Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.
This is the time of year when our calendars fill up as the children head back to school and the holiday season looms. If we aren’t careful, the days can get a little crazy.
If you’re just getting started establishing a rhythm for your family, or perhaps if you are re-evaluating your days as you enter a new circumstance, my advice is to focus on what I call the anchors of your week: the times which center us, that we can count on.
When I was in elementary school, I can remember knowing what day of the week it was by what activity we had in school that day – music, art, gym, etc. I knew that the comfort of those rhythms was something I wanted to offer my own children in our home environment.
I want to share with you my family’s weekly routine. Keep in mind that we are a family of six with one parent working outside the home, one parent working from the home (and thus with the kids during the day). Our kids are ten, six, four, and one. We also homeschool. So basically, what works for me might not work for you. And that is totally okay.
Our weekly routine
Some parts of our week are guided by my household tasks. I try to run all of our errands and schedule all of our appointments on the same day of the week. Having a regular library day helps us keep overdue books to a minimum and having a set appointment day helps with overseeing the many different care providers for a family of five. Knowing what day of the week I’m doing the grocery shopping aids in menu planning, too.
We have a rotating schedule of activities at home, too.
This gives me the best of both worlds: it breaks up the potential tedium of life with small children with something fun, yet different from yesterday, to do each day, and yet it allows me to go on “auto pilot” as far as my planning of each week goes as none of these things requires much more than simple preparation ahead of time.
The variety and the ease are what make this routine worthwhile to me as a parent.
Our activities rhythm looks like this:
- Monday – cooking and baking
- Tuesday – watercolor painting
- Wednesday – coloring
- Thursday – crafts/handwork
- Friday – our Friday Night Nest game/movie night
These activities can (and do) happen at other times during the week, too. For example, coloring happens on a daily basis around here and so does cooking, certainly. But these are the days I am intentional and plan for.
Other weekly rhythms
We have also had unintentional things come up that ended up becoming a steady part of our weekly rhythm. For example, my son Max thinks the garage trucks that come down our street every Wednesday morning are the coolest vehicles there are. So, Wednesday mornings will usually find all activities in our household coming to a stop when the kids hear the roar of the trucks turning on to our block on trash day.
Some activities might only be a part of your weekly rhythm on a seasonal basis. Right now we’re spending time every morning visiting our garden to pick veggies, but on the weekends we’re attacking the weeds and taking care of any other garden tasks. Those weekend weeding sessions are part of our growing season weekly rhythm.
Other Possible Routines:
- A phone call to Grandma and Grandpa
- Saturday morning donuts
- Date Night for mom and dad
- Family movie and pizza night (we call ours the “Friday Night Nest”)
- Play dates or play groups
- Weekend sporting events
- Music lessons
- Church, worship
And, just like anything else, sometime life happens and the week doesn’t go according to plan. That is okay, too. I just try to pick up where we are and go on from there. Being flexible is another useful tool for a parent.
Remember, this is about adding some peace and some ease to your week, not about perfection.
Do you have a weekly routine? How do you find that routine changes as the school year begins? What things do you set as a priority?