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Mommies with many children....(at least 4)

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How do you schedule your day so as to make sure everybody gets their school done?


It seems that things get so hectic around here - everybody needs me at the same time! I get so stressed and then I end up snapping at them which makes things even more stressful.


I tried working with the youngers first (older ones could not bother me during this time) but then they end up not keeping busy with school work because they say they didn't understand something and they were waiting on me to finish so they could ask me a question. Or they keep the the 21 mos old entertained while I am with the 6 and 4 yr olds or they end up "messing around" and then it's almost lunch time.


Everybody has their own reading, writing, math and spelling. I combine history and science.


Thanks for an advice. :001_huh:

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I'm going to keep an eye on this thread. I've only got four and only one preschooler, but I feel like my house is a ZOO!! Nearly every day, I'm saying, "How can ANYONE learn in this environment?" I finish with the older three kids' Sonlight Core before dh leaves for work. That helps a lot. Then, I give each of the older kids their individual work and we rotate the 3 yo with older brothers. Sounds nice doesn't it? HA!


If one has a question as I'm working with another, it really throws me off and I feel bad that I can't answer them right away (or that I have to interrupt the one I'm working with to help the other). Then, there's the 3 yo in the mix. 'Nuff said!!


I'm going to see what other moms have to say about this one!

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It is a work in progress for me. Right now for example, the older 2 are doing a writing activity from their center options(Evan-Moor take to your seat folders), ds5 is quietly "reading", 17mos old is nursing and I am on here. Once baby girl is asleep, I will do an exercise from OPGTR with ds5 and the kids will work on a couple pages in their word study books(MCP phonics book D). Then I will do math with ds5, the big kids will do their assigned reading and baby will continue to nap. After that, ds5 will either bundle up to go call onhis friend next door or will watch the dvd that goes with his phonics program(jolly phonics) and I will do math and grammar with the big kids. When ds comes home for snack or after his dvd I will do science and history with all of them while baby girl nurses and then plays in the same room with her toys. After dinner we will do a bit more with the big kids while the little 2 play, but that is because we are only starting our day now, having done chores all morning instead of school.


Some days ds5 still gets his schooling put aside and when that happens I put out learning centers for him instead of sitting teaching him directly.

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There are several of us on these boards with similar age children. I hope you get lots of replies. :) Here are my thoughts...


It sounds to me like your older children have a lot of excuses. For them, I would set up a stronger schedule and expect them to complete their work w/in the allotted time for each subject. Any subject that is not completed on time becomes homework, thus taking away from their free time. This should put an end to excuses.


I may post more later...

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Right now what we are doing is:


we all say the Rosary together

the girls do their typing program one at a time and then go in their room to do the work they can do on their own

I work with the 5 yo, and the twins (3yo) are watching us, playing with manipulatives, playing with each other, etc

after lunch, one girl watches the younger ones while I spend an hour with the other and then we switch


That's pretty much it. We just work around the baby.

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In the AM my younger 2 play well nicely together (3 and 5). That is when i do math with the 7yo then the 9yo. after math is science or history. i also do some reading with 5yo b/4 lunch if there is time. if not then it happens after lunch. they get about an hour of free time for lunch and clean up and a break. then we go back to rotating. i work with the 3yo when he wants to--most days he just plays with 5yo when she isn't busy. if they are exceptionally grumpy they lay down for naps or i put on a video but i'm really trying to stay away from that for a while. when the weather gets nicer they'll be able to play outside. the older 2 rotate through spelling, language, reading, and seatwork. some days i work in the afternoons so they have to do most of their work in the AM b/4 I leave. it's a little crazy on those days, but i feel like if we get math and reading out loud done then they can do their seatwork while i'm working. i have found out that they don't dawdle in the afternoon when i'm at work--they want to be able to play with nana while she's here or she will take them somewhere but school work has to be done first.


I've really been trying to get my 9yo to realize that she does have more school work required of her b/c she is older than the others. she tends to dawdle/complain about it but i know it's not too hard for her. oh the injustice of being the oldest!

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I had six in under 8 years. Here's what I did:


1. Everyone had their own planner in which I wrote out a schedule for the week, day by day. There were certain items that were independent work, even for the younger kids (handwriting, math practice via math shark, Bible study, spelling, piano practice).


