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#1 Dryersheet

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 07:07 PM

I need help, advice, something. I have a big family(more kids than you can count on 2 hands!)- 3 out of highschool and all the way down to a 3 year old and infant. I have begged my husband for years to put some of then in school and he has agreed to put our elementary school age ones in next year (that will only be 2 of them). I realize that i do not want them in school- i really want homeschooling to work. With such a big family, i could literally spend ALL DAY cooking, cleaning and schoolhas just worked its way down my priority list. I have been doing this for almost 2 decades and, frankly, i am pretty tired of it. But i want the younger ones to be homeschooled, just as my older ones were. There is so much pull from so many angles now- baby who needs nursing or diapers, little one who need stuff and the ones out of high school still need alot! ( i never thought the older ones would still need so much attention- but they do! College help, relationship help, resume help, car help, it goes on and on ;)it makes diapers and messy kids look easy.
How do I know when I am "done" with homeschooling? I thought I was, but I am totally not a peace with my husband's agreement to put them in school. I think my begging to put then in school was really a cry for help and I did not realize it until now. I guess I am wondering if anyone has been through this or how they managed to figure out what they really "wanted" to do. Thanks for reading all this..

#2 MerryAtHope

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 07:10 PM

( i never thought the older ones would still need so much attention- but they do! College help, relationship help, resume help, car help, it goes on and on ;)it makes diapers and messy kids look easy.

 

I hope you get some good ideas from those with larger families! I just wanted to say, I hear you on this part! 


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#3 maize

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 07:20 PM

How are family finances? Could you budget some funds for household help?

Or hiring tutors?

It sounds to me like you are stretched too thin. Putting the kids in school is one valid way to relieve the demands on you, but if you are not feeling good about that I would give careful consideration to any other options.

Public school has the advantage of being free.

Do your adult kids live with you?

How are the schools in your area?

What parts of your responsibilities do you enjoy?

Which aspects would you be most relieved to hand over to someone else?

My oldest is 14 so I can't really offer a been there done that for your situation, but maybe just thinking through various options could help? My mom raised a double digit family and I don't know how she could have done it without most of the kids being in school most of the time (she also homeschooled at times but never all the way through) AND having household help at various times over the years.
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#4 happypamama

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 08:47 PM

I don't have as many children, but I do have a range of ages, and most of mine can't be combined.  I just want to empathize -- it IS hard.  I need more hours in the day.

 

This year, we are outsourcing Spanish for our tenth grader, and next year, I am planning to continue that while adding a couple of other outsourced classes for her.  I simply don't have the time to read all the books and everything for her.

 

Maize has some great questions to consider -- what can you keep that you like, and what would you like to have someone else doing?  That's where I'd start.

 

 


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#5 fairfarmhand

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 09:00 PM

What are your current household routines? How much help do the kids give you? How much help does the husband give you?

 

I think if you streamline stuff with the household other things will fall into place.

 

Can you use Teaching Textbooks or other automated school programs? 

 

I think for homeschooling to work, you may have to settle for the homeschooling materials that get done rather than the ideal. 

 

I also would school very lite for the youngest. 

 

Ages and grade levels would help.

 

Also what "out of the house" stuff that you do.

 

One thing I've seen with most of the large family moms that I know is that mom is generally at home a lot more than I am. Dad or older siblings drive kids to activities grocery shop etc. 


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#6 Tanaqui

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 09:59 PM

It's normal to feel anxious or scared about changes, even if they're changes we want. Are you sure this isn't just post-decision jitters?

 

(I'm saying this mostly to give the other view, not because I particularly think stepping back on homeschool is the best option! I don't know enough about you to have that opinion!)

 

Otherwise, people are giving great advice. Educating one grade level - let alone several! - is a full time job. Housekeeping is a full time job. Minding small children is a full time job. Being a manager - keeping track of everybody's appointments and commitments, planning the meals, making sure the chores get done - is a full time job. If you're doing all these jobs with little to no assistance, it's no wonder you're a bit burnt out! You're working four shifts! You need help, which means, practically, that your husband needs to step up and start doing about 50% of those tasks. (And without you having to stand over him, either.)


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#7 fralala

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 06:39 AM

Have you had a big sit-down with the whole family and expressed this to everybody? Not just your husband?

 

Sending several (or all) of the kids to school is one potential solution, or half-solution, but you need a whiteboard and a marker and a whole list. Jot 'em all done, even if they're ridiculous.

 

We can all offer ideas, but the ones that will work best are the ones that actually come from your family. Your only job is to clearly state the problem to them, accept all potential solutions, and remain open-minded.

 

Have you ever done something like this before?

 

Double digit kids are a lot of work from one perspective. From another, they are a great team!

 

(You don't actually need a whiteboard. A sheet of paper works too. I just like it, especially for my little kids, if they can see that I'm writing everything down because once they see they're not being judged, they often come up with the most creative and imaginative ideas. After you're done, you can sort through them, asking, "Would this work?" for each one. Everyone should be clear when brainstorming that you're not actually going to do all of these, and some will get crossed out right away-- for instance, Everybody quits cleaning the house and Mom just learns to live in a dump. But we cross things out with a sense of humor.)

 

Even if you don't hammer out a perfect solution, I've found I walk away from this kind of problem-solving session so much more satisfied than if I just bring a problem and a potential solution to my spouse and he says, "Sure, honey, whatever you say." You'd think the latter would be more satisfying, but...nope. Sometimes we need to be heard and hear everybody working to come up with ideas on our behalf!


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#8 The Substitute is a Westie

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 07:22 AM

Have you considered online options? 

 

Putting a few of the kids in public (or traditional) school will possibly cause you even more work and stress.  You will have to manage getting them up, dressed, and ready for school by a specific time each day.  You will have to manage their homework and the expectations of another teacher.

 

My first stop, before public school, would be to consider online homeschool.  Some options would be Monarch, Switched On Schoolhouse, Time4Learning, Abeka Academy, and BJU distance learning.  There are so many more out there to consider.  These days we are not at a loss for options. 

 

I hope you find the answers you're seeking, and the comfort your heart needs as you're dealing with this season of life.


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#9 Tibbie Dunbar

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 10:13 AM

I do not have a family of the same size. I only have four children. But I I have tutored homeschooled children from mega families and seen situations in which the children really aren't learning...and the older girls spend many hours helping with housework and the care of younger siblings. (One teen girl was not allowed to study until she had gotten all the little ones out of bed, cooked and served a full breakfast, bathed and dressed the children, and deep cleaned the kitchen! Every day! She was fifteen, and struggling with fourth grade math, and that was the tip of the iceberg.)

If this is you, then listen to Tanaqui about post-decision anxiety. Try school. Children must have an education. They must not live with school on the back burner for days, weeks, months, while they spend hours on chores. That's wrong, no matter what homeschool leaders say about how "the baby is the lesson," and "it's more important for girls to be wives and homemakers," and "better heaven than Harvard." It's wrong, and it's also illegal. If you are not able to teach them, then send them to school.

