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How do you find time to do it all?


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Hello everyone. This is my first post. I have been checking out the boards for some time to learn from you all and I would like to have your advice on the following.

 

How do you find the time to do it all and still have fun learning and yet have a life? Being in support groups, sports activities, going on field trips, manage the home, work, pursuing your own interests and still stay on schedule with homeschooling.

 

I have 4 wonderful children: ds10, ds 7, ds 3, and a dd1 . I have been enjoying our homeschooling experience for the past 4 years and will be starting my 5th year soon. I follow the WTM book about 85% to 90% which is good for me. My husband and I are very pleased that we are giving our children a classical/liberal arts education.

 

Where I struggle is how to do it all?

 

We only attend church on Sunday, swimming lessons seasonally, french class during the normal ps year once a week and that is it. The evenings and weekends are where we spend time as a family and do things together. Despite being home this much, I am finding that our homeschooling is slowly stretching into an all day activity which I am not too thrilled about as I had a desire to keep it under 4 hours to allow for other creative endeavors and activities. I really want to do a great job in educating my children and really like how the WTM outlines how to do every subject, but I find that if I do all they suggest, then we will be learning all day with no ability to do anything else. My husband desires that our children not fall behind on anything and stay on grade level, so I don't allow too much interest-led learning which can be boring. I am a very organized individual and like to have everything running smoothly. I have trained my oldest two children to help clean our home with me and even started teaching them how to cook.

 

Some things I would like to include are:

1-have a 2 hour break like SWB and JW suggest in their book, but I don't know how to fit it in. 2-have my children in a few activities during the week just for fun and interaction with others, but I don't know how to fit it in.

3-continue having our evenings and weekends free as a family

4- I would like to have time to pursue my own interests, but I don't know where to fit it in. JW said in the WTM book that as a homeschooling mother, I would have to put aside my interests for a long time in order to homeschool well. I am willing to do this as I find I am enjoying learning along with my children and am looking forward to the grade 5 year as I will be doing alot more reading to keep up with my ds and his more independent studies.

5- get everything else done: house cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc

 

What could I drop that is not important in their home education? How much interaction does a child need with friends? How long should a person spend on subjects like Saxon math, grammar, writing, science, history, etc in grade 5? How do you make some of the subjects fun while using the WTM resources and yet not get off of schedule because of interest-led learning or the child takes too long to complete their work? How much independence do I allow my grade 5 child in his home education? Do you have any ideas for my children to do that we could do in our home that would allow for social interaction with others their age and is fun?

 

Thankyou.

Charmayne

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I certainly don't have all the answers. I do think 5th grade takes longer than 2nd. The fewer the activities the easier and kids really don't need ending play time with friends. I find I have to work it out as I go. I had one child in 5th grade that could work alone but my other couldn't. I wish there was an easy formula. :) It does sound like you are doing fine.

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It is hard to "do it all". Impossible, really. I guess, I just prioritize and learn to say, "No!" It's easy for things to come up, people demand your time. If something that looks good comes up, then decide which thing in your life you will give up. I've just recently had to do this and it's very difficult.

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I don't do it all - at least not all the time.

 

Prioritizing is key. School is our number one priority. We schedule that for most mornings (field trips count as part of this, btw). Housework is second. We have daily chores/routines that take care of the main aspects of laundry, kitchen clean-up, and then rotate through other tasks.

 

Homeschool and housework are my work. We have quiet time for an hour to hour and a half every afternoon - that is when I do some of my interests. Otherwise, I've made my kids and activities with them (gardening, games, picnics, crafts etc. my interest).

 

We go on a field trip perhaps every couple of months or so. We didn't find support groups to be all that supportive so we chucked those for other priorities. Instead we have a playdate/visit with someone (not necessarily children) about once a month. Sports we do about two or three times a week - one sport per child (I only have 2). Lately they've been on the same day which has actually been nice schedule wise.

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How do I do it all? Simple...I don't. ;) The trick is to set your priorities and figure out what your (and your dc's too) limits are. Then you do what you can, keep your stress levels down and have fun.

