What is our daily flow like as a veteran homeschooling family? It’s pretty much a flexible routine that includes things that are important to our family. Things like whole child learning, physical activity, lots of sunlight, one-on-one time, family bonding, work, and self-care. This is the flow we fall back on when we aren’t busy with co-op, soccer, traveling, field trips, playdates, or other welcomed distractions. Since I also work from home, pending deadlines may also cause a disruption in our daily flow.
Homeschooling and Balancing Work
People have asked how I do it. How do I homeschool and still find time to work, blog, and mentor? My motto is “every little bit counts.” Therefore, if I have an extra twenty minutes, I will do a twenty-minute task and so forth. I borrowed this concept from Proverbs 13:11; He who gathers little by little amasses much. That particular verse is talking about wealth, but I also believe that this notion applies to just about everything in life. Whether it’s twenty minutes or twenty hours, I’m moving forward and closer to achieving my goals. This mentality keeps me from becoming overwhelmed and feeling like I’m not doing enough. Tiny steps forward are STILL steps forward.
I also want to note that I don’t really consider myself a working mom. My home is my work and my most important ministry. Rather, I consider myself a mom who was able to monetize her hobbies. Most things you see me doing are things I’ve done for years—for free. For this reason, I believe every mom should have a hobby or a craft that she’s working to perfect. Something she enjoys doing that’s just for her. For me, that craft was researching, writing, and education. I never expected to get paid to do these things, but here we are.
There’s a Season for Everything Under the Sun
Recognizing my seasons was probably the most difficult thing to do, but it played a huge role in how I’m able to navigate this work-from-home life. You see, I had this vision to blog and help homeschooling families for a long time. But blogging and mentoring in the capacity that I do now would have resulted in frustration and resentment. Trust me I tried. Sometimes, you get the vision, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right season to carry out that vision. I had to grow to understood that there would come a season where I’d have more time and energy to do the things I felt passionate about. When we are operating in our perfect season, God gives us everything we need to carry out the mission.
There’s No Shame in Outsourcing
Even more, I’m learning that outsourcing is one of the greatest tools to take advantage of when running a business. You don’t have to do all the cleaning, bookkeeping, business maintenance, etc. Hire a weekly cleaning service to help you keep your home clean. Hire a CPA to help with accounting and bookkeeping. Hire a virtual assistant to help with daily tasks and maintenance. Assign roles to each member of your family to help you maintain your home. I don’t try to do everything myself and am always examining where I can outsource to help ease my load.
With that said, I hope this daily flow helps you decide how you’d like to structure your homeschool days. Notice I don’t have much allotted time to work during the week. I save that for weekends and school breaks. I also want to note that I have a specific homeschooling routine where I include details of how I rotate subjects and topics. I may share that in a future post, so keep your eyes peeled.
5am: Gratitudes, Pray, Daily Bread
How you spend the first fifteen minutes upon waking will set the trajectory of your day. That’s why I like to start my day with gratitude, prayer, and reading the Bible. This practice doesn’t guarantee that my days will go perfectly, but it does help me to be less emotionally reactive when challenging moments occur.
6am: Workout, Shower, Get Dressed
I am new to morning workouts. I typically like to work out in the evening and have done so for many years. Sadly, for some reason, the evening workouts are beginning to interfere with my sleep, so I’m pushing them to the morning where that jolt of energy can be put to better use.
7am: Business Management
If you didn’t know, I do run an official business and wear many hats. This is the time I will read and respond to business inquiries, go over my To-Do list, and do some light housekeeping. On homeschooling days, I only have a small allotted time for work-related things, so I make the most of it and do the bulk of my work on weekends and during school breaks. Managing my home will always take precedence to work.
8am: Breakfast, Laundry, Physical Activity for Boys
Due to intermittent fasting, I don’t eat breakfast until closer to noon. I may have a smoothie if I get hungry. My kids most certainly eat breakfast during this time and will make themselves a combination of things from boiled eggs and toast to waffles and fruit. After breakfast, the boys go outside and play. We live in Middle Georgia where the weather is pretty mild during the fall and winter months, so this is something they do year-round. Getting their wiggles out before lessons improves my children’s concentration and make them more receptive to formal learning. While they are playing outdoors, I will put in a load of laundry. I do laundry just about every day and found this is the simplest way to stay on top of it. If it’s a Monday, I will also order groceries during this time.
