1. I make sure the kids get in bed at a decent hour- the 2 year old is in bed by 7:30 and the boys get in bed by 8:00 (they can leave the light on and read and whisper for awhile, but they are in bed)
2. I make sure the kids do not get up before 7:30. the boys know this and have a clock. The 2 year old does not know how to tell time but I will send her back to bed to play quietly if she gets up before 7:30
3. I make all 3 kids have quiet time in the afternoon. They are separated and by themselves but they can play or read, play cds, whatever they want as long as they don't scream and yell or come out of their designated room.
After reading all of this it may sound like I never want to be with the kids! Actually, I think when you structure your day, it makes the time together better. We are together for the whole morning and have a lot of interaction with story time and school work together. Before and after quiet time is for playing outside or running errands, etc. Every meal is spent together (altho lunchtime is when the laptop comes to the table with me). I think when you stay home with your kids - you all need time apart and also alone time to read and be quiet.
4. I stick to the curriculum for homeschool with the exception of adding lots of library books and field trips. I have found a curriculum that I trust and like, so we don't continue to research for more textbooks. (that is the way it will be for us unless something is not working). This is not to say it is the right way- just what works for our family at this moment.
5. I beg my husband to be my alarm clock and make me get up early so that I can read my Bible and pray and get ready before the kids get up. This is the only way it works for me. What a different perspective you have for the day when you immerse yourself in God's word. Although I need to continue to meditate and pray during the day because I get so sidetracked and selfish and rotten and my focus gets OFF of where it should be!!
6. We work to set aside a time each week just for housecleaning. Most Fridays a sweet friend comes over and watches the kids for several hours and I get the mopping, bathrooms, dusting, etc done. Then the rest of the week I just try to keep up with laundry and dishes (the kids do the floors, make beds, empty trash, pick up every morning). Otherwise a person would be cleaning the house every minute of the day! When you stay at home with 3 kids it is always messy- so we just stick to this schedule and if things are messy, they are messy and I will deal with it when it is time. I have given up the dream of a spotless house- there are WAY too many other things to do than clean every day :)
7. Dave and I have worked time into the week just so I can paint. This is priceless. With 3 kids who need their momma- I am grateful for time uninterrupted to get some of this work done. And they love time with Dad- he has light saber fights with them.
8. Getting on the treadmill 3 or 4 times a week has helped with my energy. Not sure if this is partly due to my kids getting a little older- I don't have babies to get up with- but in any case- I have a lot more energy. I can work through nap time instead of napping through nap time.
9. I have an irresistible urge to create- and this is why the decorating and painting gets done. Everyone asks how I get it all done....most times it is not a planned thing- like the decoupaged and painted wall on Saturday night- there was the urge- I had the supplies on hand- the kids were in bed- I do it! Don't think about it - do it! Also, it helps to take on small parts. The kitchen as a whole is a huge job, but wall by wall- it can get done.
It also helps to have a very sweet husband who lets me paint whatever wall I want. Here he is wearing the tie Gigi made for Christmas, and blowing a kiss to her.
10. I get a lot of blogging done because I love to blog! I blog instead of watch TV (except for 24). So when I need to sit for awhile and relax I blog and blog and save posts to use for another day.
I would love to hear how you schedule your days. How do you get it all done? Do you clean your house once a week or everyday?