This is a good question you are asking, and one in which the answer for me is slightly different every year. I find that every summer I spend much time praying/pondering/thinking about what the next school year should look like regarding schedule, activities, ministry, etc. I have a house full of children, and several of them quite young, so I spend a lot of my day in school. I find that my mornings are very full. If I can get dinner in the crock-pot and a laundry load begun before breakfast, that goes a long way towards an orderly day. I am working with children in school all morning, but do take short 10 minute breaks to switch laundry loads or do some brief thing in the kitchen. All of my children have kitchen/meal chores and in the late afternoon, each child has a chore such as sweeping, kitchen help, cleaning bathroom sinks, folding laundry, etc. That way no matter how our day has gone, hopefully our home will be picked up and a peaceful environment to welcome Daddy home to. Saturday morning is our house cleaning day, and everyone has assigned jobs to make this flow well. You might say that we integrate household duties, school, family life, and "do life" together.
As far as socializing, I firmly believe that if one can get along with siblings with a loving, kind, humble attitude, that will go a great distance in life. Having said that, however, we are involved in church, piano lessons, community sports, and a small group of other homeschooling friends, as well as reaching out to our neighbors. The opportunities for social contacts are plentiful.
I personally believe that my "ministry" in this particular season of life is my family ~ husband and children. The practical outworking of this is that I have minimal work or ministry outside my home. The main ministry I have is that of hospitality, and that is one we can do as a family. My husband and I don't have large amounts of time alone, but connecting with each other in the morning, and at night is of utmost importance, and with the exception of his twice/month late elder's meetings, we always go to bed together. This discipline goes a long way towards helping us function as a team.
I hope this helps you some as you think of the practical side of homeschooling. In closing, I will share how important I believe prayer is as you consider "how to make it all work" as well as discussing it with your husband. The Lord gives our husbands special wisdom as the heads of our homes, and my husband has helped me solve so many logistical details throughout our 16 years of homeschooling.
And one more thing....what Suzy said about consistency is so important. I remember reading in the Covenant Home Preceptor before my oldest began Kindergarten 17 years ago that even during busy seasons of life or holiday times, it is better to have a short school day and finish up early than skip days and become irregular with the schedule. I have been so thankful for that advice through the years.
Blessings as you prepare for next year!
> Just wondering how everyone manages their life pertaining to school, home, husband, etc. It seems like there is always so much to do. Any advice would be great. Also, how are you socializing your children and are you involved in a homeschool group (do you think this is important)?
> Thank You,