Ambleside Homeschooling and a Large Family

I apologize to those of you who received a partially worked on, draft version of this post (technical difficulties). This one is finished. Please feel free to post your questions in the comment section, so I will know what to post about next.

I want to share about how we’re homeschooling this year because we are at our peak of homeschooling with 9 school aged children (ages 6-17), plus two preschoolers and it seems that we have a good, balanced system going that is working well for everyone academically as well as allowing our family to continue to host children with Safe Families and be active participants in our amazing, wonderful, encouraging,  church (which has been an incredible blessing to our family over the past couple of years).

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted about homeschooling, so I’ll share with you some things we do everyday that aren’t necessarily part of “school”.

  1. Everyone who is capable of independent reading, reads the Bible several times each year.
  2. Family worship
  3. Bible memorization
  4. Free time every day
  5. One hour free reading or rest time everyday


Today I’m going to be posting what we cover each week and the overall flow of our school day. Then over the next weeks I will add in some details, so please feel free to ask questions so I’ll know what to cover in subsequent posts.

Our family has pulled homeschooling ideas from Ambleside Online for years. We’ve always enjoyed their book selections and I have always appreciated how they have incorporated Charlotte Mason’s ideas into a practical plan for homeschooling today. I have, however, never been able to figure out how to use Ambleside with our clan, until now.

This is what is working for us.

Preschool Time

I continue to start my day by spending some time with our preschoolers, Bella (3) and Valor (1). We do something simple and fun like making cards for Grammy, blowing bubbles out on the deck or drawing on the windows with window markers. This gives my little ones some focused mommy time before I get busy with the other children.

Morning Basket


ambleside homeschooling

Morning Basket

‘Morning Basket’ starts right after this and includes all of the children from 17 year old Amber down to 1 year old Valor. Our morning basket is a literal basket filled with all the books that we use during morning basket time.

Hymn Study

Each day we sing three songs. One hymn that we are currently memorizing, one review hymn and one review Psalm.


During this time period we read and discuss a devotional/theological book (we books aimed at our oldest children), currently The Holiness of God.

We also read a prayer from Valley of Vision.


During this time period we recite two poems, one that we are currently memorizing and one review poem.

We also read one new poem a day.

Once a week we read a poem and the notes on that poem from The Classic Hundred Poems.

Art, Music, Nature, Geography, Timeline

We do only one of these topics each day. Geography and timeline are only for the younger kids, so if we are doing one of those subjects we delay this segment until we are finished with all of the ‘big kid only’ subjects.

At this point in our morning basket the kids ages 7 and younger get a break and go outside to play.


We take time for this twice a week. One day we read from one of  Shakespeare’s plays and the other day we read from Plutarch’s Lives (volume 2 here).

We’ve only been doing regular Plutarch and Shakespeare reading for about a year, but this is one of our favorite parts of the school day.

Our children really developed a love of Shakespeare when we began collecting the Arkangel series of audio Shakespeare performances several years ago. These recordings are unabridged and very well done. Our children ask for them for Christmas and birthday presents, so we are slowly building our collection.


This is a subject that may disappear for our older kids after we finish the current book we’re reading, but we are enjoying “Science Matters” and it’s a good review for those who are working through Apologia’s high school books and a good introduction for the younger kids.

At this point our older kids are dismissed for the day and the 1, 3, 6, and 7 year old children join us again.

The older kids work independently on math, science, history, Greek, etc. Mark is in charge of these subjects and he does a fantastic job keeping everyone on pace and understanding the material. As a matter of fact, all of our older kids finished with their school work a couple of months early this year (some of them finishing in December and February). That NEVER happened when I was supervising their work. I’m hoping that he will write a post sometime about how he manages to be the primary homeschooling parent of 4 high school students and still keeps up with work, house projects and social responsibilities.


This Bible time is focused on our younger children (currently 1-12 years).

During this time we read the Bible and the children narrate back what we have read. We are currently using Greenleaf’s Guide Old Testament History. We used this when our older kids were small and enjoyed it then and it was time to go over the material again with the younger ones.

We also work on Bible memorization during this time period.


