Big A is in preschool now, so I’ve been trying to establish a better daily homeschool routine in conjunction with my daily work routine. In reality, we’re more along the line of unschoolers, but he does do a bit of workbook practice every couple of days. We don’t homeschool every day, but something productive does happen at least 3 or 4 days out of the week. Even when we’re not doing something structured, learning always abounds.
The days end and begin with cosleeping. Both of my kids (ages 3 and 2) still sleep with me. The only time they’ve ever slept away from me in another room was when I was miscarrying Baby Arthur. Once my body healed, they were back in the room with me.
Now that their father and I no longer live together, they usually sleep in bed with me. I also have a Pack ‘N’ Play in our room that I occasionally will put one of them in if they’re being rowdy, but otherwise, the three of us (plus the little one growing in my belly) all sleep together every night.
Since I work from home and we homeschool, I don’t really have a set time that we try to get up at every morning. We usually automatically wake up at around 7 or 8, but if we had a rough night (like Little a’s late night teething fits as of late), we’ll sleep in.
After waking up and getting ready for the day, we always try to start off with a healthy breakfast. This usually consists of fruit, protein, a grain, and some veggies (I know, I know, cucumbers are a fruit…). Sometimes we have local eggs as our protein, but often times we have nut butter on toast. Occasionally we’ll have a little treat by eating a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast.
I usually try to make a little game with our food by having the kids help me count out the grapes or blueberries that I put on each child’s plate. By having them count with me, they know that each one is getting the same amount, while also working on their counting. Win, Win!
After breakfast and a bit of housework, we go for an hour walk. Since we’re back in the city, the kids usually chill out in the stroller while I walk. I’ll have them walk a portion of the way that’s not so traffic dense so they’re getting exercise, too.
After our walk, the kids will do a bit of independent play while I do housework, check emails, schedule social media posts, and whatever other smaller activities I might have lined up for work that day. Sometimes the A Team gets a little carried away when it comes to independent play (like when Little a found my colored pens), but they always manage to have fun.
After independent play and minor work, the kids and I usually break for lunch. Lunch is almost always smoothies, because they’re easy, they’re healthy, and this mama is way too damned exhausted to fix elaborate meals three times a day. The kids really like it when I make cacao smoothies, but I try to not make those every time, despite my love for chocolate.
Meals are always spent together. We leave the TV off, the cell phone put away, and just sit around and focus on our meal and each other. Sometimes we’ll read a book, but most times we just sit around and talk, even if I don’t always understand what the A Team is rambling on about.
Throughout the day, I work with the kids on learning life skills. They help me put away dishes, dust, pick up their toys, make the bed, fold laundry, and so on. Potty training also somehow manages to get done during the day. Thankfully both of my kids are pretty self-disciplined and motivated for toddlers, so they’re both great at cleaning up after themselves without being told (but we have our days…).
Sometime after lunch, Little a takes a nap. Normally she’ll go off to the bedroom on her own when she’s tired, but sometimes she’ll ask me to go with her and stay there until she falls asleep. Big A is pretty much past the nap stage, so while she’s napping, he’ll work on his workbooks. If I’m with her, that’s when he gets a special treat of watching one of his favorite TV shows (PAW Patrol and Peppa Pig are his current faves).
Sometimes Little a skips nap time, or just takes one later than usual. When this happens, she’ll do tot school activities while Big A works out of one of his workbooks. Usually she just colors or she’ll practice holding a crayon properly. Big A’s workbooks usually consists of letter tracing.
While Big A is doing workbook activities, I take a break from work. He’s still young enough that he pretty much needs my undivided attention while he completes the activities in the book.
Throughout the day, I’ll mix speaking in Spanish and English to the kids, so they’re both fluent in each. Neither really speaks much Spanish, but they certainly know what this Latina is saying when she’s trying to get her point across.
After workbook practice, we’ll sit and have a snack. Our snacks are usually something fermented, like sauerkraut. On very rare occasions we’ll have a special treat during snack, like a Pop Tart, but those occasions are quite rare. When we’re done with our snacks, it’s back to independent play. Sometimes Big A likes to work on puzzles during this time.
Little a usually likes to color during independent play. Sometimes I’ll turn on the TV so they can watch one of their favorite shows. Usually I take this time to get some actual ghostwriting done, since they’re both calm and focused on their play.
If the day happens to be a Saturday, we go out and get our shopping done and hang out with my mom. Both of my kids absolutely hate shopping, but my mom likes to make it fun for them.
Dinner happens around 6pm on most days. We usually have something Cuban, like arroz con pollo. This is the only meal that I really try to get all Martha Stewart with. If we have leftovers from a previous night, we’ll finish them off during dinner.
After we eat, we just chill out for a little bit and have some family time. Lately Little a has been really curious about why my belly continues to grow. Usually after dinner, we’ll sit down and she rubs my belly and asks a bunch of questions in two year old speak. I try to answer them the best that I can, but I’m not sure if I have her convinced yet that she’s no longer going to be the baby of the family.
Living in Arkansas means it’s always hot. After dinner, we’ll spend a little time outside since the temperature goes down a little bit after 5. The kids love being outdoors, thus ensues more independent play.
We have a completely fenced in back porch that the kids can’t get out of, so I’ll leave the door leading to the outside open and work on cleaning the house while they play. When I’m done, I’ll sit outside with them and play with them or work on emails and social media posts. If it’s sunny, I like to sunbathe and get some much needed vitamin D for my growing little baby.
As the sun begins to set, we’ll head back inside and work on getting ready for bed. Sometimes this involves taking showers, but we don’t bathe daily. Only if we get really icky do we bathe on a daily basis. Otherwise, a good wipe down of the important areas with a wet rag is all we need.
The kids handle brushing their teeth (with supervision), combing their hair, and all the other personal hygiene tasks they need to complete before going to bed.
Before they got to bed, they’re required to put away all of their toys. I don’t like a messy house. In fact, I might be a little OCD sometimes when it comes to clutter… Regardless, my goal is to teach the kids the importance of keeping a clean space. While they’re picking up their toys, I do my best to set an example and finish up any household cleaning tasks that might still be lingering.
After the toys are cleaned up, I take the kids to bed and read them a story. They love Curious George and Dr. Seuss books, so that’s usually what they pick out for our night time reading. Once we finish story time, it’s lights out.
When the kiddos are asleep is when I get the bulk of my work done (like I’m doing right now at midnight). Occasionally I’ll end up with someone who decides they’re going to be a night owl (almost always Little a) and I have to work around them. Both of my kids have learnt that when I’m working, I need them to be quiet and respectful. They’re both good at entertaining themselves, even if they sometimes end up sitting on my lap to do so while I work.
Work usually keeps me up anywhere from midnight to well past 2 in the morning. Staying up this late is certainly not ideal (especially on the mornings when Big A likes to wake me up at 6am), but it’s what I have to do to make things work for us. I honestly really enjoy what I do and the time that I spend with my kids. Even though I sometimes feel like a pregnant zombie, having the privilege of running my own business while watching my children learn and grow is absolutely priceless.
What does your daily routine look like?
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