Our Family Daily Rhythm (including homeschool, home care, and business ownership)

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Our Family Daily Rhythm (including homeschool, home care, and business ownership)

With juggling four children, two businesses, home care, and homeschooling, you can imagine that our home is very busy. Having a daily rhythm helps us all be as intentional with our time as we can. Rather than trying to stick to a rigid schedule, I have found that creating a general rhythm for our days helps us all feel more in control and at peace, without feeling like a failure if things don’t happen at exact times. I do like to have general times in mind for our days, but I try to keep our days open with a lot of margin so that when things don’t go as planned, there is room to shift things around.

As a working and homeschooling mama, having a daily and weekly rhythm frees me up to work when it’s time to work and rest when it’s time to rest. Without this, I also can’t imagine we would be very consistent in completing our homeschool lessons because there is always something that comes up with having babies and running a business.

I have learned that our daily rhythm is an ever-changing element, always needing to be adapted to the changes in our home life. I have blogged multiple times about our daily rhythm because it has changed so many times over the years. I enjoy sharing our different daily rhythms because I know it really helps me to peek into other people’s days to get a grid for how I can potentially set up my own. Here are few you may enjoy:

Our Homeschool Daily Rhythm with a Toddler and a Baby in the Mix

Homeschooling with Baby in Tow (and our updated Daily Rhythm)

Our Homeschool Preschool Daily Rhythm

Along with having a daily rhythm in mind for our days, I find that having visual aids that coordinate help me stay on track and help my children know what to expect of our day. We use these Daily Rhythm cards and they help us all so much.  

A bit about our work life

My husband owns his own carpentry business. He does his computer work from home in the mornings, but spends most of the weekdays out in the field at his workshop and in customers’ homes. He leaves the house around 8am and comes home around 5:30pm. The exception is Fridays where he is home by 1pm and has the kids until dinner while I get some work done. During this time he does “Daddy school” with the older two, teaching them fun life skills such as woodworking, financial stewardship, and survival skills.

I spend about 15-20 hours a week writing blog posts and curriculum, filming for Instagram and YouTube, communicating with the Treehouse Schoolhouse team, and answering messages. My work time has shifted all around over the last year to find a good rhythm. Currently, I have dedicated time for working three afternoons a week, from 1-5:30pm. Two of those times, the children are with our nanny, and Fridays they are with my husband. Our nanny has been a gift to our family and she takes them to the library each week while she has them. She also cooks dinner those two nights and helps me stay on top of household tasks while she is here. I also work on some evenings and occasionally a bit on the weekends.  

A bit about our children

My children are currently 15 months old, almost 3 years, almost 7 years, and 8.5 years old. My baby naps for part of our lesson time and that is on purpose because she is recently very busy and requires an eye on her at all times. I am still nursing her about 2-3 times a day. My almost-3-year-old is at a tough stage right now as well and needs a lot of attention. While we do include him in our Morning Time routine, he is still so young and spends most of his day playing (which he should!) He is very attached to Mama and wants to be next to my side or on my lap for pretty much all of our lessons. I have a lot of activities and toys nearby to help him stay engaged, but it is still tough most days.

Read: 50 Low-Prep, Low-Mess Ideas to Engage Your Toddler

We also keep a lot of snacks on hand and that helps a lot! If things get really tough with the littles, I am not afraid to resort to a show in the next room to get our school work complete. Homeschooling with little ones is not for the faint of heart, but it is possible and I know it’s just a season. My older children are almost 7 years old and 8.5. They are technically entering 1st and 3rd grade, but with homeschooling we don’t really stick to grade levels exactly. We do most of our schooling “family style”, which you will see in the daily rhythm below.

Outings and extracurriculars

I keep our Monday-Thursday mornings reserved for home care and lessons. If we go on outings or to doctor appointments on the weekdays they are always in the afternoons, and I try to make them after rest time if possible. For example, in this season on Mondays at 3:30pm my older children are enrolled in a homeschool art class nearby. On Wednesdays, our nanny takes them to the library in the afternoon. Other than that, we usually stay home and play outside or bike to our nearby playground in the afternoons. We only do our main lessons on Mondays-Thursdays and on Friday mornings we go to our local Wild and Free group.

