6 kids...we mostly unschool. 10 year old daughter, 8 year old son, 6 year old son, 5 year old daughter, 3 year old son and 19 month old daughter.
My oldest (daughter, 10) has diabetes and a variety of other health issues. My 6 year old son has sensory integration disorder, learning disabilities, ADHD, and emotional problems. My 5 year old daughter also has sensory integration disorder.
Me, my husband, my baby and my oldest get up around 6:30 or 7. I nurse the baby, while my 10 year old checks her blood sugar, takes her medicine and decides what she wants for breakfast and my husband gets ready for work. He leaves about 7:30 each day.
I put the baby in her high chair with some cheerios and some toys so my daughter and I can get breakfast. Diabetes requires us to count the carbohydrates in everything she eats to dose insulin, which requires some pretty tricky algebra so I count that as math. We eat, and talk, or practice ASL or Italian if she likes. we're almost fluent in ASL since we started learning when she was 6, and she's recently shown an interest in Italian so I'm trying to learn it with her.
The other kids are up between 8 and 830, so I feed them breakfast and they are free to play.
Throughout the day, I help them with their various projects...they read, run, play outside, make music, make a mess, make art projects, play with each other, help me cook (math, life skills, science). We go on nature walks in the local woods and nature park at least a few times a week (science), and outside in the yard or to the playground almost daily (PE). The girls are in dance, the oldest three play soccer and my oldest daughter takes gymnastics. (PE)
I do give my oldest book suggestions and work on phonics with my 8, 6 and 5 year olds daily. I read to my kids every day. I also help my 5 year old with his occupational therapy and my oldest two do a page of math out of a workbook every day, usually before lunch. I also taught piano until the older two were 6 and 3, so they all know at least basic piano. But, when left to their own devices, they learn a lot just by reading, playing and interacting with their world.
- Be flexible
- not everything can happen at once
- let your floors get dirty when everyone needs you at once