Q&A: “Snapshot” of a Typical Day? (for this Mom of 7)

Q&A: Snapshot of a Typical Day (for this Mom of 7) // jessconnell.com

Q: Can you give a snapshot of what a typical day looks like? From getting up to going to bed. Also include ages of your children.

IMG_5051A: Kids ages, currently: 13, 11, 9 (our lone daughter), 8, 5, 3, 1

Here’s my typical day:

  • 6:15/6:30- Get up, drink coffee, then go walk/jog for about 45 minutes.  When I get home, drink coffee on the porch, come inside, and copy Scripture by hand. Try to meditate on unusual/meaty parts I notice. Check Facebook, make sure if I posted an article that day that it posted correctly. Respond to any comments/messages that I can.
  • 7:30-8 Kids start getting up. They get to work on daily chores if they can before breakfast.
  • 8am– Breakfast (it’s usually something easy… cereal, or oatmeal). Usually, I skip breakfast (if I feel hungry, I snag something with protein or a slice of Good Seed with butter), drink coffee, and now my children are old enough to get out and put away breakfast by themselves.
  • by 8:45– remind them to clean up/get dressed/do any last minute things they need to do before starting school
  • image9am– Start school (we start at 9 no matter where things stand with chores.)– this is when we do our Bible study and all of our read alouds together.
  • 10/10:30– baby lays down for a nap, or sits in high chair for a snack, and we finish up whatever else we have going with school.
  • by 10:30/11– We’re usually done with read alouds and they move on to their personal work. We usually do a quick clean up to tidy the living room back up at this point.
  • Between 12 & 1– lunch, after-lunch chores
  • by 1:30- lunch is finished. They do another round of chores, as needed (i.e., throw in another load of laundry/dishes, gather trash, whatever). My oldest might work on debate research; the middle kids play Legos or pull out games/books for the afternoon.
  • 2pm- baby and 3yo lay down for naps. Baby lays down alone in crib. I sit with 3yo in my bed for about 10-15 mins until he falls asleep. Or, on the rare days when I want to and can take a nap, this is when I lay down with the 3yo. 1-2 days a week, ladies might come to my house from 2-5 for discipleship/counseling.
  • 3:30- afternoon snack time
  • Photo on 3-1-16 at 12.17 PMBetween 4-5-– baby and 3yo wake up. They get snacks (unless it’s close to 5, at which point I might have them wait til dinner). I make dinner (if it hasn’t already been cooking in the crock pot.)
  • 5:30-6pm-– We usually eat at 5:30 or 6pm. That takes about 30-45 mins.
  • After dinner: Everyone pitches in to clean up.
  • Evenings– each night is different. (Right now: Mondays– debate w/ my oldest, so my husband stays home with other kids; Tuesdays– family night/hang out time; Wednesdays– home fellowship for church; Thursdays– this is Doug’s day off so we usually are out shopping/running errands, or home watching movies or playing games; Fridays– this is usually when we have church events or have someone over; Saturdays– depends, but often a laid back night getting ready for Sunday mornings; Sundays– evening church service that my husband leads and we usually stay visiting with other families until about 10pm– our one consistent late night)
  • On normal nights, our little kids (6 & under) are in bed by 8, and our older kids are in bed between 8:30 & 9. 1-2 nights a week, we stay up later, depending on the church calendar.
  • {Note: Now, my husband usually puts the kids to bed. He took that over about 5-6 years ago maybe, once we really started homeschooling intensively. I found that by the time we got to bedtime, I was DONE, so this is a way he serves our family. While the kids are getting to bed, I might take a hot bath, read quietly, hammer out the outline of an article that popped in my head that day, or just sit quietly and stare into space. :) Being honest.}
  • Then about 9 or so, once all the kids are for sure down, he comes back out and joins me and we typically watch a show, have time alone together for talking and intimacy, and try to get to bed before midnight. Our goal is 10:30/11, but truthfully, that probably only happens 1-2 nights a week. Most nights right now we hit the sack between 11-12.

DJEBMSMTLAnd that’s it.

IN THE COMMENTS, SHARE: How has the ages and numbers of your children affected YOUR typical daily schedule?

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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast (momonpurpose.com). I write and wrangle kids.

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11 Responses

  1. shannon bradbury says:

    Sounds like a busy day like mine….

  2. Kondwani says:

    I’m impressed at when your children wake up! Mine tend to start a fair bit earlier (and one in particular gets sent back to bed from about 5 onwards!), but I do try to have had a couple of coffees before they get up. I think actually getting up earlier even when it would be lovely not to, is something which makes the days go much more smoothly. We start ‘school’ with Bible and read alouds at 8, probably because of the earlier up time. I like the prominence of coffee in your mornings. My diary would probably have about 5 by lunchtime!