 

The kids love activities, but if we do too many, academics suffer. If we focus too much on academics, everybody gets sad and moody. So, everybody has a single "fun" thing (dance, soccer), we do scouts for character building, and this fall we will have "Mom sanity" days (where I'll do a women's bible study group that has childcare for the babies while the older dc do a group class; and dh will take the kids for the afternoon once in a while so I can go read a book somewhere and not feel guilty about it :D).... I find that I don't really have the time to pursue much of my own interests as I'd like. I can spend a little time on the computer here and there throughout the day, but unless I stay "on" and "focused" we don't get our work done, so there isn't much time in the evenings. One thing I'm trying out is doing core subjects first (Math, English, Spelling) Then Logic, History/science, etc. I also plan "catch up days" into our schedule. We have little ones that need my time and attention as much as the older boys, so I can't always teach when I plan to and have to let them work independently. Dh helps out when he can, and has promised to take charge of science next year as well as act as our math tutor.

 

And house chores....oh, my. The kids must help, or we'd live in a pigsty and dh would sleep in his truck! Even so, I strive for basics and do detailed stuff as I can, and don't sweat it when I can't...it will come up on my list again next month!

 

 

 

 

Anyway, It's a balancing act. Take care of yourself, take care of your kiddos, and things will fall into place! :001_smile:

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I certainly don't have all the answers for you, but have found some things that work for us. I think that is the key - that it CAN be so individualized. And that no one does it ALL. At least not at the same time.

 

For us, everything doesn't have to be segregated, as overlap is good. I do a women's group one night a week while all the kids play together. One of our big family time things is grocery shopping/errand days. Many evenings we are all in the same space, but occupied differently.

Picture 2 younger kids playing on the swingset or drawing with chalk, one laying on a blanket in the grass with her nose in a book, exploring a subject on her own. DH and I sitting, observing, while he is reading a book, and I am knitting. Sometimes it's much crazier, with a game of tag. Tomorrow night we will be off at a baseball game.

One night a month I have a group of women over for an after-bedtime knitting/crocheting/sewing time. I have been wanting to do this for some time, and finally seem to have a group interested.

Household stuff - well, we just try to stay on top of it, and yes, my kids do help - a lot.

Now, my dh works nights, so once he is off to work and the kids are in bed, I have free run of the house, to crack down on chores or craft or watch a movie or hang out on the computer. I get lots of time to myself this way, but less time with dh. It's a trade-off, just like everything else.

I'm also looking at 5th grade, and knowing things will change with that somewhat. And I have two others who are wanting to learn to write and read. Now, we do have quiet time (almost) every day - not quite 2 hours, though. I use this time for various things, but sometimes for 1:1 time with dd9. I do try to make sure she does get this time to explore on her own.

Every day will not be perfect, but I look at accomplishing things over a week, as it has worked well for us the last couple years.

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Hello again,

 

I am so glad I posted this thread. I found all your answers so encouraging. It was really encouraging to know that there are others who are not involved in support groups or much activity outside of the home. You all have helped me to keep my eye on what is important and manageable. I don't feel guilty for not having my children in alot of "outside" activities. Because of your responses, I know I am doing what is right for our family. It is good to have objective eyes look at your situation and give you feedback.

 

I had an interesting evening at supper after I put this post up. I casually asked my two oldest ds what they would like to change or improve on in our home education. And they immediately had ideas. But then I was able to discuss things like their poor attitudes in regards to certain subjects or wanting to play instead of do homeschooling, etc. They were really open and willing to find solutions to improve our homeschooling. I also was able to discuss their responsibility in their learning and chores etc. My two ds due to our discussion are presently writing out their ideas in how they would like our learning to improve and how to help them become more responsible. I see growth tonight in both of my sons. It is bittersweet for me to see they are growing from little children into responsible men (thankfully slowly!)

 

Continue to write ideas and comments. I would love to learn more.

