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If you have 3 elem-aged kids and a toddler...

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Could you please share your daily routine?  This year, I have a 4th grader, a 1st grader, and a pre-ker working on a 1st grade level, plus a 2 year old.   My day seems really long and I'd love to streamline for next year.  So, what does your day look like?  :)

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When ours were that age, this is how it worked.

 

1. Together time (story, song, memory work, "announcements" & etc.)

 

2. Mom with Kid #3, one-on-one (during this time the oldest 2 rotated between (A) playing with / babysitting Little Person and (B) doing independent work - rotation was every-other-day)

 

3. BREAK!

 

4. Mom with Kid #1&2 for combined subjects and need-one-on-one, while Kid #3 played with / babysat Little Person

 

And we all tried to be done by lunch.

 

Some days were better than others, but for the most part, it worked okay. We did this for a few years, actually.

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Just noticed the ages of your kids - in your case, I'd put the 4th grader first (let the other 2 split & conquer), and then switch. (Our older two were easily combined; your middle two seem to be?)

Edited by Lucy the Valiant

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I have four in elementary.  Each year for the past four years, I've added a new student and it has made the day longer and more difficult but we've got a pretty good system down now.  

 

Some things that have helped.

 

Combine when you can.  I combine all four for history and science.  Obviously, the youngest does not have the same expectations for his output that the oldest two do.  But we come together as a group for the history or science lesson.  It's been good for all of them, as the olders help the youngers with their reading and the youngers are exposed to more concepts earlier on (and more frequently...ie...they'll see this stuff again in the rotation).  

 

I also combine my older two for language arts, as they are similar in level there.  

 

I combine my youngest two for math, as they are similarly leveled there. That might be an option for your middle two, who seem to be working at the same level (1st grade for both?).  If they are not on the same level, but you can get them to the same level...I would suggest that.  Even if it means holding one back (just a bit). I did this with my now 8 yr old...held him back an entire year in math due to maturity, allowed his younger brother to catch up and have combined them ever since.  It really worked to his advantage to have a math buddy.  

 

 

 

A frequent problem here is managing kids when they all need my help.  Or...what they can do when they are not actively working on an assignment and I am not immediately available for their 1:1 lessons.  

 

Each student has a work to do folder with the day's independent work.  Some of it is new material that they will need to wait until after a lesson to complete.  Most of it is review from previous lessons or work that they shouldn't need me for.  

 

They all get their ind. work folders first thing in the morning and begin working on that.  I immediately start Teacher-led instruction with whomever is first on my list.  Maybe I need to set the younger boys up for their EIW DVD lesson.  Maybe I need to call the two Bigs for their spelling and Lang. Arts lesson.  Then I'll call DS9 for his math.  Then the two Smalls for their math.  Then DD for her math.  Then I'll call DS6 (almost 7!!!) for his reading lesson.  Then I'll bring DS8 to the table with DS6 and they'll read together and sit for their spelling and Lang. Arts lesson.  

 

I try to have all Teacher-led instruction done by lunchtime.  We have lunch, do a half hour of silent reading and then we do Science.  This often takes a good chunk of the afternoon. After science, I'll sit down at the table and anybody who's done with his/her work folder will come sit down for me to review it with them.  If they need to make corrections, they'll take that work back to their desk, fix what needs to be fixed and then come back to the table and wait for their turn.  

 

Anybody who gets done early is free to play Prodigy Math for a half hour, or they can cash in a half hour of tablet time.  Or they can play outside, read, etc.  

 

It has taken a long time but...I finally have them all to a point where they have learned not to interrupt another student's lesson.  If they have a question, they will wait quietly next to me until I can address them.  Sometimes I have to tell them, "Not right now, I won't be available for awhile" and they know to go back to their seat and work on something else.  

 

This took FOREVER for them to get and there was a lot of frustration for awhile, as somebody would constantly be interrupting.  

 

Your bigger difficulty will be occupying the toddler!  I really don't have any suggestions for that as I only had one school year where my youngest was alone while the other three were schooling.  And by then, he was old enough to be easily occupied with his own toys, plus he was doing an hour of Kindergarten and usually by the time he was done, his brother was done, too.  

 

It's a challenge but it will eventually sort itself out!  

