Single Parent Schedule for Their Child(ren)?

Updated on November 15, 2013
I.S. asks from Sacramento, CA
11 answers

I am curious to know what other single mom's schedule is like for their child(ren) on a school week? My son is 5.5 in Kindergarten.

Here is mine:

Wake up: 6:30a
Out the Door at: 7:20a
Before School Program: 8am
Pick son from school: 1:37p
After School Program: 2:30p
Get off of work: 5pm
Pick up son: 5:15p

Home By: 6:15p - play w. neighbor girls
Dinner: 7-7:30pm (bath followed on bath days)
Quiet Playtime 7:30p-8:00pm - Play w. neighbor girls again (after homework/dinner)
Bedtime: 8:30pm

on homework days he starts: 6:30p

How is your evening with your child(ren) once school is out? Is chaos? controlled activities? limited time with friends during school days?

Trying to stay on top of my schedule or change it up to help my son transition into a better routine that in the end helps him at school with him not focusing and staying out of trouble. If a schedule change can helps this, i am all for it !!! Input greatly appreciated.

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answers from San Francisco on

I start the "winding down" process after dinner. I would cut out the play with the neighbor girls after dinner and just go with quiet play. Mine would still be too wound up to go to bed 30 minutes after playing with friends.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Richland on

I don't understand why you think it is a good idea to play before bed.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Since your goal is to help him focus more and stay out of trouble in school I would do two things - I would not allow friends after dinner, that tends to rile kids up and makes the calm down for bed harder. Second - I really question if he is getting enough sleep. At that age bedtime was 8 and wake up was as late as I could possibly get away with and still make it out the door on time, usually 7:00 - 7:15. You'd be amazed what an extra 30 minutes of sleep can do for kid!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Not a single mom but I'm on my own from 5am to 7pm...

Yours sounds pretty good. Yes, it's chaos after school SO we do after-care to keep the kids busy. We get up before 8am so not as early, though.
Time with friends just at after-care. And usually we have an activity like sports or art, most days, after the after-care. It's very busy. But if we're home, it's too chaotic or the kids just want TV, and that's too much vegging. We try for a good mix of art, sports, etc.

I push for bed a little after 7, since the kids get too wild otherwise. If they get up too early, they can just play. It also takes a long time to get them to bed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

-Also, get him up as late as possible. Try 7am & have everything ready the night before (his clothes/your clothes picked out, lunch for both of you packed & ready to grab n' go, breakfast bowls/plates on counter w/spoons for cereal etc, your purse by the door w/your keys etc).

-I would eliminate the 2nd time playing w/neighbor friends.
Maybe just do the first one while you are cooking.

This should help him get more time for sleep. If he can't fall asleep at 8pm, then how about quietly laying in bed at 8pm while you read him some stories until about 8:30?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

He doesn't go to full day kindergarten? You have to pick him up and take him to the after school program? That's confusing to me. Oh

I think you have a find schedule. It works for you so it's a good one.



answers from Boston on

How old is your son? Your routine sounds pretty normal for any working parent, single or not, and having a 15 minute commute between work and the after-school program is pretty darn awesome.

When I was a single mom my son was younger so our schedule was more based around daycare and having my parents help pick him up early or drop him off late so that he wasn't in daycare for 10-12 hours a day while I was at work.

I got married shortly after he started school but with both of us working, for the first three years of school he went to an after school program from 3:20 until 5 or 6, depending on when my husband got home. Because I was able to work 10-6, I was able to avoid before-school care (elementary school starts here at 9) but that meant a longer afternoon.

The only suggestion I would make would be for him to do some homework at the after school program. That's part of what you pay them for, you might as well have him do it (or at least start it) there so he can have more open time at home, which you'll need when he's old enough for sports and other evening activities.

Sounds like you've got it under control though as-is!



answers from Dover on


The only thing I would change is to try to have dinner eaten by 7 PM so the last hour of the day could be quiet centered free time. Not play with the neighbor girls because it's stimulating. Not tv or video games for the same reason. Just toys playing quietly.

So it would be home
He does homework while I whip up quick dinner
Dinner by 6:40
Free time from after dinner until 8 PM
Bedtime routine with bath, brush teeth, jammies, reading quietly and bed.

If you make a few meals in advance on the weekend and stick them in the freezer it's just a matter of putting them in the microwave to heat. Things like chili, spaghetti sauce (thaw and heat it while you cook noodles), taco meat. Makes for quicker dinner and easier evening for Mommy.



answers from Washington DC on

My DD is picked up from school at 3:30. We come home, look through her backpack, do any HW required, discuss her day, she eats a snack (or finishes her lunch). Then she has some time to play til dinner. After dinner, it's books, bath and bed, typically. She is a night owl but I try to get her down by 9PM because she gets up at 8 (school starts at 9:15). It's similar to the schedule the older kids had and what I did as a kid. If we do play time with the neighbors, it is AFTER her responsibilities are done and not just before bed. We try to wind down an hour before her bedtime. I tend not to do playdates on regular school days. I do try to arrange things on days she has off or days she has a half day, as I work at home and it helps me maintain my schedule. Once a week DD has dance class, so I need to get her homework packet finished a day early.

Something we did with my SD was any HW not done in the aftercare program was started while an adult started dinner. For about 5 years it was all on DH and he would monitor HW while he cooked. SD did her HW at the kitchen table. SS is more independent and didn't need active supervision.

If you want him to focus on school, I would do homework earlier and he can earn fun time after he's done his work. Maybe shift that and dinner earlier in the night.


answers from Washington DC on

Playing with friends after bath and dinner? Umm...



answers from Amarillo on

Although I grew up with mom being home, I did not have play time after dinner with the neighbor kids.

Try making things in a crock pot so that you have a little more time in the evening to enjoy your son before he goes to bed.

When my son was little I would be up about an hour ahead of him so that all the things I needed to do before he got up were done. It didn't work with me trying to get both of us ready at the same time. Can your son go to a program where it is all day or he has a way to after school where you don't have to go pick him up and move him? It would be less wear and tear on both of you.

If it were light outside, he was outside playing at that age with the neighborhood kids until dinner. But that was like 30 some years ago now everybody does play dates and stuff. When he came in from play, dinner was ready and he ate. After dinner he stayed in even though the other kids went back out. Quiet time began and we started bed routine around 7:30 for an 8 to 8:15 lights out. This gave him a good 10 hours or so of sleep each night.

Make up a schedule with times on it and than stick with it. Change it to make it a bit easier. Once you get the routine down, it should work out well for both of you. I know routines get boring, but children thrive on the same thing done over and over.

the other S.

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