 

Charmayne

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I had some pretty strict rules for myself. :-)

 

We went to the library every Wednesday, around 9ish. We stayed a couple of hours. Sometimes we might visit with friends after that, but not usually.

 

We did a field trip every Thursday, but since it was part of our regular schedule (as was the library) it was not an interruption. Usually it was just my dc and me, but sometimes I'd invite a few hand-picked friends to go with me if I wanted to go somewhere that wanted more than 3 bodies. I did NOT do field trips with my support group unless it was on Thursday or it was just too good to pass up and only larger groups could get in. This hardly ever happened, BTW.

 

No outside classes before, oh, 4 in the afternoon. No exceptions. That would mean no co-ops, no homeschool classes at the local Y, not nothin'.

 

No errands in the morning. No doctors' appointments in the morning.

 

Our park day was once a month on Friday. I didn't do park days on any other day of the week (if there were other support groups nearby).

 

As long as I stayed with this schedule, life was good. When I strayed ocassionally, I regretted it and got back to my schedule ASAP.

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Uh, yeah....lots and lots of coffee (continuously throughout the day) and unfortunately, my entire life is managing our kids/household. I have no hobbies, time away from the kids, time for myself, etc.

 

But, I have coffee!! :party:

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For us, it is a continual balancing act. My dh feels sports are very important for the dcs and we make that a priority too. It keeps them fit and I think they learn so much about life and social situations in this environment. For us, that is a priority, though it might not be for your home. In order to accomplish this too, we multi-task subjects when possible. For instance, vocab may come from our history readings, writing might come from the literature books, etc. I don't do as many separate subjects as I used to do because of this.

 

We also do some schooling over the summer. This year we are focusing on the Key To math books and reading. We do about 3 hours per day over the summer. This helps us not fall behind during the "regular" school year and works great because we have less activities in the summer than any other time.

 

We also take advantage of audio resources. We listen to things in the car, on mission trips, etc. whenever we can. I will tell you though, we are definitely NOT at home most evenings. My dh is a pastor and we sometimes meet him for lunch so we can spend some time together. He has evening meetings as well as activities we are in so we try to make family time whenever it suits our schedule. If it meets we cut down on some academic work to meet as a family, that is what we do.

 

Overall, I think it is just a matter of the priorities of your family. From your post, I see you realize you cannot have it all or do it all. If you feel your family needs more time with friends, do it!! That is the beauty of home education - flexibility!! Only you know what is right for your family. If Mom needs time to explore interests, make time for that. You don't want to burn out!

 

You might have to look at your curriculum and see if you can multi-task anything, use resources that allow any of the dcs to work independently on one subject, etc. to free up some time. I commend you for putting academics first though. You should never apologize for that!

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Hello everyone. This is my first post. I have been checking out the boards for some time to learn from you all and I would like to have your advice on the following.

 

How do you find the time to do it all and still have fun learning and yet have a life? Being in support groups, sports activities, going on field trips, manage the home, work, pursuing your own interests and still stay on schedule with homeschooling.

 

i have personally never found a support group that met my needs. my "support" mostly comes from my relationship with God and other like-minded hs-ing mom friends. my current interests take a back seat, frankly. i have given up things i used to do alone (ceramics and painting), and have taken up other things like photography and gardening because they can be done more easily with the family, and everyone is involved. i have just come to be at peace with the fact that right now, raising my children and home schooling is my interest. my time will come again. as for staying on schedule, as you say, i think that is somewhat overrated. i don't care so much about grade levels and schedules for curriculum, etc. i care that my kids are continually moving forward. when we need a break we take one. that way, the days where we are really digging in are that much more productive. fwiw, with that attitude, we do stay on schedule, because i am finding that we are moving at just the right pace FOR US. there is a rhythm to life that suits us. there is a balance between discipline and play that seems to work.

 

i want to add though, that it has not always been this way, and i'm sure that God will see fit to change and challenge me in new ways at any time he chooses. this balance and peace came from seeking what HE wants from me with regards to how i manage my life and raise my children. if i seek to please Him first and follow his lead, then all these other things fall into place.