 

 

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I've got a 3rd, 1st, Pre-K, and (almost) 2yo.  Right now, we do:

 

- short circle time- memory work, calendar, read-aloud

2.  Big two at the table for combined English spelling and cursive, then:

- 3rd grader math, 1st grader duolingo 

- 1st grader math, 3rd grader duolingo

- Pre-K one-on-one work

 

Break (outside if possible)

Lunch with audiobook 

 

During 2yo Nap:

- French LA for both kids (this is concentration-intensive, so we save it for nap time): grammar, spelling, conjugation, dictation

- Content work (literature, history, science) and cross-curricular writing projects

The pre-kr routinely joins us at the table in the afternoons with coloring, silly putty, play dough, etc. 

 

Evening:  2 big kids work on French reading and German with DH (15 min each)

 

That's about it!  Yes, it's a full school day (approx 9am-3pm), but we have a long break at lunch (approx 11am-1pm) and many shorter breaks as kids finish their work and wait for their next mom-time work.  DS is going to have some dedicated independent work during content time this coming fall in addition to our family content work.  

 

BTW, during this time the 2yo usually destroys things.  It's his favorite school time activity.  

 

ETA:  We don't do every LA activity every day, and we don't do every content subject every day.  It's more of a loop schedule for the afternoon.

 

Edited by Monica_in_Switzerland
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So I have 4 in school, a 3yo and a newborn, and we must be done by lunch (my work schedule though I am on mat leave now.) This year I would work with dd 9 first, do her mom required subjects, go over her seat work and corrections and make sure she understood her next lessons. Then she goes and works on her own, and does her oral narrations for me while I'm making lunch. While this is happening, ds 11 is doing math with dad around to help while he cleans up breakfast. Then ds 11 does the same with me as his sister (he is very independent and quicker). He also narrates at lunch. Then I work with ds8. I divide his time into 2 lessons because of his ADD and dd6 gets her time in the middle. Dd6 and ds8 have not done much science or history this year as a result of time constraints. In the past, I would incorporate that into circle time which started the day, and combined multiple read allouds and such. Next year, ds 8 will be ready to read independently and I expect dd6 will as well, so I'm not too stressed about that. I really think that skills rather than content are more critical for younger kids, and they really benefit more from play and the natural learning that comes from life and their own interests. We also have done poetry teatime over the years, but this year has been crazy (new baby, illness, work) but I am hoping to fit it in again next year.

So I have 4 in school, and we must be done by lunch (my work schedule.) This year I would work with dd 9 first, do her mom required subjects, go over her seat work and corrections and make sure she understood her next lessons. Then she goes and works on her own, and does her oral narrations for me while I'm making lunch. While this is happening, ds 11 is doing math with dad around to help while he cleans up breakfast. Then ds 11 does the same with me as his sister (he is very independent and quicker). He also narrates at lunch. Then I work with ds8. I divide his time into 2 lessons because of his ADD and dd6 gets her time in the middle. Dd6 and ds8 have not done much science or history this year as a result of time constraints. In the past, I would incorporate that into circle time which started the day, and combined multiple read allouds and such. Next year, ds 8 will be ready to read independently and I expect dd6 will as well, so I'm not too stressed about that. I really think that skills rather than content are more critical for younger kids, and they really benefit more from play and the natural learning that comes from life and their own interests. We also have done poetry teatime over the years, but this year has been crazy (new baby, illness, work) but I am hoping to fit it in again next year.

Edited by KSinNS
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Next year, I will have a high schooler, a middle schooler, two elementary schoolers, and a three-year-old ball of energy -- close enough?  Lol.

 

The routine looks something like this:

I get up, sometimes between 6:45 and 7:30.  I start a load of laundry, the coffee maker, and breakfast if my magic pot (er, the InstantPot) didn't do it for me.

They get up.  7:30 in theory.  Doesn't always happen.

Morning chores -- dishwasher, trash, feed pets, gather laundry, restock toilet paper in bathrooms, etc.

Breakfast 8:00 ish.

Clear dishes, brush teeth

School age kids all start independent work (well, not the kindergartener) or go outside (in summer, I like them to get out for a little before it gets hot.)

I tidy up a bit, get small people cleaned up and ready, and shower if I didn't already.

Small people find something to do, whether on their own or something I set out for them, and I call big kids to work if they're not already working.

