4 Moms, 35 Kids – Our Schedule

Welcome to the first edition of the new weekly series of 4 Moms, 35 Kids – How Moms of Many Manage!

The topic under discussion from all 4 moms today is scheduling in a large family.

When I taught in the public school system, if a child felt ill or had a cut, I would send them to the nurse. Former best friends bickering? Off to the counselor. A child in need of disciplinary action? Go see the principal. Time for lunch? Line up! The lunch ladies have your lunch waiting for you!

Even though I dealt with these kinds of interruptions on a daily basis, I was still able to stick to my classroom schedule because I was able to delegate.

But now, as a homeschool mom? Not so much.

I AM the nurse, the counselor, and the lunch lady all rolled into one.  And if I have to call the principal and he makes a “home visit”, well that pretty much takes a chunk out of our day because he usually ends up spending a fair amount of time addressing the issue at hand. Plus, he may or may not want me to make him a sandwich after that. There’s that whole lunch lady thing, ya know.

Which reminds me. Do you know what I need? A staff. I need a few employees and this whole gig would be much simpler.

Wait a minute. You have to pay employees, right? Never mind then. As you were.

My point is that even though we have a schedule, it is more of a target to shoot for because there has NEVER been a single day without interruptions.

One thing I have learned in the many revisions I have done to our schedule, is to pad it with extra time. Even though it doesn’t take a full 30 minutes for me give a dictation test, I assign a 30 minute time slot to give room for interruptions.

Another lesson learned is to schedule the readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic early in the day and leave the other subjects for the afternoon. That way, if our day goes seriously haywire, we will have (hopefully) knocked out the *most important subjects.

*Don’t be gettin’ all up in my grill, science geeks! I call ‘em like I see ‘em.

We have our most critical chores scheduled after meal times because no matter what happens, we’ll still be eating, right?

Even with all the scheduling, though, there are always things that get left undone. The trick is to arrange and rearrange so it’s not the same thing that is constantly being left undone. Everybody likes clean underwear, so if the laundry is left undone one day, we scramble to make sure it gets done the next.

We are constantly revising, rearranging, reevaluating. We are a work in progress.

For more on Smockity scheduling see the following:

Now, be sure to go visit the rest of the 4 Moms to see what they have to say about how they manage their schedules! (Do any of them use the term “up in my grill”? Just curious.)

Life in a Shoe

Raising Olives

The Common Room

And by all means, you won’t want to miss our next installment, next Thursday, when we will each be live blogging our schedule with multiple updates throughout the day!

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Comments

  1. I’ve been trying to scheudle and even though we don’t always stick to it, it really helps things move along. My house is still a mess though, but then it was a mess before my 3 kids so what can I say:)

  2. Thanks for sharing this! I only have 4 children but we are in desperated need of scheduling. I watched your video on the post it note schedule and it is awesome ( might be that my unusual love of post it notes makes me love it even more).
    Right now two of my 4 kids go to public schools……I’m still debating homeschooling in my home……do you think I could make a schedule like this work even with a public school schedule?

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      @Mindy Curtis, I think you could definitely make this schedule work in any form. You could just have a large gap (like my “lunch” gap) for “school”, or if you were super industrious, you could fill in those time slots w/ activities for you, like grocery shopping, laundry, etc.

  3. Looking forward to this series! I’m so glad you organized it. I only have 2 kids so far, but I love reading about your experiences and hope to learn from you all!

  4. Super post! I also have found that it’s really important to pad the schedule, because things ALWAYS take much longer than I think they will.=)

  5. Love this!

    You know when you said you need a staff? Just wait until your kids are older! I have built in staff now – it’s awesome!

  6. Great post, thanks for sharing

  7. Oh my goodness, you’re right on the money about having to play all the roles as a homeschool mom. I used to teach outside the home as well, and sometimes when I’m frustrated, I wonder how I could manage a classroom with 20+ of other people’s children, but can’t seem to manage 4 of my own!