 

I have 4 wonderful children: ds10, ds 7, ds 3, and a dd1 . I have been enjoying our homeschooling experience for the past 4 years and will be starting my 5th year soon. I follow the WTM book about 85% to 90% which is good for me. My husband and I are very pleased that we are giving our children a classical/liberal arts education.

 

Where I struggle is how to do it all?

 

We only attend church on Sunday, swimming lessons seasonally, french class during the normal ps year once a week and that is it. The evenings and weekends are where we spend time as a family and do things together. Despite being home this much, I am finding that our homeschooling is slowly stretching into an all day activity which I am not too thrilled about as I had a desire to keep it under 4 hours to allow for other creative endeavors and activities. I really want to do a great job in educating my children and really like how the WTM outlines how to do every subject, but I find that if I do all they suggest, then we will be learning all day with no ability to do anything else. My husband desires that our children not fall behind on anything and stay on grade level, so I don't allow too much interest-led learning which can be boring. I am a very organized individual and like to have everything running smoothly. I have trained my oldest two children to help clean our home with me and even started teaching them how to cook.

 

Some things I would like to include are:

1-have a 2 hour break like SWB and JW suggest in their book, but I don't know how to fit it in. 2-have my children in a few activities during the week just for fun and interaction with others, but I don't know how to fit it in.

3-continue having our evenings and weekends free as a family

4- I would like to have time to pursue my own interests, but I don't know where to fit it in. JW said in the WTM book that as a homeschooling mother, I would have to put aside my interests for a long time in order to homeschool well. I am willing to do this as I find I am enjoying learning along with my children and am looking forward to the grade 5 year as I will be doing alot more reading to keep up with my ds and his more independent studies.

5- get everything else done: house cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc

 

i don't know about you, but i like a clean house. i CANNOT get it all done. plain and simple. my husband and children primarily do the laundry (well, dh, and the kids are learning), i do the cooking , and am helped tremendously if i have a regular shopping day and plan my meals for the week. cleaning is another issue. i have a large house and simply cannot keep it as i would like, so i have a cleaning service every other week. we had to budget for this because i was constantly feeling depressed about the condition of the house. we are pretty good about keeping it picked up, but the cleaning of bathrooms, changing sheets, vacuuming, etc, just wasn't getting done. when i am stressed, i clean. i was stressed all the time because i COULDN'T clean. it was so weird, so now my nest stays comfortable, and i stay relatively sane.

 

What could I drop that is not important in their home education? How much interaction does a child need with friends?

 

i am a firm believer that children need to be mostly bonded to their family and not their peers. you have enough children that they should be able to easily entertain themselves and not expect play dates. that said, however, i think having a playdate each week to look forward to is important. i don't think they need tons of activities outside the home, as long as they are getting enough physical exercise.

 

How long should a person spend on subjects like Saxon math, grammar, writing, science, history, etc in grade 5? How do you make some of the subjects fun while using the WTM resources and yet not get off of schedule because of interest-led learning or the child takes too long to complete their work? How much independence do I allow my grade 5 child in his home education? Do you have any ideas for my children to do that we could do in our home that would allow for social interaction with others their age and is fun?

 

i can't answer the time question because my kids aren't there yet, but i have a friend or two that i get together with regularly. we will get our morning school work done, and then pool resources for lunch and have an afternoon playdate at one or the others' homes. it is great motivation for the kids to get done, they always look forward to it, and we moms get to visit, too! for a while we did an in-home art day every couple of weeks with the same sort of set-up. we'd have lunch then do art projects together. this summer we are going to do a little history co-op for a few weeks where we work on a lap-book over a few weeks. we'll have a short lesson, then the craft that will go in the book, then lunch. then if we're in the mood they can play some more or something. i think that finding like-minded friends is really a key.

 

Thankyou.

Charmayne

 

 

Welcome, Charmayne! :001_smile:

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