 

9:00 ish --I work with one of the boys, depending on which one is ready for me; I vary the order a bit so that each of them gets to be first.  I do math and whatever other work of theirs needs me, whether that's phonics, Latin, reading SOTW or picture books, or answering a question about a history assignment.  Less than an hour for the Ker, maybe an hour for the second grader, and an hour or so with the sixth grader.  In theory, I would work with the younger ones first so they're done, but in reality, sometimes the three little guys have their own play going, and my oldest son, the rising sixth grader, wants my help so he can get done too, in which case I will work with him and then the younger ones.  I don't really work with my preschooler, specifically, but he listens to picture books with the other boys, scribbles on paper, does little counting/cut-and-paste/etc. activities that I print off the internet by themes, etc.

 

At some point, I call them all together (maybe around 11 am) and go over Bible memory work, Bible, geography, poetry, and whatever other group work I want them to hear with them.  

At some point, the night owl teenager makes her appearance.  (Sixth grader sometimes sleeps late as well, in which case, I will work with the younger ones first.)  She does her chores and eats, often while starting one of her more fun subjects (usually DuoLingo).  She might or might not be around for the group work, but it's not geared toward her.

Sometime after they've done a few subjects, they have a snack.

 

Lunch -- I prepare it after group work, or they make their own lunches, and lunch is roughly 12:30.  Lunch is a good time for music study and picture study and/or a read aloud if I finish my lunch before they're done.  Or documentaries.  Or fun youtube videos. ;)

1:00 -- Next year, I need to build in time to discuss LLfLOTR with my older two, and after lunch is a good time for it, because they'll both be awake, and the smaller people will be fed and happy, so they'll go off to do something together for a while.

Then I will spend some time working with the teenager, while the sixth grader heads back to finish his work.  

Around 2:30 or so, I am planning on project time.  Science labs for the older two, science stuff for the smaller ones, SOTW projects, art projects.  Big kids not doing projects can be working on their own.  If I have any time, I can check schoolwork and clean some part of the house.

4:00 -- the kids' computer accounts, including the teenager's, are set to log off for an hour because it's clean-up time.  They each get an area to tidy and sweep/vacuum, and I fold laundry and start dinner.

5:30 -- DH gets home, and we have dinner and evening routine.  Teenager is often working on schoolwork in the evening.  

 

Yeah, a long day, but I don't see how else I can get everything done.  I need at least three hours of time to teach my children independently, plus some time for the stuff they do together.  And the day never, ever goes exactly like that, but that's the intended routine.  And if I don't put on there things like when I will shower and when I might have a chance to clean something, they simply won't happen.  

 

 

Edited by happypamama
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Chaos. 😕 The dental hygienist remarked last week that she was so impressed my kids could concentrate on math in the waiting room...I told her after you've done math while a toddler steals your school supplies and throws graham crackers at you, it seems pretty calm in here.

 

Listening in...

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Chaos. 😕 The dental hygienist remarked last week that she was so impressed my kids could concentrate on math in the waiting room...I told her after you've done math while a toddler steals your school supplies and throws graham crackers at you, it seems pretty calm in here.

 

Listening in...

 

Friday the baby was literally laying on the table screaming and trying to get ds's math book.  He was holding him off with one hand and scribbling away his answers...  Surely this is good training for... something...   :lol:

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When mine were those ages, I flipped our schedule temporarily so that I could give more time to the 2 & 4 yr-olds during the morning. Our schedule was:

 

8 am - Breakfast

9 am - I would sit with the 1st grader for piano practice, while the 4th grader played with the 2 & 4-yr-olds.

9:30 - I would have time to play and read with the 2 & 4-yr-olds while the 4th grader practiced piano. The 1st grader was free to play with us or on her own.

10:30 - Park, library, or groceries/errands.

12:00 - Lunch

12:30 - Naptime for the 2 & 4-yr-olds. I combined the 1st & 4th grader for literature, history, & science, so the first thing I would do is read aloud to both of them. Then they would work on their separate subjects: math, language arts, and French. 

2:30 - The first grader would usually be done by 2:30 and the 4-yr-old would be waking up from his nap. I would give them both a snack and send them to play in the backyard while I helped the 4th grader finish up.

3:30 - The 4th grader would be finishing up by 3:30 so I would go wake up the 2-yr-old (who would sleep until dinner if I let him). I would give the 2-yr-old a snack, and then we would head out to dance class or piano lessons or whatever was going on that afternoon.