You can search if there is a Wild and Free group in your area here: bewildandfree.org

Weekends

Our weekends are very relaxed and filled with free play, outings, movies, hiking, exploring our downtown, and visits with friends and family. We often also like to try to squeeze in some one-on-ones with the kids when we can, going on a bike ride or out for a treat. I also like to spend some of every weekend unplugged from social media and also some of each weekend getting organized for the next week by meal planning, grocery shopping, homeschool planning, and cleaning or organizing areas of our home. My older children are only allowed screen time on the weekends, so they usually watch a show or movie at rest time on Saturdays or we do family movie time one evening. 

Our Family Daily Rhythm

Here is a quick glance at our typical weekday daily rhythm. You can scroll down to read in detail about each block.

5:30-6:15 Mama Morning Time
6:15-7:00 Bike Ride
7:00-7:30 Make Breakfast
7:30-8:00 Breakfast and Bible
8:00-10:00 Morning Chores, Home Care, and Free Play
10:00-11:00 Morning Time
11:00-11:30 Individual Lessons
11:30-1:30 Together Lessons / Lunch
1:30-3:00 Rest Time / Work Time
3:00-5:30 Outing / Free Play / Dinner Prep
5:30-7:00 Dinner Chores and Dinner
7:00-8:30 Time with Dad and Bedtimes
8:30-10:00 Relax and Connect

5:30-6:15 Mama Morning Time

I start my day around 5:30am. By this time my husband is already up and out the door to go workout. He works out at Crossfit near our home from 5-6am. I get up, put on workout clothes, wash my face, make my bed, and head downstairs for coffee. I like to sit in the living room with my freshly made americano and take my time in silence waking up. I also try to eat a little something with my coffee, even if I am not ready for a full breakfast. I spend a few minutes reading the Bible and spend some time praying. When my husband returns I head outside to jump on my bike. 

6:15-7:00 Bike Ride 

About 3-4 mornings a week I will do a morning ride. We live near a cute little downtown so I can get in 3-4 miles, listening to worship music or an audiobook and just enjoying the time alone. My children are starting to wake up back at home during this time and my husband is doing his computer work at the dining room table, while saying his “good mornings” and keeping the little ones happy with snuggles and bananas until Mama returns.

7:00-7:30 Make Breakfast

When I get home, usually everyone is awake. Sometimes one or two kids will jump in and help me make breakfast. They are all still in their pajamas and are usually playing or cuddling and reading on the couch while my husband is completing his morning computer work. During this time I make everyone breakfast, nurse the baby, and pack my husband’s lunch for work. For breakfast, we keep it pretty simple, but I do like to cook a hot breakfast. We usually have a combination of some of the following: eggs, sausage, bacon, fruit, plain yogurt, and oatmeal. 

7:30-8:00 Breakfast and Bible

By 7:30 we are gathered at the dining room table for breakfast and Bible lessons. My husband leads this time of our day. Bible lessons typically include scripture reading, scripture memory, discussion, and prayer. We are currently using The Ology to guide this time, but have used various resources in the past. 

Check out our favorite family devotionals here.

8:00-10:00 Morning Chores, Home Care, and Free Play

My husband leaves around 8 and we clear the breakfast table and the big kids begin their Morning Chores. They use their chore charts from the Daily Rhythm Bundle to remind them of their responsibilities. They enjoy checking them off as they complete them. Once they have completed their chores they are welcome to play inside or outside until I gather them all for Morning Time around 10am. The little ones play or stay near me to “help” as I do my morning responsibilities. This is the main time in my day that I get cleaning done so I try to stay focused and get as much done as I can. Some of the things I focus on in the mornings are unloading and loading the dishwasher, gathering all of the laundry and switching and starting a load, cleaning the kitchen from breakfast, and sweeping the downstairs. I also pack the kids lunches in little bento-style boxes so we can quickly grab those during lesson time. My older children are responsible for cleaning their rooms in the morning so I check their rooms and check the school area to make sure it is tidy. I also grab the kids an easy morning snack and set the table for Morning Time. If I can, I also check in with the Treehouse Schoolhouse team and may post content at this time in our day. I also try to quickly change my clothes from my bike ride and apply some makeup before gathering the kids back together. 

