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I'm a little nervous about next year.


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Actual question in bold. :)

 

My life keeps getting busier. I know a good part of that is my fault. And some of it is just how life goes. I don't know that anyone can help me, but I know there are families out there that have even more hectic schedules. I think (I hope) that next year will be the hardest year logistically.

 

I have five children, ages 11, 10, 8, 5, and 8 months. At the start of next year they will be 12, 11, 9, 5 and 1. In other words: The Baby Will Be Mobile.

 

Our family does TKD approx. 15 hours/week. Not all of the classes are back-to-back, so TKD takes about 20 hours/week, including driving time. We also have fencing for one hour and AWANAS one evening of the week. My oldest is considering Civil Air Patrol once she turns 12. My 5 year old may take dance. Piano lessons take one morning each week plus practice time. Three or four of the kids usually do spring or fall soccer. CAP, soccer and dance would not add more than 5 hours to our activities in a week. Some TKD classes would be missed. Most often we would have kids at two different places in the evening. So, 20-25 hours per week for activities.

 

The kids usually sleep in until 7:30 or 8:00 because activities get them home late.

 

With that in mind, does this sound remotely feasible?

 

Next year all of the school aged kids will be doing ToG, Year 1. The older three will be doing Getting Started with Spanish, Philosophy for Kids, and Excavating English.

 

Dd11 will also be doing:

 

AoPS Intro to Algbra

MCT Voyage (only doing a small portion of the writing)

WWS II

Apologia Physical Science

Wheelock's Latin

Economics one semester and geography the other

a list of books to read for literature, no paperwork

 

Ds10 will also be doing:

 

Jousting Armadillos (I think) plus some other resources (I think)

Shurley 6

W & R, Figuratively Speaking

AAS 3 & 4 (We've started over with spelling)

Science in the Beginning, Ancient World

Latin for Children B, finish 2nd half

VP 6th grade literature, no paperwork

 

Ds 8 will also be doing:

 

Saxon 6/5

Shurley 4

W & R

AAS 2 & 3

Science in the Beginning, Ancient World

Latin for Children A, 1st half

VP 4th grade literature, no paperwork

 

Dd 5 will also be doing:

finishing Phonics Museum K and moving into PM 1st and First Favorites

finishing Saxon 1 and moving into Saxon 2

various K things

 

I have various fillers like typing and logic puzzles that the kids do while I am busy when they need to move on.

 

Dd11 is a good worker. The boys still need me to keep them on track. All three of the older kids will be happy to read for several hours or more each day. DD 5 needs me, of course. And the baby will demand my attention more than a few times each day.

 

I thought I could schedule a three hour reading period each day. Then I could work with each kid for about an hour of that on some of their individual work. We would have an hour or more for read aloud plus GSwS, philosophy, and EE. An hour to an hour and a half for math. Then we would have a couple of hours to finish up the rest of the work.

 

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Do you outsource anything? With dd11 you could outsource one or more things fairly easily. Wheelock Latin is taught by the Lukeion project. AOPS algebra by either AOPS or WTM academy, and WWSII with Well trained mind academy. 

 

When I read that, what I worry about most is you becoming burned out. That is why I would seriously consider outsourcing at least one subject (for me I started with writing as that was the most work for me.

 

It is a busy schedule, how has it worked this year? 

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I've considered Lukeion. It is a lot of money, though. I don't know Latin, but I taught Spanish pre kids. I'm planning on working through it with her. Dd11 is a very good worker. She does most of her things independently. Writing would be a good thing to outsource. I have a hard time with that.

 

 

The boys are harder. If I could outsource Ds10's math, it would open up my day. He does better each year, though, so maybe next year won't be as bad.

 

We are behind this year. We will have to work into the summer on history, science, writing and Latin. How long depends on how much we can snowball after math and English are done sometime next month.

 

If next year is the hardest with a toddler and a beginning reader, I think I can just buckle down and get it done. I need someone to tell me it will get easier from there.

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There is no possible way I could handle that schedule. I am not you, though. However, my aunt who homeschooled her children said that the hardest time is when there is a 1 year old in the home. I think she is probably right.

