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    Large family schedules

    I have 8 kids and am pulling my hair out trying to find the right schedule for us. I written many many schedules over the years and I can’t seem to do it! What works for you guys?

    Our ages currently are, 13, 11, 9, 7, 5, 4, 2, and 7 week old

    what time do you start? Do you have older kids help younger kids? Do you have some start with individual lessons while you work with other kids?
    I also have a downfall of getting bored and not wanting to stick to something but I KNOW it is imperative with a big family . I feel my slackness each day and say every day “ I need a schedule!!”
    Do you incorporate exercise ?

    Throw me your suggestions!! Thanks so much!!
    Courtney
    Ds10 acc.5th
    Dd8 2nd
    Ds6 K
    Dd4
    Ds2
    Dd1
    #7coming July
    "saved by grace"

    #2
    Our general routine has been the same for years but the school schedule is different every year and changes many times throughout the year. The kids’ needs change, my health changes, etc. It’s life.

    Just this week, I switched things up for health reasons. I can’t do school until 4 or even 3 right now. My husband wants me to finish before lunch if possible, but it looks like 2 is necessary. I’m spending 30 minutes with my youngest (5 in SC-C), and 30-60 with each of the others (8, 9, 11, and 13).

    i was doing a cottage school/lesson day model with my 13 and 9 year olds but it’s not working since I have many to work with each day. Now, I’m doing Latin, Math, and one other subject with them each day. Those other subjects are on a loop so if we only get to Latin and Math, we just pick up the loop where we left off. We do the lessons during our mom-time and they do the assignments independently during the week (as in the lesson day/cottage school model).

    I’m working on math and a Phonics Intensive with my 8yo (special needs) and we just do the next thing in Latin, Math, Spelling, and Literature with my 11yo (also SC).

    ETA: my high schoolers are independent with MPOA, MP streaming, VideoText, and Homeschool Connections. I try to fit in a literature discussion each week.
    Last edited by jen1134; 03-10-2020, 02:41 PM.
    Jennifer
    Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

    2021-2022
    DS18: Almost done!
    DS17: MP, MPOA
    DS15: MP, MPOA
    DS12: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
    DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
    DD9: SC3
    DD6: MPK

    Comment


      #3
      5 children at home here --- 14, 12 year old twins, 8 and 6.

      My older kids like to sleep in, so I start with my 8yo first (2nd grade),as she is an early riser. When we get started with school, we do all of the 'teacher-led' work first. I do all the instructional time in a big chunk, leaving independent work for her to do on her own, with a reminder for me. This way, she has schoolwork to complete while I'm working with other siblings.

      I follow a similar approach with my twin boys ---- doing all the instructional work first, then leaving them to do independent work on their own.

      My oldest daughter is pretty independent with her work --- she has MPOA classes and classes at our local Cottage School, so she does her work pretty much on her own, just coming to me when she needs help. From time to time,I do have her help me with the boys if they have Latin questions.

      Exercise .... for mom or for the children? My children are involved in sports --- soccer, Irish dance, and horseback riding, so they're getting plenty of exercise. My husband and I head to the gym a few time per week together, but that's because he works from home, and has a flexible schedule.

      All this to say ---- it's HARD. This is our 9th year of homeschooling, and I feel like I still don't have a great handle on scheduling.


      Plans for 2021-22

      Year 11 of homeschooling with MP

      DD1 - 26 - Small Business owner with 2 locations
      DD2 - 15 - 10th grade - HLS Cottage School/MPOA/True North Academy/Vita Beata - equestrian
      DS3 - 13 -6A Cottage School - soccer/tennis -dyslexia and dysgraphia
      DS4 - 13 - 6A Cottage School -soccer -auditory processing disorder
      DD5 - 9 - 4A, Cottage School/MPOA -equestrian
      DS6 - 7 - MPK - first time at the Cottage School this fall!

      Comment


        #4
        I don’t have as much experience as the previous posters, but what is working for us, after some trial and error, is to have set school hours. My middle schoolers were feeling like school never ended, so we do what we can do within our school hours.

        9:00-10:30 olders do independent work, I do lessons with the K and 2nd grader while the twins nap
        10:30-11:00 snack break
        11:00-12:00 most are doing independent work. I do what I can to help while also watching the baby twins.
        hour for lunch
        1:00-3:00 I’m available for the older two to teach or review with them

        For exercise, 2 of them swim 2-3 times per week. I had aspirations of running with some of them, but then I got in a funk and it hasn’t happened yet. Hopefully I can get disciplined enough to get that started one day.

        Next year I’m putting my 6th grader back in a private classical school because he’s too distracted at home. The oldest will do 4 MPOA classes and other subjects that don’t need much of my help. I’m going to pay her to watch the babies and the 4yo for 2 hours a day so and I will do lessons with the 1st and 3rd graders during that time.