If this is not you - and don't judge it in some vague way, such as telling yourself, "my kids are smarter than public school kids and learn more through life" - be objective, and prove to yourself that every child is genuinely on grade level - if this is not you, and you are only weeks behind, then look at changing systems to get back to efficiency and health.

You might need changes to multiple systems. You might need to hire household help AND switch to Monarch or other online options, or teach one room schoolhouse style if you are a good teacher. Some people put the toddlers and preschoolers in a church daycare or preschool, instead of putting the older children in public school. Some homeschool only to either sixth or eighth grade, and then switch to public or private school.

I hope you have the means and courage to try new methods of getting your children educated and raised. I hope very, very much that if public school is your only option, that your local school is safe and good.

One last thing about if your family is in serious trouble academically, though: In some of my tutored students' cases, the public school principal told me that they would accept the children according to the law, but they had no mechanism for educating teens who were four or more years behind grade level. There would be no option but to place these neurotypical and bright children in special education programs - but he warned me that kids in that situation nearly always drop out from frustration and despair. Which is how I ended up tutoring.
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#10 Dryersheet

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 03:18 PM

Thank you all for these responses. They are very helpful to me, actually. Very helpful, each of them

I have tried very hard to make a conscious effort to not make my kids the "mini-parents" for the younger half, as I have seen that in other big families in our homeschool community, where the teenagers babysit, do chores and teach while mom does other things.  My older homeschooled kids are all very active outside the home in community, church groups and with jobs. The older 3 , who graduated, are doing well in college (one finished with an associates and getting a bachelor's next year and 2 working on their associates.  I feel like, despite my failings, education has gone "ok" in general (except Math, 2 needed remedial math at the community college, but apparently that is not totally a "homeschool thing", at least not here, locally.

My currently homeschooled kids are not terribly behind, all reading at age appropriate levels. Math is slightly behind- about a year or two at most  (9th grader is in pre-algebra) 7th grader is in Saxon 6/5, 5th grader is in Abeka 3 and the younger ones are on grade level with Abeka. They read alot, Harry potter for the 5th grader and up (they have each read the whole series more than once. They read for fun and the 9th graders takes classes outside of the home and writes papers for a teacher there and does well.

In reading all of each of these responses, I am seeing that maybe what I really need- is a babysitter or a helper. I need someone to keep the little ones busy for a few hours, so I can work with the other little ones.


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#11 Dryersheet

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 03:25 PM

What are your current household routines? How much help do the kids give you? How much help does the husband give you?

 

I think if you streamline stuff with the household other things will fall into place.

 

Can you use Teaching Textbooks or other automated school programs? 

 

I think for homeschooling to work, you may have to settle for the homeschooling materials that get done rather than the ideal. 

 

I also would school very lite for the youngest. 

 

Ages and grade levels would help.

 

Also what "out of the house" stuff that you do.

 

One thing I've seen with most of the large family moms that I know is that mom is generally at home a lot more than I am. Dad or older siblings drive kids to activities grocery shop etc. 

 

the  currently homeschooled ones are 17 (graduating, so I am not counting her!)  almost 15/ 9th; 12/7th;10/5th, 7/2nd, 5/K, 3 & infant

during the day, I only drive one kid to a class and drop off, one day a week. Otherwise we are  home ( the 17 & 15 yo drive themselves once a week to another class), so I am in the house almost all the time- which is much better for all, especially the more kids I have

the husband is a big help and is home sometimes during the week. he helps clean up , cook  and keeps things running when he is home. He is gem. I am a lucky lady.

I have bought and sold TT twice.. I realize I probably should NOT have sold it the second time. LOL

I am working on streamlining routines here. I think you are right, that would go along way to helping homeschooling work. 


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#12 Dryersheet

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 03:30 PM

Have you had a big sit-down with the whole family and expressed this to everybody? Not just your husband?

 

Sending several (or all) of the kids to school is one potential solution, or half-solution, but you need a whiteboard and a marker and a whole list. Jot 'em all done, even if they're ridiculous.

 

We can all offer ideas, but the ones that will work best are the ones that actually come from your family. Your only job is to clearly state the problem to them, accept all potential solutions, and remain open-minded.

 

Have you ever done something like this before?

 

Double digit kids are a lot of work from one perspective. From another, they are a great team!

 

(You don't actually need a whiteboard. A sheet of paper works too. I just like it, especially for my little kids, if they can see that I'm writing everything down because once they see they're not being judged, they often come up with the most creative and imaginative ideas. After you're done, you can sort through them, asking, "Would this work?" for each one. Everyone should be clear when brainstorming that you're not actually going to do all of these, and some will get crossed out right away-- for instance, Everybody quits cleaning the house and Mom just learns to live in a dump. But we cross things out with a sense of humor.)

 

Even if you don't hammer out a perfect solution, I've found I walk away from this kind of problem-solving session so much more satisfied than if I just bring a problem and a potential solution to my spouse and he says, "Sure, honey, whatever you say." You'd think the latter would be more satisfying, but...nope. Sometimes we need to be heard and hear everybody working to come up with ideas on our behalf!

 

no. I have not talked to the kids about it. Maybe because now, I am afraid that the little ones will be excited to go to school and I am realizing that maybe I do not want them to.... I did ask my husband to come up with a list of priorities and he came up with a list that did not inlcude homeschooling, but I think that was because he knows that I have told him for 2 years that I am done with it. He would not put his list of priorities in any order. I was secretly hoping he would come home with a list that had homeschooling and clean house on it. and then I could ask him about hiring help and continuing to homeschool. but he did not.  I know that my older kids think homeschooling is the best, as they had a wonderful childhood that they chalk most of it up to the freedom of homeschooling.


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#13 Tibbie Dunbar

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 03:30 PM

I am also rebuying several levels of TT - stupid tax, as Dave Ramsay says! The second youngest child was thriving with Saxon for high school, I was pretty sure the youngest also would, I needed a little money, so I sold my high school TT levels. But now it's obvious that youngest would do better with TT, so...that was really too expensive a program to sell until the last child was in college!! Oops.
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#14 Dryersheet

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 03:36 PM

How are family finances? Could you budget some funds for household help?

Or hiring tutors?

It sounds to me like you are stretched too thin. Putting the kids in school is one valid way to relieve the demands on you, but if you are not feeling good about that I would give careful consideration to any other options.

Public school has the advantage of being free.

Do your adult kids live with you?

How are the schools in your area?

What parts of your responsibilities do you enjoy?

Which aspects would you be most relieved to hand over to someone else?

My oldest is 14 so I can't really offer a been there done that for your situation, but maybe just thinking through various options could help? My mom raised a double digit family and I don't know how she could have done it without most of the kids being in school most of the time (she also homeschooled at times but never all the way through) AND having household help at various times over the years.