Read one ‘little kid’ poem. We’re currently reading from “When We Were Very Young“.

I know that this may seem like a lot of work, but it goes quickly and we usually get through all/most of this by 10:00 or 10:30 in the morning.

At this point the 12, 10 and 9 year old are dismissed to work on their independent subjects; Ambleside reading assignments in science, history, literature,etc. and copy work and math.

Little Kid School Time

During this time I currently just have the 6 and 7 year old boys.

Reading and Writing

The boys alternately read to me out of the First McGuffey Reader and work on handwriting/copywork.

Ambleside Reading and Narration

I’m doing Ambleside Year 1 with the boys, so I read the assignments aloud and then they narrate them back to me. Because of what we do in our Morning Basket time, we omit the Ambleside Bible and Poetry assignments.

At this point our 7 and under crowd are finished with their school day and are strongly encouraged to play outdoors.

Middle Kid School Time

The last part of my day is spent listening to the middle kids narrate their reading assignments and checking their math and copy work.

Our 12, 10 and 9 year old are following the plan for Ambleside Year 4. Our 13 year old is following Ambleside Year 7 in addition to working through Omnibus with Mark and the older children.

I prefer to have one of the books be for “written narration” so each of these children have regular writing practice. I also like to use Institute for Excellence in Writing for additional writing practice.

Ideally, we are finished with all of this by lunch time, it doesn’t always happen, but that is the goal. Then the children have free time in the afternoon to build forts and bridges, make cookies, tend the chickens, research new projects or just climb trees .


Valor (1) showing off the new bridge that Matthew (14) built out of scrap lumber.

Valor (1) showing off the new bridge that Matthew (14) built over the creek out of scrap lumber.

Do you have questions about our day? Questions about how we cover specific subjects?

Ambleside Homeschooling and a Large Family: Q & A

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48 Responses to Ambleside Homeschooling and a Large Family
  1. Alyson
    May 8, 2014 | 9:24 am

    I noticed you group your children, with 3 working through Ambleside year four and 2 working through Ambleside year one. Do you simply skip certain Ambleside years with some kids so as to keep them together? Are you planning to do Ambleside instead of Sonlight now with your up and coming little crowd?

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I am just beginning the homeschool journey with the eldest of my four daughters being 6. I would like to do Ambleside, at least in part, but have been wondering how I’d pull it off in the long run with four kids in four different places (and Lord willing more to come!).


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Alyson,

    I do not have a long-term plan to skip Ambleside years. As you know, the years to not correspond to grades, so they will be suitable for a wider range of kids than just a certain age group.

    Additionally, my group of three children who are working in Ambleside Year 4 are really all very close to the same academic level. They are within 2 1/1 years of each other in age, so reading through the same books is appropriate for them.

    As they move into high school, math and science may look different for each of them, but maybe not. Two of our older kids are the same academic year in high school even though they are different ages (one will graduate when he’s 16). So that may also happen with these three.


    Alyson Reply:

    Thanks Kimberly! Both for taking time to write such an inspiring and helpful blog, and for answering my questions!


  2. Shannon
    May 8, 2014 | 10:26 am

    Thank you for posting this. I have been homeschooling for two years and using and enjoying Sonlight, but my oldest is starting highschool work, she is 12 with a summer bday, and I am just not sure Sonlight will continue to work for her. I’ll be going over now to check out Ambleside.


  3. Tina
    May 8, 2014 | 11:22 am

    I have to start off by saying how much I love reading your posts. We just finished our first year of homeschooling and plan on keeping up things through the summer. I have five kiddos 11, 9, 5, 3, and 1 and am trying to decide on curriculum for next year. Cost is for sure a factor for us and so super excited to look into Ambleside a little more. Any direction you have on schooling is so appreciated! I love hearing from large families who have been there and done that. There is so much out there to choose from and it is overwhelming and they all sound and look great! We used My Father’s World this past year and my kids enjoyed it, but as I said Unfortunetly cost plays a roll so if I can find something else they enjoy cheaper what a blessing! I would love to hear what math and science you recommend? I am learning that I like the “unit” type schooling because I do have more than one kid so I like being able to teach together and I just have enjoyed teaching them together 🙂 and I have learned I have an auditory learner. Do you think with Ambleside could be something that would work for us? Thanks so much for input! Again I get so encouraged by your posts. Blessings and shalom to you and your family!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Tina,

    I hope you see my answer to your “math and science” question here.

