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What does your 9 year old's day look like?


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I'm not happy with the way ds' day is structured.  I feel like he's not getting enough sleep.   I don't feel like he's as challenged with school work as he might be, and the work we do get to feels rushed.  He has lots of sporadic free time, but I can't figure out how to give him a big block of it since everyday is a bit crazy with working around the littles.  (Quick!  The baby is finally napping.  Let me read to you!  Hurry!)  I'd love to see how others with kids this age structure their day--especially if you have younger children around too.

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Why do you feel he's not getting enough sleep?

 

Also, what does your daily routine look like now?

 

I found that when I had bigs and lots of littles, I needed to have 2 lists...a list of "independent work" (spelling words, certain workbooks, handwriting, reading, math practice problems, etc.) and "with mom" work. So I would sit down when I had 30 minutes, and teach the math lesson, do a couple of practice problems and then turn them loose with the workbook. When math was done, child would work on handwriting while I checked the page and then we'd review problem concepts on math. Then child would do a chunk of independent work. After a bit of that, we'd do an English lesson together. So I'd intersperse independent work while I was working with littles, with one on one focused time. It's a lot to juggle, but we did what we had to do.

 

Getting a daily routine is hard with littles around, but it really helps like nothing else. This means that as far as possible, your kids other than the baby MUST go to bed on time. And YOU must get up on time.

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He is 10 now, but most days: up around 7:00 reading in bed or playing legos. 8:00 ish getting ready for day and feeding chickens. 9:00 Morning Basket, 10:00 Math, 11:00 Latin/copywork or Writing, 12:00 lunch, 12:40 Science/History for about an hour, then 30 min piano practice.

 

He has soccer or scouts or FLL 2-3 nights a week depending on the time of year. He plays on iPad/wii/computer for a couple hours if he isn't at an activity. 8:00 is get ready for bed time, 8:30 we read as a family, 9:00 lights out.

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My 9 year old IS my little now.  Such a different perspective looking from the bottom up rather than the top down.

 

However, I have similar issues to you in that her brothers' needs (with schoolwork) tend to take priority.  So I have a 36 week file folder system at the beginning of the year with her work ready to go.  On Sunday, I put a week's worth of independent work  in the notebook.  We call it her "written work".  She reads independently before bed every night.  I have arranged her art so that she can do it independently.  Her geography is independent.  I work with her on math, writing and the reading of history and science, which does not take that long.  I also read aloud a literature selection.  She has gobs of free time while I am dealing with her brothers and their schoolwork, but she is usually present for this, as we school in the living area.  She may be painting or playing or making clothes for stuffies, but she is hearing their history and literature read aloud.  We are a one room schoolhouse here.

 

Oh, and she does not get enough sleep due to her brothers keeping later hours and her not wanting to miss anything.  I let her sleep later in the morning to make up for it when possible.  I would combine read alouds for your older three.  The baby is likely your biggest issue right now, and only time will solve that, though little ones do nap.  :)  You can read aloud while the kids are eating lunch, too.

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My girls get up at 7 and get dressed, breakfast at 7:30, chores at 8:00, school starts at 8:30 and we do bible, silent reading (while I play with my 3yo's), my girls spend 10 min working on IXL and then do xtra math and together we do writing. We take a short break then one of my girls take my twins out to play while I do math with the other and then they switch. We go to lunch then after lunch we do grammar, spelling and either science or history. 

