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    Help with Toddler and management

    So this may be some what of a vent, but really I am looking for practical advice. I have a 7 week old, a two year old, a 4 year old, an almost 6 year old and a 7 year old. We are getting our lessons done for core 2 and 1, I am also trying to do Simply Classical B with my 4 year old and that somewhat gets done. My two year old is a train wreck. He gets into everything, colors on himself with pen, gets into books, distracts the kids. I put him and my four year old in the playroom for an hour with a gate up and a door open so i can hear them. I then come in there for recitations, but it gets really loud and crazy and turns into a big goof off time. He naps for two hours. I try to use 30 minutes of it to re-coop and hold the baby, but use the rest for school. In the meantime I can have a fussy baby that wants to be held or nursed. I am trying hard to stick to a schedule and we are getting it done, but my sanity is kind of at stake. I'm tired. The baby still gets up a lot at night. I feel guilt for not giving my husband what he deserves. I HATE TV, but have resorted to using it for about 45 minutes a day for my 2 and 4 year old. I am in desperate need of more prayer and solitude; I am an introvert to the max; most mornings I wake up at 5:30 so I can grab this. I desire more patience with my kids, more selflessness. My daughter will want to read to me and I often tell her not right now. I don't often let my kids help with dinner because I want some space. I don't want to push my kids away. My husband invited boys over Saturday Morning that he teaches at a co-op, I feel I should be hospitable, but am annoyed; that is the morning I deep clean the bedrooms and bathrooms and wash sheets and usually don't get dressed till 11. I know I just need to keep throwing myself at the Mercy of Jesus and ask for the strength that he supplies. But, am I doing anything wrong or should I do something different? Did I mention I am tired. I know I am being refined.
    Abel (9) MP 4/ Lydia 7.5) MP A3/ James (6) First Start Reading and Rod and Staff 1/ Micah (4)/ Nathanael (2)/ Silas Born 7/13/2019

    #2
    Re: Help with Toddler and management

    Originally posted by AlexandraMarie View Post
    So this may be some what of a vent, but really I am looking for practical advice. I have a 7 week old, a two year old, a 4 year old, an almost 6 year old and a 7 year old. We are getting our lessons done for core 2 and 1, I am also trying to do Simply Classical B with my 4 year old and that somewhat gets done. My two year old is a train wreck. He gets into everything, colors on himself with pen, gets into books, distracts the kids. I put him and my four year old in the playroom for an hour with a gate up and a door open so i can hear them. I then come in there for recitations, but it gets really loud and crazy and turns into a big goof off time. He naps for two hours. I try to use 30 minutes of it to re-coop and hold the baby, but use the rest for school. In the meantime I can have a fussy baby that wants to be held or nursed. I am trying hard to stick to a schedule and we are getting it done, but my sanity is kind of at stake. I'm tired. The baby still gets up a lot at night. I feel guilt for not giving my husband what he deserves. I HATE TV, but have resorted to using it for about 45 minutes a day for my 2 and 4 year old. I am in desperate need of more prayer and solitude; I am an introvert to the max; most mornings I wake up at 5:30 so I can grab this. I desire more patience with my kids, more selflessness. My daughter will want to read to me and I often tell her not right now. I don't often let my kids help with dinner because I want some space. I don't want to push my kids away. My husband invited boys over Saturday Morning that he teaches at a co-op, I feel I should be hospitable, but am annoyed; that is the morning I deep clean the bedrooms and bathrooms and wash sheets and usually don't get dressed till 11. I know I just need to keep throwing myself at the Mercy of Jesus and ask for the strength that he supplies. But, am I doing anything wrong or should I do something different? Did I mention I am tired. I know I am being refined.
    Sweetheart, no. Stop that right now. You just had your fifth baby. And your kids are all 7 and under. No, un-uh, nope: quit the self-immolation. Nap every single day, stay in your pjs, use tv as a babysitter, tell everyone to go away, do what you gotta do. To do so is not a failure, but an achievement. Good boundaries are necessary in any relationship, but we tend to overlook them in motherhood. There are just going to have to be times when the Mommy circle and the Kids circles on the Venn Diagram do not overlap. That’s HEALTHY. Your kids need you to be individual, no matter how guilty that makes you feel. You can’t be a good mom if you resent your vocation. You generally resent it less when you’re refreshed. So take some refreshment. No one’s going to give it to you, trust me! You have to take it — sometimes by force.