 

 

 

Let me see if I have this correct. Your activities take enough time that you realistically must complete all school work on a half-day schedule. I know you have some overlap, but for curriculum you plan to have:

 

the 11 year old do 10 different curricula,

 

the 10 year old do 11 different curricula,

 

the 8 year old do 11 different curricula,

 

and the 5 year old do at least 4 different curricula,

 

while keeping track of a 1 year old.

 

In your situation, I would have to cut down those plans a lot.

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It would not be feasible for me and my kids.  It might be feasible for some people, but my kids and I would crash and burn on that schedule.  I would have to cut out most of the outside activities, probably keeping TKD because it seems like the "big one".

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Your workload looks similar to mine and I've been sweating bullets, too.  Also, I work with each of my kids individually...we have lots of activities outside the house, too - ballet, tae kwon do, a student teaching/leadership program, Youth Group, confirmation classes, one of my daughters takes art classes at a studio, my son is an acolyte...   :crying:  I have absolutely no idea how we get everything done.

 

I've even kicked around the idea of combining my two Charlotte Mason kids with Sonlight or something...

 

Schooling year-round helps.  Doing some schoolwork on the weekend can help.  I keep saying, "Slow and steady wins the race."   :mellow:

 

Your schedule does look like too much after you type it out, though.  Does it seem like too much to you?  What if you wrote out what subjects you would cover each day with each kid...that might put it in perspective. 

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It is a little after 8:00 am and the kids are unloading/loading the dishwasher. When they are done, we will begin read aloud. We will read until the baby gets fussy or we finish a chapter, which can take up to an hour. Then we will have roughly seven hours to do school, have downtime, eat lunch before our activities. Tonight, I will drop Dd5 off at TKD, take the others to the library for half an hour, pick up Dd5 and take all kids to the gym. Dh will pick up Dd11 and they will do a couple of hours of TKD. The other kids will swim until Ds10's fencing class. We will all get home about 8:15. The kids eat substantial, healthy snacks before and after the activities. No big meal because we don't have time.

 

This is fine for today. The kids have fun and do a good job on most Mondays. They will be tired tomorrow.

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abacus2, we generally have about 8 hours between breakfast and getting ready for activities. It feels tight when I have to work with 4 kids, especially since I want them to have down time, but we do have more than half a day.

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Boy do I know the home late and no time for dinner routine. I have three competitive swimmers (16, 14, 11), two in roller derby lessons (9, 7), all five of those in scouts, and occasional dance performances with all six (includes 4yo). Just recently we added going to a swing dance club once a week or so as a family. We only do evening church on swim club breaks. Tuesday is our eat between events and get home at 9 night, and they all sleep late on Wednesday.  Monthly there are homeschool park days and occasional field trips. I use the crockpot liberally.

 

In the daily grind this means we have something out of the house every weekday evening: Mondays we leave at 5:30, Tuesday-Friday we leave at 4. We do not get home with any time for school before bed. Roller Derby is weekends only, and dancing generally is too. One DC gets dropped off at a math tutor everyday, while the other kids stay home working. Dance clubs are only weekend evenings.

 

Combined with Grandma staying with us for a month every winter, we will not get our work completed in a tidy school year amount of time. We knew that going in. The swimming, scouts, and dance are more important to us than fitting school into a traditional calendar. We do work on available Saturdays, and we will work around all the extra summer activities (summer camp, dance's summer tour, conventions, etc). Technically there are enough hours in the day to get our scheduled schooling completed, but life has a way of getting in the way. And we keep it real. Some days the little ones are playing together so well building ships and slaying dragons in the yard that I can't make myself call them to school. Teens have hormonal moments, one of them volunteers regularly. Life happens.

 

Next year the teens want to dabble in outsourced classes. Our top two contenders have nice parks near them, so the little ones and I can park-school while waiting to pick them up. My 11yo is also likely to change Boy Scouts for Civil Air Patrol as soon as he turns 12. This would have me pulling him out of the pool early on Thursdays, leaving the teens there, and running him up to CAP. DH could pick up littles and/or teens on his way home from work if needed.