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I make my 9-yr-old a weekly checklist. I put all of his academic assignments on it, but I also put other things like scouts or baseball practice. He likes being able to see the entire week at a glance, and he can jump in and get to work even when I'm busy with other children. I always structure our day around the schedule and naptimes of the youngest kids, so our actual schedule changes every 6 months or so. His day currently looks like this:

 

8 - Math (Singapore 5A)

9 - Piano practice

10 - English (MCT Island, spelling, & a block of time for writing)

11 - French (Galore Park SYRWTLF)

11:30 - Play outside

12:30 - Eat lunch

1:00 - Literature read-aloud (while the little boys are napping)

1:30 - History or Science read-aloud (on alternating days)

2:00 - Quiet time (he can read, write, or draw during this time)

3:00 - Playtime

5:30 - Dinner & bedtime routine

7:00 - Silent reading in bed

8:00 - Lights out

 

This is our ideal schedule. I usually start ds9 on his math while the little boys are still finishing their breakfast. Then I can give the little boys my full attention as they clean up and brush their teeth. Ds9 will do his math assignment and practice piano completely independently, which frees up 2 full hours at the start of the day for me to give the youngest three kids my full attention. By the time ds9 needs me at 10 am, I can send the little ones outside to play for a little while and give him my full attention for at least 30 min. He can then finish up the assignments on his own. After lunch I lay the little boys down for naps, and I read aloud to ds9 and dd7. The boys usually nap for 2 full hours. In the evening, everyone gets ready for bed at the same time. I put the little boys to bed at 7, so then ds9 has a full hour of quiet to read and unwind by himself before he goes to bed at 8. HTH

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Mine gets up an hour or so before me, reads or makes pictures of cats or does complicated art projects until the other kids are up (she is my oldest at 9).  Then we all eat breakfast and the kids run around and play until DH and I are ready to go to the shop (where we work - we have a small business).  Most days, everyone goes to the shop, where DH works full on for a few hours and I work off and on while monitoring/teaching the formal schoolwork they have to do every day (math and writing and latin for DD9) and whatever interest-led things they're working on.  After between 2 and 4 hours we go out to a park or hiking or something if it's nice, or home/grandma's/grocery shopping if it's cold and rainy, then home.  We eat dinner (lunch was had somewhere along the line in a casual granola bar and carrot sticks sort of way) and DD9 does various chores (dishes, laundry, cleaning the kitchen/dining room), then does her own thing until bed.  Usually "does her own thing" means practicing violin (totally voluntary) or artworks or reading (she reads maybe 2-4 hours a day, in the car all the time, etc.) or sewing or chasing younger siblings around shouting "Expelliarmus!"

 

We don't have a TV or any small electronic devices like tablets or smartphones and computer use is limited to documentaries and Bill Nye.  

 

She goes to sleep when she's tired or by midnight or so, whichever comes first.  (We are night owls).  She wakes voluntarily so I am not concerned about enough sleep; she's making progress in the academic skills subjects I care about (writing and math) and I consider everything else largely gravy.

 

 

DD9 does a lot of casual baby-care.  She changes diapers and reads books and gets a cup of water for the toddler and runs downstairs to find a spare pacifier.  She is the oldest, so a certain amount of responsibility in this regard is pretty normal.  As a child I was taught almost zero about cooking, cleaning, child care, etc. so I am careful to both give her responsibilities and teach her the skills.

 

 

We are not structured at all.  We took last week off of formal academics for "spring break" and the only thing that changed in practical terms was that they did the bits of math that interested them instead of the next chapter in the book.  I ended up getting about 4-5 hours a day of "schoolwork" out of them even while telling them explicitly that we were on spring break.

 

 

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It's tough and I feel your pain!  My 9 year old is my oldest and often has to stop her school work to play with the 1 year old while I work with my son.  I often feel slightly miserable about our chaotic homeschool routine at this season in our lives, and have to remember that it is just for a season and things will calm down eventually (I hope).  Eventually, the littles will be older and able to entertain themselves while you read to your olders and give them more focused time.  

 

One thing that I've tried to do this year is not worry as much about quantity of work as about quality.  This is very hard for me, because I am a pretty rigid planner and like to accomplish any and every goal I set for ourselves.  But, like you mentioned, I don't want everything to be rushed or the goal to be "get it done as fast as you can!"  So I try to relax and do a good (or somewhat decent) job with the subject at hand, and not worry overmuch about the other subjects yet to be done.  If we don't get to every subject, fine.  I schedule in lots of buffer days to catch up on work that we're behind on.  Now we do Math and Latin every single day no matter what, but sometimes I'll stretch a math lesson over 2 days so it doesn't take as long and we'll have a few extra minutes to spend on writing (or history or whatever).

