I started homeschooling Big Kid a year and a half ago. We have been hugely successful schooling at home with him, and I am very proud of him (and of myself!). I am, however, caught off guard every time someone asks me "well what do you do with your twins all day" when they learn I homeschool! What do they think I do, duct tape them to the wall until the school bell rings at the end of our day?!
I have to stop for a moment and remember, if you have never been exposed to a homeschooler's day it is foreign. Since I only have one child "in school" right now and he's 12, I do not sit at a table all day and lecture. I feel it necessary to explain this since I am asked questions often! In an average day I talk "at" Big Kid for collectively ... one to two hours, depending on the material and my involvement in it. Yesterday for example we worked together for an hour on his documentary about being a knight in feudal Europe. He has never written a documentary, I helped. We had the argument that because I am "Mom" he does not get to hand in a paper with stick figure drawings across the top. He is 12! Other days I barely sit for an hour with him! I am always nearby, and there to help, but he is pretty independent as far as school goes. I grade before cooking dinner, so I can still talk to him about things if something went the wrong direction.
I "lecture" from our Social Studies book (see curriculum at the bottom of my blog) and I usually talk to him about science lessons. For math, we read a ten minute lesson then he does practice problems, if they're correct he moves onto homework. I certainly don't hold his hand during homework, if he hits an issue he finds me and we work it out. My mother does an art lesson once a week if we can manage it (she does not live with us). Latin is a video that he watches, then I check his retention with a lesson page he fills out and we have various worksheets to reinforce the material. He reads out of a literature book every other day, and takes a quiz on what he read after the selection. On certain days we talk for five minutes about his grammar lesson, most days he just flies through his Easy Grammar book. We use a Reader's Digest word quiz book for vocabulary building. He reads every day for an hour from a book either he or I choose. Right now he's reading The Book of Three, which is one I picked since it seemed to fit with what we are studying in European history (medieval times). He takes tests, quizzes, and such just like every public school child does, the difference is I am right here to see if something fails and work with him on it. I still grade just like I would any child, I don't curve ever, and if he gets a 58 I record a 58.
So after reading that I hope more people understand how I fit in housework, reading to the twins, doing projects and puzzles and painting, playing playdoh... you get the idea. My kids come first no matter what, and we do take days off when we just don't feel like school. It's a homeschooling bonus! I am a tad bit curious about how to fit in Big Kid's school with twins in say, first or second grade, but honestly things go so well for us right now I feel we'll take it all in stride! We already have "preschool" for the twins, and have just about everything you would find in a preschool room, minus the germs and overcrowding. And my kids still get "one on one" from ME! I do NOT feel like we are together too much, nor do I feel "trapped". I'm happy in this role, and am happy I have the opportunities I do!