 

 

 

Our scouts/CAP and swim is your TKD. They are constant, not seasonal. We have had this schedule for 1.5 years now, so we are very used to it. Aside from the math tutor the extras usually stay in the weekends. We will take most of the summer to get the current grades finished.  Your 20-25 M-F hours in week estimate would not be feasible for this family. :001_smile: If you're willing to work through the summer you could possibly fit it in, but you need to guard against burn-out as well. Kids need downtime. You need downtime. :001_smile:

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Texasmama, I can't drop the activities. They are important to Dh. And the academics are important to me. It is *good* to hear that is too much for other people. I love homeschool. I love planning. But when I think about next year, I feel like I am drowning. Dh and I may both have to give a little. I'd love to cut the TKD back to two nights a week instead of four plus Saturday. I feel like I am solo parenting the baby and Dd5 in the evenings.

 

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 Technically there are enough hours in the day to get our scheduled schooling completed, but life has a way of getting in the way. And we keep it real. Some days the little ones are playing together so well building ships and slaying dragons in the yard that I can't make myself call them to school. Teens have hormonal moments, one of them volunteers regularly. Life happens.

 

 

 

Aside from the math tutor the extras usually stay in the weekends. We will take most of the summer to get the current grades finished.  Your 20-25 M-F hours in week estimate would not be feasible for this family. :001_smile: If you're willing to work through the summer you could possibly fit it in, but you need to guard against burn-out as well. Kids need downtime. You need downtime. :001_smile:

 

Silvermoon, your whole post sounded like my life. The top paragraph above is *exactly* my life except my oldest is a preteen.

 

The 20-25 hours is 7 days/week. You say you will be going into the summer. How do you avoid burnout?

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Evanthe, how do you schedule your school year round? It seems like a lot to me in some major ways. I've heard ToG is very time consuming. But my kids love to read. It wouldn't be a hardship for them to sit and read and read and read while I worked with the others individually. In fact, I chose ToG because the kids requested more reading and Dd11 felt left out this year when her schedule was so different from the boys'. And some things are fast. AAS, for example.

 

I'm thinking about planning out a week or two and doing them in the summer to see how long it takes. Or just starting with ToG the 2nd or 3rd week of August and doing it alone for three weeks. Or maybe adding one subject per week.

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Feeling like you are drowning is a good indicator that it is too much. It sounds like you have 8 hours at home, but that can't be 100% school; you all need downtime and time for laundry and other home care tasks.

I would do the math. Be realistic about how much time lunch and each of your planned school activities take. Add that up and see where you are. You can't fit a full 8 hours into and 8 hour slot. You must allow for transition time, bathroom breaks, and care of the one year old.

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Ah. Soccer was the only weekender I noticed. Our M-F out of the house hours are about 15 averaged, maybe a little more for travel time. We are maxed out. Anything new means something else has to be cut out. No exceptions.

 

I'll have to come back later to address burnout.

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Wow, that's a tough schedule. While I only have two kids and my older being in fourth should disqualify me from answering, but I recognize some programs. :) Aops can easily turn into 1.5 hours a day, but at least that's independent. I think the big deal for you will be juggling so many parent intensive programs. I have used JA, MCT, W&R and they all require you to be part of it. I always feel like I am splitting in half because it's so hard to schedule that individual time. When I am satisfied on how well I worked on LA with one kid, that almost always means I somehow short changed my younger. This could be just me though, because I haven't heard others complain on this.

Wheelock's is a tough program as well and you might need to be present. + science experiments. + extracurriculars.

It's a lot. I guess I am commiserating, since I have a similar schedule and I don't know what to do either.

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I agree that outsourcing something might be a good idea in your shoes. I am outsourcing Latin next year. It was either outsource it or drop it because *I* don't have the time to learn it anymore. This is going to free up at least 30 minutes each day that is currently being spent keeping up with / ahead of my dd plus another 20 min. spent teaching (I use that word loosely) and correcting. The cost was my big hang up until I broke it down. It is only $15 per week to have an expert teach and grade. It didn't seem so bad when I looked at it that way.