        When I realized that I couldn’t do it all, I sought out solutions that would work best for our family.
        Emerson

        1st year using MP, coming from private classical school
        DD, 11/23/06, MP7A
        DS, 2/13/08, MP6A
        DD, 1/21/12, MP2
        DD, 8/28/14, SC1 phonics, K math
        DS, 4/11/16, playmobil university
        DS twins, 4/9/19

        Comment


          #5
          Courtney,

          We have 8 at home also, but one of them is a freshman in college who is still living at home. Another is only two, so I have six that are school-age.

          My 16, 14, and 12 year olds are very independent. They have been using MP for nine years now, and so they know the drill really well on how to do their work. They know that I will be checking each and every thing they do, even if it's several lessons at once sometimes. I may not be timely in getting to each of them, but they know I do eventually, so they keep at it. They also really, really enjoy their studies, which is such a blessing. I do ask questions throughout the day when I see them doing things just to let them know I am watching them even if I am not sitting right next to them. And I do often answer questions - especially math - whenever they come up. We have tried to make use of Homeschool Connections for some things, but my kids really don't like the online platform that much, so that is a hit-or-miss sort of thing now. They also don't like how much time it adds to their school days. They have a lot of work to do, and having lectures to sit through seems to take forever for them.

          My 10 year old is in fifth grade, so I do make sure that I check in with her at least every other day. I would love to say I get to her every day - and most days I at least go through her math and Latin with her. But it is still a struggle.

          Then my 8 and 6 year olds are doing a lot of the same work, so I do work with them together. Again, we seem to hit it really strongly every other day. Since January, we seem to have been having more time and have been getting closer to four days of school each week, but sometimes it's still just 3 days each week.

          Then there is our 2 year old who everyone naturally seems to take turns entertaining but is still a handful!

          The things that interrupt our days are that my 16 is in a math class at the community college, and he also works about 20 hours a week, always over the lunch shift. So it is the running him where he needs to be that totally explodes are mornings. And then I have to have a solid rest time each day because of my own health issues. Then there is a trip back to pick up my son from work, only to come home and realize it's time to start dinner! ARGH! He did just get his license, so I am expecting (HOPING!) that that will ease up my days and give me more solid daytime hours to do school.

          The short answer is we have had to be creative. I sometimes take one or two of them with me while we wait for the math class to be over. I sometimes squeeze in a child or two while everyone else is getting lunch. I sometimes cut my rest short just so that I can help someone (but I can't do that every day). We sometimes start school at 4:30, especially when we have leftovers available for dinner! Just last night I was helping my 6 year old with her lit guide and checking my 5th grader's work at 7pm. We make use of Saturdays too because my husband can run people where they need to be.

          Basically, I have had to accept that each day is going to be different. I used to LOVE having a set daily schedule. And I still try to make days as routine as possible. But I have had to accept that I am stretched as thin as I possibly can be, but that there are no real options for anything different right now. So we make the best of it. Everyone is grateful that we get to homeschool, and everyone has learned to be flexible. There are still frustrations, to be sure. And I know I am not doing everything I would love to be doing with them. But I try to keep moving forward with a positive spirit and a healthy dose of levity as much as possible!

          AMDG,
          Sarah
          2020-2021
          16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
          DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
          DS, 17
          DD, 15
          DD, 13
          DD, 11
          DD, 9
          DD, 7
          +DS+
          DS, 2

          Comment


            #6
            Hi Courtney,

            I have 7 kids, ages 16-2. The first thing that stands out to me from your post is that you have a 7-week old! I know by that time postpartum I am eager to get things going again, but it’s hard to have any kind of schedule for yourself at least with a newborn. So be sure to take it easy on your own expectations for yourself.

            My routine is to get everything done with my little ones before lunch, and get to my older ones in the afternoon after the toddler goes down for a nap.

            I have two kids who go to school—they leave in the morning with my husband. My older homeschooled kids (10th and 6th grade) set their own alarms and do a quick morning prayer with me after eating their own breakfast. They follow their MP lesson plans, and use some of the streaming lessons, MPOA, the Latin DVDs, and the lesson plans by themselves all morning, although I can answer questions.

            My morning is full of the three little ones—ages 7, 4, and 2. They exercise play outside a lot, in between lessons. In the afternoon, they nap
            or play in their rooms and I can work with my older kids.

            When the day is broken up by a Dr appointment or something, then all bets are off, I don’t usually get to the older kids and might teach the youngers in the afternoon.

            I have tried to incorporate exercise into our actual school day, but it just took too long to get the little ones in and out that I felt like I was wasting my older kids’ time. Now the older kids just play in the neighborhood when they’re done with school.

