I should clarify a bit. I posted previously from my phone and was being concise. for my thumbs sake.
I plan a routine and order the subjects, but it rarely goes exactly according to plan. I don't really care what they work on first, but for the sake of planning, I like to know how long we'll spend on a subject. So even though you see a specific order on our chart, our days are usually different from this. It's my tool and I'd like for each day to proceed accordingly, but life happens and the baby poops or the washing machine breaks or whatever. However, when I work on spelling with one, the other will know that he/she has something to work on while I'm occupied.
If both older ones are occupied with independent work at the same time, I'll read/play with the littles, do laundry, make a meal or check this forum or email.
Also, I help the 10 and 7 year old any time needed. I didn't mean to imply I hand them a list and that's it. We do it all together until they show aptitude for doing it alone. This is imperative for me with 4 kids.
DD10 and I have math issues . For some reason, I cannot explain things for her as well as I'd like. We switched to Teaching Textbooks for a while b/c of this and it was a great change of pace for her, but we've come back to Ray's Arithmetic, a true mastery approach. TT began to move too fast and jump around too much for either of our likings. Occasionally I will have to explain something a different way, but thus far it is basic arithmetic and she's capable now of reading the instructions and completing it on her own, most of the time. If she's stuck, she'll ask. I'll help her with grammar, too, if need be, but really the rest she just does.
DD7 is just easy. He takes his list and he's off. He's picked up reading quite easily, more so than his older sister even. He isn't a super smart genius or anything, but he is bright and he likes learning.
The BIGGEST help to me by far is that my kids are trained to know what is expected and they desire to reach the level of expectation placed upon them. Taking pains to work on the habits in the young years has paid off and now our days are on the way to being smooth and easy. If it is an issue of poor habits and desiring to be spoon-fed, then figure out which habits you want to work on and devote the necessary time to it. One simple idea, use a timer and set the lesson before them, giving 15 minutes to complete the lesson. This is where the habit of attention comes in. Also, don't forget to vary the lessons and use different parts of the brain to keep things fresh.
I don't worry about when mine achieve something in relation to others, but when they are ready to learn. If it's taking your kids longer, then walk with them and guide them as long as needed, but be aware and discern whether it is a true need or simply trying to get out of the work. When you know that they are capable, slowly turn their work over to them bit by bit, checking up of course.
I need to run, but hopefully that explains what we do a bit better.