    Yes, I think Ambleside could work well for you all. As you see in this post, I have grouped my kids in Ambleside and it is working for us.


  4. Gencie
    May 8, 2014 | 12:32 pm

    My kids are only 2 and newborn now but I’m already excited about using Charlotte Mason-ish homeschooling principles. I really appreciate all that Ambleside has to offer. What time do you begin “Basket Time” in order to finish around lunchtime?


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    The goal is to begin our morning basket by 8:30. Be sure to see this post where I answer your question in more detail.


  5. Laura
    May 8, 2014 | 12:45 pm

    Do you let the littlest play outside unsupervised? We have 7 children ages 9 down to 2 yr. old twins. I have been blessed recently to be able to have an actual school room and I have educational toys in there for the younger ones, but sometimes the noise of blocks clanking can be a bit distracting. I am a little hesitant to have them where I can’t quickly see them.

    How do you handle lunch prep? I am trying to have something in the crockpot ready to go, but I am still working on that. If we have sandwiches, I have to make the bread the day before. (We recently moved to a third world country and the bread in the stores isn’t very good.)

    At what age do they do independent work? I teach the Math and Grammar lessons for the two younger ones who are in school, but the 8 and 9 yr. old are in 5th grade math and do most of it on their own as well as Grammar. Two days a week I have to be gone for part of the day for language school. Which is not preferable, but I have to learn the language here for long term sustainability. I do check their work and review any trouble spots. I am struggling to keep it all going. Any tips would be helpful.

    We have a morning time where I do Bible verses, character qualities, MFW (if I have time that day), Writing Strands, and give assignments which are written on the white board. The goal is to be done with everything (including piano practice and chores no later than 3.) What do you do for those who don’t get it done in time? Obviously they lose their free time/play time, but have you found any effective ways of helping them not be so distracted? Some days they do well. Other days it is awful. Also, did you ever have to deal with anyone who was destructive? I am not talking baby/toddler, but older child. What helped them to stop? Currently, they get punished and have to pay for what they ruined. Recently, I have started adding an extra chore on top of that. I don’t know what else to do. I feel like I am in over my head. It wasn’t like this before we moved. Sure, there were rough days here and there, but over all I felt like we had a good schedule and there wasn’t any major issues. Now, I am swamped and feel like it is getting worse instead of better.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Laura,

    I answered most of your questions in this post.

    We haven’t had a child who was particularly destructive. We have had a couple of children who were just rougher with things and would inadvertently break/damage more things than other kids, but not anyone who would do so purposefully.

    Grace and peace.


  6. hannah
    May 8, 2014 | 1:00 pm

    Hi 🙂 I was wondering if you use a certain curriculum for homeschooling? Or do you just grab different supplies/ideas from different places? I have four little ones ages 6 and under and I am really considering homeschooling them based on different things I have noticed with my oldest being in her first year of all day public school :/ I’ve just heard its pricey so I wasn’t sure I could afford it 🙁 Thanks so much!!!



    Elizabeth Jones Reply:

    Homeschooling is as pricey as you make it. You can buy the curriculum new, you can buy it used from someone who’s done with it, or you can borrow. Don’t forget, many things can be reused with your younger children.

    I believe you can download all sorts of worksheets off the Internet for free, which would work well when you’re just starting out.

    Also, there is a growing number of homeschool libraries out there that you can join for a yearly fee (the more children you have, the better deal it is). Since most children are apt to get more out of reading (or having read to them) good books as opposed to textbooks, the libraries can supply all the good books you need for science, history, and literature, not to mention encouragement to young or reluctant readers.

    I don’t know where you live, so I can’t tell you if there’s a homeschool library near you.


    Tina Reply:

    Mrs. Jones do you know if there are homeschool libraires in Colorado Springs? Or a good source for used curriculum? Thanks so much!