 

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When I had 6th 3rd 1st and 2 year old this was our basic day IIRC:

 

9:00 - oldest online class 30 min

- younger three finish morning jobs

9:30 - morning meeting and LOE with all 3

10:10 - 12:30 - there was a three point rotation, switching every 20-30 minutes:

-work with mom

- work independently

- play with toddler

12:30 lunch

1:00 two days a week we did history or science lessons, 3 days were co-op, music theater, instrument lessons, or field trips/meet ups.

 

That was pretty basic - we covered math, spelling, handwriting/writing, grammar, reading/lit in the mornings, as well as Rosetta Stone Spanish, Edison Project, online STEM class, Scratch coding, instrument practice, etc for some of their independent work. SOTW history, and mom-designed science in the afternoon.

 

We were usually done by 2:00 or so, unless we were oit of the house in which case it was more like 4:00.

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It's chaos over here too.  I have a newly-8yo 2nd grader, 6.5yo Ker, an almost 4.5yo pre-ker, and a 2.5yo.  I've tried extensively to schedule our day, but it never, ever, EVER goes according to the schedule, so I now just set weekly goals and have a general plan for which subjects to cover each day of the week.  I'm hoping to move some work to computer-based so that the kids will achieve a bit more independence sooner, and I have the older three all combined for history, science, and grammar (FLL).  Our days can get pretty long, but, really, a big chunk of the day is spent on chores, meals, sensory stuff, and goofing off, with lessons scattered wherever they fit in there.

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I have four in elementary.  Each year for the past four years, I've added a new student and it has made the day longer and more difficult but we've got a pretty good system down now.  

 

Some things that have helped.

 

Combine when you can.  I combine all four for history and science.  Obviously, the youngest does not have the same expectations for his output that the oldest two do.  But we come together as a group for the history or science lesson.  It's been good for all of them, as the olders help the youngers with their reading and the youngers are exposed to more concepts earlier on (and more frequently...ie...they'll see this stuff again in the rotation).  

 

I also combine my older two for language arts, as they are similar in level there.  

 

I combine my youngest two for math, as they are similarly leveled there. That might be an option for your middle two, who seem to be working at the same level (1st grade for both?).  If they are not on the same level, but you can get them to the same level...I would suggest that.  Even if it means holding one back (just a bit). I did this with my now 8 yr old...held him back an entire year in math due to maturity, allowed his younger brother to catch up and have combined them ever since.  It really worked to his advantage to have a math buddy.  

 

 

 

 

 

A frequent problem here is managing kids when they all need my help.  Or...what they can do when they are not actively working on an assignment and I am not immediately available for their 1:1 lessons.  

 

Each student has a work to do folder with the day's independent work.  Some of it is new material that they will need to wait until after a lesson to complete.  Most of it is review from previous lessons or work that they shouldn't need me for.  

 

They all get their ind. work folders first thing in the morning and begin working on that.  I immediately start Teacher-led instruction with whomever is first on my list.  Maybe I need to set the younger boys up for their EIW DVD lesson.  Maybe I need to call the two Bigs for their spelling and Lang. Arts lesson.  Then I'll call DS9 for his math.  Then the two Smalls for their math.  Then DD for her math.  Then I'll call DS6 (almost 7!!!) for his reading lesson.  Then I'll bring DS8 to the table with DS6 and they'll read together and sit for their spelling and Lang. Arts lesson.  

 

I try to have all Teacher-led instruction done by lunchtime.  We have lunch, do a half hour of silent reading and then we do Science.  This often takes a good chunk of the afternoon. After science, I'll sit down at the table and anybody who's done with his/her work folder will come sit down for me to review it with them.  If they need to make corrections, they'll take that work back to their desk, fix what needs to be fixed and then come back to the table and wait for their turn.  

 

Anybody who gets done early is free to play Prodigy Math for a half hour, or they can cash in a half hour of tablet time.  Or they can play outside, read, etc.  

 

It has taken a long time but...I finally have them all to a point where they have learned not to interrupt another student's lesson.  If they have a question, they will wait quietly next to me until I can address them.  Sometimes I have to tell them, "Not right now, I won't be available for awhile" and they know to go back to their seat and work on something else.  

 

This took FOREVER for them to get and there was a lot of frustration for awhile, as somebody would constantly be interrupting.  

 

Your bigger difficulty will be occupying the toddler!  I really don't have any suggestions for that as I only had one school year where my youngest was alone while the other three were schooling.  And by then, he was old enough to be easily occupied with his own toys, plus he was doing an hour of Kindergarten and usually by the time he was done, his brother was done, too.  

