One thing we like to do is to use empty time and make it multi-faceted.
For example, We start every morning with breakfast and while we eat, we do our Morning baskets. Our morning baskets start our day with some devotions, character development and prayer. This gets our hearts set on Christ focused mode for the day.
After breakfast we move into some morning chores. My thought process here is to get any work done so that when we move to schooling, we can be solely focused on schooling and our free time afterwards will be FREE time.
Typically we move into school and try to finish by lunch.
After lunch we have quiet time. I find mid day kids need a time to be physically still and quiet, so they can use this time to rest, or read.
The rest of the day is for the kids to be creative, help prepare dinner etc.