  3. Allison says:

    I’d be curious to know what you do with littles who wake up way too early. My husband and I *try* to get up at 5:30 every morning to have coffee and our times wit hthe Lord before the kids get up, but it’s not uncommon for our two year old to somehow sense that we are up and come stumbling into the living room, blankie in tow, ready to greet the day. We usually fix him a cup of milk and I let him snuggle next to me on the recliner while I read my Bible, but it is, of course, distracting even still. With our oldest (age 7), we give him his own Bible and encourage him to read it, or at least read another book, if he gets up that early, and our 5 year old, we encourage to sit quietly and look at picture books. It’s not a perfect system, but it works fairly well, I guess I’m just curious to know how you handle that at your house. :)

    • Jess Connell says:

      Allison- I have had some that wake at the slightest noise. For us, what we’ve found is that it’s most often a noise or light thing. We use light-darkening curtains in all the kids’ rooms, and we also turn on the bathroom fan nearest to our room (to mask our noises of getting ready/etc) and 2 small personal fans in the nursery so that they have some constant noises and aren’t jarred awake too early by our noises.

      If I thought it was too early (and certainly if I noticed it affecting their attitudes/energy later in the day), I’d send them back to bed. I think it’s perfectly fine to have a number on the clock (i.e., “when the first number says 7”), too. We’ve done both of those things with our kids when they wake too early.

      Sometimes it can’t be helped with the way a house/apartment is laid out but we do try to strategically use fans and curtains to maintain an ideal sleep environment for as long as possible in the mornings. :)

  4. Erin says:

    Maybe I missed something, but are you really able to complete a full school day for all your school-age children in three hours? It looks like you are only doing school work from 9 AM to lunchtime. Our current schedule is 9-noon, break for lunch and quiet reading, then 2-5. And I only have four kids to teach.

    • Jess says:

      No that’s about right. My older kids sometimes take longer for math work (extending into the afternoon) but yes we get the bulk of everything done within 3 hours.

  5. Diana says:

    I’m seriously impressed!! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Miranda says:

    This is great – thanks for sharing. I’d love to know what’s included in your read aloud time (is it a variety of literature for history, science and rich living books, etc?) And how you go about choosing that…Also, I too have questions about schooling done within 3 hours. With littles needing various things and teaching 3 on 2 math levels we are usually around 4 hours a day. My olders (10&12) accomplish a lot on their own. I’d just love to know more details – within that hour and a half of not reading aloud how are you able to help budding readers, work through math lessons and possibly include writing or spelling? As always, thanks for a look at your real life and the encouragement! Blessings!

    • Jess Connell says:

      Our read-aloud time includes:
      * Bible-time (or devotional books like God’s Promise & Get Wisdom!)
      * Mystery of History (our “spine”… this year, we’re on year 2 of the 4-year cycle.)
      * History flesh-outs (for example: Exploring the Middle Ages)
      * Science, sometimes.
      * Novels
      * Poetry
      * Classics (Lamplighters & books like Pilgrim’s Progress)

      Now, not every day includes all of those things, but we hit them all over the course of a week.

      My older 3 kids now use Teaching Textbooks, so their math time is not included in that 3 hour window, but it also doesn’t (hardly ever) take any additional time from me because of the lectures and examples on TT disks. So the only child I’m actively teaching math to is my 1st grader, and he has a workbook and sits next to me and we walk through it together.

      Budding readers sit and read aloud right next to me, immediately following our read-aloud time, so that gets done immediately. Older kids read their own assigned reading and then come, after the learning-reader is finished, and narrate their stories back to me so I can tell they’re understanding what they read.

      Spelling is random. When we do it, we do Sequential Spelling. I probably could do a better job of this, but in my opinion, we’re working on spelling all the time. (When they read aloud during Bible time, when they take notes on Sunday mornings and learn to spell “long-suffering”, when they hear us read and are following along in the book, etc.)

      Writing is also something I tackle in more of a random manner. Sometimes we go great guns on it (an occasional project/assignment) but for the most part, I wait until there is a reason for them to work on it.

      i.e., My oldest son is honing the craft of writing and editing so much this year because he’s participating in debate. That one function of being internally motivated has helped him accomplish more in one school year what I think we would have accomplished through day-in, day-out slogging over the course of years.

      Another example? My daughter likes to write out stories, so she’s working on learning to write better. I definitely want them to be good writers, but my philosophy is that by reading excellent books and being exposed to excellent thinking and speaking and writing, they will by nature develop an ear for quality phrasing, and through some purposeful coaching (once they each join the debate league my son’s a part of), it will come more naturally than many years’ of slogging would have done.

      I know that’s not everyone’s feeling, but it is mine and I might as well own it. :)

      We also do a lot of “come sit next to me while I cook and work on your math and ask any questions you have” so I don’t count that time, but it’s there. Or, “come practice reading out loud to me while I _______.”

      There’s a lot of non-school-hours learning, to be sure. But for the most part, the parts that *must* involve me are done in those morning hours.

      • Miranda says:

        Great…thanks for that reply. Can’t wait to look into the bible resources. I have used TT before and totally see the helpful thing about it being that kids can do this independently. Yes, I’m with you on the ideas about writing as well. We do written narrations a few times a week (that’s it for now) and I’m actually seeing my boys taking on various styles from the books they are reading, which has been neat! It’s cool to see them grow and also follow along on their readings with them and enjoy good discussion as a result. I don’t want to eat up a lot of time in our week on mechanics like spelling and grammar because I love the focus to be on growing in thinking well and engaging discussions…spelling and grammar are tools to enhance good thinking! So interesting about your son’s debate league!

  1. March 28, 2016

    […] This question came in response to the article where I shared that on school mornings, we read aloud for about an hour/hour and a half. […]

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