 

This has been very helpful in getting me thinking. I like free school and in my mind, it is like free babysitters for all day for a few kids. Honestly, it is. But I realize there will be so much work involved in getting them ready and staying on top of the requirements of a public school. The schools in our area are quite good, from what I know.

one of my adult children lives with us, but she is very busy with school, work and has her own life. She does help when she can. I would love to have some clean my house so that each morning I could just start on school and fun stuff. I would love to have someone be there to hold the baby or play with the 3year old when I am trying to help someone else learn the times tables.

I have never had household help (besides the kids and husband). I think that is what I may need.

I would like to be able to do little crafts and read books to my little kids. there is no way , on earth, time for that anymore :(

we have sent a few to preschool, with varying results. Some liked it. One dropped out, but the $ spent and worse , me driving back and forth to preschool mid morning just was a mess and made our day so discombobulated and kids went wild everytime I left the house.
 


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#15 fairfarmhand

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 06:28 PM

the  currently homeschooled ones are 17 (graduating, so I am not counting her!)  almost 15/ 9th; 12/7th;10/5th, 7/2nd, 5/K, 3 & infant

during the day, I only drive one kid to a class and drop off, one day a week. Otherwise we are  home ( the 17 & 15 yo drive themselves once a week to another class), so I am in the house almost all the time- which is much better for all, especially the more kids I have

the husband is a big help and is home sometimes during the week. he helps clean up , cook  and keeps things running when he is home. He is gem. I am a lucky lady.

I have bought and sold TT twice.. I realize I probably should NOT have sold it the second time. LOL

I am working on streamlining routines here. I think you are right, that would go along way to helping homeschooling work. 

I "only" have four, so forgive me if any of this is dumb to you. I just want to brainstorm with/for you to see if we can figure out how to make this work.

 

First: The kids who get off track while you're gone. Have a detailed list of what needs to get done while you are gone. Make the list long enough that they won't have any "free time" while you're gone. Handwriting practice, reading x chapters of x book, copying spelling words, then things like cleaning. Have strict consequences for chaos when it happens. Have strict consequences for those who pester or annoy others when it happens. You probably have one or two who "start things" In your shoes, I'd take them with me and let them do busy work on a clip board in the car. You can't be home without mom if you're disruptive. I've found with my kids its easier to prevent problems than to pick up the pieces when it's over. 

 

Second: I admire you for wanting to keep your kids from becoming "little mamas" to the youngers. That doesn't mean that they can't help you with entertaining the littles at all in the mornings for school time. If your 15 yo, and  12  yo (maybe the 10 yo depending on the kid) can take an hour each morning (maybe in 30 minute shifts), juggling the littles for you that will give you 2 hours in the morning to focus on basics with the others. Then if you use naptime wisely after lunch, that will give you another couple of hours to work on school. So that might give you 4 hours of teaching time. 

 

Third: I understand your desire to want a clean house in the morning. It's admirable. Make that a goal for everyone. It really doesn't take that long to straighten up in the evening before bed. Everyone should pitch in to make this happen.

 

Fourth:Can you set up teams for household work and rotate jobs based upon the week?

 

So teams could be three people. 

 

A food prep team (dh supervising during dinner prep, but they prepare simple meals like cereal, toast, sandwiches, soup, etc during the day. ) 

 

A cleaning team (they deep clean a different area of the house each day)

 

A dishes team (can you use disposable dishes except for supper to minimize dishes?)

 

A laundry team (they need to do x numbers of loads of laundry each day, from hamper to dresser drawer, Laundry's not done till it's put away) 

 

One thing I thought I'd mention is that my oldest is a college student and she's working hard. I often don't include her in chores assignments because of that. But realistically, if she were living in an apartment, she'd have to go grocery shopping, do basic dishes and some household chores. I try to assign less time sensitive chores to her, like I don't depend on her helping with morning chores in the barn because she's sometimes here and sometimes not, but the fridge can be cleaned out any time or the toilet scrubbed any time. So I can say to her. "Every Friday night, I need x, y, and z completed. You can finish them whenever, but they need to be done by Friday night."  So even your adult kids do need to be pitching in if they're not. 

 

Write down team assignments for the month on each week of the calendar at the beginning of the month. Have a checklist of what needs to be done each day.

 

Fifth: There's nothing wrong with your kids working and you sitting on the couch nursing a babe and reading a book to the littles. Don't feel that is a waste of time.

 

Sixth: Are you getting enough sleep? How is your health? When I'm not doing well, figuring out how to work efficiently is overwhelming.

 

Seventh: Buy all the levels of Teaching Textbooks that you need. Automated Grading will be worth it.  Also, Khan Academy has grammar instruction. 

 

Eighth: Do crafts in the park in the summer. It'll be worth it to not have the mess in your kitchen. 

 

Feel free to use or discard any of the above. If none of it works, then tell me the problems and I'll start thinking again.

 

 

I think you're right in that putting kids in school will be a hassle too, with checking homework, finding the right clothes and getting everyone ready on time.


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#16 Dryersheet

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 09:54 PM

fairfarmhand : CAN YOU COME TO MY HOUSE? :laugh:     none of that advice is "dumb" to me. It is all very, very helpful. I am going to print it and think and actually answer each one and show the hubby. 

How would you do something like this- the teams-- would you actually write down who does what?  just because I have been at this parenting thing for a long time and delivered lots of babies does not mean I have a clue when it comes to management. Also, I forget. Literally, I am not sure who or what I was and did when my first few kids were smaller. It was like a different universe or dimension then. Now it is all about crowd control. So much fun and activity and personalities, for sure, but more about crowd control and survival. My husband says it is a good day when everyone is fed and safe.

I would like a little more than that...

 

You all have been so helpful. I think I owe each one of you who has responded a therapist's co-payment or something!! I have read the forums here and there for years. I was pretty desperate the last few days and needed help and did not know who to turn to. I cannot thank you all enough.

 

We actually had a really good day today, despite my 2nd grader losing their workbooks 2 days ago (hopefully accidentally) . My husband works weird hours and is gone overnight  about 1/3 of the month (not consecutively) . So that can be very hard too, getting nighttime routines done alone. But, alas,  they are in bed and the older ones have friends over. I feel like I am getting so clarity and you ALL  have helped a bunch. Thank you. And I am very open and grateful for anyone else who takes the time to try to help me!

 

 

 


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#17 maize

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 10:08 PM

Your younger seven are the same ages as my seven.

It is crazy busy and I don't have any older kids to worry about!

By the way, I do have one child in school--my seven year old. I'm planning to send his next younger brother as well next year. This particular school has so far been a good fit for this particular child, and I am glad that I made the decision to send him even though I had homeschooled exclusively before that.

The nice thing about putting a child in school is that it doesn't have to be permanent--if it stops being a good fit at some point I can pull him out.

