I have always been a planner and made schedules all my life, especially after having kids. Creating a daily rhythm is the key for children. They learn from being on a structured schedule. Now that doesn't mean it needs to be at the same time every single on the dot! It just means they like to know what is next, without being told whats next. It makes them feel comfortable and secure.Once everything is done for the morning time, we usually go outside for some much needed fresh air and vitamin D. Sometimes we will go on a little nature walk or keep learning while playing with nature. Being outside for my kids is a blessing because it helps them learn about the world/nature in a whole different perspective. Plus it helps them fall asleep at night!Once we are done with snack, then we will go outside if the weather is nice. If the weather is bad, then I will let them play freely in the family room. Sometimes I will even setup an activity for the boys to do.
Just remember that your daily rhythm will change over time because of what season you are in as a family. It could be just having a newborn baby, so therefore your days are spent at home mostly taking care of the new baby. You may have your other kids just playing a lot, which is not a bad thing, so that everyone can get back into a daily rhythm. Don't stress out trying to find the perfect daily rhythm! What works for my family may not work for your family. You just have to find what works for your family and that is it. I know social media portrays us as home school/stay-at-home moms/dads that everything you see on there is how perfect and happy everyone should be. Well nobody is perfect, but I know having a daily rhythm is the key to having a successful day for you and your kids.
I wanted to share with you our daily rhythm for during the holidays and for school as well. Each day can be different, as far as someone having a tantrum or too much emotional meltdowns, but the kids know what is next during the day. Both of my kids are in therapy outside of the home, so on certain days we are out going to therapy. Basically, everyday is the same except for those particular days, which are on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Here is our daily school rhythm/schedule. I have gone into more detail about each section so you can understand what each section means.
7:30-8:30am: Morning Routine
8:30-9:30am: Morning Basket/Free Play
9:30-10:30am: PT/OT activity/Morning Activity/Free Play
10:30-11:30am: Outside Time/Free Play
11:30-12pm: Lunch Time
12-2pm: Nap Time/Quiet Time/School/Work/Mom Lunch
2-2:30pm: Snack Time/Tea Time
2:30-4:30pm: Outside Time/Free Play
4:30-5pm: Dinner Prep/TV Time
5-6pm: Dinner Time/Clean Up
6-7pm: Night Time Routine
7pm: Bedtime for the kids
Now I will go into more detail for each section of our daily rhythm.
I will normally get up before anyone in the house, so i can have my downtime before all the crazy begins. This usually happens around 6:30-7:30am. I love to just sit quietly, drink my hot cup of coffee and read my Bible. The boys are usually up around 7:30 and we let them just play a little bit before we get them dressed for the day. After they play for a little bit, we will change them into their clothes and everyone will eat breakfast together.
After everyone eats, my husband leaves to go to work and I will clean up in the kitchen. The older kid will go do his morning chores, which are making his bed, picking up his clothes, and anything else I need him to do. The youngest one is playing during the chores cause he is not capable, physically, to join in just yet.
MORNING BASKET/FREE PLAY
After our chores are done, we will begin with our morning basket. Our morning basket consists of our monthly morning time menu, bible reading, read aloud for the month, and some small activities for the oldest to keep himself busy while I read.
After we have our morning time, then we will have free play. If mother nature is cooperative, then we will go ahead and go outside. If we are going to be leaving soon to go to therapy, then we will stay inside and play. I usually don't want them to get dirty before we have to go to therapy.
PT/OT ACTIVITY/MORNING ACTIVITY/FREE PLAY
On Mondays and Tuesdays, we are usually getting ready to leave at this point to go to therapy. If we don't have therapy then the youngest kid will play while the oldest kid will a morning activity. The morning activity can be consisted of his home-school lessons or anything that we need to work on with him.
After the youngest had plenty of free play time, he will begin to practice doing one therapy exercise/activity. Sometimes he can squeeze in more than one but it also depends on how mood is during the activity.
OUTSIDE TIME/FREE PLAY
When we come in from outside or our walk, we will begin the lunch prep process and then the boys will eat their lunch. Sometimes I will let my oldest help me prepare lunch but most of the time he is playing with his brother in the family room while I prepare their lunch.
NAP TIME/QUIET TIME/SCHOOL/WORK/MOM LUNCH
I will have to say that this time is one of my favorite times of the day. I know I love being their mom and being around watching them grow, but I also enjoy my quiet time! Once the boys are done with their lunch, I will clean up and then put my youngest down for a nap. In the mean time, my oldest will start on some schooling that I have prepared for him. Once the youngest is down I will continue to help/teach my oldest his school activities. We don't spend a lot of time on school cause he still young, but I know how much he wants to learn so this is when we have our daily school time.
Once we are done with school, he normally will go in his room and play until his brother wakes up from his nap. Its always an important part of the day for everyone to have some sort of quiet time from each other. It helps us get through the day. I usually will eat my lunch and do some work around the house during this time. It is a time for me to boost my energy for the rest of the day!
SNACK TIME/TEA TIME
When everyone is waking up from their naps or quiet time is over, snack time/ tea time is next. I usually try my best to give a nutritional snack and I usually read or play some music while they eat. On Mondays, we don't have time to sit and enjoy a snack. We are usually having a snack in the car on the way to speech therapy.
Tea time is part of our snack time on Fridays! We will sit on the floor or go outside for tea time. During tea time, they will eat their snack and I will read our monthly read aloud or we will just discuss the week that we had.
OUTSIDE TIME/FREE PLAY
DINNER PREP/TV TIME
When it gets close to dinner time, we will come inside and start prepping for dinner. I am usually the one cooking the dinner while the kids do another activity at the table or if the day is called for TV then I will turn the TV on for them to watch so I can cook. This doesn't happen every day but there are some days when its needed. Basically, they only watch a TV show or something on Youtube for about 30 minutes.
DINNER TIME/CLEAN UP
When I am done cooking dinner then we will sit down at the table and have dinner together as a family. On some days, its just the kids and I having dinner together cause my husband works. But we all try to sit down at least one meal a day together. I always grew up with everyone eating at the dinner table so we try to make it a point in our family. I also believe that eating together at the table calls for the most amazing conversations, especially for kids!
NIGHT TIME ROUTINE
Once dinner is over with, I usually let the boys play while I clean up the kitchen. I hate having a dirty kitchen and I hate cleaning the kitchen at a later time. I use to wait till the boys were down, but I realized by that time I was exhausted and didn't feel like cleaning. So I make it a point to clean up before we start the night time routine.
After I have cleaned up the kitchen, we normally start the night time routine with a bath. After bath, the boys will put on their PJ's then it's reading time. When we are done reading then its time for the boys to go to bed. This my second favorite part of my day! Don't get me wrong I love my kids more than anything, but I have realized that momma needs some me time. We as women need to take care of ourselves daily, its essential for us and our family!
So if you would like to start finding out what the best rhythm is for you feel free to download the Our Weekly Schedule below and just adjust the daily tasks to fit your families schedule/rhythm.