Thursday, March 11, 2010

Organizing a Big Family - Part 2

I was just reading at Life in a Shoe how she schedules her day.  She's working with 3 other moms on a series of blogs for large families.  Very cool.  I enjoyed reading everyone's post today about how their schedule runs each day.  For so long I have felt like I was a child raising children. In all reality, I just kind of felt stupid about doing this whole large family thing.  But today's post made me realize that I am bit more organized and just slightly more responsible that I thought.  That said, I thought I would also share my typical schedule when we're at home.  (NOTE:  I will probably share my weekly schedule later on.)

Here is our daily schedule (this is the ideal.  I haven't been feeling so energetic at the end of this pregnancy so it doesn't happen everyday):

5:00am   Up, dressed, fix hair, take vitamins, make tea, Quiet time; exercise; get ready for the day (sometimes I don't get to exercise)

6:45am   Head up stairs to help everyone get up and started on Chore Cards.  We loosely follow the ideas from Managers of Their Chores (that is another post).  Ideally we try to have our AM cards (mostly personal hygiene, straightening rooms, & beds made) and Upstairs zones done by 7:30am.  Then we all head downstairs for our Down Chore Cards, kitchen chores, and breakfast.  Breakfast consists of either all morning fruit OR eggs & sausage OR soaked oatmeal.  We attempt to be done by 8am with all this.

8:00am   Start school.  I use the Sue Patrick Workbox System now so this has made getting into school much easier.  I am currently in the process of trying to solidify our curriculum.  There have just been a few things that I am not liking right now so I am seeking God for answers.  We ALWAYS start our day with prayer.  Between snacks/breakfast, naps, and read-alouds, we do school until about noon.

12:00pm   school clean up; everyone has a chore they must do to put the schoolroom back together

12:15pm   free time, making and eating lunch.  I used to have a kitchen helper during this time but it's sense fallen by the wayside.  I hope to implement it again as we've adjusted to the new baby and have fallen back into a good daily routine.

1:00pm   (or there abouts) nap or quiet time.  What you do depends on age.  If you are 3 and younger, you nap. If you are 7 or 5 yod, you play quietly and possible read with mom if there is time.  You might also work on a school project during this time.  If you are 9 and older, you might still have workboxes to finish.  If not, you spend that time reading.  Somedays I allow them to play quietly together downstairs.  Again, once we've adjusted to baby, I am going to re-instate the quiet time ALONE that I had for so long.  I think we all get along better when we do this.

3:00pm   Everyone gets up.  The way we spend this time depends on our day and how organized I really am.  On Monday it's spent on laundry.  It can be different each day.  Ideally I would spend some time with one child for their Mommy time.  We would have a specific chore time.  And finally I would work in my craft room sewing or other projects while my girls work on the handicraft they are currently learning.  Oh, I also spend about 30 minutes of this time getting workboxes ready for the next day.  Again, all this depends on the day and some of it is ideal. . .it doesn't happen like I like it.

5:00pm    Putting it all Back Together.  This is our major daily clean up.  Everyone has specific chore cards for this time.  I typically start dinner and/or help the boys with their chore cards.  On certain night this might also be the time when Underdog gives baths to the littles.

6:00pm   Our ideal time for dinner.

6:30pm   Kitchen clean up.  Everyone has a chore to do for kitchen clean up.  Mine changes with the age of children and presence of babies.

7:00pm  Huddle time with everyone

7:30pm   Going to Bed Chore Cards.  This includes personal hygiene, picking out clothes for tomorrow, straightening rooms one more time.

7:45pm   Littles to bed; huddle time/reading time for Bigs with Daddy;  Mom's free time begins (sometimes I spend it with Dad and the Bigs)

8:45pm   Bigs to bed (10 1/2 yod stays up to read until 9pm

It's still free time for me and sometimes Underdog joins me.

10:30pm  Lights out.  I would love to say that I have lights out by 9:45 or 10pm but it's honestly not happening right now.  When I am working out regularly it is happening.  Underdog and I keep each other accountable in this so we've been slacking with each other.

So this is a typical and sometimes more ideal day.  It doesn't always happen this way but it is what we strive for each day.  We've been in a funk recently so some of this has gotten lost in the shuffle of chaotic living.  Both Underdog and I are hoping to see some of our normalcy return as we settle in with Julianne and everyone begins to recognize her as part of the family.

In my next post, I try to write on the some of the "systems" that I have in play that help keep the house running along with including more of my little organizational gems in the house.

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