Not to say that school is necessarily a good fit for your kids, but to add a data point that it can work within a mostly homeschooling family.
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#18 LMD

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 03:19 AM

When you're tired and just trying to get through the days, taking time and brain space to sort this stuff out is difficult!

I would totally utilise the older kids in teams with the littles. I wouldn't ask them to do mom tasks like nappies, but I would think of it as cultivating sibling relationships. Assign them a task like "read 3 y/o a picture book" "listen to music and dance with 3 y/o" "take 3y/o outside and find 3 different rocks" etc.

Do you do a morning time? Cindy Rollins might be helpful! http://www.ordo-amor...bother.html?m=1
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#19 Melissa in Australia

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 03:40 AM

you are doing great 

 

 

Is it possible to have someone come in  and clean once a week? up until a few weeks ago I did and it was so nice knowing that for one day of the week I didn't have to do bathrooms and the whole hose was dusted.


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#20 Bluegoat

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:52 AM

As far as getting someone in for cleaning, sometimes it can be more helpful than you expect to ave someone come in for the more deep-cleaning kinds of things - even eery second week someone to do that work can be kind of a load of the mind.  It makes things seem more orderly.

 

I don't have that many kids, but I would echo what some up-thread have said - a decision to go to ps doesn't have to be permanent, and it can also be specifically for certain kids who might do better or gain an advantage from that environment.  


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#21 fairfarmhand

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:53 AM

fairfarmhand : CAN YOU COME TO MY HOUSE? :laugh:     none of that advice is "dumb" to me. It is all very, very helpful. I am going to print it and think and actually answer each one and show the hubby. 

How would you do something like this- the teams-- would you actually write down who does what?  just because I have been at this parenting thing for a long time and delivered lots of babies does not mean I have a clue when it comes to management. Also, I forget. Literally, I am not sure who or what I was and did when my first few kids were smaller. It was like a different universe or dimension then. Now it is all about crowd control. So much fun and activity and personalities, for sure, but more about crowd control and survival. My husband says it is a good day when everyone is fed and safe.

I would like a little more than that...

 

You all have been so helpful. I think I owe each one of you who has responded a therapist's co-payment or something!! I have read the forums here and there for years. I was pretty desperate the last few days and needed help and did not know who to turn to. I cannot thank you all enough.

 

We actually had a really good day today, despite my 2nd grader losing their workbooks 2 days ago (hopefully accidentally) . My husband works weird hours and is gone overnight  about 1/3 of the month (not consecutively) . So that can be very hard too, getting nighttime routines done alone. But, alas,  they are in bed and the older ones have friends over. I feel like I am getting so clarity and you ALL  have helped a bunch. Thank you. And I am very open and grateful for anyone else who takes the time to try to help me!

 

 

So what I would do, is create mom's command station. Perhaps there's a corner of the couch that you prefer or a particular chair or whatever. In that place, I'd put mom's management basket. For me it would include my bible and prayer journal, (can't do this alone! YMMV) and a pretty notebook and pen that I'd use for household management. 

 

Every day open up the household management book and check out what needs to happen that day and what needs to be planned for. Do you need to add deodorant and toothpaste to the shopping list? Do it at the same time each morning. I found nursing to be super great for this aspect of my personality because I could spend 10 minutes in my chair mentally preparing for the day, as far as what need to happen. I had to sit down to do it. I generally nursed close to the same times each day. So use that first morning nursing to mentally plan your day and figure out what needs to happen then.

 

Household management book would have all the lists. 

 

Team assignments and dates--also notes on how it went and which kids worked well together. Don't get too far ahead and plan more than a month out. You never know which kids will get a stomach bug and have to be shuffled around. Also, don't make the mistake of making the pairings permanent. There's always one kid being a stinker and it's not fair for the most longsuffering older sibling to be eternally stuck with the stinker. In fact, I might make a point of pairing myself with the kid who's the biggest stinker and try to work on some of those...issues. 

 

I'd also make a master list of what is included as each teams work. 

 

Dishes: Clear table, wash tableware, wash pots and pans, empty trash, put away leftovers, sweep floor, throw out old food from the fridge, etc. I like things listed out so that the kids can divide and conquer and know when they are done. 

 

Cleaning: Each day of the week has a different cleaning area; Monday, Bathrooms, (list out the particulars of cleaning the bathroom)Tuesday, dust and vacuum living areas, sstraighten and declutter living areas, clean out couches and chairs, dust ceiling fans, wipe baseboards (me on my own, I never get to baseboards and ceiling fans, but when 3 people are working on cleaning each day, there's plenty of time to add in those chores that seldom get done. I bought a long pole duster that my kids can all use to knock down spider webs and clean the fans with.) Wednesday: Bathrooms again (with this many people, you'll need to do it multiple times a week)  Thursday: Vacuum bedrooms, organize little's toys, sort out bookcases, vacuum stairs with the hand vac (am I the only one who's bookcases get cluttered with this and that?) Friday: sweep and mop the hard surfaces, wipe down kitchen cabinets, check the corners of the house for grunge Saturday: Clean out the cars, straighten the garage and sweep it out, clean the laundry room, including the lint under the dryer.  

 

Laundry: I find it works better if each person has a laundry day and enough clothes to last 7-10 days. This means that nobody is going Are my Work Pants clean? They know what day laundry is done and things should be clean on that day. So on each person's laundry day, they are responsible to carry the basket to the laundry room and the laundry people will take it from there. Add in a day for sheets and towels for the whole family. (I'm a heathen, I wash whites with everything else on cold, except for my dh and my socks and tshirts. It's too complicated to sort the whole family's whites into one load. Besides, most of my kids socks and undies are patterned anyway) in your family, it would be 2 people per day getting their laundry done.  Also, anything that needs to be ironed should be the responsibility of the person who owns it to iron. If they are too little to iron, they're too little to own anything that needs to be ironed, yes even for church clothes. Polo shirts don't need ironing if they're hung up out of the dryer!

 

Cooking: Switch to simple easy to prepare meals. Cereal, toast, eggs, etc can be prepared by almost anyone who can read. in the evening, you or dad can start/supervise dinner preparation. So when its a mealtime, the food team is in the kitchen preparing everyone's food. Create your menu at the beginning of the week, so you're sure that you have all the ingredients on hand and everyone knows what's cooking. Also, teach people to cook efficiently, using as few dishes as possible, and stacking in the sink, putting away ingredients as they go. It's just consideration for the dish people. And if someone gets the urge to make cookies or a snack or something, it's THEIR responsibility to leave the kitchen neat and tidy. No making extra work for other teams. 

 

All this can go in your household management journal along with shopping lists, the calendar for the family, menus, who is in need of clothing, etc.Don't be afraid to juggle assignments. If someone is always at loose ends for instance in cleaning, there's not exaclty enough work for one extra person, shift them to another team. You may find that you need two cleaners, and four dish people. Do what works for your family. 

