I've written before about my family's natural rhythm and how that clashes a bit with homeschooling in the morning. So far we've found a routine that is working with our rhythm and I thought I would share it.
Here is a graphic that shows the routine; you can pretty much ignore the times listed as they give me a basic idea but we don't truly live by the clock.
Papa showers. We wake the boys and get started on breakfast. While the boys had been eager to play together on waking now that J-Baby has been bitten by the fiction bug he often wants to read instead. We have breakfast and the boys do their morning hygiene and chores. Then they have a 30 minute break which is more time for them to reconnect.
We're getting started with homeschooling around 10 a.m. Right now the boys are really into it; we'll have to see if that sticks once they want to be doing something other than lesson work. We start with whatever constitutes our organic circle that morning, do grammar and math practice, and then have a math lesson before beginning our main lesson work for the day. Around 11:30 - 11:45 we wrap up the main lesson work and the boys do their spelling.
We get two hours of homeschooling done in the morning. My goal is a minimum of three hours daily; this isn't a strict requirement per our state's educational code, but we do operate as a full time day school. Since the law allows the compulsory attendance requirements to be met by three hours of tutoring per weekday I figure it is a good minimum number for our homeschooling.
We plan an hour of homeschooling in the afternoon. This might be our secondary lesson, our literature class, P.E., make-up time, or park day. We also do other things throughout the week, month, or year that count toward homeschooling time, such as music lessons and practice, field trips, nature walks and hikes, attending concerts and plays, etc. For example, in October we will visit an apple orchard and will take an educational class at Legoland.
After our morning lessons we have lunch and quiet time. Quiet time used to be listening to audio books, but now that the boys are older they will most likely read or hang out quietly in their bedrooms (separate bedrooms is brand new in our home). After quiet time is when we have our afternoon lessons, which takes about an hour (as I wrote above). We then have a nice period of unplanned "free" time.
By late afternoon it is time for me to work on any final dinner preparations; this is when the boys do their music practice. J-Baby is in the dining room playing the piano so I am able to hear him and make corrections and reminders as necessary. T-Guy practices guitar in his bedroom at the back of the house.
Papa comes home from work and we eat dinner and then clean up. Usually we have some free time in the evenings, although some evenings we work on physics with Papa (more homeschooling hours) and once a week we go to the farmer's market. At 11 and 12 years of age the boys go to bed at 8:30 and are allowed to read quietly for 30 minutes. It is pretty early compared to their peers but I believe it is what they need, and going into the teen years children often need more sleep, not less.
After that there is a little time for Papa and I to reconnect and decompress before heading to bed ourselves.