 

It's a challenge but it will eventually sort itself out!  

 

Thanks!  My 5 year old is ahead and my 7 year old is a bit behind.  Next year (K and 2nd grade)they will both be doing 1st grade math.  But their learning styles are very different, and while it works to combine them for phonics (they read at the same level), math together is harder for some reason!  Also, my 10 year old is horrible about interrupting to ask for help.  We're working on it!

 

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Chaos. 😕 The dental hygienist remarked last week that she was so impressed my kids could concentrate on math in the waiting room...I told her after you've done math while a toddler steals your school supplies and throws graham crackers at you, it seems pretty calm in here.

 

Listening in...

Ha!  Exactly!

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Thanks everyone!  I think I'm just going to have to accept that our day is going to be long.  I love teaching, so it's not that big of a deal, I just start to feel guilty because I'm not getting other things done (cooking, cleaning).  Going to try and think of it like a job---if I was gone all day, those things wouldn't be getting done during the day either...

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Chaos. 😕

Listening in...

I very nearly posted the same thing...

 

Sorry, I'm not helpful. Most days we just white knuckle through it and then I fret all evening about how badly I'm failing. Rinse and repeat.

 

I like pps suggestion of the 3 point rotation.

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Friday the baby was literally laying on the table screaming and trying to get ds's math book.  He was holding him off with one hand and scribbling away his answers...  Surely this is good training for... something...   :lol:

 

Yes...yes it is.  It's good training for when he will become a parent...lol  

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When I had all littles a bottom up approach worked best. I'd kickstart any kids who could work independently on their independent lessons and pull the toddler aside for some momma time. This could even be having them help me unload the dishwasher, reading books to them, just whatever meant something to them. They were all different, but most of them thought helping Momma with chores was fabulous fun. When the "momma cup" was full I'd send them on their merry way to play and pull in the preschooler. The preschooler would only have a couple/few mom-dependent lessons and be done in 30 minutes or so. Then they're off on their way to play. I might check in with the 4th grader's independent work to see how they're doing, then call the first grader to the table. The first grader and I would focus on his most mom-dependent lessons. When his language arts were done I'd teach the math lesson and get him started on the independent work, but keep him at my elbow. Then I'd turn my attention to the 4th grader. We'd start by discussing what they did on their own and how that went, then start the mom-dependent lessons. When 1st grader finishes the math page I'll pause long enough to scan it for big mistakes, mark needed corrections, and send them on their way. The 4th grader probably has a mixture of mom-taught and independent that we'll bounce through until he's done.

 

That cycle was in the morning, and focused on language arts, math, and language. When they were done they had freeplay. After lunch we had a family-wide quiet time. Everyone went to their bed (or big kids went to favorite reading nooks if they shared a room). Non-readers could take a pile of picture books. Babes and toddlers napped. I defragged and prepared for the rest of the day. After quiet time we focused on science and/or history as a group. This would have been aimed at the 4th grader and the little ones would tag-a-long and absorb whatever they did.  Then the kids played and I worked on dinner/cleaning.

 

 

eta: I'm still using a bottom-up approach now that I'm spread between high school and preschool. I kickstart the 2nd grader on some independent work, everyone bigger than her just needs me to say "time to get started" and they take care of business themselves, and I start with the preschooler. When he's done I work with the 2nd grader. When she's done with mom-dependent lessons I focus on the 6th and 7th graders. When they're settled and working again I'll check in with the high schooler. Then I can bounce between the big three as needed while the little two are busy playing and being little kids.

Edited by SilverMoon

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School in the AM. Short lessons. Mandatory read/nap time in the afternoon.

 

Morning:

Bible

Morning Basket

Table time/lessons

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Here's my routine (7yo, 5yo, 4yo, and baby). Our school days are roughly the same every day

 

6:45 Girls wake up and play/do chores

8:00 Breakfast

8:30 Reading (dd7 reads book on her own, I do an OPGTR lesson with dd5 and then dd4. While dd4 is doing her lesson, dd5 reads to herself). They also play for a bit

9:30-10:15 DD7 does writing, grammar, geography, and spelling. DD5 does writing and spelling. DD4 does Handwriting. I can usually help 2 at a time, so I keep them going based on that.

10:30-11:30 Everyone does math.

