Now, I will admit that I'm not really a morning person. I end up rolling out of bed and coming downstairs arounds 7:30 or 8:00am. By this time most of children have already eaten breakfast and are off to entertain themselves. My older chidlren are really good about helping the younger ones get breakfast. Once the breakfast and the kitchen are cleaned up the older chidlren begin their lessons. They usually have a schedule and decide which subject they would like to begin with. As they've gotten older they've been able to work more independently. Latin is taught through my Lutheran Stud and a video. At one point I tried to keep up with them in Latin, but now they've passed me up. Often times I can be dictating 3 spelling lessons at the same time. It can get a little confusing, but we always manage to get the correct words on the correct papers. One of the great things about homeschooling is that we are able to track with our children to see where they are excelling, as well as where they need more help. For example, right now Thomas, as a 3rd grader, has moved into the same math book as Rebecca, who is in 6th grade. He is just flying through math quite easily. Rachel is quite the grammarian and has just begun the 5th grade grammar book as a 4th grader. While I am working with the older children the younger ones can be found all over the house playing puzzles, Legos, or maybe even Little People. There is always someone to play with and something to do. "Bored" is a word that is rarely heard around here.As time permits, four of the the younger children do math together. We are also working on learning the 70 phonograms and learning to write those letters in cursive. Fine motor skills come a little easier to my girls than the little boys. I think it's a girl thing.We take a short break from school to feed our bellies, and sometimes after lunch we pile into the big tank and head to the grocery store, library, or run other errands. Yes, they all go with me. It's a fun family outing. :)When we return home or after we've finished lunch, we begin chores. I have a chore chart made for all of the days of the week with a specific chore for each child. All of our children have chores ranging from making their beds to wiping toilets, from shoveling snow to wiping windows and even picking up all the shoes and coats in the garage. That's no small feat with 9 children in our home. Our foster children pair up with one of our older children. They think doing chores is so much fun and look forward to that time in the day. I just wish my children would do their chores with the same excitement. Once chores are finished the five little ones have nap time. They normally sleep for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours. During that time I begin preparing things for dinner and the older children finish up their school work, read a book, or do some other quiet activity, and sometimes I'm dictating spelling or teaching math while making dinner.Most recently, we've had a weekly visit on our schedule for our foster children, so after their naps we have a little snack and I'll pack a dinner. We drop the foster children off for their visit and head to church where my Lutheran Stud is usually still working, and we eat dinner. When we all return home there is a little time before bed, but everyone is usually pretty wiped out and bed time comes pretty quickly.
Our home is not super crazy or maybe it is and I'm just crazy. I try not to over schedule myself or the children because I think our children or family would suffer from too many activities and running around. Adding three new children hasn't added a lot of craziness around here either. We've added a few more appointments here and there during the month, but for the most part, things have not changed too much. We have a pretty laid back household or perhaps, we're just well scheduled.
Lest you think that our home looks lovely and peaceful on a daily basis let me show you that, that isn't always the case. Many mornings you can find my 6 year-old on the floor throwing a tantrum because he wants to play instead of working on his grammar lessons, or my 12 year old is giving me attitude because she doesn't want to share the math book or I can't work around HER schedule the way that she wants. The preschoolers can be found tattling on each other while I'm in the middle of teaching a math lesson or they can be found emptying EVERY.SINGLE.TOY off the shelves in the basement. Who's going to clean up that mess? People have told me that they can't imagine what it's like to have a large family, so I hope you enjoyed a small peek at how we roll around here. What are things like in your home? I'd love to see!