Photo credit: Kendra @ Habits for a Happy Home
Today I’m sharing with you our simple secret for success in getting back into a routine. We are ready for that routine because of those steps we’ve talked about earlier this week: sweet rest, listening to the Lord, having a plan and spending some time prepping. We also have some simple meals ready to fix.
So now, it’s predawn on the big Return of the Routine. Here is what we do:
Mama: I try my best to go to bed early the night before. I also get up early so that I can shower and have quiet time. Those days I do this are far more successful. I think of the traditional story about Martin Luther. It is said that one day he had so much to do that he needed to spend an extra hour in prayer so that he could get it all done.
“Seek God in your homeschool. His burden is easy. His yoke is light.” ~ Wisdom’s Way of Learning by Marilyn Howshall
The children: When we get back into a routine, we concentrate on just three things for three days. Just the basics. For us that means…
Back to School Schedule – First Three Days
- Before 8:45 Checklist (this has a reminder for morning quiet time, brushing teeth, making your bed, cleaning up after breakfast and even getting dressed!)
- Math – and math on four different levels is plenty to do for the first few days of school.
- Then we go to the neighborhood pool! Hooray! We’ve accomplished quite a bit.
That’s it! These basics are so important. And you can count on success (and always a few bumps) by only doing small amounts. Then celebrate!
After the first few days we slowly add in the rest of our regular school day:
- The remainder of the 3 Rs.
- Morning Room Time for the little ones.
- One more thing after lunch. (How we fit it all the extras.)
- Afternoon Quiet Time. This year ’round habit changes up a bit.
Additional resources for encouragement:
- Be on Time – Barb-Harmony Art Mom’s seasoned mom tip
- Back to Basics – with a bit of Mother Goose whimsy… “Catch the back to school joy in the basics. Start slowly. Be silly. You and your children can have a happy habit of learning. You don’t have to feel like the old woman in the shoe.”
- Just the Basics Ma’am – I share the four ingredients in my post at Heart of the Matter. “Oh how we homeschool moms pour over curriculum. We make plans, pick up new pencils at the store. Mark dates on the calendar. But what about the basics? Those simple, necessary things we have to do every day as mothers? How about the basic routines and habits we’d like for our children to build – like brushing teeth and clearing their spot at the breakfast table?“
- How to Get Back into a Routine (after sickness or some other bump in the road) “Lower expectations. Do just the basics. Then, fall back into your habits. Leave room for spontaneity.”
- Helpful Homeschool Habits for Multiple Ages – includes not only an expanded explanation of our Before 8:45 checklist but also morning room time, one more thing after lunch and afternoon quiet time.
- The Ultimate list of Hodgepodge Helpful Habits – not only habits for the school day but annual and holiday habits. Plus help for those tough days.
- Help for Making Habits Stick – “For me, over the years with babies, toddlers, stacks of school books, hungry mouths and now towering teens, these are the basic routes I’ve discovered for seeing results in building habits. The habits for building habits, if you will…”
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- Day 1 – Rest
- Day 2 – Planning & Prep
- Day 3 – Feeding the Family
- Day 4 – Game Day – The Routine
- Day 5 – Punt or Touchdown?
Tomorrow is I’ll share some secret plays for the tough days plus ways to infuse the fun.
Five Days of Summer Series brought to you by iHomeschool Network. Be sure to check out all the really great topics. Pin them for homeschool encouragement throughout the year! The summer series is sponsored by BEECH Retreat: Blogging. Learning. Growing.
Do you ease back into your routine? Or is it better for you to jump in all the way?
Well, this is my first year homeschooling and I just wanted to thank you for your site and all of your readers for their comments. There is a ton of very useful and practical help here. Thank you very much!! We did ease into school, introducing one subject at a time per week. Gradually working up to a full day worked great for us.
Audria – thank you for your sweet comment! I am so glad to hear you found Hodgepodge helpful! And I agree – slow and steady, working up to a full day. It sure works well for us too.
Kim A. says
Do you press consequences if they’re a few minutes late? I’m still working on that with one of mine. Even as long as we’ve been doing this! =) Tried consequences, also tried small rewards for being on time (my “ticket” reward system… not bribing, just small rewards for accomplishments). Each thing works for a day or two. =)
Well, there is usually so much going on with everyone that time of morning that I don’t notice a few minutes 🙂 Honestly, I also have one that tends to be late. This is improving some. Yes, we have the regular sorts of consequences. But I have found that the best consequences for this are those natural consequences. Like missing the good biscuits for breakfast 🙂 And everyone else finished up – and able to have other privileges – while this child is still finishing school work. It’s a daily thing, isn’t it?
Kim A. says
Yes, it is! The best idea I’ve used is getting a really good book (two of our favorites, even into the teen years, have been “Mama’s Bank Account,” and “Hitty: Her First Hundred Years”) and have story time first thing. If you’re late, you miss the latest installment of the story. And Mama hides the book so no one can peek or read ahead.
So glad Jen from Work at Homeschool sent me to this post! I’m also the homeschooling mom of 5 and wake up early to get my work in but it was sneaking into the day and disrupting everything. I’m realizing I have to stop it and put it away and focus only on homeschooling/activities/fun/listening to the kids the rest of the day! I’ll be starting one in high school this year and everyone is shocked we are still homeschooling … so great to meet you!