    I’m an introvert too. Everyone in my house knows I can only do the loud social stuff for so long. I need to put in some earbuds and wash dishes after that; do a quiet jigsaw puzzle; walk the dog ALONE; or just sit in a dimly lit room and have a thought. It took a nasty case of PPD for me to finally assert my boundaries. And in hindsight, I realize I should have cut myself A LOT more slack than I did.

    This is a SEASON. You feel like a failure because you can’t “do it all”? You think there’s someone else out there who can? Who IS? (Chuckle) No. If we took a poll right now of MP users I’m pretty sure there would be many confessions of dirty houses and chicken nuggets seven weeks post partum with 5 under 8.

    You’re doing AWESOME. Slow down. Relish this. Rest. Heal. You’re going to feel like yourself again, scouts honor. Laugh at that great big pile of laundry and go lie down. Everything’s going to be all right.

    Prayers and hugs <3
    Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
    Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
    Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
    Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

    “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
    ~Pope St John Paul II

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Help with Toddler and management

      Anita, thank you fo your words of grace. I think a problem I feel is that I can't let the laundry go, I can't stay in my PJs I can't not clean. I love order and cleanliness. I think maybe just not feeling the guilt that I need space from my kids is a big thing. My husband is also a pastor and our church is sending people out to start a new church in our town and it meets Sunday nights, so there is an amount of cleanliness I like to stay on top of. I also feel my schedule is so fragile that one thing can easily throw off our rhythm. Ok thank you for listening again . I appreciate all your words of encouragement
      Abel (9) MP 4/ Lydia 7.5) MP A3/ James (6) First Start Reading and Rod and Staff 1/ Micah (4)/ Nathanael (2)/ Silas Born 7/13/2019

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Help with Toddler and management

        Originally posted by AlexandraMarie View Post
        Anita, thank you fo your words of grace. I think a problem I feel is that I can't let the laundry go, I can't stay in my PJs I can't not clean. I love order and cleanliness. I think maybe just not feeling the guilt that I need space from my kids is a big thing. My husband is also a pastor and our church is sending people out to start a new church in our town and it meets Sunday nights, so there is an amount of cleanliness I like to stay on top of. I also feel my schedule is so fragile that one thing can easily throw off our rhythm. Ok thank you for listening again . I appreciate all your words of encouragement
        I like order, too. I HATE clutter, laundry piles, hanging out in my pjs and all the rest. K? I get it. We Type A, introverted, control freaks like consistency. Some of that is because we think we’re “supposed” to do it, but most of it is because we just feel weepy and overwhelmed when all that work is not done and everything is not in its proper place. It’s unnerving, upsetting and makes us feel out of control. It’s an added stressor when, at the end of a long day with tiny children, there are piles and piles of clutter, chaos and loose dirt on the floor. But I’m telling you: you’re going to have to let some of that go! Or find someone to help you — not a huge problem being a pastors wife if you can swallow some humble pie and ask for help (I know that’s hard! TRULY!). But repeat after me: “This is not permanent.” It feels that way now because you’re nursing, schooling, wife-ing, co-pastoring and Mom-ing, but I promise — on a stack of holy things! — this is not permanent. Do you really think if you were to stand before God right now that you would say, “Sweet, merciful Lord Jesus: I know you want me to be in Paradise with You... but Lord: my house is a mess and the kids have been fighting and eating bologna all day....”

        See how silly that sounds?

        You’re under a TON of pressure right now. Acknowledge that. Do what you can. Rest when you need to. Lay the rest on the altar. He Who called you to this purpose will see it through to its end. He doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the Called. Be little. Ask Him to be BIG. He won’t fail.

