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Syncing schedules

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I have issues coming up with a way to sync schedules with my kids. Kids wake up at different times each day (and they really do just need different amounts of sleep, so I'm hesitant to force them all awake at the same time). So we do chores before breakfast, but half my kids work quickly, eat quickly, and are dressed and ready to go in 20 minutes. The other half work slowly, eat slowly, and are often not dressed for an hour or more.


I'd really like to start the morning off with some "together" time by taking a walk outside, reading, etc. before younger ones start playing and olders do school work, but I can't seem to make it work because the slow kids complain about being left out if we start anything without them, and I don't mind using that as leverage when they're being very poky, but often they're not being pokey so much as just being thorough (even at eating, they just chew more thoroughly, it's not like they spend their time at the table playing). I just feel like when one kid is ready to read, I or others are not, and when one kid is ready for school, others are ready to go outside, and my day feels like a whole lot of juggling.


I know *I* am the mom, and *I* am in charge, but I don't know what to do when some of my kids are so much faster at some things than others and how to make things go more smoothly during the day. Maybe this is a dumb question, and I'm sorry if it is. I can't find a good time to do read alouds or crafts or go outside or pretty much anything else that involves us all doing the same thing at the same time, and it's just getting to me, because it's mostly the fun things that I can't make happen.




ETA I do have a 1 and 3 yo who run amok and want attention all the time and do no school work at all. :)

Edited by deanna1ynne
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Can you start reading at the table while the late risers eat and the others color/doodle/use playdough/busy bags. Then when everyone is done, take a walk.

I am still working out the kinks in our schedule. But I do have one early riser who HAS to eat upon waking or he gets ill and one who just needs more sleep, so I understand the different kids/different timetables.

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I totally understand what you're saying.  I had a similar frustration years ago and just decided we all start "together time" at 9:00.  Theoretically, they should be dressed, have had breakfast, brushed teeth, etc. before they come, but more often than not they (or half of them) come in their PJs with a dry breakfast in hand.  We finish at 10:00 and they go back to what they need to do next - shower, etc.  The ones who move more quickly jump right into school work (and of course, they are the ones who finish first too!).  The slower ones are still working on school work late in the day, but that works for them.  So, I guess my advice is to do together time first, set a time for it, and put chores after that.  Either start together time at the breakfast table or change your breakfast options so eating is more mobile or convenient for what you want to do (read aloud, nature walk, whatever.)

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In addition to the 1 and 3 yos, I have a K'er and a 2nd grader. I don't do very much school work with them, but I'm finding this phase much more challenging to navigate than when I had only one in school and everyone else just napped: we just did our 30-45 min school during naptime. But now my K'er is wanting to learn to read, and my 2nd grader generally does ~60-90 min of school a day, and I can't squeeze it all into naptime, and I'm just struggling to make any sense out of our day or come up with a coherent routine/schedule.


Having two "doing" school but needing constant help while two others run amok is just not easy for me. I've made a variety of quiet / alone activities for the younger two kids, but they still can't spend much more than 30 min alone still (not safely, at least!! lol), and my oldest has some sensory issues and is super easily distracted when there's anything else going on nearby.


I think I'm just venting now. Sigh. I think I just thought that things were going to get easier as my baby got a little bit older, and that was probably the epitome of foolishness, huh?


Thanks for your suggestions! I'll think some more on them and try to come up with another plan!

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