Here is our realistic morning routine as a family of 9 who homesteads, homeschools, and works from home. This routine is at the core of how we have learned to juggle it all.
Trying to juggle homeschooling with other responsibilities, whether it be keeping the house clean or working, can be extremely stressful. There have been many nights I have gone to sleep with tears in my eyes because the thought of facing another day overwhelmed me.
I’ve always had a passion for business and my entrepreneurial ventures. Also, my businesses have helped contribute to our family’s income. I knew that I wanted to find a way to both homeschool my children and continue working without any area of my life suffering, especially my mental health.
I am so grateful that, while overwhelming moments and days still happen, our routine has changed our life for the better. The biggest change that I made in order to accomplish this feeling of peace? A solid morning routine!
In this video I share my morning routine, which begins with a good night’s sleep, and ends at lunch time. I go over how I find time to run multiple businesses, homeschool 6 out of 7 children, and even get from-scratch meals on the table every day!
If you would rather read my morning routine, I have transcribed it into written form below.
Step one of of a good morning is getting enough sleep, which I honestly really struggle with because I’m a night owl. Between 8 am and midnight is when I get the most work done because all of my kids are asleep and the house is quiet. I’ve tried to get to sleep earlier and then try waking up earlier to get work done in the morning before my kids wake up, but honestly my brain just doesn’t function that early.
I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older to stop fighting my nature and any guilt I’ve held onto for not being one of those moms that wakes up at 4 am to go for a run. Frankly, I’ve tried it. I’ve also wrecked my body with sleep deprivation and I’ve come to appreciate how getting sleep, at whatever hours my body is able, is the best schedule for me. And that if I don’t get that sleep, I’m not a nice mom or wife and my body starts to retaliate. With all that said I will not be setting an alarm.
Morning Routine of a Large Homeschooling, Work-From-Home, Family
6:30 – 7:00 am: I wake up when my husband is getting ready around 6:30, and if I’m feeling up to it, I grab my computer and get all of my daily business tasks done, so checking emails and DMs, things like that. And then I might work on writing a blog post or some other writing project. On days where I need more sleep though, I will sleep in until 7 when my oldest leaves for her school and my other kids get up, and push out those work tasks until lunch.
I do have some work projects coming up that may make me try starting work at 6. Even in this situation where it would be really helpful to squeeze in more hours into my day, I know that my health has to come first, so if it doesn’t work, I’ll just have to find that time elsewhere.
This morning I also need to let our mom cats out of my mudroom to go to the bathroom. We do not usually have animals indoors, but long story short these moms both birthed at the same time last Thursday and when we found them, 5 of the kittens were dead. We weren’t sure what had happened, but knew there was a snowstorm beginning that night, so we went ahead and brought them in.
The other issue was that we didn’t know which kitten belonged to who, but after trying to split them up and divvy out the kittens, they were clearly upset. We promptly put them back together and now they are happily co-parenting these six remaining kittens. We are wondering if this white one is actually albino, so I’m very anxious to see what it looks like as it gets older and its eyes open.
7:00 – 7:30 am: At 7 am my kid wake up. We didn’t used to have alarm clocks, and my boys still don’t need it because they are definitely morning people. My girls, however, are more like me and have been getting more difficult to wake, so we did start this week setting alarm clocks. We also now have a deadline of when they need to be at their desks ready to go for school.
The reason I’ve become more strict about this is that our days were getting away from us and we were struggling to fit in all that we needed to accomplish. I also think that the ability to wake up, get ready, and show up somewhere by a certain time is a life skill that I want to instill in my kids. Seven am is also milking time when we are milking twice a day. We just switched over to once a day, so this won’t be part of our morning routine again until late summer when our milk cow calves and we return to twice-a-day milking.
My big kids have a checklist of everything they need to accomplish each morning and then they have to initial that they did it. I’ve had many slightly different systems for basically accomplishing this same thing, which you’ve probably seen if you’ve been around here for awhile, but I’m excited about this one because I feel like initiialing is way to basically ask each child, “Are you sure you did that thing?” Because, as we have explained to them, an initial next to the chore is a promise that it’s been complete, so if they initial and it didn’t actually get done, then that’s a lie. I still try to check and make sure that things are getting done, but this is just one more way to help me hold all 5 of the older kids accountable for everything on their list, every day.
Their morning chores include emptying dishwashers, cleaning up breakfast, and switching the laundry, which was started by me the night before and then set on “delay end” to make sure it is done and ready to switch the next morning. On my list in the morning is to go down and start load #2 for the day.
