Creating a Quiet Time Routine
Creating a quiet time routine for kids is essential for any busy homeschool mom.
I love my children to the moon and back. However, I spend almost every waking moment with them or around them.
The chaos, the noise, the lessons, and even the snuggles can become completely overwhelming for this introverted momma!
This is why our daily quiet time routine is something I look forward to every single day.
As a working homeschool mom, I can get worn down quickly, and quiet time for the kiddos is my first real chance to hit that much-needed refresh button.
My kids do their thing while I do mine — and to be completely honest, it ends up being the most productive 45 minutes of my entire day!
With that said, our routine isn’t always perfect.
Plus, there are the rare days we are out of the house all day and quiet time gets pushed to the back burner.
While those definitely aren’t my best days productively speaking, they tend to be the days where I made important memories with my kids that will last a lifetime — and I totally live for those moments!
For the most part, though, quiet time for kids and mom is a big deal in our house.
I consider it a necessity and when executed properly, downright heavenly!
The Importance of Quiet Time for Kids and Moms
Quiet time is so important for both kids and moms alike!
Not only will it give you the chance to reset or practice a little self-care, but it’s also a great opportunity for your children to practice being still and independent.
If you have multiple kiddos your quiet time routine may not look the exact same for each one of them.
Take our home for example.
I have 3 kids varying in age.
My boys are older and do a large amount of sit-down learning, while my daughter is quite a bit younger and still mostly learns through play and enrichment.
With an age difference so large, creating a smooth quiet time for my kids was quite the challenge at first.
However, after trying a handful of different methods, I finally found our perfect fit!
Quiet Time for Big Kids
When quiet time approaches, my boys typically pull out their math books to work on quietly.
Math is actually the one subject I don’t teach in our home — it’s simply not my jam.
Thankfully, my husband has taken over this role for my youngest and my boys are mostly self-taught at this point – making it the perfect subject for our daily quiet time routine.
Not only does this free up my hands for the time being, but it also helps keep my curious preschooler at bay.
If older brothers are working on something quietly and independently, my daughter will be less likely to venture out of her own quiet time area.
To put it simply – zero noise from older children = less temptation for younger children to get up to see what they’re missing out on.
With that said, there are times my boys don’t need to work on math. When those times arise, we simply loop through activities instead.
Quiet Time for Little Ones
Quiet time for my youngest definitely has more of a traditional feel to it and looks quite a bit different from what my older children do.
My daughter hangs out in her tent engaging in simple preschool activities.
With that said, keeping a preschooler engaged and quiet is much easier said than done!
When we first started implementing a quiet time routine, my daughter would get up often and it was definitely a struggle.
This was something I absolutely had to get a handle on, and quick!
This sweet girl has never been much of an afternoon nap taker, so quiet time quickly became a must for our homeschool family.
While creating our quiet time routine, I decided to focus on all of my daughter’s favorite things that I know will keep her busy and entertained.
With that said, after a few short days of implementing our quiet time routine, I already had to eliminate a few of said activities.
*If you look closely at the pictures above, you will notice the walls of her tent have been beautifully scribbled on. Let’s just say – coloring is no longer a valid option for her quiet time.
Love this girl, but she’s a handful sometimes!
We also lean on a number of preschool-aged Paper Pie books.
Quiet Time for Mom
If I’m being completely honest though, I’m usually working.
For real though.
Forty-five minutes of uninterrupted productivity is like a slice of heaven to me.
Do I want to be working? Probably not.
Will I be thankful later when the work is already done? Heck, yes!
I typically use my kid’s quiet time to do household chores, catch up on laundry, work on the blog, budget, menu plan, or prep dinner.
On days that I don’t need to be as productive, or just plain don’t have the energy to be. I journal, doodle, catch up on my scripture reading, or simply sip an extra cup of coffee – because you know what?
Sometimes this type of rest is exactly what’s needed in the middle of a hectic homeschool day!
Realistically though, we need to get things done and have little moments to ourselves every single day. Otherwise, we have no sanity and I’m almost positive that sanity is important to every mom – am I right or am I right? Ha!
Starting Your Own Quiet Time Routine
So, you are probably thinking this whole quiet time thing sounds great, right?
However, you might also think it sounds extremely unrealistic for your home.
I was in the same exact place.
I loved the concept but wasn’t sure how to execute it and make it a reality for our family – especially with such diverse ages.
Like everything else I have tried in our home, creating a simple quiet time routine for kids was not easy at first and it took quite a bit of tweaking.
With that said, I did learn a few simple things along the way that made quiet time work – for the most part.
These are the 5 things you need to know before implementing your own quiet time for kids.
Make It Special
Yes, yes, yes!
This is so important, you guys! Especially for the little ones.
