine. One thing that you will notice is that we read multiple times throughout the day. Reading is so so so beneficial for your kids and there is so much research and science to back this up.