The Most Brilliant Daily Order

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School has begun and I know everyone is glad for the routine to be back in order. But even if your kids go to school, you homeschool, or just have toddlers and babies at home; I think you will fall in love with this most brilliant daily order I have ever heard explained to me. And, heaven forbid, anyone is sent home this fall due to COVID, you can tuck this brilliant daily order into your back pocket and pull it out for easy transition through the chaos of having everyone at home!

In his podcast, Kim John Payne, explains the natural order children follow throughout their day. Simply listed, the daily order should go as follows and repeat as often as necessary. 

cognitive—>creative—>practical—>rest

But what does this look like in real life?

Well, if you talk to your child’s teacher at school you will probably notice this order happening quite naturally. School provides amazing structure and predictability for children. And, when your children arrive home you can play with what they need to transition well. Do your children need a nap? Start with rest. Do they need to run around and burn energy? Start with practical time (chores, exercise, team practice). Do your children do best tackling homework right away? Start with cognitive time. And then cycle through.

Now, for homeschooling mamas or for mamas with littles at home, this brilliant daily order can be lifesaving. This is how I’ve incorporated it into our school day:

  1. Cognitive Time – the three R’s get tackled during this time. Reading Writing and Arithmetic. For us this is between 8am and 10am.
  2. Creative Time – read alouds and coloring/art or science lessons with any accompanying experiments get tackled during this time. For us this is between 10:30am and 11:30am. Oh, don’t forget a snack!
  3. Practical Time – outside playtime, park time, exercise, and chores get tackled during this time. We go play or do a chore check and afterwards we eat lunch. For us this happens between 11:30am and 1pm.
  4. Rest Time – essential for everyone and every age, we rest daily. Babies nap. Toddlers nap. Bigger kids lay on the couch and read or play legos quietly in their room. I entice mine with chocolate and calming music often. This is vital for me right now and happens between 1pm and 4pm.
  5. Practical Time – currently, we bounce back up to practical time and head to fall soccer followed by dinner, dinner clean up, and bathing. Which are all considered practical activities.
  6. Rest Time – since we homeschool we have the choice to not do homework, so after dinner and bathing we head to bed instead of cognitive time. We may read stories if kiddos are in their rooms at the designated time of 7:30pm, otherwise bedtime just lasts forever with 5 kids!

If you have babies and toddlers at home you simply adjust the time and activities. Obviously you wont spend two hours with your toddler doing cognitive activities. Aim for 15-30 minutes of cognitive development and then move on to something creative (with a snack, most likely;) and then do something practical (pick up the blocks, “fold” laundry, take a bath) before nap time. You will probably then cycle through this order much more throughout your day.

I hope this helps you make your day more brilliant. I’d love to hear how it helps you! @Livvyroberts

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Olivia is a wife to her college sweet heart, mama to 5 beautiful miracles, whom she also homeschools. She is a returning resident of Destin, but has always been a lover of the beach. In her "spare" time she loves to read, write, yoga, swim, or run. She always prefers home cooked meals & holistic medicine for her family, but you wont find her in the kitchen on the weekends or without all the bleach in the event of a stomach bug. Balance, people. Balance. Espresso, dark chocolate, hot tea, pizza, and red wine are her favorites. You can follow her on Instagram @livvyroberts

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