11:30-12:30 Mostly play but also piano practice/lessons

 

They spend a lot of time playing between subjects and when I'm helping their sisters. 

 

12:30-1:00 Lunch

1:00-2:00 Quiet/Nap Time

 

The rest of the day is free time. 

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C.H.A.O.S!!!!!

 

I've got a velcro-baby for a youngest, attached to the hip.

 

 

I give the big kids independent work to do in the mornings. Her play area is right next to the school area. I can sit in the middle. The older the kids get, the more I can give them to do independently.

 

When she goes down for nap, it's business time. No, you may not take 5min.  SHE'S SLEEPING.  We have to do it NOW!  There are certain lessons that are impossible to do with a toddler underfoot.  Those lessons are priority during her nap.

 

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C.H.A.O.S!!!!!

 

I've got a velcro-baby for a youngest, attached to the hip.

 

 

I give the big kids independent work to do in the mornings. Her play area is right next to the school area. I can sit in the middle. The older the kids get, the more I can give them to do independently.

 

When she goes down for nap, it's business time. No, you may not take 5min. SHE'S SLEEPING. We have to do it NOW! There are certain lessons that are impossible to do with a toddler underfoot. Those lessons are priority during her nap.

YES. The only way we got yhrough this school year was that we didn't really have a set in stone svhedule, it was all about triage-ing the most mom-intensive subjects during naptime.

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I think the velcro baby part adds a particular level of difficulty...ds WON'T let himself be taken off to play, he gets so mad if he's separated from me he literally attacks his sisters. But if he's with me he's into everything, throwing things, climbing on the table. I say he is half teddy bear, half T-rex. :)

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Yeah the Velcro isn't that much fun. Mine has taken to saying 'mama no going' and holding on to my shirt with a death grip at nap time... Cute, but mama has a whole lot of work to do!

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We have eleven kids and the oldest is twelve...not saying this to brag, but to encourage you that it is possible!!!

 

Some principles:

 

1. Mom and dad need alone time at night. This may not seem relevant, but IT IS. The pair in charge need to have a strong relationship and be on the same page, especially with lots of young ones who could take over the house.

 

2. Establish a stopping time for moms' break in the afternoon. For us it is 2-4 pm, no exceptions. This is critical recharge time.

 

3. Combine when possible. We do this with many subjects and many children to save time.

 

4. Cut out the frills. Focus on the basics only: math, Latin, Language Arts, reading, writing.

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I've got 3 elementary, a middle schooler and two preschoolers. We keep it pretty simple. Mornings are spent with my older two working independently while I bounce between my other two school aged kids and my twins demanding I read ALL the books to them. Then we have a little outside time (hopefully) before lunch. After lunch is clean up, family hour (aka morning time) where my twins are trained to stay on a mat They are not quiet. At. All. Next is quiet reading hour and "nap time" for my twins. I spend half of this time with my oldest and half that time with my next oldest. And then that's it. Done. Computer, piano, and crafts as they choose or what not.

Last year was much much harder. Seriously. I spent a good 8 months on the verge of a nervous breakdown. We did the 3rs plus books last year and are doing only slightly more than that this year. We didn't even have much of a morning time last year, but it's gotten sooo much better

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Did it twice.  I flew by the seat of my pants.  It was both fantastic and horrific.  (More fantastic in hindsight, more horrific in the moment!)

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We have eleven kids and the oldest is twelve...not saying this to brag, but to encourage you that it is possible!!!

 

Some principles:

 

1. Mom and dad need alone time at night. This may not seem relevant, but IT IS. The pair in charge need to have a strong relationship and be on the same page, especially with lots of young ones who could take over the house.

 

2. Establish a stopping time for moms' break in the afternoon. For us it is 2-4 pm, no exceptions. This is critical recharge time.

 

3. Combine when possible. We do this with many subjects and many children to save time.

 

4. Cut out the frills. Focus on the basics only: math, Latin, Language Arts, reading, writing.

 

 

 

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Question-since you do a break between 2-4, what do your kids do during that time? We also have this time but so far we're at 1 hour and 15 minutes. I'd love to extend it, but my kids already act like they may die and I'm wondering logistically how you make this work. I need recharging too!

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Sorry, just now getting back to the forums.

 

The kids four and under all nap. We train them in these hours from a young age and it seems to work.

 

The older kids must stay inside, cannot use any electronics, and may not speak. Sounds draconian, but any leeway gets abused. Usually this means reading and coloring, but board games, Legos, and napping are also utilized.