 

 

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It must be challenging for him to have three little sister including a baby who probably takes up a fair bit of your time and attention.

When you talk about wanting to give him blocks of free time, what kind of free time are you talking about? Do you have a nap time / quiet time when all the kids are in their rooms? Or are you more talking about active play time, or non school-related time with you? Perhaps 9yo could have play time with a friend or neighbor kid on a regular basis? Or maybe try changing bed times (if your kids have regular bed times) - eg if littles always get up early, maybe eldest could sleep in while you feed and give attention to siblings, thus allowing him to stay up later in the evening for some quiet sister-free time? How many days a week do you school? If you are doing 5 or fewer days per week, would it be an option to do shorter days 6 days a week, so that it's easier to fit a daily block of unstructured time in?

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She's ten today, but this is what our routine has looked like this year-

8 am-wake up, change, make bed, eat breakfast

9 am-head down to school room

9-9:30-she works on studied dictation, memory work, and history/geography reading while I do preK with little sister, dd7 also does some independent work here

9:30-11-one on one with dd9, we do math, spelling, and writing/grammar in this time

11-snack with all the kids, I read geography and picture books

11:15-12-Dd9 plays with dd4 while I do one on one time with dd7. We do math, reading, and grammar, and I review her cursive, phonics, and memory work from the morning.

12-12:30-Spanish and typing with the bigger two, dd4 just listens in or plays

12:30-1-chores and animal care

1-2-make and eat lunch. I read science and a chapter from our read aloud book during lunch

2-3-screen time so I can do the daily chores

 

 

 

Everyday we have something in the afternoon.

Monday-HS coop (we just work until noon and then have lunch and leave). They do art, science, history, martial arts, and literature studies

Tuesday and Thursday-leave at 3 to drop dd7 at the gym, come home, make dinner and feed oldest and youngest dd, then head back out at 5 to drop oldest dd off and pick middle dd up. Take the little two home, feed middle dd and shower both of them, then go get oldest dd at 8 pm. If Dh is home, he gets her and sometimes a friend brings her home so I don't have to load everyone up three times a night.

Wednesday-dd4 has her gym class from 1-2. We move lunch a little earlier, and I take some of our school work to the gym for the big girls to do. Then dd7 has a gym class from 2-3. They all do awana from 6-7:30

Friday-horseback riding for everyone at some point in the day, depending on weather (I bring school work for the big girls to work on at the barn while their sibling rides), then big girls have gym together from 3:30-6

Saturday-dd9 has archery from 9-11, we go to church at 5

Sunday-life group meets at our house from 3-6/7 ish. There are 12 adults and 12 kids, so they all play together.

 

She is allowed to stay up until 9:30 to read unless it's Saturday night, then she can stay up however late she wants.

Protecting our morning for school means we miss a lot of activities from the HS coop, like valentines parties or field trips to the dentist office. However, we do feel so much more relaxed and accomplished because we all know we have that set time every day. Working one on one takes me longer, but it's more effective for them, plus the. I don't feel as though I'm ignoring/pushing away the little dd all morning. She always has a friend to play with. We do school in the finished basement, and I can see a large part of the back yard from there, so most days the big sister takes the little one out back to jump on the trampoline or swing or catch salamanders or go fishing in the stream. It's sure helps with the distraction level to have a dedicated closed off room for school, and have a safe, outside area for the little one to be in. My rule is that we ALL stay in the basement area (or out back) during school. We have three bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchenette, and living room down there, so plenty of space. Otherwise I'd worry about them getting into stuff on another level of the house.

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I doubt my 9 yo's day is typical, but maybe it will help...

