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#1 of 11 Old 07-26-2013, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#2 of 11 Old 07-26-2013, 06:06 PM
 
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You don't say how old your older children are.  That's going to make a difference.  Are you doing this 5 days a week?

 

ETA:  There are never enough hours in the day!  Your schedule might use some tweaking, but I doubt you can eliminate that feeling entirely.


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#3 of 11 Old 07-26-2013, 07:22 PM
 
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How old are your kids?  Eleven hours between bedtime and wake-up sounds like a lot to me for school-aged kids.  If it's taking them an hour or two to fall asleep, maybe that means they don't need to go to bed so early.  If you let them stay up another hour or two, that would give them time to play with big-kid toys.  And maybe some days you could let them play with big-kid toys instead of having art time.  (Or instead of some of the academic time.)

 

Your day sounds perfectly reasonable to me, but it would also be perfectly reasonable to cut down the amount of official learning time, at least on some days.  My kids (7 and 10) spend way less time than yours on math and English, and they're not falling behind where they would be if they were in school.  You could make one day a week a socialization day, and if you couldn't fit anything academic in that day, that would probably be all right.  Or if you spent most of the day out of the house socializing, the kids could spend an hour in the evening doing academics.  They also don't absolutely have to have 2 hours of outside play time and an hour of art time every day.  You could substitute an out-of-the-house activity like a class or homeschool get-together or a playdate with friends some days.
 

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#4 of 11 Old 07-26-2013, 07:46 PM
 
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We don't do much formal schoolwork, so our schedule is quite different from yours. My kids have tons of free time, but we do have regular activities we do during the week: horseback riding lessons, various courses and activities, etc. We have two weekly get-togethers with other homeschoolers where we do group activities, go to the beach and swim, hang out, etc. I always try to leave at least one day where we have no plans out of the home for spontaneous activities or just to relax. 

 

Last year I only did about 20 minutes of formal work with them, about 2 - 3 times a week. But my kids are both on the spectrum and have limited attention spans. Before that we were strict unschoolers and did no formal work. I plan to increase this time a bit next year and also introduce Project Time (a la Lori Pickert's Project Based Homeschooling) twice a week.

 

I deliberately limit our out-of-home activities as I know from past experience we can get burnt out. The whole point of homeschooling was to have a slow lifestyle, and I'm very pleased in that regard.  


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#5 of 11 Old 07-26-2013, 09:44 PM
 
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Yes, every family is different, every child is different. I too have four kids who were all homeschooled (though the teens are now in high school and college, so only one remains as a homeschooler at this point). I coped with the difficulty in focusing on seatwork with younger siblings around by simply opting not to do much seatwork. My kids did pretty much nothing during the day but play and socialize and chat and learn in self-directed ways. In the evening, when daddy tended to be available to help with younger siblings, or after they younger ones were in bed, we'd carve out a bit of time for one-on-one stuff, whether academic learning or reading together or project work. My kids are night-owls too, and it turned out to be a great time of day for things like math or music practicing or philosophical discussions or whatever. They had had a good meal, and a day full of imagination and physical activity, and they were ready to quiet their bodies and tune into their minds. An awful lot of math learning took place here late into the evening.

 

An 8 pm bedtime sounds really early to me too -- unless your kids are getting up hours and hours before breakfast. All kids are different or course, but my kids have typically needed 9-11 hours of sleep until mid-adolescence, then gradually a little less, so 13 hours seems like a ton to me. If your kids are typically taking more than 15-20 minutes to fall asleep it sounds like you could easily experiment with pushing their bedtime back by an hour -- or maybe further still. I agree with Daffodil about possibly using evenings for some of the things you're having trouble finding time for. Lego, reading, crafts, project work.

 

Also, you might consider finding some dinner recipes that you can prep the evening before so that you can just toss that in the oven at 5 pm, or into the crockpot in the morning, and give the older two back their pre-dinner hour for indoor play. For years I tried to double whatever recipe I was making for dinner, and put half in the freezer for a quick meal another day: maybe that's another possibility?

 

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#6 of 11 Old 07-26-2013, 10:03 PM
 
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In lieu of the bedtime discussions I will add that my 8.5 year old goes to be around 10, we read a story, then I read my ebook by nightlight while he falls asleep. Generally he is out in less than 30 minutes, asleep around 11 or so. He wakes around 8:30. DD is 11 and goes to bed a bit later (they share a room so she comes in after he is asleep). She is usually asleep around midnight and likes to sleep in. Whereas DS needs only about 9 hours of sleep, DD prefers closer to 11. I myself need my 9 or 10 hours. ;-)

 

We are definitely a family of night owls, too. 


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#7 of 11 Old 07-27-2013, 05:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#8 of 11 Old 07-27-2013, 08:50 PM
 
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Could you try some Crockpot freezer meals? The Mama Baby Love blog has a e-cookbook that has recipes and 95% are gluten free (and other allergens too). Not that you have to use them every night but it's nice to have on hand.  

 

Do you feel like your kids NEED more time with others?   Outside time seems like an easy thing to plan with friends.  Plan a hike, meet at the playgroud or just having them play in the back yard with a friend who can come over. 


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#9 of 11 Old 07-27-2013, 09:20 PM
 
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Our children have usually playtime in their rooms in the evening from about 8-9:30pm. They play with Legos or other toys, read library books, etc. Lights go out at 9:30, sometimes later when I'm slow getting up there to do it.

 

As far as socialization and outside activities, we choose to homeschool year round so we can do more fun things and have breaks without me feeling like we're getting behind (though that feeling still does come, I think it's just part of life).


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#10 of 11 Old 07-28-2013, 05:02 AM
 
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Yes, we homeschool year round, too, and that's one reason we're able to be very relaxed about it.  I sometimes forget not everyone does it that way, so it didn't even occur to me to suggest it as a way to free up more time in your daily schedule, but if you take summers off now, maybe changing that would be worth considering.

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#11 of 11 Old 07-28-2013, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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