Wednesday, July 07, 2010

How Do You Manage a Large Family & Homeschooling?

I have a 1-hour radio interview tomorrow with Relevant Radio. When I asked for topic ideas at my Facebook fan page yesterday, I received the two following comments:

I have 9 kids so far. Oldest is 18 youngest is 6 months. The last three were born in less than 3 years. I feel like I neglect the little kids because I'm always working with the big kids. I used to be such a *fun* mom but now I'm getting old, poor, and tired, lol. My big kids do really fun things with my little kids, though. Is that the "norm" in big families or homescholing families? I didn't come from a big family so I don't know. And I wasn't homeschooled.
The classic question of how to balance housework with schoolwork is still a tough one for me. It used to be okay to let the housework go until the weekend, then spend an hour cleaning up. But with six kids making bigger messes, that doesn't fly anymore. I'm with Amy on used to being the fun mom, but now I feel like the drill sergeant. How can we get the fun back and still have a livable space??
So, what is your advice?


Boniface said...

Make the older kids clean up and do the least part of it. Everybody has a responsibility:someone is responsible for folding laundry, another for dishes...littler ones just have to pick up their toys.

Dorian Speed said...

I don't have a large family - 3 kids under age 8, one of whom looooves her craft projects. But I do find it challenging to manage housework, homeschooling, and my other various projects.

I am looking at retooling my weekly schedule for next school year. This year, we tried a little of everything each day - so I would try to do a couple of loads of laundry every day, for example, instead of all at once - and the kids would do the same amount of schoolwork each day, too.

That doesn't seem to be my style - it ends up feeling like I'm constantly being interrupted from whatever task I'm focused on, and nobody is ever finished with anything. Next year, I am going to try to have one day on which we are really intensively schooling - me sitting down with the kids most of the day, doing any science projects, that kind of thing. And one day when the kids are mostly doing workbook-type assignments so that I can be more focused on weekly housecleaning. On days when we have outside activities or appointments, the focus will be getting the minimum done for schoolwork.

The other rule I am hoping to enforce across the board is: Clean Up After Yourself.

Three Daisies and a Dinosuar said...

I have 5 children ages 12 to 8 months and having a little one crawling makes everything harder. Luckly we are childled homeschoolers and that had worked for us. We are planning to be a bit more structured in the fall with everyone working on a Narnia unit study together and we are all very excited about that. Especialy with the Dawn Treader coming out in December.
As for housework I have made a list of daily, weekly and monthly chores and that has really helped along with a weekly menu and I try to stick with it as best I can and not beat myself up about it when I cant.

Kristi said...

Miriam Heppner gave some helpful suggestions at the MN MACHE homeschool conference. Here's her handout:!%20%20I%20Need%20a%20Maid!!.pdf