 

One more thing:

 

I have had a tendency to have the mindset that my kids didn't ask to live in a larger, homeschooling family, so I wanted their childhood and work levels to be that of what mine was, in a family with no homeschooling (we were gone all the time so the house didn't get that dirty, we just had the three of us, so less laundry, etc.) and fewer kids. So I tried to do it all, rather than requiring them to help. But the cool thing with larger families is this: You do have more work, but you also have more people to divide it up with. So while I had to clean my mom's bathrooms once a week by myself as a teen, my kids get to split the work of it between the 4 of them. Even though it happens twice a week instead of once a week, the surface area isn't that different. I have a friend who grew up in a family of 4 kids. Each week in the summer, EVERYONE, EVEN MOM AND DAD, mowed 1/6 of the lawn. Yeah. They divided their little yard into sixths, and each member of the family would cut grass for about 10 minutes. This is what you need to do. Divide and conquer. I promise it;s not going to be that hard on the kids to help out. Also, continue teaching your younger kids. Don't let them off the hook because they're little. I know they're in the way and it takes time to teach them, but if you don't you'll end up with the dynamic that you hate, with the older girls doing way more than they should in the family. 

 

Also, my girls cut grass and my son cleans. I don't care what gender you are, you are still supposed to help out on the team you are given. Boys can learn to fold bras and panties, and yes, i would knuckle down on any boys who made comments about their sister's clothes. No it's not fun, yes, it may be a bit embarrassing at first, they'll all get over it. This is part of being in a family. 

 

Does that help?


Edited by fairfarmhand, 07 February 2018 - 08:59 AM.

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#22 fairfarmhand

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:57 AM

BTW, Im thinking once you get the household work streamlined, I'll bet homeschooling will be less formidable. And if you do send the elementary aged kids to school, you will stll need to get your household management stuff in order. Without it, that many people are going to be in chaos all the time.


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#23 Jazzy

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:36 AM

I only have 7 kids ages 17 to 2, and I can definitely get overwhelmed at times.

For cleaning, I have one kid assigned to clear the table and load the dishwasher after breakfast, one after lunch, and one after dinner. If they do it right after the meal, the kitchen stays nice enough.

The washer and dryer go all day. Every afternoon, we set the timer and spend an hour cleaning, vacuuming, folding laundry, and putting it away.

I tell my kids, 4 people cleaning for 15 min equals one hour of cleaning. So even if the big kids and I only have 15 min to work, we can get a lot done. We won’t pass the white glove test, but a one hour cleaning period daily seems to keep things nice enough.

I also keep meals simple during the week. Breakfast is either eggs and toast OR oatmeal. Lunch is soup or chips and sandwiches. I also keep unhealthy frozen stuff on hand that I can just pop in the oven. I wasn’t happy about doing this at first, but it works for days when I’m in a pinch and it has helped tremendously.

Edited by Jazzy, 07 February 2018 - 10:37 AM.

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#24 vonfirmath

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:51 AM

You might do some google searching on "Large Family Logistics" -- I only have two kids but I always desired a larger family and over the years I've seen a lot written on this topic and some of it might help?



#25 ElizaG

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 02:52 PM

I have had a tendency to have the mindset that my kids didn't ask to live in a larger, homeschooling family, so I wanted their childhood and work levels to be that of what mine was, in a family with no homeschooling (we were gone all the time so the house didn't get that dirty, we just had the three of us, so less laundry, etc.) and fewer kids. So I tried to do it all, rather than requiring them to help. But the cool thing with larger families is this: You do have more work, but you also have more people to divide it up with.

My children are about the same ages and spread as the OP's, minus her eldest ones.  (Similar to maize's.  Her signature always makes me want to say :seeya:.)   I really like your advice.  Just wanted to add a few more thoughts on this. 

 

I think it's inevitable that homeschooling families generate more chores, because we're using our houses more, and in more varied ways, during the hours that people are awake.  Mom doesn't just have to be the teacher and principal -- she also has to be the school janitor, secretary, yard monitor, cafeteria staff, etc.  (This is backed up by my conversations with mothers of larger families who have tried both school and homeschooling.   The mess was the #1 difference they talked about.  "My house was never clean.")  And I think it's very reasonable to expect the children to help with this.    Especially as they're still likely to have significantly more time to pursue their interests than children who are in school. 

 

Family size is a trickier one.  Large homeschooling families do have more helpers, but I think there might be more mess created per person, especially once you reach a tipping point (you know, the point where the jar of paint inevitably tips off the table :laugh:).   This is mainly a result of having different age groups, with different needs and materials, playing and working in the same area.  The smaller siblings get into the big ones' stuff.   Things go missing, or get stepped on, more often. 

 

I was just looking at photos from the years when we only had babies and toddlers.  In hindsight, we had far more "kid stuff" than we needed, but at least we could keep it confined to a couple of areas of the house.   And the children could clean up, because there were fewer types of stuff to sort through.  Compare to today.  If a little one goes on a spree, not only the amount of mess, but its complexity, can be disheartening even for me. 

 

Which leads to another factor:  in larger families, the younger children often aren't disciplined as carefully, or supervised as closely, as the older children were.  So they can be much quicker to get into trouble, and slower to learn to do chores themselves.   I was aware of this pattern, and felt sure it wouldn't happen in my family, but it did anyway.  

 

The traditional answer -- and perhaps the only one, short of hiring a team of nannies -- is to give the older children some authority over the younger ones.   Not just responsibility, but actual delegated authority.   I grew up in a small family, though, so I don't know what this is supposed to look like, and like many traditions, I've found it nearly impossible to learn about today.   Depending on the person I've spoken to, it's either 1) a dreadfully backward practice that can't even be considered or discussed, or 2) such a normal part of family life that they don't know how to explain it.   We have a book on large family life by a Catholic physician and father of 12+, and he mentions it offhand -- in the context of saying that much present-day advice on discipline was developed for small families, and is completely unsuited to large ones -- but doesn't give any advice on the subject himself.  Well, thanks!  :huh:

 

On top of that, even if I had a stronger sense of how this was supposed to work, it might be difficult to introduce, as we've been doing things otherwise for so long.   But it's something I'm thinking hard about, especially when I'm around families for whom it seems to come naturally.   Sorry, not much help to the OP here, but it might be an interesting line of thought, at least.

 

So getting back to chores, here's where my thinking is now.  If the tasks in question really are just an inevitable part of life for the sort of family that we (the parents) have consciously chosen to have, then we should just divvy them up and get on with it, without hand-wringing.  "This is what needs to be done; everyone helps out."   Same as if we had consciously chosen to live on a boat, or in Botswana.  On the other hand, if we realize that we have large amounts of chores that are being caused by our ongoing failure to do what we know we should do -- e.g., in my case, to plan ahead each day, to limit possessions, and to discipline carefully every time -- then we shouldn't just dump them on our children.  We should think hard, and make changes where needed.  For everyone's sake.   

 

Hmm, that last bit sounds just like good management in general!   Funny how it takes me so long to figure this stuff out!