 

I plan ToG in the summer so that it is open and go through the year. It is a big time commitment for me over a few summer days, but not bad in the day to day. I'm sure you've heard all this...ToG can be as much or as little as you want. Don't feel like you have to do it all. It is designed so that you can pick and choose in a way that suits your family.

 

I am an introvert and can't even begin to imagine that many outside commitments. Good luck figuring out what works for your family. :)

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Roadrunner, most of the things do need me to some extent. I guess I prefer it that way. The kids will be reading a lot next year. That is when I am hoping to work with them one on one. They usually do math at the same time, and I troubleshoot as I need to. Often, one of the boys will start with piano while I give the math lesson to the other one. Then I can work with the second boy for a bit. Dd11 watches the AoPS video and just asks for help if she needs it.  I never cover everything in one day. If I make this work, I need to plan less each day and have more days.

 

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TracyP, I usually plan everything out during the summer. I've printed out the first three weeks of ToG to get a feel for it, but I haven't had time to really look at it yet. I need time without the baby around, but Dh and the older kids who could help are gone almost every evening. Is the forum helpful or would that make me feel more stressed?

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I do not have many children, but the one I have is into a giant stack of things. Currently Ds has social time twelve hours a week, works with his nonprofit twenty hours a week, has a job for five hours a week, and is considering outside classes for an additional five hours next year. Last year we had a very strong conversation about the fact that if he wants to continue he has to be more independent. This sounds very much like something your 11 & 12 year old could do and your nine year old could be starting.

 

12 year old: AoPS, Apologia, Wheelock, and literature could all be done independent with you just checking in

11 year old: Jousting Armadillos, Latin for Children, Figuratively Speaking, and literature could all be done independently

9 year old: Saxon, Latin for Children (after they got the hang of it), and literature could all be done independently

 

The 9 and 11 year old have very similar curriculum. You could buddy them up so that you do both at the same time when you do have to instruct.

 

In order for my son to begin being more independent we simplified tasks such as having specific subjects which are done while we travel to his speaking events, specific clothing or gear in various bags so he only had to grab a bag to make himself ready, practicing being independent with curriculum while I was home, making himself food (albeit less that ideal healthy food at first), having a very specific order to subjects, having an incredibly specific way he handled each curriculum, and basically minimizing all those tricky judgment calls.

 

His independence meant I got more downtime to take care of life chores and less burn out. I was slowly shifting personal responsibility to him for many tasks. Honestly it was a direct choice that if he wanted me to put energy into all the events and activities, he had to take some of the energy of schooling and little life stuff.

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TracyP, I usually plan everything out during the summer. I've printed out the first three weeks of ToG to get a feel for it, but I haven't had time to really look at it yet. I need time without the baby around, but Dh and the older kids who could help are gone almost every evening. Is the forum helpful or would that make me feel more stressed?

 

The TOG forum doesn't get very much traffic. For that reason, I don't think it would be helpful or make you feel stressed. ;) I haven't been there for a long time though. You could give it a try.

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Your schedule makes me want to either go :svengo:  or  :willy_nilly: .

 

I can't remember whose thread it was, but within the last year, someone else posted a similar worry. Ah, here it is. Schedule too crammed. Check out how she went about talking to her dh & kids about their schedules. The most interesting thing she learned, IMO, was that her dh thought the kids should be spending less time on schoolwork than she did. Major  :ohmy: .

 

Doing a time map can be helpful. (It is discussed in that thread.) Having an honest talk about priorities & time and how you are feeling is also helpful (sometimes).

 

For a year, we had three kids in karate, two in gymnastics, three doing horseback riding (an hour roundtrip + lesson time), and I almost went crazy. Luckily, my older son's only activity was t-ball/couch pitch and that's only in the summer. :thumbup1:  The funniest thing about asking the kids to choose ONE thing (other than karate) to be a part of, they chose something different, so we wouldn't have been able to cut anything out. So, that's when it may not be helpful.

 

Anyway, check out the thread I linked for some ideas on the extra-curriculars. As for the school stuff, I had to get my oldest mostly independent over the last few years and outsource some things this year. I'm going to work getting the next one semi-independent over the next year to make more time for ds#1 & 2. 