    Elizabeth Jones Reply:

    There is a library in Colorado Springs; I just e-mailed the librarian for permission to give you her contact information. I’ll get back to you when I hear something.


    Elizabeth Jones Reply:

    Okay, I got permission. Her name is Kim Urband, and her e-mail is She says she is still in the process of getting organized, but she would be happy to talk to you.

    I hope this helps you both!


    Tina Reply:

    Thank you so much this is awesome! I am really looking into doing Ambleside so this is great. Thanks again! God Bless and shalom!

    Rebecca Reply:

    Just so you know, my husband just downloaded *most* of the Ambleside books for free online to our computers for next year’s studies. The few he had to buy were at Amazon for less than $12 (total for all books he needed to buy). We do own a basic Kindle, and also read off our computers. Our local library is also a great source for free materials. The only things I’ll need to truly purchase this year are our math curriculum, school supplies (paper, pencils, etc.) and the occasional craft material-type things.

    Also, Mrs. Jones is right about the worksheets for free online. I’ve used many sites to print off worksheets for my preK/K yo this past year. In this case, I had to spend money on paper and ink only. I’ve never had to purchase a yearly subscription in order to get some fun things for my younger ones.



  7. Jen H.
    May 8, 2014 | 2:53 pm

    I would LOVE to see a future post from your husband on how he helps the older kids with school and all his other responsibilities! We have 5 young children- only 1 officially school aged). My husband (a former public school teacher) is now working from home and would love to be involved with our kids homeschooling when they get older. So any tips he has would be great!! Thanks for your posts. Very encouraging!


  8. Christine C.
    May 8, 2014 | 3:34 pm

    I’m actually concerned that you’re not giving your kids an education that will serve them well if they choose to do advanced studies. For example, reading Shakespeare and memorizing poetry are both great, but ideally, it should be coupled with meaningful lessons on literary analysis. When do your kids learn math? I am also shocked that you’re thinking about eliminating the science education for the older kids.

    Maybe I’m just misunderstanding. Do your big kids work on independent study on these topics in the afternoons?


    Paula Reply:

    You need to read her entire post and then you would see the do all subjects plus some!


    Joy Reply:

    Christine, she said this in her post above: “The older kids work independently on math, science, history, Greek, etc. Mark is in charge of these subjects and he does a fantastic job keeping everyone on pace and understanding the material. As a matter of fact, all of our older kids finished with their school work a couple of months early this year…”


    Christine C. Reply:

    Phew, I’m glad that I missed that. My blog reader does strange things sometimes when I hit page down, so I guess that’s what happened.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Christine,

    It sounds like other readers answered your questions, but just to clarify.

    Our older kids spend a lot of their school day working on math and science. They are finished with the all the subjects in the morning box, Shakespeare, Plutarch, poetry, etc. by 9:30 or 10 in the morning and then they work on their ‘real’ school subjects (math, science, writing, Greek, history, literature, etc.) independently.


  9. Paula
    May 8, 2014 | 4:05 pm

    My question is, do you plan for your children to go to college?
    I have one almost old enough and I am generally concerned considering the current atmosphere of most public colleges. I am talking about the ultra liberal professors, etc.
    Just makes me wonder if it is worth it. Thanks and I love your blog!


  10. Joy
    May 8, 2014 | 4:14 pm

    This is fantastic and great timing. We are about to the close of our 2nd year of homeschooling and I’m just such a mess with it. I was public-schooled and I think I have that mentality that someone needs to tell me what to do, if that makes sense. When I was in school there were rules and everything was A, B, C and if you got something wrong on a test it was the interpretation of the teacher and not necessarily that I did something incorrect, etc. So I kind of feel like a deer in the headlights with homeschool but I KEEP trying to remind myself that it’s not one-size-fits-all. But still I don’t feel like I’m doing enough or doing a good enough job. Your post and the breakdown of what you do has given me so many ideas and I really appreciate it. Looking forward to more!

    Not sure that I have any questions other than what has been asked already. I’ll come back if I think of something!


  11. Tina
    May 8, 2014 | 4:15 pm

    Is Ambleside hard to get started? Is there a lot of prep work on your part?


