It can be pretty chaotic after school with so many kids in the house, but I have followed routines for as long as I can remember. There is something quite comforting about knowing what's coming next. Flexibility is something I have had to work on. I try to keep my routines flexible by making “blocks” of time that can be interchangeable. At first, I used a time chart with mini post-it notes but now I just keep it on my computer. If you would like to see what one of our routines looks like click HERE
Now, to explain a few things on my routine chart. IXL is a math practice website, we have been members for about 5 years. We started it for math practice, but now my son also does Language Arts practice there as well. Xtra Math is another math facts website and app that I use to help my children master the basics of math. If they don't master the basics then everything will be harder in math as the years go by.
I do let them have about 30 minutes of iPad time daily since they each have their own and I am careful to keep an eye on what they are doing on them. I also recommend getting a Pong case if you are letting your child use an iPad, to block EMFs.
Not noted on the chart, but worth mentioning is that during/after dinner we discuss a character quality. We try to study one per week. Then my teenagers take turns cleaning the kitchen & doing whatever teenagers do. After dinner, my little ones are allowed to watch 1 hour of their G-rated choice from Netflix, Amazon Instant, or HuluPlus, because we do not subscribe to cable or satellite tv, haven't for about 10 years. I use the hour that they are watching to do my beauty routine uninterrupted…most of the time.
After that, I have about an hour before I go to bed and I usually watch a kdrama (historical ones usually, but I admit I did watch Heirs) or I knit or read a book. When the children are falling asleep, instead of watching television, I set the “sleep timer” on audible for 30 minutes and let them fall asleep listening to their favorite audible books. Right now they are alternating between Erin Hunter's “Warriors” series and her “Seekers” series, about cats and bears… this is their absolute favorite time of day.
My 3rd-grade son says his friends HATE bedtime, and they think he is so weird when he says that it is his favorite time of day! Mine too, as I get a great night of sleep and wake up feeling ready to start a new day of routines!
Pretty simple really. Is it ever crazy? Yes, yes, yes! The routine just makes it more like controlled chaos 🙂