How do you fit it all in? Is the question I hear from just about everyone. The answer is simple: Prioritize. Here's a response to an email from Juli who asks: Is there time for everything?

    I have to constantly and consciously make time for the most important things. When there are lots of things to do, I usually make a list, prioritize, then go down the list one by one.

    DH stays home and we run the daycare and homeschool together, taking turns doing each and giving each other breaks. We all work together as a family and that's most of our family time.

    I get up early, often, to read email.

    My personality requires alone time daily. After daycare and after family dinner, I usually go to my room and spend an hour or two reading the Bible, preparing lessons, writing letters, reading, or ? Our kids are teens and they spend that time with dh, internet time, or in their rooms listening to music, doing homework, out with friends, or doing whatever. The late evening, DH and I spend together, just the two of us...sometimes it's hours, sometimes it's a few minutes.

    On Saturday our daughter and I do the grocery shopping as well as hit the thrift stores and browse for items for her room, daycare equipment, and whatever. We have lots of fun without the guys and we go out to lunch. Our son and DH stay home and work on guy projects (cars, carpentry, etc.) We usually bring them a special lunch home.

    Sunday, we have family worship (our kids go to a youth group on Wednesday nights and we worship at home the rest of the week). I spend the whole day in my p.j.s. After worship, I usually spend the day on the internet, napping, cooking something special, or? I do relaxing things....a day of rest.

    A little game I try to play during the week is to do as much of the house work as possible during daycare hours. I will ask our own children, "Do you want to switch the laundry or read the daycare kids a book?" or "Do you want to load the dishwasher or play Ring-Around-the-Rosie's with the kids?" or "Do you want to cook dinner or do art with the kids?" That way, if our teens are tired of toddlers, they have an option to do something different and the housework gets done.

    We have a VERY relaxed view on homeschooling. We cover the basics with formal curriculum, but most of the schooling is life....they read library books, look up things on the internet, watch PBS programs about lots of subjects, and of course, lots and lots of child development is happening right here at home.

    I started out with a ridged textbook schooling, but quickly found out it wasn't going to work for us. When I went to no school at all, our son taught himself to read, add and subtract, etc. I found playing games and answering their natural questions they learned way more than from a text book. Gradually I've added more and more required reading and writing.

    Something that is also important to us is that our children are productive members of society....they can do laundry, dishes, cook, care for the dog, watch kids, etc. We started at a young age with these things (both dh and I were not required to do these things as children). I really feel this is just as important as academics.

I hope that answers the question.
~ Pamm

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