  12. Bambi @ In the Nursery of the Nation
    May 8, 2014 | 4:36 pm

    Kimberly–So glad to see you post again!!I think Amblesideonline requires self-discipline, to me more so than other curriculums. But it also seems to *produce* it in the children as well! It’s a wonderful plan and even if you can only implement parts of it, it’s worth the time.

    I would love to hear from Mark how he does it. Many dads have so much on their plates just providing for a large family! Practical posts from homeschool dads who are able to actively take part, are rare.

    Now off I go to explore some of these links! Love you!


  13. Janelle Knutson
    May 8, 2014 | 5:42 pm

    I was so excited to see a new post from you! I know you are a busy mom so I totally understand you not doing the ‘blog thing’ for awhile but you have so much insight and helpful tips and encouragement for us other moms that I always look forward to reading your posts (when you have time to write them)!

    I have heard several other mom bloggers mention Ambleside in the last few months so I will be clicking on your links to check it out more.

    And as several other moms have already mentioned, if your husband ever finds the time to write about being a husband and homeschool dad I know my own husband would be interested in reading it!


  14. Chiree
    May 8, 2014 | 11:06 pm

    Could you explain more about the morning basket? I’ve never tried Ambleside. I’m wondering what kinds of books are in there, and what your goals are for this part of the day. Thanks for sharing your methods and goals! Your posts are an encouragement to us!


  15. Jenny H
    May 9, 2014 | 8:07 am

    Thank you for your post!! I realize you don’t use it anymore, but we just finished our second year of Sonlight (core B), and enjoyed it. I first learned about Sonlight from your articles a few years ago. It won’t work indefinitely, but for now, it’s doing well for our family. As someone else mentioned, I’m curious as to what time you begin morning basket. Also, could you explain how you do narration… I’m guessing it’s a basic concept, but we’ve not been doing it–some limited q/a, but we could definitely improve in this area. (Just finished grades 3/1…Adding k4 and a new baby to the mix this year.) At what age do you begin formal math instruction with your younger students? Also, at what age/grade do you begin formal grammar instruction and what resource do you use? Do you have your children do regular writing/dictation assignments? What do those look like? Thanks!


  16. Dawn
    May 9, 2014 | 11:24 am

    I was deliriously happy to read this post!!
    We will, this next year, have 7 students, with our oldest 3 being graduated already. I have always been a very eclectic homeschooler. My favorites have been Truthquest History, TT math, Apologia for science for all grades, Writing Strands and Progeny Press study guides for literature/composition as well as a few other things.
    For this coming year though, I am really drawn to Ambleside. I’ve been studying their website for many years, but never felt like I could take it on.
    I think you may have shown me that I CAN!!!
    I, too, have 3 groups of children- my 2 high schoolers, my 3 middle schoolers, and my two youngest who will be 4th and 2nd grades.
    Kimberly, thank you so much for this post!!!! I will be studying it in detail more and more as I try to decide if we could make Ambleside fit our days!!


  17. AJ
    May 9, 2014 | 12:11 pm

    Kimberly, thank yo so much for this post! Our oldest will just be beginning Ambleside in the fall in year 0/1 🙂 But with 3 stair steps behind her, I’m really hoping to get a grasp on everything quickly. I’ve been perusing the site for a few years trying to get everything organized in my mind…a work in progress!!

    I would love to know a bit more about your hymn/psalm memorization. We often work on a hymn a month or however quickly/slowly the children pick it up. Is there a certain songbook you use for the Psalms? Or do you just put it to your own tune?

    Thank you so much for this series! Can’t wait to read more!!


  18. Leslie
    May 9, 2014 | 5:38 pm

    We have 5 kids, 7 and under. We have been doing a loose classical style with lots of reading, some copy work and phonics. I like the structure ambleside would give to our reading. Could I do year 1 with all the kids? They are all pretty used to lots of reading and chapter books.