        Warm hugs and understanding!
        Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
        Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
        Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
        Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

        “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
        ~Pope St John Paul II

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Help with Toddler and management

          Thank you ladies these are all great suggestions! The truth is I look forward to doing school with my kids and I would not want to break, we already can only do a four day school week since my husbands day off is Monday's. I am thankful that at least mondays do for the most part feel restful. I think right now I need to say no to hospitality outside of Sunday's and I agree possible do extended rest time . It's been hard because I so badly have wanted to utilize the rest time for school , but I may just need more quiet in the middle of the day. Thank you ladies ! Anita you are right about asking for help when I can and having g boundaries. I think the hardest thing with asking for help can be that you feel like you have someone else you need to talk to. I know there are not answers to all of these things and I need to keep an eternal perspective. So thank you for being a sounding board. I think I may also just need to be ok with using tv a little more
          Abel (9) MP 4/ Lydia 7.5) MP A3/ James (6) First Start Reading and Rod and Staff 1/ Micah (4)/ Nathanael (2)/ Silas Born 7/13/2019

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Help with Toddler and management

            One of the most amazing post partum visitors I ever had was a sweet lady from church. I was in way over my head. She could read it on my face.

            She showed up one morning with a bucket of supplies in hand on my porch. She told me in no uncertain terms that she wasn't interested in talking to me nor holding the baby. She demanded to know where the bathrooms were and set right to work. She cleaned every bathroom in my house spotless and left without a word. Didn't even say goodbye, just walked out.

            This dear sweet woman was a treasure. She's passed on now, but I remember her everytime I scrub a toilet (and that probably makes her smile in heaven).

            Don't be afraid to ask for help. Those other ladies are just looking for an opening to be helpful. They don't want to offend, "honey, you look awful."

            And seriously, take Anita's advice. She's been there and has the battle scars to prove it.

            I would ditch school until January, but maybe that's your shred of 'normalcy' hanging on. How about slowing to half pace?

            Remeber, relationships are far more important than academics at any age. A frazzled mama focused on academics with no time left for cuddles, is not the goal of homeschooling
            Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

            DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
            DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
            DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

            We've completed:
            Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
            Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Help with Toddler and management

              Originally posted by Colomama View Post

              Remeber, relationships are far more important than academics at any age. A frazzled mama focused on academics with no time left for cuddles, is not the goal of homeschooling
              Colomama, I know this is so true and this is honestly my biggest conviction. I am getting it all done. I am keeping the house clean, getting school done, getting dinner on the table, but I have no time left for cuddles. my son stayed home from church Sunday with me. It was just me and him sitting on the couch watching a movie. I wasn't worried about the next thing, it was so nice. I think I will continue with school, we honestly all enjoy it. I may jut not take things so seriously. I may take a longer nap in the afternoon so I have more to give to relationships including my husband. I know I need to relax and give up some control. It is hard. But I know relationships are what have eternal value. Thank you for reminding me of this truth
              Abel (9) MP 4/ Lydia 7.5) MP A3/ James (6) First Start Reading and Rod and Staff 1/ Micah (4)/ Nathanael (2)/ Silas Born 7/13/2019

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Help with Toddler and management

                Alexandra,
                Hugs to you! You definitely sound like you are in the "I feel like my life should be back to normal now because it has been two months since the baby" zone. But I just want to offer that for one thing, you have to find a new normal now - which I think you sense you need (hence the vent), but have not yet nailed down. Second, it takes longer after each baby. No offense, but you are older than you were when you had your first couple. That lag time of trying to get back to pre-baby energy levels takes a bit longer each time. Ways to help this are to make sure you are eating well, getting enough rest, and getting a bit of exercise. Put these at the top of your to-do list so that you can physically recover from what your body has gone through.

