Thoughts on Homeschooling - Burning the Candle at Both Ends

For those of you who are abit unfamilair with my family, I am a mom of four and wife of one (27+years). I have 2 older kids and 2 younger ones. When they were kiddos they seemed closer together in age and we pretty much did everything at the same pace. But now that they are older there is definitely a noticable age gap. I am frequently asked how I homeschool the younger ones and have time for the older ones still living in the home? Well, the answer is....I burn the candle at both ends with an occasional nap inbetween. Ha! I find I am up early with the youngsters attending to their schooling, taking them surfing or to other extracurricular activities. Then I am up late into the night with the older ones having impromptu conversations or watching their shows with them. Sometimes a cat-nap inbetween helps with the late night parenting. Hint: my younger ones go to bed early - around 8:30 (they can read as long as they like). I learned that one from a dear friend with 10 kids. I didn't always understand why she had the younger folk go to bed so early, but as my family grew, I began to see the reasoning behind it. The older ones need that time. They enjoy and play with the younger folk earlier in the day, but they do benefit from having some time without the pitter-patter of youngsters later in the evening. It is good to have uninterupted conversations! This is also when their TV shows or Xbox games are allowed, too. Sometimes these things are just not appropriate or too distracting for the younger kiddos. So...Mom in the morning. Mom all day. Mom at night. Sometimes Mom is tired!  But mostly I enjoy getting to hang out with my family (and naps every now and then)!

Here are my 3 youngest on our recent trip to the snow.

They are not so 'young' anymore!
Can you believe this was our FIRST trip to the snow? Even for our 20 year old married daughter?
But I bet we have been to the beach more than most!

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