Wow! I have never been able to love making quilts because I don't love the quilting part. My questions:
Do you think you will want to be homeschooling this one (number 6?) in eighteen years? Or will this one end up in public school?
We don't plan to send any of the kids to public school. I don't have a huge issue with public school, we just love home schooling and are happy with how well it's worked for us. C. tried high school this year and we pulled her out in February because we just weren't happy with many aspects of it ... largely academics, but also the way our family dynamics were affected.
Do you use the same curriculum for all of your children?
Pretty much, though we may teach the same curriculum in a different way and at a different pace. I write an annual schedule at the beginning of the year and I can easily know what the 4th grade level child needs to do by looking at the previous schedules of the other kids who've already completed 4th grade. I will say though that C., the oldest, has gotten the most thorough education. Now that my store is closed I intend to be more well rounded with all the kids (hey kids, you've been warned!).
Does homeschooling get easier as the kids get older? I am currently homeschooling my six year old, and trying to keep my three year old at the table long enough to color a page in her coloring book, and it takes me forever to get anything done.
Yes, and no.
Obviously, after we've taught the same math three or four times it's easier for us to teach. But ... as the kids get older we have more of them doing schoolwork so our focus is more divided, at the same time having them all do schoolwork keeps them all at the table and busy.
C. is extremely independent ... I give her a schedule and see her when it's done. She's also doing some online classes with requires a little less of us, though we do go over everything she does. I. is not independent, but as he gets older he realizes that getting the work done = no more work to do and that appeals to him. M. has some challenges with handwriting and spelling and isn't a great writer yet, so she needs us on top of her. The thing with I. and M. is that they're 4th/5th grade and have so much new material to learn, they really have a full schedule this year. A. had a great year this year and worked largely on his own as long as we were there to supervise and help him sound out hard words. K. is not reading yet (only because he's stubborn, stubborn, stubborn), but flying through math so we have to read him all the directions ... he requires quite a bit of attention and focus.
Teaching the kids is much easier after they can read their own directions.
Keeping little kids busy is a real challenge. We give them "schoolwork" to do ... usually just a comprehensive preschool book from Sam's Club. No biggie if they finish it or not, they like doing what the big kids are doing and it buys a little time. Also, we try to include them as much as possible, largely in science and history (two areas we slack at a little too often). When K. was littler and past naps I'd let him watch PBS Kids Sprout or Noggin ... it did depend on the shows though ... some of them really grated on my nerves. Now he gets some time with Discovery Channel or Animal Planet if he gets his work done early ... even better, if another child is done too they can both go outside and play.
Keep up the wonderful quilting!