                As for helping develop a new normal, what I would do in these times is pull out a legal pad and make several columns of "must-do," "would like to do" and "will fit in when possible." This always helps me realize the weight of the things that rests on my shoulders. We always moved around a lot in our "we have lots of small children under 10" stage, so i never had family, never had church friends to rely on, never had close friends to come over and help. It just wasn't possible in that time of our lives. Plus my dh worked 12 hr days. By the time he was home I wanted us all to spend time together, not catch up on chores. So this was always my way of conciously deciding things I HAD to do, versus what things I COULD do. Then once I had the list in front of me I went through and assigned realistic time frames to each so I could arrange them into our "new normal." Fly lady suggestions helped here for figuring out how to do small bits of household tasks all throughout the day so that nothing go SO far behind. "Shine your sink" was a suggestion that got me through a lot of long days - as a metaphor for, "At least I got my bare
                minimum done (clean sink) for this day and I will start again tomorrow."

                And the whole - make kids rest - thing is crucial. Everyone needs a break from each other. As your kids get older, they will work more independently on school, so their school time will become the time they take a break from each other. Our house gets really noisy starting at about 11:30 because everyone is making their way in for lunch. But you have the opposite - you need to force everyone to be apart for a bit and rest. When my kids were your kids' ages we used PBS for an hour or so. I would nurse the baby (and we would both fall asleep) while my non-nappers watched Mr Rogers, and the library-themed one with the Lions. I don't know what's on anymore, but don't feel guilty about that at all.

                Finally, make sure that you guys have your day of rest. Sounds like Sundays are a bit like a workday for your family. Make sure you take your Monday's to rest and recharge together.

                To summarize:
                -we spent our mornings on school
                - we took a break for lunch
                -then PBS (MY naptime)
                -then a walk outside
                -then let little kids play while I finished up any school we had left for the oldest, start dinner, run an errand, etc.
                -main cleaning was done while kids watched Saturday morning cartoons until they got old enough to pitch in and help.
                - have a rest day.

                AMDG,
                Sarah
                2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
                DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
                DS, 16
                DD, 14
                DD, 12
                DD, 10
                DD, 7.5
                DD, 5.5
                +DS+
                DS, 18 months

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Help with Toddler and management

                  You dear momma,

                  Fret not. Time in the kitchen with the little girls will come. Genuine hospitality will come. Toddler antics will cease. Goofiness will wain. All the things will be well in time. I see it happening in my own family! I've seen the evolution of their ages and abilities.

                  Give yourself some space to breathe. If you had a rough night with the baby, don't try to do all. the. things. the next day. Find ways of freeing yourself up to breathe a little: Cook simpler meals, Put away (for a time) toys/books/clutter that keep the rooms from being picked up quickly, use paper plates for easier after-meal cleanup or, even better, eat pizza at the park and let the kids run! School year 'round so you can do 4-day-a-week school or take a week off every few weeks. The kids are young; you can fudge the hours of school.

                  The point is: In time you will find your way to do all the things your heart desires. It just may not be this year or even next. But surely surely those sweet times will come. Don't sweat telling your girls, "not yet" in the kitchen. Don't sweat telling your little ones, "not yet" in the school room. Don't sweat telling yourself, "not yet" when the sun is peeping in. The things you say "not yet" to *now* don't define your life or the lives of your children in the coming years. You aren't spoiling *anything* by not being able to do *everything*. Enjoy the baby snuggles.

                  Blessings to you! Peace and rest to you!
                  ~Crystal, and 6 beside

                  2019-2020 school year:
                  DD12 - 6th Core
                  DS10 - 5th Core
                  DD8 - 3rd Core
                  DS6 - K @local public school
                  DS6 - K @local public school
                  DS3 - Smiling at everyone

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Help with Toddler and management

                    Thank you ladies. The more I evaluated the more I realized that last week I had three things that were out of the ordinary. My sister in law and her kids came over Tuesday afternoon for Halloween, Wednesday we had an extended family photo shoot and were out of the house all morning, and Saturday we had people over all morning, and Sunday night (which isn't out of the ordinary), we hosted a community group at our house. If I just had house work, school, and getting a simple dinner on the table to focus on I think I could manage it all. It's when the extra things pop up, or the extra time out of the house. I think being an introvert, the people time also takes a toll on me. Thursday night someone asked if they could come over for dinner and to hang out and I said no. It is a fine line between trusting God will supply your every need and exercising wisdom as to when to say no. I also know that as a Christian women I am called to hospitality, but I need to pray as far as what this means. Also I am called to be a helper to my husband. THe truth is that even though this all overwhelmed me, it all turned out Ok and God did supply my every need. I did talk to my husband and ask if we could put hospitality on hold until the new year and then re-evaluate; for the most part this will work.

