Someone has asked regarding my Pulling Things Together Again posts, “What (are) your children doing during your large chunks of time (& what are their current ages)? With my little ones at age 9, 8, and 7, I can’t quite imagine the day when I will have large chunks of time ever again!!”
I’ll share with you what my kids did yesterday during my chunks of time, and while I was doing supper prep. The kids home yesterday were 12 (almost 13) year old Virginia, 14 year old Luke, and 17 year old Jess.
In the morning chunk, Luke and Jess were strawberry picking until 11 am, then came home. Jessica bathed a dog, took all three dogs for a walk with Luke. Then, Luke picked lettuce from the garden and washed it for lunch. jess then helped make lunch with me. Virginia, from 9 to noon, (among her other pursuits), cleaned the kitchen for the family – dishes, loading dishwasher, and tipped the strawberries the others brought home before lunch.
In the afternoon chunk, Luke did 30 minutes on Rosetta Stone French and Virginia did 30 minutes on Sponge Bob Typing. Jess cleaned her room. One or the other combined, the kids also set up the hose to water the flower garden, BBQ’d some steak, helped make the broccoli salad for supper, went down the street to mail a letter and get the mail, paid a bill at the local grocery store for me, picked up some eggs & Cheese and raisins, packed for a trip one is taking, washed and dried pots, wiped counters & cleaned the sink, put groceries away, made dog food & fed them, and did a laundry load, in addition to the 17 yr old’s time on Facebook and the younger two’s own personal activities.
The kids also have other things they do during day time – 15 minutes of piano practice, garden weeding and other home responsibilities, bringing laundry to the rooms, or hanging a load on the line, and usually someone helps peel potatoes or carrots etc for supper.
Many of these types of things are common duties of the home, which my children participate in, as opposed to Mummy doing everything. The only things I must do by myself are finances, organizing, planning homeschooling, and my own unique duties. Many of these normal types of things, children aged 7-9 can do as well, just needing to have instruction and practice. Most mornings, I call the kids together, set up a list of what needs to be done on a white board, and we all go through it, assigning certain tasks to each person, in discussion with them. It works and I am free to do what I must do:
Yesterday in my chunk times I:
Put on a roast and a turkey; did some homeschool coop organizing; listened to new hymns for the parish music ministry; plucked the turkey and made broth; sorted all my private papers, making a to-do list as I went through them; made up files for these re: homeschooling, my mother, my rule, nutrition, pets, etc – keeping out what was ‘now’ and putting in a shelf that which is ‘later’; and I made the Broccoli Salad with the family for supper; and went to a Book Study (Holiness is For Everyone) last night at my parish.
That’s how it goes!