With my youngest 2 who are 4 and 6, I’m using my cards system that I’ve used and loved for many years. Basically, they have a set of cards that they have to work through each day. The stickers on the back help remind them which cards are for which times of the day, so right now they are working throught their morning cards.
A little sidenote, I’ve had people ask me if they could buy these chore cards, so I’m having a talented friend draw up some cuter photos for each task and then when those are ready, I’ll link the chore cards for you to purchase here.
While my kids are going about their morning tasks, I’m getting ready for the day until about 7:30.
7:30 – 8:30 am: I do what I call my Kitchen Power Hour each morning from 7:30 to 8:30. This is when I make all of our food for the day. I start my sourdough bread if that needs to be done. I grab my bin of preprepped ingredients out of my pantry and get dinner going, either putting it in the slow cooker, or prepping everything so that it just needs popped in the oven later in the day. And I’ve actually rewritten all of my recipes to accommodate this schedule. (If you are in my membership, you have access to all of those recipes). I also make lunch for the day, which is generally the same thing each week. If there are leftovers we may do that instead, but honestly, leftovers are rare in our home.
Our 3-Day School Week
At 8:30 I’m finishing up my Kitchen Power Hour and because it is Tuesday, the kids are supposed to be to their desks. We do a pretty intensive school schedule on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.
This frees up our Wednesdays and Fridays to really live more of the homeschool life we felt like we were missing out on in previous years. Wednesdays are our “fun days.” On those days, the kids go to their desks at 8:30 where they do their math. Then we head out on some sort of adventure, or to the mountain to go skiing in the winter months. Fridays we don’t do any school at home, but instead load up at 8:30 to head to our homeschool co-op group.
8:30 – 10:00 am: Upstairs we have what we call our school room and this is where my boys have desks and and my little ones have a table. My girls’ rooms are then right off of this room, so they have desks in their rooms and then I can just go back and forth as needed.
From 8:30 to 10 on our long school days everyone does handwriting, grammar, math, and typing, and the younger kids also do their language arts. If you follow me on Instagram you know that we tried switching this schedule around a bit and doing our group studies in the morning, but that did not work. I found that my kids really struggle with math later in the day, but do just fine with holding that focus in the morning, so back to this original schedule we went.
10:00 – 10:30 am: At 10, we all head downstairs to the dining room table for my kids’ favorite part of the day – World Watch News. World Watch is a Christian worldview based news program for kids that reports on both important current events and other more random, but educational news stories from around the world. I love how it does an awesome job of making our family aware of what’s going on in the world without being depressing or anxiety provoking. My kids then have to write in their news journal a few things that they learned about. My younger kids use this time to practice writing their name and just a few words that they heard that I write down for them and then they copy.
10:30 – 11:00 am: During this time we do All About Spelling, which is a new curriculum for us. Maybe I’ll go into depth about why we stopped doing The Good and the Beautiful language arts for my older kids in a future post, but I will say that they really needed to go back and learn foundational teachings to improve their spelling and I’m really excited about the improvements and light bulb moments I’ve witnessed since starting this curriculum. In fact, there have been many rules and such that I’m just now learning as an adult that I wish I would have known. I’m not naturally a great speller and my hope is that this program will help all of us improve in that area.
11:00 – 12:00: The last thing we do before lunch is IEW, wich is Institute for Excellence in Writing. My oldest does his own level upstairs with headphones and the next 4 kids down do their’s at the dining table. This is our second year doing this writing program and not only is it a really solid writing program, my kids also enjoy it. They think the teacher is funny and no ones is left feeing overwhelmed.
This hour is also my chance to work on reading with my youngest 2 kiddos. We use All About Reading which is a program we have used for years and absolutely love.
12:00 – 1:00 pm: It is now noon, which is our one hour lunch break. The kids will eat lunch and go outside to play and this is my time to make myself my daily protein smoothie and get some work done. If I didn’t get to emails and those basics in the morning, I start with those tasks. Then, I tackle that day’s to-do list. I use a free program called Trello to keep my to-do lists organized. I have a few different business ventures online, so everyday looks different, but today I’m finishing up the spring meal plan for my membership.
And that wraps up my morning routine!
After lunch break I will call them back in for our group studies or family projects. Some days that looks like doing history or playing an educational game. Today we are planting onions and then working on a group writing project.
I will say that not every morning goes according to this plan. Sometimes appointments or illness will test our ability to be flexible. But I’ve found that sticking to our morning routine means less chaos and more productive and enjoyable days, so I’ve tried to be more intentional about protecting these morning hours.
Ok, friends, thank you for coming along with me this morning!
Please let me know in the description what aspects of your morning routine help you juggle all that is on your plate. I’d love to hear your ideas as well!