                    Lastly, I want to mention that I know this is a season, but I am 29 and have five kids : ) I see this as a blessing from God, but I don't see the babies stopping in the near future. So I want to find a way to flourish even if I am in baby season for another 10 years.

                    Currently we do morning chores and get dressed from 6:30-7:30. We have breakfast and family worship from 7:30-8. Do school from 8-11. Take a break for lunch, recess and quiet time from 11-12:30. Finish up all school from 12:30-2 while my toddler is sleeping. 2:00 is snack time. 2:30-5:30 Free time, baths, any chores I can get to without stressing, and making dinner. 5:30 we eat, then clean up, get the kids ready for bed, do a family read aloud and all the kids are asleep by 8. Like I said this is manageable, it's just hard for; example this week I know I need to get together with someone Wednesday afternoon, I need to trust that if this is a true need that God will supply all energy for this.
                    Saturday is grocery shopping day and deep cleaning day.
                    Sunday is Church in Am and Community group in the late afternoon to evening.
                    Monday is a day of rest for our family (possibly doctors appointments).

                    P.S. it is also just helpful to know that many of you have walked this path already. Also to look forward to meal helpers and the kids being able to take on more cleaning tasks as they get older.
                    Abel (9) MP 4/ Lydia 7.5) MP A3/ James (6) First Start Reading and Rod and Staff 1/ Micah (4)/ Nathanael (2)/ Silas Born 7/13/2019

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Help with Toddler and management

                      Alexandra,
                      Good to hear back from you that you are hanging in there well for now. You are right to want to do this entire season of your life well, since it may be lengthy, but there are still periods where it will feel more intense than others. Definitely a rising and falling sort of feel. The newborn stage is always a season of intensity, as it is hard to have the energy for all you have to do. I always felt a lot of the "old me" return at 6 months, and then again at 9 months PP. (which gave me about 5 months before a new pregnancy!)

                      Your oldest is seven. The golden age of having helper-age children is about 10. You are almost there .

                      And try not to look too hard at the big picture. You are right that you have begun quickly, and it can feel overwhelming while they are all small. But as they grow, and as they become the people they will be, it feels less and less like such an intense day to day. There are times where the babies don't come as easily, or as regularly as they once did. You just never know what God has planned. So try do do each day well, and not look too far down that road.

                      AMDG,
                      Sarah
                      2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
                      DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
                      DS, 16
                      DD, 14
                      DD, 12
                      DD, 10
                      DD, 7.5
                      DD, 5.5
                      +DS+
                      DS, 18 months

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Help with Toddler and management

                        Oh ,my what an awesome thread.....I so needed this a few years ago! Anita.....wow, such words of wisdom & experience!! Mine are 10, 8, 6 & 3 right now....and we would love another one day if it's in God's plan. My hardest time was when the youngest was a newborn & I also had a 7, 5, & 2 yo. AND, it was our first year of homeschooling!! So many of us sound like type A. I like you AlexandraMarie, got it all done. I took pride in that. It was a major source of pride for me to get school done, laundry done, house cleaned, kids bathed, dinner on the table for my husband when he got home, kitchen cleaned after all on my own. I still struggle with that feeling of "pride." A lot of it is my personality type, BUT I also had to (& still do have to often) ask myself who I was doing it for. Pridefulness of trying to constantly get everything done is a sin that I still struggle with. It is good & right to take care of your family, educate your kids, take care of your home, & to make being a good wife a priority & I do believe that God wants us to do so (of course!)....but I did find after a while at that pace with very young ones (& AlexandraMarie you have one more than I had at that time!) I was not finding the joy in all of that that I once did when I had less kids to manage. For me, it had to be a balancing act. I had to pay attention to myself....I'm not a napper, don't sit well, & am always looking for the next thing to be done. When I sleep deprived though & in the middle of the newborn stage, I could only go so long before I saw how the weight of everything affected how I was treating my kids during the day. I maybe wasn't as patient, wasn't as kind with my tone or words, I had less toleration for messes (that added one more thing for me to do). These were signs for me that I had to slow down, even when everything in my being told me not to. My stubborness/pridefulness to get it all done got in the way of me being the mother & wife I truly wanted to be.