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#26 fairfarmhand

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 05:10 PM

 

 

 

Which leads to another factor:  in larger families, the younger children often aren't disciplined as carefully, or supervised as closely, as the older children were.  So they can be much quicker to get into trouble, and slower to learn to do chores themselves.   I was aware of this pattern, and felt sure it wouldn't happen in my family, but it did anyway.  

 

The traditional answer -- and perhaps the only one, short of hiring a team of nannies -- is to give the older children some authority over the younger ones.   Not just responsibility, but actual delegated authority.   I grew up in a small family, though, so I don't know what this is supposed to look like, and like many traditions, I've found it nearly impossible to learn about today.   Depending on the person I've spoken to, it's either 1) a dreadfully backward practice that can't even be considered or discussed, or 2) such a normal part of family life that they don't know how to explain it.   We have a book on large family life by a Catholic physician and father of 12+, and he mentions it offhand -- in the context of saying that much present-day advice on discipline was developed for small families, and is completely unsuited to large ones -- but doesn't give any advice on the subject himself.  Well, thanks!  :huh:

 

 

Here's how it's looked in my family. 

 

There's a verse in the New TEstament that says "submit to one another." This doesn't mean that my kids parent one another. But if one kid, no matter older or younger is doing something they shouldn't be doing, anyone else, kids included, can and should tell the child to knock it off. If the child doesn't then it can be brought to mom to dole out appropriate consequences. This doesn't mean that my kids are bossy, but rather that my kids are taught what is right and wrong and siblings are obligated to remind one another of that from time to time. They're all used to being reminded to do the right thing by siblings. It takes some getting used to, and occasional reminders of me telling my kids "I'm right here, if I find that behavior to be a problem, I'll say something." 

 

This is different than tattling. Tattling is getting joy out of someone else getting in trouble. 

 

It's kind of hard to explain. 

 

I also emphasize the words "Be considerate." Singing loudly at the table during school time is inconsiderate. If your sibling  asks you to stop, and you don't that's double inconsiderate. Usually consequences involve being nice to the person you were annoying. (I do have to be on the lookout for the person who is irritated by EVERY LITTLE THING.) Allowing my kids the freedom to say, "You're not doing the right thing and you know it." Helps me immensely. 


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#27 maize

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 05:26 PM

Here's how it's looked in my family.

There's a verse in the New TEstament that says "submit to one another." This doesn't mean that my kids parent one another. But if one kid, no matter older or younger is doing something they shouldn't be doing, anyone else, kids included, can and should tell the child to knock it off. If the child doesn't then it can be brought to mom to dole out appropriate consequences. This doesn't mean that my kids are bossy, but rather that my kids are taught what is right and wrong and siblings are obligated to remind one another of that from time to time. They're all used to being reminded to do the right thing by siblings. It takes some getting used to, and occasional reminders of me telling my kids "I'm right here, if I find that behavior to be a problem, I'll say something."

This is different than tattling. Tattling is getting joy out of someone else getting in trouble.

It's kind of hard to explain.

I also emphasize the words "Be considerate." Singing loudly at the table during school time is inconsiderate. If your sibling asks you to stop, and you don't that's double inconsiderate. Usually consequences involve being nice to the person you were annoying. (I do have to be on the lookout for the person who is irritated by EVERY LITTLE THING.) Allowing my kids the freedom to say, "You're not doing the right thing and you know it." Helps me immensely.



I don't think this is going to be healthy in many families. I'm not saying it doesn't work in yours because I know that there are many different possible personalities and family dynamics, but imagine as an adult spending your days in an environment where every other person felt free to correct you.

We too try to emphasize being considerate, but I end up putting a lot of energy into teaching my children to Let Other People Be Wrong and Choose to Handle Your Own Feelings of Irritation and not try to parent each other.

"(sibling) is not a puppet on a string, don't try to control them".
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#28 fairfarmhand

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 05:55 PM

I don't think this is going to be healthy in many families. I'm not saying it doesn't work in yours because I know that there are many different possible personalities and family dynamics, but imagine as an adult spending your days in an environment where every other person felt free to correct you.

We too try to emphasize being considerate, but I end up putting a lot of energy into teaching my children to Let Other People Be Wrong and Choose to Handle Your Own Feelings of Irritation and not try to parent each other.

"(sibling) is not a puppet on a string, don't try to control them".


Really there’s not much correction going on. I’ve found that once the kids learned to behave even when mom wasn’t right there, they typically do what they’re supposed to out of habit.

Certain ones of my kids have gone through bossy phases at which I came down on the bossy person more than the kid who was slipping up. That takes some managing.

I never thought about it much until my kids spent a lot of time around their cousins. In our family the adults do their thing and the kids go off and do other stuff. Nobody had toddlers or infants any more. But there’s two groups of cousins. One group ran off and tattled to their parents every 5 minutes. No exaggeration. The other group didn’t tattle but felt free to pester and bully nonstop. My kids were irritated. They’re used to looking at each other and going “you’d better cut it out now. You know you’re being a pain!” And general when called out on behavior they knock it off.

I will say my bigger kids are bigger like 20, 16 and 12 so they’ve had more time to understand the nuances of when to make a big deal when to let things go. And that takes time as a parent to suss out.

Most of the time they let things go. But they do speak up when it’s important.

 

ETA: The more I think about it, most of the time, it's small stuff, little reminders. Ds gets up to leave the kitchen, sister says in a kind tone, "Oh, don't forget to put your plate away!"  Or if someone is making a mess, it's "Wow! You are planning to clean this up right?' Nothing snotty. Just a general sweet reminder of what they should be doing. Lots of "Oh, don't forget..."



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Edited by fairfarmhand, 07 February 2018 - 07:20 PM.

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#29 birchbark

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:35 PM

Lots of great advice here!

 

It sounds like your kids are mainly "behind" in math. Another idea would be to have a "math year" where you just focus on math and unschool the rest, maybe with the exception of the high schooler. That would help you get those skills solidified as well as let you catch your breath and get the rest of your life under control, with margin to relax, craft, or whatever else helps fill your tank. 


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#30 Rose M

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 12:04 AM

I'm really appreciating the advise here. I've got 8 children ages 15, 14, 6, 5, 3, 3, 1 and 2mo. I frequently feel quite overwhelmed. One thing that I did early on though that has helped is to really evaluate what your goals are and cut out all the extras that you can. My two oldest are doing science, math, writing, grammar and history. That's it. Occasionally I add something extra in. I also use the easiest to execute curriculum that I can tolerate. I give them roughly a weeks worth of assignments in a time; I write these out in a notebook. I then make them time to do their work.

 

Our basic day is a standard breakfast, a few chores then school time. I routinely end up calling on one of the two older dc to give me a hand from time to time throughout the day. The take turns with this. For the younger ones I'm just starting to really work with the 6yo. With him I'm just doing reading, math and a heap of library books to cover other topics. I'll start with my 5yo sometime in the next few months.