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Our family does TKD approx. 15 hours/week. Not all of the classes are back-to-back, so TKD takes about 20 hours/week, including driving time. We also have fencing for one hour and AWANAS one evening of the week. My oldest is considering Civil Air Patrol once she turns 12. My 5 year old may take dance. Piano lessons take one morning each week plus practice time. Three or four of the kids usually do spring or fall soccer. CAP, soccer and dance would not add more than 5 hours to our activities in a week. Some TKD classes would be missed. Most often we would have kids at two different places in the evening. So, 20-25 hours per week for activities.

 

 

 

20 hours = TKD

1 hour = fencing

2 hours = AWANAS

1 hour + practice = piano

5 hours = CAP, soccer, and dance

 

This is 29 hours and really 30+ (because piano lesson and practice isn't specified.)

 

No.  I could not have 30+ hours out of the house each week and homeschool as well.  That's insane!!!

 

ETA:  My kids are introverted homebodies.  When I tried to take them to a movie and (gasp!) a play in the Very Same Day, they just about fell over and died.  Two fun events where all they'd have to do is sit in the car and be driven there and then sit and enjoy the show and you'd have thought I told them we would be digging ditches in the morning and building barns in the afternoon.   Your kids might be different, but mine fall apart with more than one event a day.  And if we don't get 2 or 3 days of rest between events they also fall apart.  

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I mean, that's the same as two full time jobs.  The activities are a full time job and homeschooling is a full time job.  And homeschooling (in my house) isn't a smooth thing because my "co-workers" are 10 and 12 years old.  They lose focus much easier than my old coworkers used to do at the health insurance company where I worked.  :)

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OP, you said that you cannot cut out the outside activities (any of them?) because they are important to dh.  The schooling is important to you (and dh?).  I'm not sure that there is any solution other than cutting down on one or the other.

 

Around here, if we don't have some "down time" planned, everyone becomes stressed, healthy meals are compromised, sleep is lost (resulting in cranky kids), and we become out of sorts in general.

 

Also, just this week things have come up that were unexpected and took away from our schooling time/energy.  A friend of mine passed away, my dad came over to discuss some important things, my boys had a relationship issue which needed a significant amount of time to process right at that moment, and dh took a day trip out of town, which threw the rest of us off.  Last week, it was a sprained ankle.  Next week will be a funeral and an orthodontist appointment.  If every bit of time was scheduled, I could not manage these things.  I don't see how anyone could really manage them without building in some flexibility, schooling year-round, or dropping some academic or extracurricular activities.

 

I think you are nervous about next year for good reason.  I like the suggestion of a time map for you and dh to look at.  I like the comparison to two full time jobs.

 

 

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OP, it really is too much. I won't address the outside activities, which would flatten my family, but perhaps not others. You do, however, have multiple curriculum for your children. Why does your oldest have 2/3 social studies? You have extra lit for one child--is that to replace TOG's?

 

You are also using multiple language arts curriculum. I think with a one year old ( the toughest yearby far imho) you will go nuts, you are unlikely to get straight hours with each child. I would choose one resource and work through it in its entirety. If you end up feeling there was something you wished had been covered better--focus on it next year. All your resources are good-- I get wanting to pull from the best of each, but I honestly think you will burn out.

 

I would also choose one language for each child or alternate days.

 

They really do need down time. So do you.

 

My other 1 year old advice is to plan a four weeks on, one week off schedule to regroup , clean the house and make sure the toddler gets nurtured and not just passed around.

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Garga, it wouldn't be quite as bad as that. Some of the times overlap. I figured out this afternoon that we will have 23 hours out during soccer season and choir. About 18-19 most of the time.

 

*DELETED ACTUAL SCHEDULE*

 

I overestimated time spent on TKD out of the house. It is closer to 16 hours, but it does take extra time each day to get ready to go and to take care of stuff when they get home. We have to stop school about 20-30 minutes before we leave.

Most of the activities overlap with TKD. Whichever kids are busy with other things miss those TKD classes. That is okay during soccer season, because they still do at least one of each type of class each week. Soccer is just starting. It will take some time from TKD and we will lose our last open evening.

