The days I only had three wee ones at home seemed long and odious. They were young: newborn, 2, and 4. What I thought was a trying days, only became more trying, as we built our large family.

Shoot, I was young!

I really didn’t want to stay home with them at first. I wanted to work and succeed and be productive! I wanted to do something I was proud of, and in turn, others would look up to me. I had no idea what I would do all day with little kids.

Things Change

Fast forward to today, a stay at home mom of 8!! And I love it!

And let me tell you … I do work, I am succeeding, and I am productive. Most days.

There is a method to my madness and to some it may look like chaos. But it’s my chaos. There is a level of organization required to keep ten separate individuals simultaneously running on the same course. And to throw a wrench in that beautiful picture, those ten people are of different age groups with varying skill levels.

If you want help setting up your homeschool year be sure to check out my Planning your Homeschool series.

I love to organize things and see them fall into a wonderful pattern of completeness. My kids are slightly annoyed at the fact that I like straight lines and grouped pairs and matching colors and finished products. They stretch a little and I give a little to make each day run smoothly.

How do we get through a day?

In this week’s “Our Life in Five” we give you a glimpse of a “normal” homeschool day for us. I’m not going to get into curriculum choices or homeschooling method here, but will let you know I’m a little relaxed.

“Our Life in Five” this week showcases our daily schedule. Although I don’t set hard times for each activity, I have a basic schedule for each day.

Scheduling a relaxed homeschool.

Tip #1: Realistic Expectations

The kids behave so much better if they know what is expected of them. I have realistic expectations of what should happen during a block of time, but also have grace when not everything gets finished.  Of course it doesn’t ever go 100% smoothly, but then where would the excitement be? 

Tip #2: Be Consistent

I’m going to follow that with be consistent. There is no routine if mom doesn’t reinforce it daily. Skipping one day of routine creates a lot more work for me on the following day.

Tip #3: Be Flexible

Give up with defining set times because it just frustrates everyone involved. Every day offers it’s own challenges and we need to be able to bend in order to bring order into the chaos. I have a basic framework for the day which holds it all together. Mealtimes, quiet time and bed time are set times. This frame gives us the morning block, the afternoon block and the evening block.

My kids know that certain things have to be accomplished before lunch. Some days lunch is late and outside time is skipped before quiet time. The kids know if they take too long in chores, they will miss some free time during the day.

How to schedule a relaxed homeschool day with a large family.

Tip #4: Accept Help

Accept help. I pair my big kids with my littles. Everyone has a buddy. The big buddy helps the little buddy with their chores, their schoolwork, getting dressed and more. And I realize that not everyone is yet blessed with teenagers to help, but I know other families that accept help with the laundry or tutoring. Maybe your husband is your outside help. He can teach a subject on the weekends or be in charge of breakfast if his job allows. Get creative. Just like my mama always told me, “you can’t do everything, no matter how hard you want to.”

I am a very busy person. Slowing down and discovering that less is more, has been a long journey for me. I pray that you find the beauty in your daily life, and learn the importance of saying no, so that your daily routine is protected. Our family has found so much more joy and peace with each other since I learned to slow down and just enjoy the day.

Please enjoy our very first family video! Have grace as we are learning, but it was so much fun to put this together for you!

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