2. The rule was that no one talked during school unless I spoke to them or was working with them. Everyone had something to do that needed to be done quietly.


3. Each morning we did the work that needed me to instruct child by child, one on one. I'd start with one child. While I went over that child's math (and sometimes English, too, for the older ones), the other kids had to be doing their independent work quietly. Once I went over the lesson(s) with the first child, I gave them their assignment(s) and sent them off to complete them. If they finished before I was ready to instruct in another subject, they did their independent work. I rotated through the kids this way, calling them to the sofa to work with me as soon as I was finished with the previous child. Now, as for kids asking questions, here's my take on it: I wouldn't set them free until I'd had them work out problems to show me that they understood the assignment. I'd make sure that the assignment was written in their assignment book....in short, there was no reason for any questions by the time I was done. They needed to sit down and work. If there really was a serious issue, they could come stand by me until I was free to work with them.


4. In the late morning or early afternoon we'd start our history. I'd do a lot of reading aloud, and we'd have discussions. Then I'd assign all children to write something about what we'd read. Sometimes I'd give specific assignments that tied history to writing (write a persuasive/descriptive/narrative paragraph about X, Y, orZ...that type of thing), other times they'd just write a summary of what we read and discussed. The youngest children had to write a sentence and draw a picture to illustrate. Again, this writing time was quiet.


5. We'd do science together, and that was always a time of discussion and fun. As the kids got older I had to split up the youngers and olders.


Hope this helps. My little people are now 19, 19, 16, 15, 13, and 12. Time flies!



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In January I sat down and mapped out our day just to make sure that what I planned was indeed feasible, doable, timewise for our family. Also, I decided there was going to be a set amount of time for the each subject for my semi-independent learners. When the time was up, we would move on to the subjects that get pushed to the side, the remainder of the work would be done as "homework" during their afternoons that typically they had free to play etc.


At first I had kids working on school work right up until dinner. Then they discovered how much wasted time there is from 6-8 a.m. and how they could get their handwriting, math, and grammar and sometimes even reading done! WOW! No more late evenings here spent "getting it done."


This week we're focusing on promoting excellence--get corrections done on the same day. And the school day isn't over until the corrections are. So far it's a good week. They get it. Free time isnn't happening till the work is done and corrections are fixed. AND it's not taking all day either. This morning dd had finished her Saxon Math before 7 a.m.


We also work on each subject simultaneously at each different level. Everyone does their math. If I get busy with one kid they know to move on to their handwriting, grammar, or reading and to wait--mostly patiently--for me to be free to help them too. It's a work in progress, the patience. It's coming though. After the 3R's then we move on to History, Science, Bible, Latin, and Spanish. We alternate History & Science every other day. And we typically do 2 days worth of scheduled material at a time. So we're getting in our 4 days schedule-KWIM?


My little people keep busy with school time only toys in the school room. They can be obnoxious at times, but it's getting better.

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I guess I have it easy now, as my youngest is nine. This thread brings back memories of when my littles were babies. When I adopted my youngest daughter, I had a newborn, 9mo, 2yo, 6yo, 11yo, 13yo. With three babies in the house, everyone just had to learn to be flexible. When the babies were awake, they worked on what they could do independently. At nap time, I was there to work on everything else.


I remember how stressful it felt at the time, and now looking back it seems like it really didn't last that long. Remember, you won't have little ones always.:)

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What is currently working for me is when we get an early start (8:30) and do Bible, Latin, and Math (working between the 2 different grades, staggered a little). Mondays are always harder since they are learning new concepts. By that time the almost 3 yo is getting harder to manage so I let one of the big kids take a break and go play with her. Then I do Grammar and Spelling with the ones left behind. Once they are done, we switch and I do Grammar/Spelling with the other grade. They are also usually taking turns practicing piano at this time. My 2 eager readers will often do their reading at this time also. Then we break for lunch and outside activities (PE and martial arts). In the afternoon when the little one goes down for a nap, we do our history lesson/reading/projects.


It's always a juggling act some days better than others. I've really enjoyed hearing how everyone else handles their days. Great ideas! Thanks!

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