One of the hardest things I had to figure out as a new stay at home mom is how I could possibly get it all done!? Cooking, cleaning, planning, shopping, entertaining our children, and learning how not to go crazy from having zero down time. Believe it or not its a lot of work, one wouldn't think so, but it is. Lately, I have also been facing the decision whether to put my oldest who is now 4 into preschool or not.... I opted to keep him home this year and decided to prep him for kindergarten myself while also working on hitting milestones with my 2 year old. Here is how I time block my calendar and get it all done each day.
At this age (2 & 4) my boys curriculum consists of very basic concepts and ideas. So I like to chunk time into my schedule every day in the following categories that I touch base on most days of the week.
Free play time which is so important for kids.
Structured activity that I engage with them or at least set them up with something to do together.... like simple scavenger hunts.
Sorting objects by size, shape or color
Putting age appropriate puzzles together etc.
Crafts: Activities to work their fine motor skills.
Free drawing and drawing shapes
Cutting out shapes on construction paper
Story Time: Typically I chose one or two books and the kids choose a couple more and we typically get to read 3-4 short books a day. On days I get caught up with other things around the house that need my attention I try to sprinkle book time throughout the day and limit it to 1 or 2 small stories.
Alphabet and Phonics: Sometimes coupled with story time we dive deeper into letter, sounds and visuals of small words.
I also like sprinkle TV time into this mix and let my kids watch educational shows and musical programs that also reiterate what I teach them one on one. We typically watch together and interact with the programs.
So, here is how I typically time block and structure most weekdays:
7-8am: up and at em’ - remind toddler to use potty. I also quickly make my bed if my hubby is already awake.
8am: Making & serving breakfast.
9am: Morning clean up & get myself and the kids dressed and out of the house, either our back yard, or we will hit up the local playground and play for a bit there. *in winter months we do a structured indoor activity because it is COLD here in Southern New England! Typically this is the time of year we sign up and go out to a toddler sport class at our local Y or hit up the library for a change of scenery.
10/10:30am: Phonics lesson and story time for the kids: right now I focus on repeating the alphabet because that's what my 2yo needs right now and I work on one letter per week in sound and letter recognition coupled with small 3 letter words my 4yo will be able to identify. (I typically stay repetitive 4 days straight and may mix it up on the 5th day, then do I review to see how much they've retained).
11:30am: We typically have a snack or a light lunch meal like cheese crackers and fruit. Somedays I pack something and if we do our morning play at home, we are typically inside for snack time its just easier for me that way.
- I also take a little time around this time, while the kids are distracted by their snack I login to my blog and social media channels to do a little writing and posting
12:30pm: Nap time for my youngest and some days my 4yo takes a short cat nap around 12:30/1pm too... unfortunately for me at this point I drive them around town for nap, its not my favorite thing to do but both kids have become so disinterested in sitting in bed - they. will. not. sleep! It's frustrating to say the least and even more so when they are over tired at 4pm. So when we are back in a better stay at home schedule I will probably have time for more "me time" from 12:30-2pm... but then again who knows what the future holds when kids are involved ha ha.
2pm: Preparing lunch and wrangling the kids to the table to eat.
3pm: Light clean up and dishes - if there is extra time here I may do a little more cleaning if my house is in need, or I take out some toys for the kids to play with.
3:30pm: Math concept activity with the kids (right now my older is learning counting 20-29, sorting items by shape or color and my 2yo is learning counting and number identification 1-10.
4pm: I tend to gravitate towards a craft time around 4... this is typically right before my husband is done with work and they are very interested in playing with colors, paints, crayons etc. I also plug in some age appropriate science experiment around this time as well, like mixing baking soda and vinegar with some color and watching it explode...they loved that. I also like the idea of tie-dying some of their white shirts, I think they would get a kick out of it... if you don't already follow me on Instagram - you can follow me there for more of what we've been doing daily.
5pm: When the weather is nice, the kids head back outside for free play with daddy. Even in the winter, I prefer their outdoor play to be later in the day so year round this is a dedicated outside time. As for myself, I typically have at least meal ideas planned out and noted in my calendar in advance so I start getting ready to cook.
6:30pm: Eating dinner and dinner clean up.
7pm: Free play/ TV time and playing with daddy
7:45ish* Bath time and bedtime routine
8:30pm Bedtime! And adult time for mommy and daddy!
On Friday’s, I usually like to make this a major whole house cleaning day and let the kids kind of have a free for all, whatever they want to do or play with is fine with me.