  19. sarahelisabeth
    May 9, 2014 | 6:31 pm

    Thank you-some really useful thoughts as I start to plan for the next home education year. I love the basket. Having a place for everything and everything in its place is a constant challenge for me. The five day schedule of art, music, nature, geography and timeline looks like something that we could useful incorporate. It is easy to allow phonics and maths to overwhelm other subjects with younger children or at least, that is how my year has felt!


  20. Nicole
    May 10, 2014 | 10:28 am

    I’m just curious? What time does your school day start if you finish usually by lunchtime. I would love to make that happen here . . but maybe we just sleep too much later. 🙂


  21. Rebecca
    May 10, 2014 | 4:32 pm

    This is perfect timing. My husband and I have decide to try Ambleside for the next school year, as we’ve done Charlotte Mason in part, but I’ve struggled with doing it with a large family. This past year we tried Switched On Schoolhouse, thinking that it would be better for the older kids to have more self-directed studies, even if it wasn’t our ideal style of school. It did answer some of our problems with getting everyone through school each day, but there turned out to be other issues. So, we’ve decided to go back to Charlotte Mason, and instead of “picking” at it, do the Ambleside program. We still aren’t sure how it’s going to look or how to structure it for our family yet, so I am very interested in seeing how it works for you family. I’d be interested in hearing about how you divide up the time for each subject; how you decided which students to put in which year; what kinds of “requirements” you give to each age – for example, if you have all the children ages 1-12 sit for Bible (just to pick one), what do you expect from the 5 yo narration and from the 12 yo narration? Does the 12 yo have more expectations that he/she needs to complete away from your morning basket time – a deeper study into the subject, or extra reading on his/her own, perhaps?

    Thank you so much for your help and discussion on the subject and for sharing your family with us!


  22. Kirsten
    May 12, 2014 | 2:46 am

    Thank you Kimberly for such a thorough post on your family’s school day! I would be thrilled to read a post from your husband on how he manages all his work related responsibilities in addition to schooling your older children! I’m also wondering which subjects they are studying and what materials they are using? Also how do you organize your poems/hymns for review?…Is it similar to your system for memorizing Bible verses? Thanks again for your willingness to share your wisdom with my family…we have been truly blessed by you 🙂


  23. Annie
    May 12, 2014 | 3:41 pm

    Kimberly, thank you for taking the time to post this.
    My question is- with some of your older children in high school, how do you write their class descriptions and maintain their transcripts? How do you track his or her grades? I am in the state of Ohio and I know Tennessee will probably differ from here but as someone whom I highly respect and regard as a seasoned homeschool momma, I wanted to pick your brain☺️!
    My oldest is entering into his Jr. High years and I am just beginning to prepare myself for how to go about keeping grades and writing class descriptions for what he will be taking once he is out of these “middle years”, as some call them, and enters into high school level work.
    Thank you again for your time!


  24. Leslie Blair
    May 13, 2014 | 2:27 pm

    So great to read this post!! I would love to hear from Mark as well 🙂 In order to get everything done did you move the morning housecleaning to a different time? day? I know you do the 4pm pick up, maybe that is getting your through the week till Saturday…
    Thanks for the update! So glad you’ve found a little time to write again, it blesses many mommas 😀


  25. Deanna
    May 13, 2014 | 6:45 pm

    Thank you for sharing! I’ve long been drawn to Ambleside but never could quite figure out how to do it with more than 2-3 children. We have 4 right now (only 1 school-age) but I’m trying to keep the years ahead in mind as I plan his 1st grade year. I really appreciated reading through how you’ve made it work for your family!


  26. JJ
    May 15, 2014 | 1:45 am

    Thank you for sharing this! What do you do with your littles when you are working with the older ones or reading something aloud that is over their heads? This is my current struggle. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!


  27. Cyndi
    May 15, 2014 | 6:40 am

    Hi Kimberly, I have been homeschooling for 12yrs. and always have been drawn to a more Charlotte Mason style. I’ll start the yr. that way but there always seems to be a lot of planning. I can’t keep up and everything falls apart as the children are waiting for me to tell them what to do but I have no plan, so much time is waisted those days. We just go back to textbook type learning. If you get a chance I would love to know how you plan for the school yr.

    Thanks so much for your post.