 

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All of the kids will read the ToG books. Dd11 wants more books assigned for school time. I have promised her at least five books per week. She reads very quickly. In a typical year, she reads at least 300+ books. We did not have a literature heavy year this year. She is unhappy about that. Ds10 isn't nearly as fast a reader, but he does enjoy reading. He has read somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 books since Christmas. He will enjoy reading his ToG books and the VP booklist. Ds8 is just getting into reading longer books for fun. I will give him the lower grammar instead of upper grammar ToG books as needed to balance out his reading time.

Dd11 enjoys WWS I, so we will continue with WWS II instead of using the writing portion of ToG, although we may do the occasional writing assignment. Same with Voyage. I am mostly interested in grammar practice. We will read through Essay Voyage but not do all the writing.
 

Some of the things I want to do because there are things I wanted to cover before high school and next year may be the last year for Dd11.

I do need to plan out a week and see how much over lap there would be. Obviously, there may be some things we can't do. Or at least do well.



 

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Texasmama, TKD and soccer are important to Dh. Piano is important to me. I view it as our music for school. I am not musical at all. TKD started with one hour per week and has mushroomed in the last year. By the end of the TKD season (July) we will have been to tournaments in 6 states. I did tell Dh a couple years ago that I can't handle baseball/softball and basketball in addition to TKD and soccer.

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Our downtime is now. I've given up on Wednesdays. The kid do mod design, puzzles, reading, art, etc . but not much actual schoolwork. That is one reason we are going into the summer this year. I think I will schedule ToG reading and projects and science on Wednesdays next year.

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Any chance you could cut down the academics to math, grammar, and let the older kids unschool the rest themselves (including finding their own books or working from a list)? With the level they are working at, it doesn't sound like a "slow" year academically would put them behind. The independent work would be so that you can call it school and feed their brains (presuming they'd be bored and bugging everyone without challenge). I realize you want your oldest to start high school early and get some stuff in before that, but could she just wait a year? I don't have anything against acceleration, but I don't think it's the only way to feed the ravenous brains, nor do I think that a one year delay in what is already probably a 2-3 year acceleration is probably going to change options in an irreparable way. 

 

I'm all for reading, but I'd be capping the amount of reading per day until the other stuff is done, and then any leftover time would be fine for reading (and the summer). I would not want to trade my summer off to teach history, science, writing, and Latin because my kids spent 3+ hours per day reading. If my kids wanted more reading time, I would make them choose what to exchange for reading time after the other work is completed. 

 

I won't comment on the rest as I would just be repeating the others, but I like the idea of 3 weeks on, 1 week off, or something of that nature if you are going to school year round, and maybe even if you aren't going to school year round. Save the spare reading for the weeks off. ;-)

 

I don't think you can count the hours for the outside activities simply as straight hours out of the house. You have two adults and a bunch of kids occupied during all of that time. At least the overlap in adult time should count as separate stuff because you are going different ways and not doing something at home instead, such as meal prep, planning, paying bills, cleaning, etc. *edited to add that you wouldn't count two, forty-hour work weeks by two adults as one forty-hour job--you'd count it as two jobs between the two of you.

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RootAnn, I read the thread you linked. I think my main problem is that I want too much. I want the best of everything for the kids, and it isn't possible. I wrote down our obligations. Once soccer gets underway, it looks like I have about 23 hours of outside commitments. With other things going on at home, that leaves about 28-30 hours for academics. I'm going to plan a few weeks out and see if that is doable. One thing I noticed when I was looking over the TKD schedule is that Dd5 would probably be in different classes this fall that overlap better with the others. That might cut two hours out of the house, if they don't redo the schedule.

 

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kbutton, I'm thinking about what you wrote but wanted to address one issue. Dd11 started school when she was 4. Not knowing any better I went ahead and called it K. She knows she would be in 6th if she was in public school, but this is her 7th grade year for me. I have no desire to accelerate her, but she doesn't want to be held back when she has completed a full grade load each year. We are talking about our options and will make a final decision about it next year. Other than starting a year early, she isn't trying to accelerate. We do one level, sometimes half a level, of a program each year. She will turn 12 before this school year is out.