9-11am: One-on-One Learning Time with Boys
I like to ensure each of my boys gets one-on-one time with me for one hour each. I have a middle schooler who can do all his lessons on his own, but prefers to work with me and I won’t fight it. I just relish it while it lasts. Besides, part of his learning style is being a social learner, so he benefits from learning in small groups and retains more information that way. During this time, we will complete their ten-minute devotional, language arts curriculum, and math. The boys will also grab a snack at some point. I have a drawer full of independent work that each child will complete downstairs while I work with the other. This work includes whatever they need more practice on (studying spelling words, handwriting, etc), daily journal writing, daily reading comprehension fluency practice, daily math fluency practice, and reading for enjoyment.
11am: Family Learning Time
Most homeschoolers like to call this “Morning Basket” time. That is, setting aside a basket of good books to read aloud, learn, and discuss together. The theme this year is intentional whole-child learning, so most of the books I chose during this time will help foster social-emotional intelligence, creative and cognitive development, physical health, and spirituality. We like alternate subjects per day and semester. At the beginning of our family time, we like to do a brain-building activity like playing a quick game of Genius Squares, solving a riddle, or playing MadLibs. On alternating days and semesters, we will exchange the morning basket for our family-style science and/or history curriculum.
12pm: Lunch Break & Vitamin D Walk
This is probably the time I will have my first meal. In many cases, what I cook for myself will also become the boys’ lunch, which works out because they end up having a pretty healthy lunch. My favorite meal to cook is an egg, spinach, and chicken omelet sometimes wrapped in a toasted flour tortilla. My second favorite meal is homemade chicken & veggie noodle soup which lasts for days and means less cooking.
1pm: Nap if Needed
I rarely take naps, but since my mission is to wake up earlier, I needed an allotted time where I have permission to take one if needed. Otherwise, this time is just some downtime or an extra window to get work done while the boys have their downtime.
2-4pm: Work Window (Child-Led Learning Projects for Boys)
I will typically work on blog stuff or resources during this time. I will also take a few moments to respond to social media comments and interact with my supporters. As I’ve stated, the bulk of my work is completed on weekends or during school breaks so that I can give most of my attention to my home and family. This is the perfect time to schedule work because my boys are typically occupied with the child-led learning portion of their day where they work on projects of their choice, whether it’s coding an animation, learning to draw something new, or learning to play a song on the keyboard. Approved Youtube tutorials are typically what they use to complete their projects.
4pm: Planning Dinner
Since many of our meals are homemade, I need to set time aside to slice, dice, and prep the ingredients. My boys love to cook so I try to involve them when they ask if they can help. I like to do my meal planning on Sundays so that I have a clear game plan, and I aim to cook extra food to enjoy for leftovers the next day to minimize daily cooking. On the days we have leftovers, I may end up working during this time.
5pm: Dinner & Family Chores
After dinner, I will usually fold the laundry from that morning and have my boys do things like wipe down the kitchen table and counters, sweep the kitchen floor, vacuum, and do the dishes. I will also perform other housekeeping tasks that need attention. Everyone cleans in my home, including my husband, so this is not a burden that I carry alone.
6-9pm: Work Window (Coaching Calls)
As a homeschool mentor, I offer evening coaching services to anyone looking for guidance and reassurance during their homeschooling journey. If you’re looking for mentorship and you think I’d be a great fit, you can secure your spot on my e-calendar here.
9pm: My Night-time Routine & Boys’ Bedtime
As the boys are drifting off to sleep, I like to take this time to do my nighttime routine. of course, I shower, moisturize, maintain my hair, and brush and floss my teeth. I also like to do light stretches, pray, read the Bible, review my calendar and To-Do list, and empty all my thoughts into my notebook so that I can rest better. On the weekends, my self-care routine will be a little more in-depth to include a manicure, pedicure, exfoliating, and all the other weekly and biweekly maintenance routines.