Encouragement and scheduling ideas

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  • Ruralmama

    Any other mothers here with more than 4 children and or babies and toddlers?

    Want to share chore routines, school routines, lunch plans, how to fit it all in…?

    We’re expecting 6 this summer! With 3 in school, an eager preschooler and a toddler, I’m wondering how to fit it all in. Oldest 11 is not independent and has trouble with spelling and writing…how about some expectations here? Next can read and do much school on her own…


    We have five, seven and under. The oldest is a year old. Honestly? Our current realistic school day looks a lot more like unschooling than Charlotte Mason, which is not exactly what my ideal is, but I do know the children are learning almost every minute of the day, and we will continue to press forward towards a bit more structure. 🙂


    As far as routines, that is an area that I have really fallen down in. We moved this past August, and we have been catching just one sickness after another since then to seems. My husband is also taking his final semester in school, so although he contributes where he can, I am pretty much on my own most of the time. Life is a little overwhelming right now 🙂

    I am having to learn:

    A. “His strength is made perfect in weakness.”

    B. To give myself grace where it is needed. This is a season, and I need to recognize where God has me right now instead of straining against the bit, which is counterproductive and diminishes my appreciation of the blessings associated with this season.

    C. Don’t “give myself grace” where it is merely my own lack of discipline and character that is causing whatever issues arise 🙂

    On a good day (where we actually follow a rhythm instead of flying  by the seat of our pants from one thing to the next), we listen to hymns during breakfast, and then do a quick tidy up of breakfast dishes and whatever is laying about in the main part of the house (+/- 10 minutes). Then the kids are free to run off a bit of energy either outside or upstairs for 15 minutes or so while I finish up or prep what’s needed. Then we begin school around 9, and try to be pretty dedicated for 2.5 hours. We loosely use the scheduling cards from A Delectable Education, which have been very helpful.


    After school, the kids run outside for half an hour while I prep lunch. We eat, then then clean up after lunch and whatever mess has magically happened since the morning. Then the kids help me on chores/house stuff for half an hour or so, and then every body has quiet time for an hour or so. They get up one at a time for piano lessons, and then we have tea time around 3 (whatever snacks I can throw together and some sort of drink, whether juice, milk, whatever) and read a few poems together. After tea time, the older 4 scamper outside until 6 or so when I call them in to get ready for supper.


    Like I said, that’s a “good” day. Most of our days miss some or all of that, but when there are no extenuating circumstances and when I am dedicated enough to stick to the rhythm, it is a very fulfilling and well balanced day.


    The younger children, of course, don’t do everything. They sit in through a lot of the school time, though, and are free to do play dough/puzzles/legos etc while listening. The littlest one takes a nap or two throughout the day, and has a large “baby pen” in the school room where she can roam and play during school. The rest of the day she’s attached to my hip.

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