A routine is an anchor for us, but a schedule is a nightmare. Since each day arrives with it's own set of unique struggles, there is no way we can do Language Arts at the exact same time every day. The most we try to keep set are wake-up, meal, and bed times. Other than that, we just shoot for doing the same thing, in the same order every day. That way if there is a meltdown, a migraine, or seizure activity...when whatever is happening has ended, we simply pick back up where we stopped. It is comforting to me, and reassuring to my kids.
So our 'typical' routine is as follows :
I wake up and take out the puppy. We have three dogs, a rabbit, and a guinea pig. The puppy is a puggle and LOVES LOVES LOVES kibble. He is seriously obsessed with food. In a bad, will eat until he chokes kind of way. So first thing in the morning, as soon as he hears any type of human movement at all he is up and ready for breakfast. Thankfully he just turned a year and is now sleeping through the night. After I take him out (and usually after chasing him around the house trying to run interference) I wake up my kids. My oldest waters all the pets, my middle feeds the puggle, and my youngest feeds our older dog (he is 13, almost 14) and our chihuahua. Then each child has a meal time that they help with. So this month it's my oldest on breakfast duty, my middle on lunch, and youngest dinner. We eat and clean up.
Next up is their morning routine (personal hygiene, make beds, tidy up) and I read to my youngest before we dive into our 'school time'. Right now I spend a large majority of our time in a tutoring type session with each of my kids. We do Language Arts (spelling, writing, grammar, reading etc;) and math together. While I am meeting with each of them, the other two have jobs to do. We have a drawer system that I load up with activities that they can work on independently. They do worksheets, writing responses to books or audio books they have read/listened to, the Daily Spark, task cards, iPad apps, memory work (their personal memory work here - math facts, science definitions, time line facts etc;), and copywork or dictation (on a handheld recorder) from the Harp and Laurel Wreath. I also usually tuck a surprise in a drawer from time to time..a simple recipe they can complete together or alone in the kitchen for a treat, a game to play, a song to sing (at the top of their lungs), a picture to take etc;
My husband comes home from the office most days for lunch and it is hands down the best part of our days :).
After lunch we have quiet time - we either watch a movie or listen to an audio book and recoup. After quiet time I finish up my one on one time with whoever is left and then we move into table time. Table time is like morning time but obviously it's not in the morning :). We do Bible, hymn study, tea time and poetry (snack and poetry reading) and family memory work.
Then we get to one of our favorite, favorite things.
Read aloud time.
We love to read aloud. Depending on how the day has progressed at this point we will either gather around the dining room table or pile on the couch. We tackle great books, history, and science during this time.
At this point, if the day has gone relatively well, we get to the fun extras. Nature walks, play outside, piano and music, or arts and crafts. If not - well that is what the weekends are for :). We also do all of our science experiments on the weekend so Daddy can participate.
We also try to go to the zoo, museums, a play group, and the library when we can. Since we have a lot of dr appts and 'sick days' we school year round.