            We have set meal and snack times. My independent kids start themselves by 8am. I start the little ones whenever I can, usually at 9. My 12 year old daughter spends about 30 minutes playing with the two youngest when I am teaching reading to my 7 year old. My 16 year old is too busy during the school day to help, but he or the boys home from school will help with the little ones when I make dinner.
            Catherine

            2021-22
            DS18, 12th
            DS15, 9th
            DS & DD13, 8th
            DS9, 3rd
            DD6, 1st
            DS3
            DS & DS born August 26!

            Comment


              #7
              I have a practical tip that helped me. Take a sheet of lined notebook paper. Outside of the left margin, write the time in half-hour intervals from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed. Next, on the page lines add in your set meal times, snack times, or anything else that has a firm time in your day. Then, fill in the remaining time slots with what's left to be scheduled. I have 6 kids ages 8 to 9 months. I do not being formal schooling at all until they turn 5. And the first two years of school are nothing but language arts (I use Logic of English Foundations cursive program), math, and read-alouds. We have decided to jump in and start Memoria Press curriculum at 3rd grade. So, this fall I will have my 2 oldest in 4th and 3rd grade levels of MP curriculum. My other two school-aged kids will only be doing language arts and math, and everyone will sit in on our read-alouds or other reading assignments. Homeschooling will look different year to year, and that's ok! Allow time to step back and evaluate what works and what needs to change before starting a new year.
              Wife, mom, teacher who loves all things organizing and hospitality.

              DS (age 10): MP 5
              DD (age 8): MP 4
              DD (age 7): MP 2
              DD (age 6): MP 1
              DS (age 4): MP K
              DS (age 2): Potty training

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
                Our general routine has been the same for years but the school schedule is different every year and changes many times throughout the year. The kids’ needs change, my health changes, etc. It’s life.

                Just this week, I switched things up for health reasons. I can’t do school until 4 or even 3 right now. My husband wants me to finish before lunch if possible, but it looks like 2 is necessary. I’m spending 30 minutes with my youngest (5 in SC-C), and 30-60 with each of the others (8, 9, 11, and 13).

                i was doing a cottage school/lesson day model with my 13 and 9 year olds but it’s not working since I have many to work with each day. Now, I’m doing Latin, Math, and one other subject with them each day. Those other subjects are on a loop so if we only get to Latin and Math, we just pick up the loop where we left off. We do the lessons during our mom-time and they do the assignments independently during the week (as in the lesson day/cottage school model).

                I’m working on math and a Phonics Intensive with my 8yo (special needs) and we just do the next thing in Latin, Math, Spelling, and Literature with my 11yo (also SC).

                ETA: my high schoolers are independent with MPOA, MP streaming, VideoText, and Homeschool Connections. I try to fit in a literature discussion each week.
                I appreciate your input. I saw your post about your planners and that seemed to me like they would be helpful for us. I may decide to utilize the online classes in the future. We always start with Latin and math. But I feel so stretched between the littles and the older ones. Everyone seems to have questions and I try to teach one kid and always get interrupted! So then my frustration starts.
                Courtney
                Ds10 acc.5th
                Dd8 2nd
                Ds6 K
                Dd4
                Ds2
                Dd1
                #7coming July
                "saved by grace"

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by DiannaKennedy View Post
                  5 children at home here --- 14, 12 year old twins, 8 and 6.

                  My older kids like to sleep in, so I start with my 8yo first (2nd grade),as she is an early riser. When we get started with school, we do all of the 'teacher-led' work first. I do all the instructional time in a big chunk, leaving independent work for her to do on her own, with a reminder for me. This way, she has schoolwork to complete while I'm working with other siblings.

                  I follow a similar approach with my twin boys ---- doing all the instructional work first, then leaving them to do independent work on their own.

                  My oldest daughter is pretty independent with her work --- she has MPOA classes and classes at our local Cottage School, so she does her work pretty much on her own, just coming to me when she needs help. From time to time,I do have her help me with the boys if they have Latin questions.

                  Exercise .... for mom or for the children? My children are involved in sports --- soccer, Irish dance, and horseback riding, so they're getting plenty of exercise. My husband and I head to the gym a few time per week together, but that's because he works from home, and has a flexible schedule.

                  All this to say ---- it's HARD. This is our 9th year of homeschooling, and I feel like I still don't have a great handle on scheduling.

                  It is hard! I feel pulled in so many directions! I like the idea of teaching all the teacher led stuff in one chunk. I do combine my younger 3 ages 5,7,9 on prima Latina and any read alouds.

                  As far as exercise, when we reach about 11:30 am I am ready to get out of the house and move! The trick for me is to have enough energy to finish the rest of the days work after about 1. That’s when I slack.

