I have 10 children from 19 mos up to 19 yo. I don’t have things down perfectly. Sometimes it feels like I can only either get school done
or get the house clean. I have a few things that have been helping me lately. I’m always working on this. One thing that has helped me get the kids to do more chores is www.chorebuster.net It divides the chores among the kids after I filled in the ones that needed to be done and
how often each needed to be done. It allows you to give the younger ones fewer and easier chores. But the kids accept the assignments as fair, because they know a computer assigned them, not me. And each of them gets to learn how to do each chore at their ability level. It takes some time to set it up, but then the program works automatically to assign chores each week. I have an ideal schedule made up, but we hardly ever follow it. Chores are supposed to be done right after breakfast. Then I do together school with the 6 oldest, which consists of my reading aloud to them. I do Bible and History, using books from the Sonlight reading list or other books that are related to the unit we’re studying. I pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead our homeschooling each day, then I do pretty much whatever I think of. Without the help of the Holy Spirit, I can’t think! So whenever a plan or title comes into my mind, I figure that’s Him! I also use the Narrated Bible and Genesis: Finding Our Roots and other books that Heart of Wisdom recommends to do our Bible time. We pray together to start things off. We put our spiritual armor on first thing. I have the 10-year-old and the 8-year-old work on Phonics and Math on their own during this time.
I’ve gotten a lot of help from www.cindyrushton.com for scheduling and doing unit studies and notebooking and lapbooking. This is the schedule I used 3 years ago. I put the 4 oldest together to try to get most things done, then they did math and language arts on their own. Then I grouped the 6 and 8 year old together for some things. The twin 3-year-olds sometimes did preschool with the 6 and 8 yr. olds. They liked being teachers. Sometimes this worked, sometimes it didn’t. The older kids took turns watching the baby while I was reading to them. If the chores hadn’t been finished before school, I had them do them after school. But by that time, my husband was usually home from work, and we had to fix supper. I’m getting the older ones to help with that. And a big thing that someone suggested that really helped me was to have the older kids do their own laundry.
My 16 year old prayed about what his responsibilities should be, and he said the Lord told him to clean the dining room table every day, vacuum around the dining room table and the living room and do the dishes every day. Those are the main things that make the house look company-ready. Since he started doing these chores things have looked pretty good most of the time. If we know someone is coming, usually it doesn’t take too long to make things look pretty spiffy, by my standards! My standards aren’t very high after all these years and all these children, but I know what’s livable for us and what’s reasonable for me to expect.
I am doing school mostly with just Bible, Math and living books. It’s working for us. I feel really good about what my children are learning. We talk about relationships with others, too, and walking in love and forgiveness. Some days we just talk about what the Lord has been laying on my heart or my oldest son’s heart. But I still feel like they’re learning the most important things on those days.
We don’t have a whole lot of fellowship with others. The ones who drop in on us are single people! It’s really hard to get together with other families right now. But I consider it a season that will come to an end some day, and then we can have people over for dinner and go to others’ houses. My main ministry right now is to my own children and husband. I’ve finally accepted the fact that this is enough. God is pleased with me.
As far as crafts and nature study, I think I will take days off from the regular
schedule and devote most of a day to these extra activities.
My menu planning is: I make a list of meals for the week, make a shopping list, go grocery shopping on Sat. or Sun. and then try to remember to look at my list every day when it’s close to meal time! My husband and I go grocery shopping together. It gives me time away from the house and gives us time together.