 

 

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A handful of years back, I had a 5th, a 3rd, and a Ker along with two toddlers. Does that count?

 

Eldest two did chores & kept the toddlers busy while I did reading/writing for 30 minutes first thing with the Ker.

Then, eldest two did math at the same time with me bouncing between them while the Ker kept the two toddlers busy.

The two oldest did grammar on their own for 15 minutes while I changed a diaper & tried to keep the chaos with the youngest three contained.

Oldest two did Latin while youngest three played on the floor nearby - annoying the older two with how much they could already recite the chants & prayers.

We had a snack/break & I threw something together & into the oven for lunch.

Oldest two did religion, then I got eldest started on writing & then did some hands on math with Ker.

Lunch!

After lunch, eldest did Spanish on her own while #2 read (or listened to an audio book). I settled toddlers down for a nap or set them up with toys in their room for 'quiet time.'

I did 15 minutes of dictation with #1 & #2, then History or Science (2 days/week each in a rotation).

Eldest was allowed to read after that. Child #2 kept toddlers busy while I did a fun K activity with Child #3.

 

Makes me tired just reading about it.

 

My days are more packed now than they were then since all five of mine are schooling. You got some really good tips in this thread by people a LOT more accomplished than I. I never did get quiet time during the week because I use the younger ones nap times to get stuff done with the older kids. And I need every minute of the day to get to everyone. 

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We currently have 2 toddlers (almost 2 and 3) and kids in grades 1,3,6,9 and 11 this fall. We have graduated 2.

 

This is what works best for us. Right after breakfast (even skipping cleaning up if we are running late) at 8:00 we all gather for scripture reading and prayers and some religious memory work. We then do all group lessons such as history, science, poetry and what ever is fitting in that slot that year. It has proven to be impossible to gather everyone back up so we must start this way. I have a basket that all supplies for this time are contained in. Grab and start. I do a read aloud that is geared for the oldest kids during this time. The toddlers are just wandering in and out, sitting on laps and playing with toys. I did at one time teach some of the now middle ones to sit on a blanket with one set of toys during this time. This isn't needed with this current set of toddlers and the only thing I can reason is that they have literally grown up doing this every single morning of their entire lives :). Even during the summer we do morning time although abbreviated. We most of the time end morning time with a notebooking page for the lesson of the day with of course varied expectations.

 

After morning time we all go the the table for table time. I usually have them all start with math as it is fairly independent. We have used mus although we are currently transitioning to CLE. If they get stuck their handwriting books are in the math bin and they do that while waiting for me. I alternate having kids come to my side of the table for their direct instruction. This is the time for all LA lessons and math.

 

We are done at noon for an hour break. Occasionally earlier and always earlier for this under about 4th grade.

 

At 1:00 I take the two youngest to naps. It takes me 15-30 mins and they all read or finish up morning lessons for the oldest as needed. As soon as I have the littles settled, I do another read aloud session with the elementary and middle school ages. Then they have quiet time until 3:00. They have assigned readings and are assigned to separate rooms. They play alone after reading or draw or whatever. The teens use this quieter time for whatever is needed for them. I sometimes will listen to learners read aloud or read extra to non/early readers but really aim to have my own down time to read or nap.

 

3:00-5:00 is free time. TV and computer is allowed and they do too much of that :/ I want to change that up. Then it's cleanup and dinner and evening activities and bed.

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Lunch with audiobook

I keep hearing of people doing this and it makes me wonder: how do you keep the younger ones quiet to listen? I swear, I can barely hear myself think over their noisy conversation and silliness and sound effects, let alone hear enough of an audio book to follow it (kids are 7,5,3,1).

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I keep hearing of people doing this and it makes me wonder: how do you keep the younger ones quiet to listen? I swear, I can barely hear myself think over their noisy conversation and silliness and sound effects, let alone hear enough of an audio book to follow it (kids are 7,5,3,1).

 

I have 7, 4, 2, and baby. We do audiobooks on PlayAways that I borrow from the library. They are self-contained little digital books, slightly larger than the size of an old iPod shuffle. Each of the older two get their own book and their own headphones to use during quiet time while the younger two nap (hopefully).

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I keep hearing of people doing this and it makes me wonder: how do you keep the younger ones quiet to listen? I swear, I can barely hear myself think over their noisy conversation and silliness and sound effects, let alone hear enough of an audio book to follow it (kids are 7,5,3,1).