                        Now, I am in a kind of different season....although mine are still fairly young, I am just now seeing some of the "fruits of my labor" with my oldest 2 girls! All of the sudden, I have these 2 independent 8 & 10 yo's who are so helpful! I definitely have to direct them a lot (remind them to pick up their messes, put their dishes in the dishwasher, pick up their toys.....don't get me wrong, they are still kids!)....but my 10 has found a love for cooking. Some days I come down from working in the morning (I usually work a couple of hours in our office for our business while in & out with the kids....I get up about 5:30-6, enjoy of cup of coffee & am done by 7:30-8) & my 10 has made french toast for the others, or eggs, or muffins, or yesterday oatmeal cookies (? yes for breakfast.....I went with it & enjoyed it myself, with another cup of coffee). My 8 yo is such a little mother, she WANTS to dress the 3 yo, or take him in the backyard & play with him. Of course, I still do most everything, but these little things are huge to a mom who went from doing EVERYTHING, to now having help. They are more independent in school (especially the 10 yo.....the 8 yo, she's just a different story, it just depends on how she's feeling that day ha).

                        I'd like to think the reason my olders are getting more independent & know what to do is because they saw me doing everything for so long....they just kinda know what needs to be done & what is expected. Even my 6 yo boy is more independent than other kids around his from what I've observed. As I look forward to another child hopefully, I do wonder what it will be like now that they don't ALL need me to dress them or direct their every move. AlexandraMarie, is sounds like you are setting a great example for your kids of what a mother & wife is. You will see the fruits of your labor soon. All of the sudden I looked at mine & wondered how it happened so quickly. I would say, just try to pay attention to your own "signs" of your pace taking a toll on you. It's hard for us type A's to do that I think, most of us would take more enjoyment in getting just one more load of laundry done than going to bed early maybe reading an extra chapter in a book. They physical sign of the clean house & that one less load of laundry piled up validate that things are in order to our eyes, but doesn't always mean they are internally.

                        Such great advice here! What a great group of mothers. I love this conversation.
                        Lutheran (LCMS) Mom to 4:

                        2017-2018
                        DD (10 yo)- MP 5th
                        DD (8 yo)- MP 3rd
                        DS (6 yo)- MP K
                        DS (3 yo)- Just getting read to & hopefully picking up something from the olders!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Help with Toddler and management

                          I haven’t read all the responses, yet (but will come back for encouragement of my own!!).

                          I have 7 kids under 11, in the middle of morning sickness (and a bad cold!) with number 8.

                          My standards for school aren’t lower, necessarily, but very different than when my 5th grader was in Kindergarten, even 2nd grade. Here’s what I do:

                          School year round, 6 weeks on, 1 week off. I usually use that off week for house projects or cleaning.

                          Don’t worry about grade levels. Some kids go slower, some faster. I just order the next book when they finish. Also, around 3rd grade I start combining kids, so I’m not so stretched. So my 9 and 7 year old boys will be doing the MP Animal curriculum together; the 9 year old and 10 year old just finished the Astronomy together. My 3 and 6 year old are doing Saxon K math (mostly just for the 3 year old to feel not left out. Sometimes he just plays with Bear counters).

                          Some days just do minimum: catechism, piano practice and math is that in our house.

                          Some days (I think this is more for older kids) you might have to stop at 3 to tidy up and do dinner or run errands, but return to recitation or composition one-on-one with the oldest at night (like homework)

                          If any of your kids take morning naps, consider just not starting school until then, and doing chores together from 8-10:30, or whenever

                          I’m not perfect at implementing these, but especially not being tied to the grade levels, and to a Sept-May school year has helped A LOT

                          Haven’t solved when to grade my 5th grader’s Latin and math yet...

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