 

She usually wakes up around 8:30-- gets dressed, does her devotion, and cleans her room. Then she practices piano for 30 minutes. We do Bible as a family when she finishes.

 

She then does her independent seatwork. Math, cursive, reading and reasoning, reading comprehension, spelling, and reading.

 

We usually eat lunch next. During that morning back I work with her brother and sister.

 

I then try to do writing and grammar with her. We then do science/history together and then read aloud.

 

We TRY to finishe by 2:30, but unfortunately many days we don't finish until later mostly due to starting late or other distractions.

 

2 days a week we leave at 3:00 for gymnastics and 3 days a week we leave at 4 for gymnastics. My 9 yo has gymnastics every day except Tuesday and Sunday -- about 15 hrs a week.

 

She gets home on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 9, eats dinner, takes a shower and goes to bed.

 

Friday she gets done at 7, and she works out Saturday morning so has the rest of the day free.

 

Basically she gets free time Tuesday evenings (after her sisters gymnastics), Friday evening, Saturday after practice and Sunday after church.

 

I don't ever feel like it is enough, but it is the life she has chosen for now...

 

I let her sleep in the mornings because she needs it.

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My dd was 10 in January, I also have a 7 year old, a 5 year old (not yet in school) and I do child-care for a three-year old.

 

Typically dd gets up around 7:30 or 8, and on school days we aim to start school for nine, though we often don't get started until 9:30.  She does her music practice while I do school with the seven year old.  If she finishes first she can read one of her school books or sometimes I ask her to help the little ones organize a game or read a story.

 

After that the three little ones can go play and she starts her school work.   generally some things I need to stay with her for, while others I can just get her started and she can finish on her own.  Somewhere in there I try and do music with dd7 but sometimes that has to wait until the afternoon.

 

Generally we finish school by noon, and then we have a variety of things in the afternoon - ideally I send them out to play for a while if we have no errands.  Most of our activities are early evening before supper.  After supper they might watch some tv if there is time, and then bath.  I try and get them in bed by about 8:30, though by June that is usually impossible and we go to our summer plan where they can go out to play till it begins to get dark.

 

This has all become much easier is about the past year, because dd is a little more mature and needs less help with work, and the younger kids can play with little nned for me to be involved.

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Why do you feel he's not getting enough sleep?

 

Also, what does your daily routine look like now?

 

I found that when I had bigs and lots of littles, I needed to have 2 lists...a list of "independent work" (spelling words, certain workbooks, handwriting, reading, math practice problems, etc.) and "with mom" work. So I would sit down when I had 30 minutes, and teach the math lesson, do a couple of practice problems and then turn them loose with the workbook. When math was done, child would work on handwriting while I checked the page and then we'd review problem concepts on math. Then child would do a chunk of independent work. After a bit of that, we'd do an English lesson together. So I'd intersperse independent work while I was working with littles, with one on one focused time. It's a lot to juggle, but we did what we had to do.

 

Getting a daily routine is hard with littles around, but it really helps like nothing else. This means that as far as possible, your kids other than the baby MUST go to bed on time. And YOU must get up on time.

 

No little ones here, and my girls are 8, 8, and 10, but this is what we do. The night before each school day, I make up a list for each child, like this (with some examples of assignments, not necessarily what we expect to accomplish in a day):

 

Morning Routine

Rabbit chores

Cap chores (these are household chores on a 3-week rotation)

Meal job (again, on a rotation)

Shower & dress

Bedroom & play room neat

Ready for school (this includes things like sharpening ALL those pencils, LOL, and making sure the school room is ready for the day)

 

Group Work

Bible Reading 45

JBQ, 1--120 (odds)

Vocabulary, 1--50 QUIZ

Book Club: Caddie Woodlawn (last chapter & finish discussion notes)

Science (if it's a group thing)

History (if it's a group thing)

Poetry Tea or Classics Cafe (if we're doing that on a given day)