Creating a special place for your kiddos to hang out during your family’s quiet time routine will not only help promote the independence they need, but it will also encourage your little ones to look forward to this part of the day!
In other words — make this time a special time, not a punishment.
We opted for a tent for my preschooler and it was such a great choice!
It is definitely a great option for a younger child that may be more reluctant to rest or play quietly in the afternoon hours.
This tent was our first step in the right direction.
I also picked up a cute blanket that can only be used during her daily quiet time to reinforce the positive feelings that I want to be associated with this time of day — helping to rid anxiety, making this a time to look forward to each and every day!
Focus on Learning
Your quiet time routine is the perfect time for older kiddos to work on simple independent learning, workbook time, daily reading, or devotions.
If you plan on utilizing your quiet time as an extra time for teaching older students, while younger children rest (or play) quietly, that’s a great option too — especially if you have a number of children that fall in between the napping age & the mostly self-taught age.
However, if you need a few moments each afternoon to work on home tasks, start dinner, or simply take a breather – learning to lean on independent, yet educational, activities for older & younger siblings is key!
We tried a couple of different things in this time slot and we all agreed that math (for the older kiddos) was the best option for our family
With that said, things such as independent reading, games, puzzles, or drawing all work great as quiet-time activities for kids.
I really only have one rule when it comes to older kids and quiet time: as long as it isn’t a distraction to younger siblings and mom can catch a breather – it’s pretty much allowed!
As for the younger kiddos, leaning on educational and age-appropriate, books and toys is a must as well.
Utilize Age Appropriate Activities
I’m not a huge fan of electronics during our homeschool day and quiet time is no exception.
Take some time to think about the type of items that keep your individual children engaged and interested for longer periods of time.
These are the things you need to utilize for quiet time in your home.
For some kiddos, it might be things such as building blocks or magnet toys, while other children might prefer dot-to-dot activities or sticker books instead.
Just remember — your go-to activities should be ones that your children can do all by themselves.
Just make sure you have multiple quiet time activities you can loop through — this simply helps keep boredom at bay.
One final note from a quiet time (not so) pro: if it involves something messy, could potentially become messy, or your kiddo can’t be trusted not to make it messy — skip it.
My number one rule for littles during quiet time? Nothing messy. Period.
We tried crayons once upon a time and that was quickly thrown out the window — never, ever again will I trust a preschooler with crayons.
The whole point of quiet time for kids is to give mom a moment to complete her task at hand and having a huge mess to clean up afterward simply isn’t going to work.
Set expectations for your quiet time — period.
Communicate with your children. Let them know long their quiet time will last each day (we do 45 minutes), tell them where mom will be during quiet time, then talk about rewards and/or consequences.
Younger siblings will not want to stay still and quiet if older siblings are being loud and rambunctious, so setting expectations by creating a rules & rewards system is a must.
My older boys know they are to be quiet or there will be a serious price to pay — which is why I prefer sticking to consequences rather than rewards at this age.
I absolutely need this time during our hectic day and when they get loud, little sister will soon come to investigate.
My daughter, on the other hand, is young and rewards work best.
Thankfully, I can get away with her quiet time reward being more school time with mommy. I know it sounds a little goofy, but she absolutely loves our one-on-one learning time and I just roll with it.
It’s simple, but it totally works.
After our quiet time routine ends, I do history with my older boys and my youngest absolutely loves being included in this.
With that said, sometimes she simply can’t sit that long after a 45-minute quiet time session so I tend to keep a number of enrichment-type activities on hand for those occasions.
She can listen (or half listen) to our history lesson while playing with the messy stuff she missed out on during her quiet time.
I tend to lean on kinetic sand, sensory bins, cutting activities, and lots, and lots of stickers.
She absolutely lives for this stuff.
My boys don’t get any type of reward for having a productive quiet time. However, they do get extra electronics time after dinner if school and chores are complete.
They are quite a bit older, so expectations are simply set higher.
Utilize a Timer
If you have an antsy child that simply needs to know when their quiet time will end, purchase a simple timer for reassurance.
While you can easily use your phone or purchase a fancy timer just for quiet time, I actually prefer a traditional kitchen timer instead.
With that said, there is absolutely no need to break the bank on this! Do whatever is simple and right for your family.
Our personal quiet time is 45 minutes long which felt like an eternity to my kiddos at first, so we started slow and built up to it.
Our first quiet time was 15 minutes long.
Then, our second was 17 minutes.
After that, I simply added a few minutes to our total time each day.
While my older boys likely could have handled 45 minutes right off the bat, my youngest simply couldn’t.
She was never a nap taker, so this was a whole new concept to her!
Eventually, though, we did work our way to that 45-minute sweet spot and I seriously couldn’t be happier.
Quiet time is 100% a must in our home and I hope you can find a way to add this unique routine to your busy day.
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