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#31 ktgrok

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 08:17 AM

I only have 4 kids, but loving this. And yes, older ones can be time sucks just as much as littles! Right now my 18 year old gets driven to and from a volunteer job 3x a week (20 minutes each way) and to and from the community college 2 x each week (30 minutes each way, plus waiting around for 2 1/2 hours for him to finish!). It eats up my day. Heck, even the dog seems to take more time than I realized he would. 

 

I do need to get kids doing more routine chores vs just random picking up. And Teen needs to help out more. Although thankfully he'll be getting a car/license in the next few weeks! It's going to be glorious!



#32 amyx4

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 03:26 PM

I don't know if this will help but I live in a town with no grocery store, walmart, or stop lights. :) So my driving teens are encouraged to text me when they are headed back to SmallTown from an activity, sport, class, work etc.

 

They text "What do you need?"  Knowing that we've run out of something and they're willing to pick it up on their way back home has been a huge help. I don't ask for tons of items and I don't send them way out of their way. They get reimbursed for whatever they spend.


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#33 Spudater

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 05:54 PM

I don't know if this will help but I live in a town with no grocery store, walmart, or stop lights. :) So my driving teens are encouraged to text me when they are headed back to SmallTown from an activity, sport, class, work etc.

They text "What do you need?" Knowing that we've run out of something and they're willing to pick it up on their way back home has been a huge help. I don't ask for tons of items and I don't send them way out of their way. They get reimbursed for whatever they spend.


I did the grocery shopping when I was a teenager.
Or if you live where there is pickup you could order it and have them arrange pick up.

#34 blondeviolin

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 07:03 PM

There was once a book called Large Family Logistics.  I checked it out from the library years ago.  But, in reality, a lot of our methods have evolved as we've added stuff in.  Granted, I only have a moderately large family (six), but they are all close in age so maybe I have a few things that help?  Or I can commiserate since it feels sort of like we're just stabbing at something resembling homeschooling and life.  LOL

 

cleaning -

  • I unload the dishwasher before breakfast and before dinner.  (This makes it so we can fill it up as the day goes for breakfast and lunch and then again at dinner time.)  I also make sure to rotate a load of laundry before breakfast, before lunch, and after dinner.  I NEVER pull a load of laundry out of my dryer until the previous load is folded. 
  • I really try to have all of my chore list checked off.  I don't create my own because that would take too long and I'd likely miss things.  I use Motivated Moms, which is like $9 a year. 
  • Each morning, we do a quick morning meeting (where I read to my kids and randomly have them repeat and attempt to memorize junk I feel could be important), then I require them to complete chores: clear any breakfast items, vitamins, make their bed, brush teeth and hair, get dressed, put away their laundry and place dirty clothes in the hamper.  We have this hokey-ish app that my kids use so I don't have to nag them about XYZ chore that they forgot.  It's called Happy Kids Timer.  It's free, but with an in-app purchase, I can add my own chores.
  • In the evening, I require 15 minutes of crazy running around and cleaning the dirtiest room they can find. 
  • After dinner, the kids each have an assigned after-meal chore that they must complete if they eat with us.  They are: sweep, clear and wipe the table, put away food, clear and wipe counters, set the table, load dishwasher
  • These are the only chores that are required. 
  • However, if they want to watch TV, they must pick up their room. 
  • If they want to play a device, I assign the messiest room to clean and that is worth 30 minutes of screen time. 

My house stays relatively picked up.  It's not immaculate, but I'm okay with that.

 

meals - Why do kids have to eat so frequently?! 

  • Breakfast is a make-your-own affair here.  I have on hand bread, eggs, oatmeal, English muffins, sausage patties, cereal, and often granola bars. 
  • For lunch this year, I purchased Bento-style containers (like these) and make my kids' lunch.  They are fully capable of making their own, but this solution has been good.  Firstly, they would make more mess making their lunch.  Secondly, it's good portion control.  Thirdly, it eliminates some kids who take FOREVER to decide what they're eating.  I also have no qualms about them eating alone and me reading for pleasure while they eat.  (I used to, but then I decided if they went to school we wouldn't be eating together anyway.)
  • Dinner is a big meal that I typically make and we eat together.  I have been thinking about having a night where each kid helps me cook.  I haven't thought through what that would look like yet.

Schoolwork - This is where the bulk of my day is.

  • I'm working really hard to get my 6th grader to be more independent.  She's actually resisting it, but that's her personality.
  • We all do it at the table so I can keep an eye on who is doing what.  They are not allowed to sneak off upstairs or anywhere that I can't see unless they've checked with me.  Otherwise they get distracted.
  • I plan out the day down to five minutes so I make sure I can work with each kid with their teacher-directed subjects and the other kids are working on a bit more independent stuff.  I place it prominently near the table so my kids can refer to the schedule.  They try to beat the allotted time per subject so they can have extra breaks and play card games together.
  • There is no playing with friends, watching TV, doing whatever, unless schoolwork is completed.
  • My 4yo and 2yo are pretty good about self-entertaining.  That does mean mess...
  • I have a reminder set on my amazon echo to do "schoolwork" with my 2 and 4yo.  Their activities take fifteen minutes, but I forget so easily while I'm surrounded by the rest of my craziness.
  • We plan our afternoon snack around history or science.  These are big family subject that everyone gathers together for at the end of our schoolday.  This means we start our schoolday together (morning meeting) and end it together (history or science).

Time to myself and planning

  • I get up and go for a few mile walk at 6 in the morning.  I get the time to listen to an audiobook, plan the day in my head, and be kid-less.  I sometimes use this time to listen to my kids' school books that I'm requiring them to read.  I often use it to listen to audiobooks for fun (Mrs. Pollifax is my jam).
  • I bullet journal in the morning while my kids are getting schoolwork started.  It takes me fifteen minutes or so and I'm still around if someone needs me.
  • We put the kids in bed at 8/8:30.  They are not required to go to sleep, but they must be in bed. This is my time to have snacks, drink diet Coke, and watch TV or read.

I've enjoyed everyone else's solutions and ideas.  I bet, dryersheet, if you thought about, you do have some systems in place.  What sort of advice would you give others?  And what systems do you have that are failing you?  How could you adjust them?  Personally, I feel like having a few kids in school and a few at home could mean you feel like you're teaching someone all day long.  That would be exhausting.


