The importance of a daily rhythm for a family


“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.”
– Thomas Merton













I get asked a lot via email and IG what a ‘typical’ day looks like for us. What is our routine with 3/4 kids at home all day as well working and running a house. The first thing I should say is I’m not a huge fan of routine. Routine can be stifling, it’s easy to get sucked into the routine of daily life and just go through the motions without really living each day. What I prefer is a daily rhythm, a flow to our days without restricting us or not allowing space for spontaneity and creativity. A daily rhythm is one that works for all members of the family, it gives our days a basic shape, letting even the littlest members know what to expect and changes with the seasons of the year, as well as the seasons of family life.

Since becoming a one-parent family, I’ve really stopped to think about how we shape our days, working out what works best for the five of us, questioning why we do certain things, and giving up doing things because that’s how we ‘should’ do them. Now, our days at home have a natural flow to them that lets us fit in all of the things we need to do each day as well as allowing space for the things we want to do.

The joy of working from home AND home educating is that there really is no typical day. We aren’t tied to the 9-5 hours, or even just to weekdays or term times. We can take breaks as and when we please, from mid-week breaks to get away to a day at the river when the weather is nice. Since my eldest went to school late last year, we have followed more a school schedule so that we can enjoy holidays and weekends with her. Also, the younger kids usually spend a few hours on Wednesdays with their dad, giving me a dedicated ‘work day’.

“Rhythm is the magic word for parents and educators of young children. Young children thrive on a simple, flexible rhythm that carries them through their day, through each week and through the slowly unfolding years of their lives. Rhythm lays a strong foundation, not only in our children’s lives but in our own.” 

What does our daily rthym look like?

Right now, I have all four kiddos at home – 14, 10, 8 and 2-year-olds. We fit in an assortment of home ed groups, social meets, extracurricular classes and sports as well as me needing to work and having time for living!

*not every day looks like this, but it’s a good picture of what home days look like

6am | I usually wake around this time, sometimes Beastie will wake too and have a feed before dozing back off. I sneak out of bed, and pad downstairs and put the kettle on. I pour a cup of decaf earl grey which I usually sip sitting outside. I love waking up slowly to the sound of birdsong, and getting even ten minutes to myself in a morning really makes such a difference! I usually hang a load of laundry out at this time too.

7am | Beastie and Baya are usually up by now, they’ll pour themselves some juice and either read or play while I hop on the cross-trainer. Half an hour cardio in the morning sets me up for a good day. I like to get it over and done with {so I can’t come up with excuses not to do it}, but really I love it – even if I have to force myself on, by the time I’m done I feel so good. It’s one of the best things I started doing – it does wonders for my depression and mental health, and I’m so proud that I’ve persevered and can easily run a solid half hour now.

8am | Everyone is usually up by now, we gather around the breakfast table to start our day. We usually stick to toast/cereal/porridge as well as plenty of fresh fruit. It’s one of my favourite times of the day, everyone connecting and chatting about what we have planned for the day. It’s a good, slow start and makes sure we’re all on the same page. Once we’ve eaten, the girls get their morning books out – they write out this week’s spellings as well as their daily gratitude list. Someone will read the day’s poem {from this book} and currently we’re also reading a bible story every morning.

9am | This is usually the kids free time and my work time. Sometimes Beastie plays in the den while I work, other times he goes off with his sisters. the girls will either play in their rooms, the playroom or in the garden – sometimes they’ll read, sometimes they’ll facetime friends, sometimes they’ll be crafting – I leave them to figure out what they feel like doing!

11 am| Snack and book time – we meet back up in the den for a morning snack {usually fruit and crackers} and to read a few chapters of our current read-aloud book. Since we started our homeschool book club, I’ve really remembered how much fun it is to read aloud to the girls. We usually try and read our set book in the first couple of weeks of each month so we have time to read another one each month too.

12pm | Lunch time! The girls help set the table and prepare lunch. Usually, we stick to a ‘help yourself’ kind of lunch – putting veggie sticks, hummus, wraps, crackers, cheese etc on the table and letting everyone help themselves.

1pm | School time – This is when the middle two get their ‘school work’ done. We usually fit in a chapter of Life of Fred each, and then vary what else we’re doing –  sometimes they’ll be working on lap books, sometimes we’ll have an art afternoon. We may do some science experiments or some writing… it varies depending on the day/week/month

3pm| Free time/snack time. We usually have an hour or so when everyone does their own thing and grabs a quick snack before the evening groups start. Sometimes I’ll sneak in a little extra work if I need to, or else I’ll do a quick yoga practice.

4.30pm| Three days a week, Baya has gym, so Beastie and I usually walk her across and have a run around the park while we’re out.

5pm Dinner prep – Back home, and I get started on prepping our evening meal. I’ll usually get one of the girls to come and help, and Beastie likes to help chop the salad! I love getting everyone involved in making our meals – I think it’s the best way for them to learn about cooking/healthy eating.

6pm| Dinner time – I’m a big believer in all eating together, so whoever of us is home will all gather around the table for our evening meal. It’s a good opportunity to talk about our days, see how things have gone for everyone, plan out the next day and just catch up.

7pm| Outside time – through the summer, the kids usually head back out in the garden after dinner. Baya gets home from gym around now, so I’ll dish her dinner up and potter around the garden – watering, weeding and picking any produce that is ready.

8pm| Bath/Bed – we don’t do daily bath times, but more often than not someone wants a bath. Then it’s stories, boobie and sleep for Mr Beastie. The girls usually head to their rooms around now, they’ll sit and read, write or draw for an hour or so. The girls all take it in turns to have a movie night, just me and them – Kiki on a Monday, Baya on a Wednesday and Lola on a Friday.

9pm| Relax. On the nights I’m not having a movie night with one of the girls, this is my chill out time. I’m very careful to keep work out of my evenings these days, as I need this time to unwind. If I haven’t fitted some yoga in earlier in the day, I’ll do it now. I might sit in the garden and read if it’s dry, or watch a show or have a soak in a bubble bath before I head to bed around half ten/eleven.

What does your daily rhythm look like?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *