Monday, November 24, 2008

Well, Here we are...

I finally did it. I have been trying to move over to my own website (and am slowly moving my entries from homeschoolblogger over here...), but have finally gotten my own domain registered and working. Thanks bunches to my brother for all his working with my ineptitude. Feel free to subscribe to the feed... it won't be long before I am here permanently.

Not only are we moving around on the web, we are moving around in my house also. See, when we moved here, we had 6 children ages 11 to 8 months. They were pretty small. Fast forward four years, and I have 9 children ages 15 (almost 16) to 4 months. There are more of them, they are bigger, and they are noisier. I have never been able to handle the noise very well. (Ironic God gave me 9 children and sensitive ears, isn't it?!) They also stay up later, so I have people around me from the minute I wake up in the morning until the minute I go to sleep at night. We were needing some serious re-visiting of where everyone is in the house. For the sake of my sanity, you know. Those in patient treatment facilities are way out of the budget.

Sometimes it just works that you need to re-think the flow of your day, and how you are going to run everything. Where will everyone be? Will there be traffic jams? Can you anticipate trouble areas? Thinking fresh sometimes finds a solution you didn't see before.

Anyone who knows me at all knows I LOVE to move around furniture. Every few months I get this gleam in my eye, and anyone who can be found is trapped into hauling furniture from one place to another. They all roll their eyes and humor me. For I AM my mother's daughter after all. She does the same thing. I come by it honestly.

Eric always lets the boys know that they are getting plenty of practice for when they are married, and their wives ask them to do this very same thing. He also spends much time reminding them that many times their wives will ask them to do things which don't make sense, but men just do them so they can love their wives. He begs Angela to remember this when SHE is married and wanting a change of living room arrangement. She smiles while rubbing her shoulder muscles. The boys groan when I ask for things to be moved in yet another arrangement. I pretend not to hear a bit of it since I am mentally trying to figure out how to get our current furniture to work better in a room which still has the same awkward dimensions.

I was in desperate need of figuring out new places for everyone. I have 5 independent scholars, a kindergartner, and the three and under crowd. (Three of them.) Having them all in the same area was just too chaotic. So we rearranged. Now the three girls are in the rooms upstairs, each in their own spaces so they don't bother each other. The two boys are each in their rooms. The kindergartner is at the table with me, and I am able to work on keeping the three and under crown under control, which is not as easy as it sounds.

This has really helped the last two weeks. I have not felt I am ready to lose my mind even once recently. So here's my take home tidbit for you... find a place for everyone. Train them to STAY THERE! Train them to work without you watching them every minute of the day.

Keep posted this week... this post is one of at least 3 "How do you do it?" I posts I am planning for the next few days. Upcoming topics will include Children and Chores, and Keeping Track of It All...

I often get asked how I "Do It All". Anyone who knows me in real life knows I don't even TRY to "Do It All", and much of what I DO try fails miserably. And what works in MY family won't necessarily work in yours. So rather than specifics, I hope to share principles which will help you.

1) Everyone have a place...
2) Everyone stay there unless called by Mama.

Let me know if this works for you! I'd love to hear from you either via e-mail OR comments! Happy planning!


  1. oh i need to ask you. how do you keep your toddlers busy? i'm asking because of Elyse. i notice that if she's bored, well she's all whinny and wants to own the TV.

  2. So, what do ya think? I'm thinking of starting a new Mister Linky on Thursdays about homeschooling. Any thoughts?

  3. I'll be glad to write on homeschooling... those are other parts of my "How I do It" that I have marinating.

    Christina - Elyse is at a hard age to occupy. But it is possible! The worst age for keeping them occupied is actually 18 months to about 2. After that I find it easier and easier to keep them calm. Although if you have not tried teaching her to quietly play it may take longer.

    But don't think I have it down. Today I used the TV. ;) One thing I do is only let there be one thing out at a time... the dollhouse stuff, or the tea party stuff. Or maybe the Lincoln Logs and the animals together. Something like that. Then I ask that they play for a while at it. Ideally I am going to have a day assigned to each toy, but not yet.

    This gets easier as they get older. Nathan is almost 4 - he can play a lot longer than Mercy can. It also depends on personality. I expect at almost 4, Mercy will play MUCH longer than Nate does, because he is a Wild Man. She is much quieter.

    So we might color for a bit. Then play with the train for a while. Then puzzles for a bit. Something like that. I may give them input on choosing a toy, but I choose when it gets to be changed. And I don't always let them choose the toy, either.

    If you want lots of ideas, I would google Homeschooling with preschoolers and you should get lots of ideas for occupying them. I have heard that playdo works for a long time, but since it also gets into every carpet in the house I don't use that.