When people ask "how do you do it?" I often forget to tell them about the one sanity preserving secret that I have learned from other homeschooling moms of many. Let me tell you about the joy of quiet time. The idea is that your children do not ever stop observing the afternoon nap time, when they stop sleeping it switches over to time in bed alone. In our house, quiet time follows lunch (or sometimes an after lunch walk/bike ride), and lasts for an hour and a half.
During quiet time, PT reads (I count this as "school time" in his hour reports for the district, I call it sustained silent reading which is a legitimate thing that should be happening in school anyway, and he sometimes has assigned reading for some portion of the time). Merry colors. The Lion naps. And the twins -- ah, the twins, they are in the rough in between stage, too old to sleep, most days, and too young to quietly entertain themselves. Sometimes this means that I spend much of quiet time reinforcing and policing, but lately, being pregnant, I have really needed to lie down and sometimes even sleep during quiet time, so right now it is safe to say that they are basically destroying their rooms. If they are seperated, the damage is not too great, but if JJ sneaks downstairs that is when things get exciting.
One day last week they climbed out the window (first floor, but still, I found them balancing on a window ledge outside of the house). Today they were just generally loud, so I had them come into my room, where I assigned them each a pillow and spot on the floor and promptly fell asleep myself. I figured that I would hear them if they got up to too much trouble. I slept through most of it, and things seemed fairly intact at 3:30 when we went back to our other activities, but tonight when I went to my closet I did find that the laces had been pulled all the way out of my sneakers. So now, as my dear husband sits with a size 11 sneaker and a screw driver trying to put the frayed laces back through their tiny holes, I think it is time to give JJ and MaryB some very specific activity for quiet time, a little basket of toys perhaps which will keep them occupied for this very important time. After all, they may not need a nap, but I do!