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How much of that out and about time is spent in a vehicle? Would you be able to move anything to there? Could any/all of your group stuff (especially thinking PfK here) be done orally while going from place to place? Maybe your dd could read the lesson from the book as needed and you could lead the discussion as long as you knew where it was going. Or could you look for your read alouds on audio so those could be done while you are driving?

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Many nights I only drop the older kids off. Dh participates with them and brings them home. So, usually only 15 minutes for me in the van with the older kids. It will be more with soccer, but I won't have all of them at once.

That reminds me that I want to take their Latin chant CDs out to the van.

 

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I am trying to plan a week for next year and see what it looks like. Dh was out of town the past couple of days, so I have less time that usual. The first week always takes me a long time to plan, because I am thinking out the schedule.

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A small update and a small funny.

 

Dh got back from his business trip last night. I told him this lifestyle was not sustainable. I'll let that idea percolate while I work on the lesson plans.
 

And Dd11 looked over her course of study for next year and my tentative first week plans that have her reading a book per day. She doesn't know I've been talking about this online. I thought her reaction was funny. She said, "This looks good. Not so much stuff next year." :huh:  :laugh: 

 

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Texasmama, I can't drop the activities. They are important to Dh. And the academics are important to me. It is *good* to hear that is too much for other people. I love homeschool. I love planning. But when I think about next year, I feel like I am drowning. Dh and I may both have to give a little. I'd love to cut the TKD back to two nights a week instead of four plus Saturday. I feel like I am solo parenting the baby and Dd5 in the evenings.

There is no way I could function on your schedule. I'm overwhelmed many times with just two children and activities a couple of nights a week. Obviously, different people have different tolerances for activity. So if it works for you, then go ahead. I would be inclined to say, though, that if my dh wanted my kids to be in that many activities he'd have to do the transporting while I stayed home with a book.

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Could we do that schedule? No way. Our kids next year will be 12, 11, 10, 8, and 1. So, similar to your ages. We really treasure having dinner together, and having some time to just "be". We're out three nights a week just now, and we have 3-4 sports games that happen on Saturday. That is, for us, a "busy stretch". No way would we consider adding more events than that. We want time to head to the trail and have an impromptu hike, where the 10yo keeps pace with Papa and has time to tell him everything that is on his little mind. Time to "be". And, also, we want to retain enough flexibility in our schedule so that we can help friends when they need it. 

 

We're also doing much more of our schooling together. Biblioplan for everyone. The older two will be grouped in nearly all their subjects, and the 10 & 8yo will be grouped too. Once we get into the swing of things we may add either TKD, or swimming, but only if I can find afternoon practice times. Evenings are for family time...

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MotherGoose, Dh does what he can. He doesn't get home in time most nights to get the kids to their activities, but he brings them home. I only stay for DD5's classes so that she doesn't have to stay until the kids are done.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dh and the kids and I sat down earlier and talked about our time limitations. I had each person write down how much time they thought they should be able to spend on sleeping/activities/downtime (with/without screens)/school/housework. Then we mapped out where our time actually goes. Everyone could see the lack of balance. We held off on making big decisions until the new TKD schedule came out. It is out now, and we have cut our TKD schedule down to 3 days/week and about 12 hours or less including driving time. I have agreed to a hectic six weeks in the spring and six weeks in the fall for soccer if everyone makes more effort at home to do school and housework with a better attitude. Fencing and piano bring our typical week up to about 15 hours out of the house. Soccer weeks would still be less than 20 hours/week. While we may still add CAP for Dd11 and dance for Dd5, we will make that decision after a proving period with the new schedule.

 

I still need to decide if I've bitten off more than I can choose with school. Now that I know better what our afternoons and evenings will look like, I need to get serious about our days.

Thank you, everyone, for your imput. It helped me have that tough conversation with my family.

 

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My kids make their own lunch every day. They do chores as needed. They used to do more chores and less cooking, but they like cooking better than cleaning and that works well with my food allergies.