 

2nd Grade (or 4th Grade) Tutor Time (here I list the specific assignments that they need to complete with me)

Musical Instrument (lessons)

Math

Latin

Grammar

Composition

Spelling (for 2nd)

Guided Reading

A few other things from time to time

 

Independent Work

Spelling (for 4th)

French (they do this as a group, independently)

French workbooks (mostly independent, but my 4th grader helps the twins along)

Memory Work

Math Fact Practice

Typing Instructor (on computer)

Basic Phonograms (on computer)

Cursive Copywork (Bible verses, poems, Latin)

Geography (some of this we do as a group)

A few other things from time to time

 

Keep in mind that all of this is never on a list for one day. :scared: These are just examples of what might go into each division -- Morning Routine, Group Work, Tutor Time (by grade level), Independent Work. I do print out a list for each child for each day, and it only takes me a few minutes at night, when the house is settled and quiet. The key is having it done before I go to bed. ;)

 

In the morning, the girls can come down and get started on the morning routine. If there is time, they start on their Independent Work. Sometimes, they get out and line up all they will need for their Tutor Time (or Group Work), which makes that time even more efficient. Lining it up this way allows us to be flexible and change the order of things, if needed. I could say, "Let's skip Group Work for now and get right to Tutor Time for 2nd Grade, while 4th does Independent Work. We'll aim at having this much done by _____ [time]." And then we get to it. We're all on the same page that way. We also know when the day is done. I usually do put more on there than we will get to, but I'm comfortable with gauging when enough is enough. Then I just say, "That's it, finish up that work, and we're done for the day."

 

I started making daily lists only this year (2nd/4th), and it has helped my girls to accomplish more in a day, while still having time to rest and play. They seem to enjoy taking ownership of their Independent Work. If you can figure out what components could be independent for your son, and what needs you to guide and teach, you could split out those components he can do on his own. Sometime this year, I also realized that part of math (Math Fact Practice) could be independent, while another part of math (the lesson) needed a teacher (actively teaching). But after the initial teaching, my girls could once again work mostly independently. The same was true for other areas. Why sit there watching them work, if they are capable of working independently? HTH.

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I wanted to add last year was really caotic for me also juggling my twins and my older girls school. This year I put all of their independent work first thing in the morning. I make boxes with different toys and activities for my twins and we do those together. If I spend time with them in the morning I feel like they aren't bothering us as much later on when I have to work with their sister since they have already had mom time. Also when we switch to math I give my girls ideas for games or activities to do with their brothers. I also capitalize on nap time. We do grammar and then science or history at nap because I like to have conversations about science and history and be able to look things up or watch video clips that intrest them.

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Why do you feel he's not getting enough sleep?

 

Also, what does your daily routine look like now?

 

 

Right now, I wake ds a little before 7.  Baby is usually already up, and  4 and 6 year olds are up around now too.  I'd love to let ds keep sleeping, but all of the girls play best first thing in the morning, so that's when ds and I do his work-with-mom stuff.

 

He does his morning chores and eats breakfast while I nurse the baby and get the girls ready and help them with their chores. 

 

8:00 The girls eat breakfast where I can see them and the baby plays in the room with them.  I do math and writing with ds (our 2 big focus areas this year). 

9:00  The baby throws food and screams (uh, eats) in her high chair while I read science or history to ds and he does a noteboking page.  The little girls play together.

9:30 ds is very active and really needs a long break here.  I send him outside for 30 min, but honestly, he needs more.

9:30-10:00 I nurse the baby and spend time with my girls.

 

Now it gets sticky.  The baby goes down between 11 and 12.   Before then I'm trying to grab 30 min or so with the 6 year old (she really needs more. but that's all I can swing right now) while ds9 stays with the baby (he can entertain her for up to 30 min before she fusses). grab a few minutes with my 4 year old (she is newly 4 but advanced--working at k level--so she could really use a longer time with me too), and settle ds9 down with his indep work (spelling/grammar or a lit lapbook piece, math worksheet, cursive), and give everyone a snack and let them run outside for about 15 min.  When the baby sleeps, we take an hour and a half for read-aloud time.  This is a favorite of everyone and impossible to do while dd1 is up.  They eat lunch while I read.

