Friday, January 10, 2014

Our Afternoon Homeschool Routine | Lone Star Signers

Our afternoon routine is even more flexible than our morning routine. We are working more on structure than schedules, remember!

When the whining becomes much more noticeable, it is time for lunch! Some days, this happens at 11:30 a.m., and some days, it's closer to 1:00 p.m. It totally depends on how our morning has gone--if Addie is still productively working on school lessons and Kate is still happily playing, I'll push lunch back. Neither girl wakes up from a nap happy, so I work hard to fit all our work into the morning.

Lunch is easy: meat & Triscuit crackers, sometimes with cheese, and fruit & veggies. If I remember, we'll listen to some of our Classical Conversations memory work while eating. :)

Our Afternoon Homeschool Routine | Lone Star Signers
Outside Play:
I started this new addition to our schedule during the first week of January, and then we were hit with lots of rain, cold temps, and Mountain Cedar allergies. We haven't been outside in days and our mood is definitely showing the effects. Next week promises to be prettier, so we'll be instituting outside play soon!

(I envision cool spring days with blankets spread out on the grass and one happy mommy reading a book. We'll see.)

Nap/Quiet Time:
Quite important for this introvert mama. The girls share a room, so Addie rests until Kate falls asleep. Depending on my mood and to-do list, she either reads library books on her bed or sits next to me for iPad time. I've found a handful of free, educational games that are helpful for her fine-motor and/or math skills. (I'll share those in a post next week.) Kate sleeps for at least two hours still and is NEVER woken up before she's ready. I use the time to read, write, plan, and catch up on folding laundry.

Afternoon snack is a MUST for all of us, and depending where I am in my chores, they may get away with watching Signing Time for 30 minutes while I wrap it up. :)

Our Afternoon Homeschool Routine | Lone Star Signers
Mommy Play Time:
New for 2014, I want to make it a point to put down my WORK and play with the girls the last hour of the day. I'm hoping to rotate between things like PlayDoh and painting for the last hour of the day. I got a TON of great ideas from the book Playful Parenting (our February Mom's Book Club pick)--I plan on writing more about that soon!

Dinner and Dad:
I have the BEST husband who has a huge role in housework and parenting--seriously 50/50! He is SO supportive of homeschooling and considers THAT to be my main job. But, he has expressed to me how nice it is to come home to a prepared meal*, so I make every effort to make that happen. (And sometimes I don't--and he's happy to cook or pick up a pizza.)
Both girls RUN to the door when they hear his keys jingle outside. Twice a week we go for a family walk before eating, and everyone has a chance to share about their day. On the rare no-nap day, I might grab some alone time before dinner--sometimes Adam will take the girls to the library or run a short errand. We pick up all the mementos of our day and enjoy our family time. :)

* My favorite homemaking tip (courtesy of Tricia at Hodgepodge):
Prepare dinner at lunchtime! 
4:00-5:00 is one of the hardest times of the day for me--my introvert self usually needs a recharge, and the last thing I want to do is spend time in the kitchen while my girls bicker and shriek around me. (<-- guaranteed grumpy mama) I read a blog post several months ago that suggested preparing dinner and cleaning up the kitchen earlier in the day--either tossing items in a crockpot or preparing a casserole that I can put in the fridge until right before dinner time. This small tip has revolutionized "making dinner" around here, much to the joy and delight of everyone who likes to eat!

So those are our daily homeschool routines. Honestly, no two days ever look the same! I hope you found this series helpful--I'd love for you to share your thoughts in the comments below!

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