  28. Jo
    May 18, 2014 | 8:08 am

    Hi Kimberly,
    Thank you for returning to your blog! I always loved reading your posts – especially about Home schooling. I have two boys that are 18 months apart (age 12 and 11 – pulled out of public school 3 yrs ago and done all sorts of hs methods since then but like CM style)I have always been intimidated by AO but if i could would keep the boys together in an AO yr that would make it seem doable, i have a couple of questions….

    1. How do you manage the books with 3 children in the same AO yr? do you buy multiple copies? or somehow rotate who reads what when?
    2. how do you schedule out the books and readings per week/ term/ plan out the year? Do you just use it as written on the site?

    I also have a 4 yo boy and another boy due in july, I really need to figure out how to get me and the older boys, organised – if i am not telling them what to do when, it doesn’t get done – and in a minute with the new baby i worry that the boys will not get anything done cause they will always be waiting for me (this happened during 1st trimester as i was never well enough to keep going with it all!! How do you stay organised? how do you keep them organised?
    I know you’re busy but would really appreciate a reply if you can mange one – I’m in a complete stress to the point of tears at times (possibly baby’s fault too! I have no peace or rest and feel beaten by it all)

    Thanks again, a joy to see you back here.
    Jo in the UK


  29. Nicole
    May 20, 2014 | 9:53 pm

    I am excited to see you posting again! I would love to hear what other things you do with your younger children..mine are 8 mo. girl, 2 & 4 year old boys. I could probably write lists and lists of questions. I read a lot of big family blogs and while the posts are very helpful sometimes it’s hard to use some of the suggestions for my young children just because I don’t have any older children to help me. My 4 year old is very helpful most of the time. But it seems like lately they have been very disobedient..and I don’t know why. Would love your advice on that. Also I do plan on homeschooling my children..I just finished using the free preschool curriculum on This was helpful as my 4 year old is starting to trace his letters..learning letter sounds..letter recognition..even cutting skills..however his counting skills are lacking..most of the time he can count to three…but thats about it. Not sure why on that either. Anyway sorry for the long post but I was going to try to start a kindergarden program with my 4 year old starting this fall..would love to hear advice on all of this if you have time thanks so much. Also any ideas on keeping kiddos occupied during chores..this is getting increasingly difficult with a now roaming baby.


  30. Shannon Hazleton
    June 8, 2014 | 10:18 pm

    Thanks for posting this – I like the ‘Morning Basket’ idea… I’m currently homeschooling 6 kids ages 8 down to 2 and most days I feel like I’m playing whack-a-mole! 🙂 This morning basket idea may work really well for us. Thanks again for sharing!


  31. Tina
    July 3, 2014 | 6:49 pm

    Hello Ms. Kimberly! Hope you and your family are doing well! I am starting to put our homeschooling together for the coming year using Ambleside. My biggest struggle is setting up the reading portions per day. Do you have any wisdom for me on how you do this scheduling the readings? I am going by AO weekly schedule but if I can get help scheduling the daily that would be tremendous!!! Thank you in advance for any help! Blessings and shalom!


  32. Stephanie
    July 19, 2014 | 11:36 am

    So glad i found this! I’ve been looking at Ambleside for years, but with a new baby every other year, never felt i could jump in. I’m using Tapestry of Grace the last six years, but wondered if it were possible to use Ambleside instead. This gives me a good idea of how it would be possible ( this year i tried doing artist/composer/nature/saints study through the week, each on it’s day, but since they were disconnected, they got left behind a lot.). Does your husband work from home? I would love to see the oversight he gives as i find my oldest doesn’t need help all the time, but when he does, it takes a long time to help, and then rhythm is kind of disrupted… This year he’s taking courses through an outreach program, so should have help there, but i will still have 2 high schoolers, and five youngers at home full time…


  33. Tasha
    January 7, 2018 | 3:16 pm

    Hello, I wanted to thank you for making this available for moms like me who need a helping hand. I have come back to this post many times for a reminder on what to do when I get off track with life’s trials. Your philosophy of education and parenting matches up with mine and I really am grateful for the insight you’ve share throughout your blog. God bless you to continue pursuing Him in ardent devotion!


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