Friday, September 2, 2016

Revamping the Kids' Routines

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We are completing week five of our homeschool year today!  It seems a little crazy to me that we are already five weeks into the school year, but here we are. 

When we start school, we always like to ease back into our routine.  While we school all year long, there are definitely periods of more subjects and work overall, and fall is when this most definitely happens.

I noticed that we needed a better rhythm for our day as we have all settled into school.  It is something that I am still working on currently, but in order to get into a good rhythm, I need to have the kids’ routines down.

I’m not sure about your kids, but mine LOVE checklists.  There is something about checking off a box that works for them, and it works for me as well.  It is a wonderful visual as to what we are accomplishing during the day, and where we may be lacking (this is a big part of changing up our rhythm!).

While my kids love checklists, they also enjoy following everything in order.  That means that if Math is the first thing on their routine chart, that is what they want to do first, even if they still need to brush their teeth and get dressed for the day.

I noticed that our old routine charts were no longer working, and realized I needed to come up with some new ones for the kids to use now that we are fully immersed in our new school year.

I have been putting off doing this for a while, because we needed a new color printer!  There is something about printing bright and vibrant colors that encourage our kids to complete their work and move on with the day – this is both for any homeschool work that we print off from the internet (there is a lot), and then also putting together our chore charts and school schedule charts.

When I found out that HP had a new all-in-one printer that is affordable and comes in three beautiful and vibrant colors, I knew that I met my new printer!  I was surprised at how affordable it was, but when Emma and I went to Walmart to pick up a few things, we saw a great display with all the colors available!

I let Emma pick the color - and of course she chose purple.

I love that it has an easy mobile option.  It seems like half of the items I want to print I find on Pinterest on my phone, and then to have the ability to print right from my phone to the printer is awesome.  The fact that it also has the ability to print twice as many pages with Original HP high-yield ink definitely was a huge selling point.  There is nothing worse than wanting to print out something and to be out of ink even if you think you just recently replaced it!  Another feature that I love – quiet mode.  For some reason whenever I use a printer, it wakes Lucy up from her naps…and that is never a good thing in my home.

Back to our new routine schedule, the first step to creating our new routine was to list out everything that we need to do in the week.  Now, I know that I could print out a new routine chart each day, but I find that having one each week is more reasonable for us.  I am able to keep them to help with my record keeping at the end of the month, and four or five sheets is much easier to manage than twenty-five.

I like to have two separate routine schedules, one that is mainly home, and one that is school.  For example, our school checklist is really simple, it lists out all of the main subject areas that we cover each day.  I had to add a couple different subjects for Emma that we haven’t done thus far, and also Jack has some new items now that he is in first grade.  And then on our regular home routine checklist – I have a line item called “school” which designates time to move over to the school check list.

It sounds a little complicated, but trust me, it is not!

Without further ado, here is Emma's new routine checklist for this fall.

Adding in the extra subjects to the checklist was important because I like Emma to know exactly what she is accomplishing during the week.  It helps her need for "school at home" as much as her ability to separate from school because she is accomplishing so much, and she deserves a break!

Now, obviously not all of my readers are homeschoolers, so I decided to make a little printable for you all to use for your own school checklist.  I left it blank, because I feel like every family is different.  You can put your morning before-school routine here, or list out morning and afternoon school to-dos.  Or you can use it for homeschool subjects.  Whatever you prefer.  Just click here or on the picture above and it will bring you to a downloadable PDF file for your use!

Do your kids love checklists as much as mine?  What type of routine do you have for your kids?


  1. What a great way to stay organized an on a regular routine. That checklist is adorable and one that clearly any child would be happy to use!

  2. It's always hard first getting started but it's so much better when a routine is set down and followed.

  3. Wow! I shared this guide with my friends who are parents. Looks like a great way to keep up with the schedule.

  4. My kids have their own routines now but when they were little we definitely had routines. Their homework routine started in Kindergarten and didn't change until they were in high school.

  5. My kid has made his own routine this year adn it is working. We had to change a few things this year as he was getting stressed out with college apps and test.

  6. My toddler is all about routines. We need it to stay balanced! I love this printer you used too.

  7. I think that routines are fundamental for sanity and once in a while those routines adapt with age. This is a great way to keep organized.

  8. Finding the right routine is so important. That being said, I think finding the balance is fluid and always changing. Sounds like you are off to a great start.

  9. I love the idea of listing everything that needs to get done for the week. That's a great way to prioritize everyone's time for the week.

  10. Routine was never part of our routine when we homeschooled! HA. I did like to stay organized and the kids loved their lists!

  11. Having a list to keep organized is very important. That printer looks and sounds pretty cool.

  12. I love this checklist for kids! It's good to be organized especially during the school year and a checklist like this will definitely help!

  13. I need to try checklists and see if it helps my organizationally challenged children! Our first week back to school do not go as planned AT ALL! I had to make 2 trips to the school already because my daughter forgot stuff!

  14. I love checklists. I think there is such a feeling of satisfaction marking off things off your list. I'm not in school nor do I have any kids, but I can't believe it's been about 5 weeks until the school year already!

  15. I love routines they definitely help us stay organized on busy days. This checklist is so cute, that.ks for sharing!

  16. routines are so important. my kids do better on them. we can't everyday but when we do it's easier on everyone.

  17. Thank you for the checklist idea. Do you think it would wrok for a 3 year old? I agree that for me personally, it really helps me get more done.... not to mention I enjoy making lists! I usally do more than check it off -- I usually scratch completely through something!

    But, for a three yar old, you think she'd like it?

    1. I think it would depend on your daughter. My older kids have loved checklists for several years, and they are just 8 & 6. I would recommend giving stickers (star stickers, animals, etc.) instead of check marks on the checklist - those seem to do wonders in our house! Also I would put pictures of the activity to be completed instead of words since it would be easier to understand. Hope this helps!

  18. Great checklists! I love that your kids like to follow them :) my son seems to get a bit sidetracked and doesn't "like" to follow along, so we are working on other ways to keep him motivated and focused.

  19. My kids love checklists too! I think they help them know what is coming next! Such a good idea!


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