    One thing I’ve been really struggling with is that the method of homeschooling we’ve chosen is really, really time intensive, especially on my part. I’m wondering if maybe it’s something I have to sacrifice or at least compromise on because it’s just too difficult to do with 4 children.

  8. I enjoyed reading your schedule. I am a schedule girl and I love the planning. I have learned to let it go too though on days when I cannot control it!

    I loved your video for gravy. My dh usually makes the gravy because he is the best! My mom always used water to thin it out if it was too thick. We also like to really brown the flour for flavor. I thought it was great that you were talking to your kids about clothing for church, admitted the whisk was dirty in the dishwasher and even spilled a little gravy during the video. That is real life when making gravy isn’t it! :) I look forward to reading more! Blessings, Eva

  9. Oh, I am so glad y’all are doing this series ’cause I need serious help in this area of schedules.

  10. It seems like there is always something that doesn’t get done. As long as it’s not the same thing every day then things usually turn out all right.

  11. I have GOT to re-vamp what we are doing here at home in terms of schedule (or lack thereof)

    I’m drowning in work and my little people are bored.

    I’m off to check out your other posts. :)

    -Lauren

  12. You are so real…..I LOVE it! Thanks, I need it.

    I have the book MOTH, actually I have had it for years. I even went and see the Maxwell’s do a weekend conference. I STILL haven’t implemented the book.

    I am definitely going to pull it out today, reread some key chapters and get busy making my chart. I watched your video last week of your color coded poster board with sticky notes. I loved it so much I went out and bought a poster board and stickies!!!

    I will keep you updated. Can’t wait for next Thursday and the updates throughout the day.

    On a side note, I had Jaynee as a swap partner a few years ago. What an awesome woman of God.

  13. Thank you for sharing! You are SO right about padding the schedule. It’s not the math or spelling that takes 30 minutes, but the phone call, the baby who tee-teed in the floor, the laundry, etc. I’m already enjoying this series!

  14. Love this series! Great idea!
    Thanks for sharing~

  15. Connie – do you think the Managers of Their Homes would be overkill for just my 3 kids? As a side note, I am not at all organized and can’t seem to keep our home tidy right now, so I’m looking for help in some way. Thanks!

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      @Amy S, I think it would work for any family as long as you remember to take your personality and family’s preferences in mind.

      My children get stressed out if I am too rigid with it, so I have learned to be more relaxed and use it more as a guide instead of a strict schedule.

  16. Ha! Only on homeschool sites do you get comments that start off “I only have four children…”. I only have four also, but my husband is one of eleven, so that has always kinda been my attitude too.

    I agree with you on science – My degree is in biology with a chem minor, but science is the subject we tend to short the most, prob because I’ve already been there and done that. History, on the other hand is all news to me, so we never skip it! Besides, my two oldest went to public elementary school, because we didn’t know any better back then, and all they ever did in science was the food chain and the water cycle and of course RECYCLING. So just be sure you cover those and your good to go! Seriously, if you wanted any extra science you had to sign up and pay for after school “Hands On” science. I do suspect that the recycling curriculum has been updated with global warning now but I don’t know for sure – you might want to hit that too. The number one rule of recycling class is that if you cover your trash in glitter glue and googly eyes and THEN throw it away, it’s much better for the planet, and baby animals will be saved. I’m not sure what kind of projects are approp for the study of global warming – maybe making snow cream?

  17. *raises hand* I say “up in my (her) grill” all. the. time. Especially when I’m telling one of the big kids to leave the baby alone.

    But really, that’s not all I got out of your post. I definitely need to remember to add extra time to activities, even if it’s just to save my sanity.

    And now I’m off to check out your links to get some more great information!

  18. HA! You made me laugh out loud! I love you! You are so fun. This is the first time I’ve read your blog. I’m sticking you on my blog roll so I don’t forget to come back!

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