10:00-11:00 Morning Time 

We do Morning Time at our dining room table and in our living room. I gather the kids back together and give them their Morning Time Menus. My baby and toddler are either at the table with us or playing nearby. This year, our Morning Time includes calendar, weather, hand rhymes, folk songs, poetry, picture study, nature study books, and our loop subject. We end Morning Time cuddled on the couch reading picture books to the little ones.

Read: Our Homeschool Morning Time [updated August 2021]

Watch on YouTube: Homeschool Morning Time: Why and How?

11:00-11:30 Individual Lessons

Around 11 we head upstairs to the school area for the rest of our lessons. The baby and toddler transition to playing upstairs nearby or doing table activities as we complete lessons. The first things the big kids do are their individual lessons, which are phonics and math. They can do these lessons mostly independently, which is helpful because I am often tied up putting the baby down and getting the toddler settled. I hop back and forth between them as they complete these subjects.

11:30-1:30 Together Lessons/ Lunch

Once those subjects are complete we move into our “together lessons.” I put the baby down for her nap around 11:30, which is timed intentionally so we can do the rest of the lessons with a little more ease. The subjects and activities that we cover during this time are language, history, nature study, and read alouds. This includes a lot of reading, narration, and notebooking. This is also the time that we would complete any projects like handcrafts or experiments. Usually we grab the kids lunch boxes for them to eat while I read aloud.

Read: Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices for 2021-2022: Pre-K, 1st, and 3rd Grade

1:30-3:00 Rest Time/ Work Time

Sometimes we wrap up sooner than 1:30 but never later. When lessons are done, my toddler goes down for rest time. He doesn’t sleep every day, but has a timer and stays in his room with books and quiet toys. The baby usually sleeps until around 2. My older children are welcome to spend this time outside or in their rooms. A couple of days a week my nanny is at the house by 1 and we swap hands when we finish lessons. On the days she is not, I try to squeeze in a little work during this rest time. 

3:00-5:30 Outing/ Free Play/ Dinner Prep

As mentioned above, a couple of days a week I work in the afternoons and our nanny has the kids. On Fridays, my husband does. The kids spend their afternoons reading, playing outside, crafting, drawing, and sometimes on outings to meet up with friends, or to the park or library. Although I meal plan for the week, whoever has the kids in the afternoon also makes dinner as well. 

5:30-7:00 Dinner Chores and Dinner

The kids clean up any afternoon messes, wash their hands, and help set the table for dinner. We eat dinner together and then the kids clear the table and sweep the dining area with my husband while I take the baby up for a bath, nursing, and bedtime. 

7:00-8:30 Time with Dad and Bedtimes

The baby goes to sleep around 7 and then I get the toddler ready for bed and lay with him and read a few books. The big kids spend a little more time with their dad and get ready for bed closer to 8. They read in their beds until around 8:30 and then go to sleep.

8:30-10:00 Relax and Connect

In the evenings my husband and I connect and rest. My husband likes to watch TV shows occasionally, but I don’t really. If he does that I like to read, take baths, video chat my best friends, and scroll Instagram or Pinterest. I also sometimes squeeze in a little work in the evenings. 

We have very full days, but having a daily rhythm helps us fit in rest, work, play, and school without it feeling overwhelming. Sometimes we throw the entire thing out on a random weekday and spend the day out and about getting breakfast and exploring a forest or staying in pajamas and having a movie day. Having a plumbline of what our days look like gives me the freedom to go off that rhythm and not feel totally out-of-control because I can quickly find my way back.

I created the Daily Rhythm Bundle to support families in creating a visual schedule for planning out your days. Get your copy below.