                  I would love a local cottage school. That sounds lovely.
                  thanks for your input!!
                  Courtney
                  Ds10 acc.5th
                  Dd8 2nd
                  Ds6 K
                  Dd4
                  Ds2
                  Dd1
                  #7coming July
                  "saved by grace"

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by emerino View Post
                    I don’t have as much experience as the previous posters, but what is working for us, after some trial and error, is to have set school hours. My middle schoolers were feeling like school never ended, so we do what we can do within our school hours.

                    9:00-10:30 olders do independent work, I do lessons with the K and 2nd grader while the twins nap
                    10:30-11:00 snack break
                    11:00-12:00 most are doing independent work. I do what I can to help while also watching the baby twins.
                    hour for lunch
                    1:00-3:00 I’m available for the older two to teach or review with them

                    For exercise, 2 of them swim 2-3 times per week. I had aspirations of running with some of them, but then I got in a funk and it hasn’t happened yet. Hopefully I can get disciplined enough to get that started one day.

                    Next year I’m putting my 6th grader back in a private classical school because he’s too distracted at home. The oldest will do 4 MPOA classes and other subjects that don’t need much of my help. I’m going to pay her to watch the babies and the 4yo for 2 hours a day so and I will do lessons with the 1st and 3rd graders during that time.

                    When I realized that I couldn’t do it all, I sought out solutions that would work best for our family.
                    Set school hours is definitely what I try to do. I like yours!! Maybe I’ll incorporate a snack time. My kids seem to be very motivated by food!

                    I might have to pay one of my kids to babysit. Thanks for the ideas!
                    Courtney
                    Ds10 acc.5th
                    Dd8 2nd
                    Ds6 K
                    Dd4
                    Ds2
                    Dd1
                    #7coming July
                    "saved by grace"

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by CatherineS View Post
                      Hi Courtney,

                      I have 7 kids, ages 16-2. The first thing that stands out to me from your post is that you have a 7-week old! I know by that time postpartum I am eager to get things going again, but it’s hard to have any kind of schedule for yourself at least with a newborn. So be sure to take it easy on your own expectations for yourself.

                      My routine is to get everything done with my little ones before lunch, and get to my older ones in the afternoon after the toddler goes down for a nap.

                      I have two kids who go to school—they leave in the morning with my husband. My older homeschooled kids (10th and 6th grade) set their own alarms and do a quick morning prayer with me after eating their own breakfast. They follow their MP lesson plans, and use some of the streaming lessons, MPOA, the Latin DVDs, and the lesson plans by themselves all morning, although I can answer questions.

                      My morning is full of the three little ones—ages 7, 4, and 2. They exercise play outside a lot, in between lessons. In the afternoon, they nap
                      or play in their rooms and I can work with my older kids.

                      When the day is broken up by a Dr appointment or something, then all bets are off, I don’t usually get to the older kids and might teach the youngers in the afternoon.

                      I have tried to incorporate exercise into our actual school day, but it just took too long to get the little ones in and out that I felt like I was wasting my older kids’ time. Now the older kids just play in the neighborhood when they’re done with school.

                      We have set meal and snack times. My independent kids start themselves by 8am. I start the little ones whenever I can, usually at 9. My 12 year old daughter spends about 30 minutes playing with the two youngest when I am teaching reading to my 7 year old. My 16 year old is too busy during the school day to help, but he or the boys home from school will help with the little ones when I make dinner.
                      Yes, having a newborn definitely gets my mornings off to a slower start. I mean how can I get out of bed when I’m snuggling a warm bundle of love??. Thanks for your input. I’m taking notes and encouragement that we are all working hard at home. I’m not the only one!!
                      Courtney
                      Ds10 acc.5th
                      Dd8 2nd
                      Ds6 K
                      Dd4
                      Ds2
                      Dd1
                      #7coming July
                      "saved by grace"

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by court View Post

                        I appreciate your input. I saw your post about your planners and that seemed to me like they would be helpful for us. I may decide to utilize the online classes in the future. We always start with Latin and math. But I feel so stretched between the littles and the older ones. Everyone seems to have questions and I try to teach one kid and always get interrupted! So then my frustration starts.
                        Yes! The interruptions/questions are killer. I have a single sentence response I use for every interruption: “I’m in lessons.” That’s their cue to go back to their work. I’ve told them they need to just go on to the part of their work they understand, they can make a note of their question, etc. But unless someone is sick, bleeding, or needs to be logged in online for school, I’m not available during a sibling’s lessons. (we have a small/open house so everyone is pretty much within my line of vision when I’m in the school room and I can still see if there’s something I need to address behaviorally)

                        Note: it’s not a magic bullet. They won’t stop asking altogether. I’ve been using that line, at least once a day, for five years. But having a stock response (usually) keeps me calm!
                        Jennifer
                        Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                        2021-2022
                        DS18: Almost done!
                        DS17: MP, MPOA
                        DS15: MP, MPOA
                        DS12: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
                        DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
                        DD9: SC3
                        DD6: MPK

                        Comment

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