 

We have just started watching chopped, and had a chopped cooking competition last night. It was a lot of fun! They made better desserts than me, but my main dish was better. We skipped the appetizer round. The 10 yo gets 30 min, the 13 yo gets 28 min, I get 20 min. My husband judges, with my food allergies I could not judge. They loved it and are now motivated even more to learn how to cook.

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  • 3 months later...

I thought I would take a minute to update, since I am almost done planning for next year.

 

Soon after I posted this, I started to have symptoms of paresthesia. It first seemed to be my heart, but that was easily ruled out. After numerous tests and doctor visits, the neurologist is confident it is completely benign and will eventually clear up. My stress levels are fine, but my nerves are apparently highly excitable right now. :) I think next year will be hard, but I am not in a panic about it. Dd12 is joining CAP. We are dropping soccer, to Dh's disappointment. Ds11 has requested Chinese, so Greek may not happen. TKD is at present three days per week, but Dd12 qualified for World's this year, so I can see that ramping up again. It is hard to cut back when they are doing well.

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Actual question in bold. :)

 

My life keeps getting busier. I know a good part of that is my fault. And some of it is just how life goes. I don't know that anyone can help me, but I know there are families out there that have even more hectic schedules. I think (I hope) that next year will be the hardest year logistically.

 

I have five children, ages 11, 10, 8, 5, and 8 months. At the start of next year they will be 12, 11, 9, 5 and 1. In other words: The Baby Will Be Mobile.

 

Our family does TKD approx. 15 hours/week. Not all of the classes are back-to-back, so TKD takes about 20 hours/week, including driving time. We also have fencing for one hour and AWANAS one evening of the week. My oldest is considering Civil Air Patrol once she turns 12. My 5 year old may take dance. Piano lessons take one morning each week plus practice time. Three or four of the kids usually do spring or fall soccer. CAP, soccer and dance would not add more than 5 hours to our activities in a week. Some TKD classes would be missed. Most often we would have kids at two different places in the evening. So, 20-25 hours per week for activities.

 

The kids usually sleep in until 7:30 or 8:00 because activities get them home late.

 

With that in mind, does this sound remotely feasible?

 

Next year all of the school aged kids will be doing ToG, Year 1. The older three will be doing Getting Started with Spanish, Philosophy for Kids, and Excavating English.

 

Dd11 will also be doing:

 

AoPS Intro to Algbra

MCT Voyage (only doing a small portion of the writing)

WWS II

Apologia Physical Science

Wheelock's Latin

Economics one semester and geography the other

a list of books to read for literature, no paperwork

 

Ds10 will also be doing:

 

Jousting Armadillos (I think) plus some other resources (I think)

Shurley 6

W & R, Figuratively Speaking

AAS 3 & 4 (We've started over with spelling)

Science in the Beginning, Ancient World

Latin for Children B, finish 2nd half

VP 6th grade literature, no paperwork

 

Ds 8 will also be doing:

 

Saxon 6/5

Shurley 4

W & R

AAS 2 & 3

Science in the Beginning, Ancient World

Latin for Children A, 1st half

VP 4th grade literature, no paperwork

 

Dd 5 will also be doing:

finishing Phonics Museum K and moving into PM 1st and First Favorites

finishing Saxon 1 and moving into Saxon 2

various K things

 

I have various fillers like typing and logic puzzles that the kids do while I am busy when they need to move on.

 

Dd11 is a good worker. The boys still need me to keep them on track. All three of the older kids will be happy to read for several hours or more each day. DD 5 needs me, of course. And the baby will demand my attention more than a few times each day.

 

I thought I could schedule a three hour reading period each day. Then I could work with each kid for about an hour of that on some of their individual work. We would have an hour or more for read aloud plus GSwS, philosophy, and EE. An hour to an hour and a half for math. Then we would have a couple of hours to finish up the rest of the work.

 

I didn't read all of the other posts, but the thing that sticks out to me is the Econ/geography combo for the 11 year old. Since you are doing TOG, geo in included. At that age, Econ can be as simple as reading a book on the basics written to kids (can't think of an example right now:-(

 

Your programs look good, but those are the things that you can absolutely cut if you need to preserve sanity:-) Philosophy fits in the category too. Good luck!

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