This is probably still on the young end for a chapter book during a meal. Mine are 9, 7, 5, 2, and it's been working pretty well for us for close to a year. The two little ones sit at opposite ends of the table so they can't gang up for disruptions. We just do one chapter, so 10-15 minutes max usually.

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I keep hearing of people doing this and it makes me wonder: how do you keep the younger ones quiet to listen? I swear, I can barely hear myself think over their noisy conversation and silliness and sound effects, let alone hear enough of an audio book to follow it (kids are 7,5,3,1).

 

You can't.  We do read-alouds when our toddler is napping.  Otherwise, I would have a nervous breakdown.  When I read out loud, he also pretends to read out loud.    

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I keep hearing of people doing this and it makes me wonder: how do you keep the younger ones quiet to listen? I swear, I can barely hear myself think over their noisy conversation and silliness and sound effects, let alone hear enough of an audio book to follow it (kids are 7,5,3,1).

It might depend on the kids. And the day. Sometimes this works great around here, but sometimes it's crazy-making. If the toddler is really hungry and focused on his food, it's not a problem.

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I keep hearing of people doing this and it makes me wonder: how do you keep the younger ones quiet to listen? I swear, I can barely hear myself think over their noisy conversation and silliness and sound effects, let alone hear enough of an audio book to follow it (kids are 7,5,3,1).

 

I hear you. I used to love read-alouds but I HATE them right now. My two toddlers don't nap at all :blink:. It can be crazy loud here sometimes. I read about a cell phone app that has alarm sound when the noise in the room hits a set decibel. I've laughed about how it would always be going off at our house, just adding more to the noise.

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I love reading these. With an 8, 6, 4 and 2 year old we have much of the chaos and noise noted above. :)

 

I'm not a morning person so DS8 and DD6 serve breakfast to everyone. I come down, organize clean up and grab out the books. We alternate starting with math or LA because toddlers always present the risk of massive derailment. I do a 5 minute math lesson on the board some days or I put challenge problems up the night before for the kids to think over during breakfast and then they each try to answer theirs. Then I set up my pre-ker in math if he wants to do any, then Ker, then I sit and work with 3rd grader for the rest of the time. The little two scamper off when they are done and play with the toddler and I can switch to LA for DS when ready. I call DD back to the table 1-2x/week for handwriting lessons but otherwise she's really independent and I just help her in free minutes throughout the day.

 

We used to do bible and morning prayers fist thing, which I really preferred, but it started pushing math into fussy toddler zone around lunch time and I had to abandon it for a bit. We are doing our bible at lunch now but I hope to switch back sometime soon when I can get a grip on life. (Haha)

 

Afternoons alternate reflex math, Prodigy, Code.org, mystery science and I shoot for 2h of audio books for the bigger two(usually while playing legos). All my read alouds that I actually read for the bigger two are at bed time now. I spend 45-1h with them while DH gets the little ones ready for bed and reads to them himself.

 

All bigger science lessons (BFSU) are done at dinner. DH likes to be included and always has things to contribute even though I plan them.

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Definitely chaos. I feel like we're not doing that great lately. We're getting math and LA done. My 7th grader is reading stuff for history and science. But I really do feel like things are falling apart. My toddler will be two in a month, and she's a Velcro girl... And very loud. So I can't do much to teach my kids right now, and it's really weighing on me. My 4th grader needs extra help and is distracted easily, so we've started doing his school before 7am when the others come down. That is helping.

 

On a good note, 4th grader finished speech therapy, so that gets our Mondays back. Going to therapy 45 minutes away took all morning, and the kid that is the slowest and hardest to get going was the one in therapy, so he couldn't work while we were there, obviously, and he isn't independent enough to work in the car. And by time we got home, none of the kids were motivated to do any school work. Just a completely wasted day.

 

On normal days, the morning is spent attempting to get basics done with raging toddler around, then she takes a nap and we do read alouds and attempt to squeeze everyone in real quick before it's time to fix dinner, which needs to be ready at 5.

 

My 2nd and 7th graders both need more one on one teaching time. I just can't make that happen right now. There is only so much of me to go around, and I'm being stretched thin by 4th grader and Velcro toddler. I know this will get better when toddler is closer to school age, but in the meantime, I really need to prepare my 7th grader for upcoming high school. We need to be developing good habits now.

 

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