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#35 Homeschoolmom3

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 01:33 PM

I agree with above posters and if I could add any is for you to just sit down and weigh the pros and cons.  I wouldn't stress to much on the younger ones except reading, math, writing, etc.  Also, you can combine so much of your kids together and tackle a lot!  I don't have that many but I can combine my 6 yr. old with my 14 yr. old with many subjects.  It is amazing what the younger ones will pick up.  Like others have said get the older to help with the younger.  Set times and stick to them!  Even if you don't "finish" a lesson just set times to work on certain children and then move on.  Keep morning time for school and then give yourself a break for the afternoon to get the other stuff done.  Let your older kids work in the afternoon on stuff on their own.  Know it is a season and do what you can do.  I like the ideas of getting others to help with household responsibilities...in essence you will have to decide what is most important whether to homeschool or not.  I have had to let a lot go...uhmmm my house.  :sad: Which was SO hard for me...but my perfectionist tendencies had to go!  Pray and ask God to give you the wisdom to make the right decision...hugs!


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#36 Rose M

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 03:09 PM

I've been thinking a little more about this subject over the last few days. I think that one thing is that big families are just different beasts than small families. When I just had my two older children things were so different. I could let them get away with things that my current littles just can't get away with. For example, the two older ones would go whipping around the house in a game of tag and it didn't get to me. Now if my littles do that I feel like I'm losing my mind. I have to reign in a lot of crazy behaviour. Another example is that I allowed my older to to discuss plans with me and my dh when they are little. Now I have to tell my little to mind their own business.

 

On the flip side though, I've loosened up in some other areas. I've come to use my really little children to do some of the chores. I reason that get them somewhat done is better than not at all. For example, my 4yo washes the bathroom every evening. My three year olds are washing the walls (and having fun) as I type. I never allowed my older two to do this sort of stuff. I just sent them to play. When I try that now usually I end up with a handful of squabbling children. I've also laxened up on messes. I generously hand my toddlers fliers and safety scissors and reason that 45 minutes of play is worth 5 minutes of cleanup. I send them outside in the mud to get their stink out. I never would have done this years ago because I actually had time to organize clean activities or could spend time doing things like read alouds.

 

A good chunk of my day is spent doing odd chores while I oversea all the dc. I'll go from helping one of the teens to cut a few potatoes, to wiping a bottom, to directing my 4yo to pick up a few pieces of laundry, to asking my 6yo to wash some carrots, to nursing the baby, to asking big sis to take a break and change the baby, to asking a 3yo to help his sister put on a pair socks, to cutting a few more potatoes, etc., etc., etc. Nothing can be done in long chunks. It just can't happen at this time in my life.

 

One other small tip that I have is to ditch toddler naps early. This may sound counter intuitive but having an evening to rest with your older children is a big blessing. I really don't understand people that encourage their 3 and 4 yos to nap and then have them stay up until 9 or 10 at nights. My younger dc are all sound asleep by 7:30 almost every day. I can actually breathe and do things that require some concentration.


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#37 frogger

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 06:23 PM

Thank you all for these responses. They are very helpful to me, actually. Very helpful, each of them
I have tried very hard to make a conscious effort to not make my kids the "mini-parents" for the younger half, as I have seen that in other big families in our homeschool community, where the teenagers babysit, do chores and teach while mom does other things. My older homeschooled kids are all very active outside the home in community, church groups and with jobs. The older 3 , who graduated, are doing well in college (one finished with an associates and getting a bachelor's next year and 2 working on their associates. I feel like, despite my failings, education has gone "ok" in general (except Math, 2 needed remedial math at the community college, but apparently that is not totally a "homeschool thing", at least not here, locally.
My currently homeschooled kids are not terribly behind, all reading at age appropriate levels. Math is slightly behind- about a year or two at most (9th grader is in pre-algebra) 7th grader is in Saxon 6/5, 5th grader is in Abeka 3 and the younger ones are on grade level with Abeka. They read alot, Harry potter for the 5th grader and up (they have each read the whole series more than once. They read for fun and the 9th graders takes classes outside of the home and writes papers for a teacher there and does well.
In reading all of each of these responses, I am seeing that maybe what I really need- is a babysitter or a helper. I need someone to keep the little ones busy for a few hours, so I can work with the other little ones.


When I was a teen I was a mother's helper for a mom of 7. I realize this was a much smaller family but just a thought as hiring teens is cheaper than a professional. I didn't just babysit though but helped the younger three completely clean their room. So youngers were being taught, kept out of mom's hair while she taught older kids, and progress was made on chores. I made a little money as a neighbor teen and it wasn't just her older children doing more.

I sometimes feel overwhelmed with all the balls I'm juggling so I can't imagine having twice as many kids. I wish I could more advice but most of what I would think of has been stated already.

I would add as encouragement that it's ok to use public school. Many kids thrive there. So if you are just used to and comfortable with homeschooling in general and don't have specific qualms with specific kids needs or your district is particularly bad about this or that then I would say don't worry that public school is some bad thing. You may just be used to the homeschool echo chamber and there are a lot of kids doing well in public school.
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#38 AdventuresinHomeschooling

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 11:23 PM

If funds and availability allow, maybe you might look into outsourcing some of the older kids into a co-op setting.

I think getting kids to school and participating in all their activities and fundraisers and projects and homework can be as stressful as homeschooling sometimes, so I'd weigh things carefully to think about how that would look.

In terms of focusing, consider what makes you happiest about your day, and what causes you most stress. Then think about what you can outsource or reprioritize.
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#39 whynotoils

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 09:23 AM

I have 9 children 15-6months. Here is what we do. Up at 7am everyone has their chores to so for an hour ,at a leisurely pace, this list includes personal hygiene and house keeping. I prep the toddlers and baby for the day and they "help" make breakfast. We eat and all clean up anything from meal prep and eating. Then everyone gets according to their age 4-6 hours of time to quietly do their academics. This time is for the three r's. I then do the 3r's either my youngest 5 learners. It takes about 2 hours. If things get crazy I ask an older kid to set a timer and help out. This way everyone gets their learning time in. We eat the lunch I made, clean up as above. Get littles to bed. Then everyone gets back their learning time. I do more chores and prep for supper. The kids finish up learning around 3 pm and hand in their work for the day. They do afternoon chores. Then it's free time for them for the rest of the day. I mark their work and we sit down one on one every night after littles are in bed. And they ask me questions and tell me neat things they are learning at this time and throughout the day.

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#40 Lotsoflittleducklings

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 03:56 PM

Ditto to everything fairfarmhand said.   :hat:

 

 

Also... mine are still 10 and under, but at least for that age bracket, combining kids for subjects is a tremendous help, as is eliminating busywork/duplicated work.  A lot of LA, for example, overlaps.  If you are using multiple resources, it may be overkill. 

 

Combining kids can feel strange if you are trying to follow a traditional age/grade level approach in your schooling (it did for me at first, anyway).  But once I stopped worrying about "matching" my school district, things fell into place.  My three oldest are grouped for all LA, for example, and it works beautifully.  I have different expectations for each of them, but they are all following the same workbooks (aimed at roughly the level of the middle child).  We are also in our "relaxed" season for math (we school year-round), and they are combined for this as well.  And the oldest four are combined for History and Science, again with different expectations.  

 

 

 


Edited by Lotsoflittleducklings, 14 February 2018 - 04:03 PM.