When you are just getting started with homeschooling, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out how to fit things into your day. I’m going to share a typical day in our homeschool life so you can see how we work it and how much time we spend on formal learning each day. We currently have a toddler who still naps twice a day, so this is our “two-nap-a day” rhythm. I can already feel this wonderful two-nap phase coming to an end, so I’m sure we will be changing up our routine here soon!
Here we go!
7:00 – Wake up. The kids usually watch a show for a bit while I get the toddler situated and get breakfast ready.
7:30 – Breakfast. Consult our Morning Menus. (talking more about this soon!)
7:45 – Family devotional. We sing a song, work on our weekly memorization, read our scriptures and pray together before my husband heads off to work.
8:00 – Kids start working on their morning chores. I usually start laundry and clean up anything that didn’t get done the night before.
9:00 – Start our family subject of the day. (We rotate through science, social studies/history and art/music)
10:00 – Snack. Break until the toddler’s nap time. Once I start getting the little one down for a nap, I usually have the oldest two start on their handwriting.
11ish – We start individual subjects. My 3rd grader starts on math, and I work 1-on-1 with my 1st grader and her math. My 3-year-old hangs out and works in his own school books, cuts things, plays with the math manipulatives, or does some puzzles for however long he lasts. Then he will usually watch an episode of Paw Patrol while I’m finishing up. Tryin’ to keep it real here… (ALSO, please note this is all on a good day! We often battle threenager attitudes and have to get creative, take a break, or even cut things short. But that’s just life for us!)
When the kids are done with math, my 3rd grader does anything independent in his language arts lesson while I work with my daughter on her language arts. Once I’m done working with her, she’s done, and I will help my 3rd grader finish up his work.
**My 1st grader typically spends about 40 minutes total working with me on math and language arts.
**My 3rd grader typically spends about 1 hour working on the two subjects.
12/12:30 – Lunchtime and clean up
After lunch, my 3rd grader will do his typing/coding and piano if he didn’t get that done in the morning.
Aside from that, after lunch is free time for a few hours!
3:30ish – My toddler takes a second nap and this is when the other kids get to use the iPads/Nintendo so I can get a workout in. I aim for 30 min-1 hour depending on nap length and try to shower right after. They get to play on their devices until I am out of the shower. I would love to have zero screens, but this is the only way I can keep them quiet while the baby is napping so I can work out. It’s what works right now, and I’m ok with that.
The kids then turn off their devices and play outside again/whatever other activities, and I start dinner.
After dinner, the kids do their chores. Then, Dad spends time with them while I finish cleaning up and getting the house ready for the next day. Getting the house cleaned up and ready for the next day is key to a successful tomorrow for us!
Then, everyone gets ready for bed.
The next day, we wake up and do it all again!
I’m going to insert a huge PLEASE NOTE right here because I want you all to know that this is our ideal day. It does not go just like this every single day, and probably not even half the days. But, this is what we aim for, and we adjust as necessary to accommodate life with two little boys who just sometimes need more attention. We also do not hold fast to specific times of day for anything, so these times are all approximate. This is just the general rhythm we follow.
Daily Learning Time Breakdown
For a breakdown of the time we specifically spend on formal learning in a day:
Family subjects (science, social studies/history, arts/crafts): 30 min – 1 hour
1st grader (math and language arts): 40 minutes + 20 minutes reading
3rd grader (math and language arts): 1 hour + 20 minutes reading, although he usually reads for an hour or two each day
With the overlapping of the kids independent subjects, we spend less than 2 hours/day on our formal learning time.
I really like this article for breaking down how public school time translates to homeschool time. I also agree with the general rule that you can expect your child to handle 7 minutes for each year old they are. So a 6-year-old would be able to handle about 42 minutes (6yo x 7min = 42 min). This rule of thumb has been very accurate with my own kids, and is generally what I aim for as a time goal for their core bookwork subjects. I personally don’t account for our family subjects (science, social studies, art, music) in this because those are more hands-on and not sit-down type work in our home. The kids enjoy those parts of our day the most!
I hope this was helpful to give you ideas on how you might incorporate homeschooling into your day! It looks different for everyone, and especially in this season in our home with a young toddler, our days are often dictated by him and his needs/mood. However, by sticking to our “flow”, we can still manage to get the things in that we need to!