A new school year is about to begin! Here’s my homeschool morning routine with 4 kids and what you can do to make a successful morning routine of your own.
With summer flying by, I’ve been doing some planning for our next homeschool year which will start up in just a couple weeks.
Back when Caleb was in K5 I shared a post about my morning routine with three kids. As I was looking back at that post I thought it was time for an update since I now have four kids and a lot has changed since then!
This year Caleb will be in 3rd grade, Sofia in 1st, and Lucas will be doing some basic K4/K5 level work, while Alex runs around and gets into everything haha.
As I plan our homeschool routine for this year I’m planning to do a lot of things the same as last year (which I don’t believe I shared on here) but will be dedicating a bit more time for schoolwork for Caleb in particular since he’ll be in 3rd grade.
Why I like a homeschool morning routine vs. a schedule
Following a routine instead of a rigid schedule works best for me and my four kids. I think that when they’re older a schedule might make more sense, but for now I appreciate the amount of both flexibility and structure that a routine gives us.
Routines are good for kids because it gives them a feeling of stability knowing what to expect. Setting expectations is so key. However, a routine allows for more flexibility than a rigid schedule which is important because some days certain activities may take longer than other days – or maybe there are just lots of extra interruptions from the littlest kids. Whatever the case, a flexible routine is very helpful.
Within our routine, we have certain things that we always do – I’ve heard another mom refer to them as “blocks” – and when needed we can always change up the order of those things to suit the needs of that particular day.
For example, this past school year our morning “circle time” usually happened before the kids worked in their various workbooks at the table, but sometimes we would swap the order if it made more sense for that day.
The key parts of our homeschool morning routine
There are several things that are important to me to always fit into our homeschool morning, the most obvious being school, ha! Since all my kids are still pretty young, it’s important to me to fit most (if not all) of our school time into the morning, leaving the rest of the day after lunch free for naps, fun reading, free play, and clean up time.
Our learning time is basically divided into three parts: circle time, which is our group learning time, table time, which is when the kids work through their workbooks and work on assignments, and reading time, which is when the two oldest will practice their reading skills for 20 minutes or so.
It’s also important to me to make time for read alouds (we’re currently in the Little House series for the second time), Bible time, and outdoor time (if the weather is decent).
And finally it probably goes without saying that we always want to make time at the beginning of the day for getting ready and doing some basic morning chores.
Our homeschool morning routine for this year
There really is no one-size-fits-all answer for “what should my morning homeschool routine be?” I can’t even give you a “typical homeschool schedule” because it honestly varies so much between families, based on each one’s individual needs.
I’m sharing our morning homeschool routine with you just to give you an idea of what we do (I love seeing what other people do!) and not because I think that our routine is necessarily what you should emulate.
With that being said, here’s my loosely-held plan for this school .year’s morning routine. I’ve added in some times just to give you an idea, though we won’t keep a strict schedule as I mentioned earlier.
7 am (ish) – Breakfast, Bible time at the table with Pablo, maaaybe a short walk outside
8 am – Finish getting dressed if needed / morning chores / exercise
8:30 – Circle time: Bible lesson, group learning (which will vary by day but will include Science and History, flashcard review, singing)
9:15 – First table time – Math and English workbooks for the three big kids, quiet time in crib with books for Alex
10 am – Snack and outside time / break
10:30 – Second table time for the two oldest – Writing and/or Spelling
11 – Reading practice for the two oldest (sometimes with me, sometimes on their own), then clean up and break before lunch
12 – Lunch time and done with school for the day!
The only thing I plan for the kids to do school-wise after lunch is memory work for their AWANA club that they attend and maybe a little flashcard review, but that will only take them a few minutes and they can do it on their own.
How to set yourself up for success with your homeschool morning routine
It’s one thing to plan out your new homeschool routine, but it’s another thing entirely to actually stick to it. Here are a few things you can do to help set you up for success this school year.
Prepare the night before
I read blog post recently that reminded me that you don’t need to have everything prepared and ready for the entire school year, you just need to be prepared for the next day. So, once one school day is finished, look over what you’ll need for the next day and pull out any papers or things you may need.
Then get to bed in good time! This is especially important for young moms who may be up in the night with little ones.
Wake up before your kids
I’ll be honest, I go through phases of doing better at this and then falling off the wagon and sleeping late again. But when I do make myself get up before my kids I am always so glad I did.
My kids know they’re supposed to stay in their rooms until 7:00 am, so if I can make myself get up at 6 I have a whole hour to prepare for the day and get some work done before they’re up.
Spend time with God
If you’re a Christian, this should be a priority for you. However, if you’re like me it often gets pushed to the side as other things seem more immediate and important. But man, we need God’s help if we’re going to parent and teach our children well.
Stay off your phone
Yep, I’m going there. The reason I’m mentioning phones is because this has been a hard area for me over the past several years. As a stay-at-home-mom, it’s so tempting to scroll my phone whenever I feel “bored” or just plain tired of mothering. But, good parenting and good homeschooling requires you, the parent, to be present and engaged with your kids and that means it’s so important to stay off your phone.
I’ve had all sorts of good intentions over the years to spend less time on my phone, but it wasn’t until recently when I started being accountable to someone that I’ve actually stuck to my set limits (currently 20 min a day on social media.)
Schedule breaks (for yourself!)
Don’t keep such a busy routine that you burn yourself out. Make sure to schedule in breaks for yourself. I am very protective of our daily quiet time from around 1-3 pm. It’s a time for the youngest ones to nap, the older ones to play quietly or read in their room, and I get some quiet time myself to work (I have a small part time job along with running this site) plus sometimes a quick 10 minute nap.
So, are you ready to plan your homeschool morning routine? Whether you have four kids like me or just one or ten, having a regular routine will help your morning (and your entire day) go more smoothly!