A Day with 6 Kids

Describe your average homeschool day and give new homeschoolers an idea of what to expect!

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A Day with 6 Kids

Postby Ramona » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:32 pm

Before I tell you about our day, let me say that we homeschool year-round while still taking 3 months off each year. (Our vacation months just don't come all together. We take August, December and April off.) So right now we're not doing school, but what I'll tell about is a day when we are doing school.

At 5:15 my oldest son's alarm rings and he wakes up his sister who's a year younger so they can get ready for early-morning religion class at the church with all the public high school members. They shower, dress, eat breakfast and get ready to go. At 5:50 our radio comes on and the baby next to me rolls over and starts nursing while DH throws on some sweats and rides along as DS (who has his permit) drives to the church, and then DH comes home and starts working (he writes questions for jr-high and high-school level quiz competitions). Sometime between 6 and 7 the other girls usually start waking up and playing. They are 12, 6 and 3. At 6:45 DH goes back to the church and DS drives home. He and his sister can study for tomorrow's religion class, play, do other school work, or whatever they want for about a half hour.

7:30 is breakfast time. Anyone who's awake and hasn't eaten yet or wants more gathers in the kitchen/dining area and has family prayer and a blessing on the food. The 5 oldest family members take turns helping the 3 littlest ones get something to eat. Usually we each have whatever kind of cold cereal we like, although sometimes someone goes for toast, eggs, muffins and bacon, pancakes and sausage, or hot mush. Every once in a while we have a hot breakfast together on a Saturday morning.

At 8:00 the 4 oldest children start doing the housework. First they clean up after breakfast, then wash a load of dishes and a load of laundry. Finally they do one chore from a filebox I created with a different chore for each day of the month. (Most chores repeat every 6 days. They do chores on Saturday too, but not Sundays. Sunday's chore must be done either on Saturday or Monday.) The two little ones may help as much or as little as they want to. The older ones are supposed to teach them to do anything they express interest in. The children have been doing the housework for about 5 years. They're not perfect, but they're very good at it most of the time.

At 9:00 on Monday we start school. The other 4 days those who are taking any kind of music lessons are supposed to practice the week's assignments. Those who are studying more than one instrument can squeeze both into half an hour or do the second one in the afternoon or evening.

9:30 is snack time. It's also supposed to be the start of school, but snacks usually take longer than Mommy would like, so more often than not school doesn't get going till 9:45 or 10.

We start by gathering in one room and having an "opening song" which may be a hymn or religious children's song, a holiday song of the season, or any song we like. One of our favorites is the old folk song "School Days." Then we pray for help to listen to Mommy and remember what we're taught. As soon as everyone has said "Amen," the baby yells, "Da-a!" This is his word for "flag" and flags are his favorite thing in the whole world. He can spot a flag at any distance. He knows that after opening prayer comes the flag salute. We get out large and small flags for everyone who wants to hold one and say the Pledge and sing the Anthem. Then we post our large flag in the bracket on the front porch and put the other flags away.

Next I ask what day it is and the kids all shout out today's date. Once they figure out the correct day and date, I have them all say it together in chorus, then write it across the top of the whiteboard in the family room. Then I ask what we have to do today and we discuss our duties, calendar items, family events like cousins' birthdays, upcoming things to prep for today, etc. Next I read a short scripture story and then the family scatters to the winds.

Those too young for the early-morning religion class take turns doing religion lessons with me while the others rotate around tending younger siblings, starting science assignments, etc. After religion, I do science with anyone who needs help, then math. These are our subjects on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Monday we have music and art lessons, and on Friday we go on a field trip. When each child finishes the day's science lesson s/he either gets some exercise (preferably outdoors) or does some silent reading for fun. Anyone who's available starts the next load of laundry as soon as the first one has finished washing.

At 11:30 the children have lunch. Each older one is assigned to help one of the littler ones. They usually have sandwiches, but soup and pasta are also popular choices. While they eat, I read aloud from a classic chapter book like one of Laura Ingalls Wilder's or Frances Hodgson Burnett's. After their lunch those who need naps lie down, and mom and dad eat. In the quiet, the others try to get as much schoolwork done as possible. After math comes language arts and then social studies. On Friday after the field trip we do foreign languages. Those who have permits are supposed to study driving sometime between or after other subjects. Preschoolers get time to listen to Mommy read stories, color, and play every day. Some days they also play with play dough or play board games.

