Full day planning

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  • jenrcam

    Good morning. I have so enjoyed the material and just come across SCM. My questions are

    1. I’m a bit confused about afternoon planning.  I read that children should have 3-5 hours unplanned time a day but then I see the 200 afternoon ideas and they all seem planned.  My girls are 10 and 12. If I don’t direct they may default to unproductivity or argue.  I’m a bit confused.

    2.  I could schedule school all day long but I struggle with the domestic duties( very domestically challenged ☺️). And I find most days the house and meals have fallen down around me.  Help! What should I be doing. How does that look in a schedule?

    3. Re mornings    We seem to need a lot of time to wake up  I read how people hit the day with chores and breakfast but for us that would solidify a cranky day    Any other slow waker uppers here? And how do you handle your first hour of the day ?

    4. in CM theory, how much quiet time should there be in a day    It seems there is a lot of opportunities for noise   We don’t go much screen time and our listening choices are good – music, audio stories  , but too much of a good thing is still bad right?  And what about audio stories or music on while they go to sleep.  Thoughts?

    5.  When does exercise for mom fit in  time for a really good workout

    Thank you and eagerly waiting reply


    If my kids are bickering or getting into trouble I redirect and if it continues, then they get my famous line… “Do crappy things, get crappy jobs.  Go find a toilet to scrub!”  We have plenty of art and craft supplies (wool felt sheets for sewing “Felt Wee Folk”, chalkboards and all colors of chalk), blocks, cars, dolls, puzzles, and a piano for inside and lots to do outside… trampoline, swings, climbing dome, chickens, garden…  If they can’t find a good way to spend their time, then I pick for them.

    Everyone helps with chores, not just Mom!  Luckily, my husband now works from home most days and makes breakfast so I can get enough sleep (pregnant, plus insomnia…fun).  After breakfast, everyone cleans up (oldest vacuums, second child wipes table and counters, my two girls work together to clear and reload the dishwasher.  They take turns with these at lunch and dinner, and if they aren’t distracted, can get it all in about 10 minutes) and does their hygiene (brush, floss, wash face, hair, dress, make bed) then there’s about a half an hour (ish–I don’t go by a strict schedule) before they need to get started on school.  While they’re doing school, I start laundry, prep lunch and dinner (even if all that means is remembering to thaw the meat for tonight!), and other tasks… cleaning a bathroom, canning or dehydrating food, baking bread, tidying up the entryway, etc.  Usually for breakfast I have a protein smoothie and do my exercises while everyone eats at the table and then cleans up.  I do about 15-20 minutes of stretching and a short arm/shoulder flexibility workout daily, and lift weights for a few minutes 3 times a week.  I also have a standing desk with a treadmill underneath so I can be going over schoolwork or listening to a narration and getting a walk in. 🙂  I have back problems so these are not optional.  If I don’t get this movement in, my whole body locks up and it takes days for me to loosen up again, so my kids have to help to keep the house functioning.


    First, welcome to the community. It is wonderful and full of grace. So please give yourself some as well. We have been on this journey for 3 years and it continues to change, and we adapt.  We are a military family. When I am trying to work things out, I remind myself education is an atmosphere, a discipline and a life. And then there is living in God’s grace!

    I can just share with you what works for my family and maybe you can glean some new idea from our rhythm. And that is what it is, a rhythm. I don’t have a “schedule”, per se, for the day. Here are how “most” school days go at our house.

    Wake -up: whenever this occurs

    Head downstairs once everyone is dressed, teeth brushed, clothes on and bed made. Training this habit took maybe two weeks as one cannot eat breakfast unless this is done.

    Breakfast: I make, or kids help as they are able per their skills and maturity. We begin breakfast when it is done, whether you are at the table or not. If someone arrives afterwards, breakfast is still there but you may eat alone, or the food is cold. Here we complete the calendar (use a perpetual calendar, read the day, date, month, year, season, and weather in english and french), SCM scripture memory, read a poem from an anthology, practice French (as I know some and we use simplespanish.com informal QR code poems, scripture, greetings, etc. -only one), and Bible story. This takes maybe 7-10 minutes to complete.

    30 minutes of free time/play time inside or outside for the kids. I set a timer. When it goes off, school starts when we are all gathered (I have prepped this all the night before and then post the school schedule per child for them to be able to easily see). During this time, I clean up the dishes (which they have brought to the sink by the kids) or start another chore or sit.

    School for an hour or so, then a 20-minute break. Then finish school as needed. Free time for everyone.

    Lunch: read our current read-aloud per the SCM recommendations

    After lunch chore or errand

    2pm-ish: quiet time and everyone to their room for 30+ minutes of play, reading, nap, rest, etc.

    3ish: free time for everyone

    530ish: Dinner when dad is home

    730/8ish: bedtime with books, cuddles and prayers

    Mon: School/life prep for next day.

    This has taken years for this rhythm and has evolved. I used to do most of the breakfast enrichment things while my kids sat in the stroller before we headed out for a morning run/walk before going to a nearby playground. Or nap time evolved to quiet time for my sanity and the atmosphere of my home. I have become more disciplined as I begin each one of these things.

    Also, I do not plan their free time. They are responsible for their own fun and pleasure. They are their own person. Inside the house, they have access to paper, paints, markers, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, rubberbands, magnatiles, legos etc. Outside they have access to their bikes, any shovels/rakes/buckets/rope, etc. we use for maintaining our yard. I am amazed at the things they have created (both to their development and the detriment of our landscaping :)).

    And in regard to their arguing, they lose whatever it is they are fighting over and are told ” It’s better to have a brother friend than, (name whatever the argument is, toy, time, space, etc.). Furthermore, boredom is their problem, not mine as I am not their entertainer. I may give them an idea, such as go outside and run, paint a picture, etc. but I only ever give then one or two ideas. And I continue on my way.

    For homemaking and my skills, I choose one chore that needs to be done a day and I put it on my calendar. Whether it gets done that day or not. For exercise, I either wake up early before my kids or after quiet time, while they eat their snack and have free time. Be prepared to stop exercise momentarily at least once or twice until they realize they should not interrupt and anything baring an emergency does not need immediate attention.

    Whew. God is good and the Holy Spirit is our greatest teacher. Hope something here is helpful!

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