 

This takes us to about 1:30ish.  We do 1.5 - 2 hours of outside time.  Then, it's about 3:30 and time for quiet time (girls rest for 30 min, ds9 has 30 min of assigned reading and 15 min of free reading).  Baby and I do dinner prep and try to pull the house back together.

 

4:30ish till 5:30 kids play then clean up their playroom.  Dinner is 5:30.  Baby goes to bed at 6:30 or 7ish, but often doesn't stay asleep, so I'm in and out till about 9 or so (working on this).  DH bathes the girls at 7 and puts them to bed between 7:30 and 8.  Ds9 does some kitchen chores and showers, then he and dh have time together (special to both of them).  ds is supposed to be in bed reading at 8:30 but, especially if I'm not out there, he often isn't in bed till 9, and then is too wound up to sleep till 10.  I hate to cut this special guy-time out (they do a read-aloud or science experiment, play chess,etc.), so I'm not sure what to do???

 

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Thanks everyone for sharing your routines.  Re-reading each for inspiration :)  I'd love to add some more project-time or fun group activities in because that's what has made our school days most enjoyable, but there's just no time!??

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Just want to say that I'm with you on this!!!! Totally understand the baby screaming in the high chair while you're trying to read.  Doesn't make for a very peaceful environment, does it?  

 

It sounds to me like you have a very full day and are doing a great job.  I know there's always room for improvement in our routines/ schedules and I hope someone has the answer you need (and I need one, too!).

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Does it really take him over an hour in the morning for breakfast and chores?  Maybe he could get an extra half hour of sleep there?  I dunno, maybe mine are food=wolfer-downers, but DD9 can eat breakfast in about 10 minutes and does the dishes, a load of laundry, sweeps the kitchen and dining room, cleans the kitchen table, and wipes down counters in about half an hour (sometimes a full hour if there are a *lot* of dishes, though). Can his morning chore be exchanged for something he can do later in the day?  If he's not going to get to sleep naturally until 10 or so, I'd take *that* as the thing to work around, and figure out a way to let him sleep later.

 

Other than that, it looks like your school day is basically over by 1:30, and the rest of it is free time for DS (except for reading).  That sounds excellent to me - if you're wanting to add a project time or a group activity, it seems like the outside time between 1:30 and 3:30 or the play time between 4 and 5:30 or whatever DS does between 6 and 8 would be good times for this.  

 

If the baby isn't ready to stay asleep until 9 or so, why not keep her out until 9 (do you have a baby carrier or sling?  Those things are great)?  You could use that time to play with the baby while supervising something cool you have scheduled for DS (or he could do the cool thing during one of the free play periods earlier in the day).  

 

What does he do with his free time?  I don't think that at 9 my daughter really needs me to read to her that much, or be directly constantly involved in what she's doing - I'm there to answer questions, or facilitate the finding of answers, and ooh and ahh at the appropriate moments for output, and take her interests seriously.  

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Could your dh sometimes do something academic with ds during their "guy time" in the evening that would still be enjoyable for both of them?  When I had one little, dh used to read aloud a literature selection from our school work to my boys before bed.  It worked out really well.  He did this for several years.  Your dh could do something different.

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My 9yo has 3 older siblings and 2 younger silbings, and the baby is 4.5 now, so the comparison probably wouldn't be very helpful.

 

What worked best when my olders were little was a bottom-up approach.

-If there was a toddler I'd make sure I spent some quality time with them to fill their "momma cup" before I ever attempted school. This made them much more agreeable to just play around us. I gated them into the front rooms (where we did school), which were fairly baby proof.