Some days we gather when everyone's lessons are done and talk about what everyone learned, then finish with a closing song and prayer. But most of the time at least one person has some activity to go to or some errand to run. Sometimes we have places to go earlier in the day that interrupt our school schedule, but we try to keep those to a minimum. Sometimes we have a snack time in the middle of the afternoon, but that tends to be more "to-each-his-own." If Daddy is free after school he often takes all the kids to the park through the block.

The 5 big people take turns fixing supper. We try to have supper at 6:00, and most evenings at least one person has some meeting or activity to go to afterward. At 7:30 Mommy announces that it's time to put toys away and then we put on jammies, brush teeth, read scripture, and have family prayer. Then Daddy tucks everyone in and hears the little ones' prayers.

Mom and Dad usually go to bed by about 10:30.

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Thanks from a new hs mom of 4!

Postby wendi.t.momof4 » Sat Aug 19, 2006 9:06 am

:D Hi!
Thanks for sharing your hs day with us all! This will be my first year hs all four of my kids-hs my oldest son when he was in k-1st and it was not a good experience(ex-husband was a meanie :( Anyway, you have a lot of cool tips to share and I appreciate it!
Have a blessed day!
Wendi :D
Jeremiah 29;11-13

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Re: A Day with 6 Kids

Postby Ramona » Sat Aug 19, 2006 2:19 pm

Oh, and I forgot to say that DH does all the math lessons with our two oldest. He started that when they were in seventh grade because it makes him feel good. He loves math and he wants to be involved in educating the kids.


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great ideas

Postby twoducksmaybethree » Sun Aug 20, 2006 3:22 pm

I appreciate you sharing your ideas. What could be better to get everyone excited about the day than to sing songs together. Believe it or not, just telling your story encourages those of us who haven't begun yet. Thanks again.

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Postby jan » Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:52 pm



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Update Re: A Day with 6 Kids

Postby Ramona » Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:26 pm

Another term has come and gone since I wrote this, so I thought it might be interesting to update it here and there.

DS1 got his license this term, so DH no longer has to ride along to early-morning religion. Yea!

DH has also been working 2 days a week teaching remedial math at our local university. It's been good and bad. He likes the income. The kids and I took advantage of his being gone to practice a big Christmas music program which we put on to surprise him the first Monday evening after Thanksgiving. But I really prefer to have him home as much as possible!

We have been learning to understand more of the baby's words this term, and we figured out that the reason he always yells "da-a" at flag time is because he is saying "stars." It just sounded like "da-a" to our clueless ears. LOL! (His "s" is pretty silent, his "t" is a bit voiced because of following the silent "s," and his "r" comes out like a second "a." All pretty typical at his stage of speech development.) I think "stars" is a good way to describe a US flag! :D

This past term I also assigned one of the two oldest kids to teach the religion lesson to DD3 and DD4 most days. It worked really well!

DS has been working half time this term. At first his hours were 7-11, then once he got his license he switched to 11-3. It's tough on me to have him gone, but working is a step I've always wanted him to take so I have to suck it up. :wink: On Mondays he gets credit for 2 lessons as "work co-op" and the rest of the days he squeezes all his subjects in around work.

Life goes on!

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Postby Ramona » Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:56 am

We now have 7 kids. :D

Our oldest is still living at home but attending two local colleges.

Our youngest was born on Sunday morning, so we are taking this week off and doing no lessons.

The fun goes on!


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Postby 4given » Fri Oct 26, 2007 12:16 pm

Congratulations for baby number 7! You are definitely blessed with a quiver full! :lol:

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Postby gellegbs » Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:27 pm

I know this might be a dumb question but what kind of car do you have to fit them all?

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Postby Ramona » Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:46 pm

Not a dumb question at all! It's a huge issue for us.

Right now we don't have a car that fits all 9 of us.

We have a Chevy Astro that did fit us all until the baby was born. (Happy 4-month Day, Baby Girl!)

I wanted a second economy car but I didn't shop very well or even pay attention to what I was doing at the used-car dealer and I ended up with a Pontiac Grand Am. So that's our small car. Blecchh!!

Over the holidays we rented a Ford Econoline so we could all go to Grandpa's together. We'll never do that again!

Since our oldest is in college and planning to move out in less than a year, we don't plan to buy a larger vehicle.



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Postby c0s » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:49 am

Wow. That's a big post you wrote their, and can be very good for future parents that are looking to homeschool their kids ( Like me ) I Like that your vacation months are very distant too.

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