-Then I kickstarted any kids old enough to have independent subjects. That could be reading their Bible in their room, or sitting at the other end of the table with a math book.

-The first student I worked with was the youngest. With one-on-one time the phonics and beginning math were whipped through pretty quick. I tried to have K-1st graders totally done with all mom-dependent work in one sitting, and sent them on their merry way.

-Then I worked with the next oldest kid on their mom-dependent lessons. When they were settled with the portion of math they do themselves or some other more independent work (at my elbow) I started pulling in the previously kickstarted older kids at the other elbow.  When the little one finished they went on their merry way, and I went back and forth between the big kids, nursing babe in the middle as needed.

 

The littles were done well and early, and went off playing with their own momma cups full, and I had the rest of the day to work with the bigs. Mine napped right after lunch, which was family-wide quiet time. Nappers slept, readers read books, pre-readers laid quietly in beds with a pile of picture books. Math and language arts were done during the morning block. Afternoons were for getting lost in science, history, or unit study-ish rabbit trails from literature.

 

 

 

My current 9yo gets up around 7-8. By 9 she's fed, dressed and ready to go. She is an advanced, motivated worker, who can run most of her subjects herself. She has a teacher planbook (Elan w-101) that she and I fill up weekly. This gives her a checklist of all her work and she can use it to get herself going when I'm not around. She works on whatever lessons she likes until lunchtime, getting distracted and chasing squirrels along the way. LOL - I check in with her and discuss her lessons constantly. After lunch they all play for awhile. Around 2 PM her younger two siblings go down for their naps and she gets back to work. Whatever she doesn't get done by 4 goes to the pool bleachers with us, and has to be done before she can run around with the other swim team kids/silbings. We get home around 7 to finish the dinner prep. She's probably up later than the average 9yo, but she rarely appears to be behind on sleep.

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Does it really take him over an hour in the morning for breakfast and chores?  Maybe he could get an extra half hour of sleep there?  I dunno, maybe mine are food=wolfer-downers, but DD9 can eat breakfast in about 10 minutes and does the dishes, a load of laundry, sweeps the kitchen and dining room, cleans the kitchen table, and wipes down counters in about half an hour (sometimes a full hour if there are a *lot* of dishes, though). Can his morning chore be exchanged for something he can do later in the day?  If he's not going to get to sleep naturally until 10 or so, I'd take *that* as the thing to work around, and figure out a way to let him sleep later.

 

Other than that, it looks like your school day is basically over by 1:30, and the rest of it is free time for DS (except for reading).  That sounds excellent to me - if you're wanting to add a project time or a group activity, it seems like the outside time between 1:30 and 3:30 or the play time between 4 and 5:30 or whatever DS does between 6 and 8 would be good times for this.  

 

If the baby isn't ready to stay asleep until 9 or so, why not keep her out until 9 (do you have a baby carrier or sling?  Those things are great)?  You could use that time to play with the baby while supervising something cool you have scheduled for DS (or he could do the cool thing during one of the free play periods earlier in the day).  

 

What does he do with his free time?  I don't think that at 9 my daughter really needs me to read to her that much, or be directly constantly involved in what she's doing - I'm there to answer questions, or facilitate the finding of answers, and ooh and ahh at the appropriate moments for output, and take her interests seriously.  

 

 

 

 

 

Great advice here!  Pondering it all.  Thanks so much!  Also sadly, it does take ds 1 hr in the morning to get chores done and breakfast down.  He's a bit of an absent-minded professor-type.  This morning he sat on his bed for 30 minutes just thinking about mowing/landscaping an imaginary lawn :)

 

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Thanks so much for sharing, everyone!  When I re-read what I wrote about his day, it seems like he does already have lots of free time.  Maybe I'm the one who needs more ;)  I think working with the little ones first is the way to go.  I've always spent time with ds9 first to make sure we got to finish what we needed to do before the craziness started, but now that he's older and can do more on his own, I may play around with switching it up.

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