I love what Jennifer has to say about quiet time with the children. Also be sure to visit her very helpful site, listed below...
My oldest child “started” kindergarten two months after I delivered my fourth. I was so excited about homeschooling, but quite honestly, I was tired and overwhelmed. Just getting the basics down seemed impossible, let alone the endless list of “school subjects” I had diligently planned on covering this first year out. By February of the following year I was a complete basket case – no clean clothes, no clean dishes, and no formal school. I was failing at being a wife, a mom, and a teacher.
Then, through the wonderful ministry at Titus 2, I realized that I was failing at those things because I was failing at an even more important requirement: I was not having a regular quiet time with God. I was severely sleep deprived, had two children that no longer napped, and just couldn't seem to find time alone to do any studying. In reality, I didn't have any time alone to do anything (even when I was absolutely positive that I had covertly sneaked into the bathroom, little fingers found their way under the door!)
Rather than try to find that time alone, I decided to do my quiet time with the troops. We began right at the beginning, in Genesis, and simply read a chapter together each day. Afterwards, we each made a page about the chapter. Sometimes we got downright creative, but mostly the pages were merely stick people that I drew and they coloured. We ended by singing a hymn, and praying about something. It would take most of the morning – with nursing and changing diapers and making snacks and finding the crayons (eventually we moved to pencil crayons, because they're less easy to eat!). My quiet time also became my schooling time. My little ones were learning to write, and draw and narrate, but most importantly, they were learning about God from, and with, their mommy.
I remember reading through Exodus and feeling like an Israelite in the desert. Though things seemed tough, God was there caring for me, holding me, and showing me the way out. As my little ones grew, quiet time in the morning became more doable and school became more formal, and so things changed little by little to a more traditional quiet time.
Recently as I added another little one, I was lamenting my lack of a “quiet” time again. And so we began again to have family quiet time – this time in the New Testament. The format is still the same – one chapter a day - but the responses have changed. There are still some who have me draw stick men (I'm getting good at those), but one writes out her observations now. The questions are becoming deeper and more complex, and I recently found myself, in a rare moment of free time, researching some information to share with them. God is so good, and so faithful.
So, my quiet time isn't really quiet, and I still crave and need and look forward to time with just Him and me, but for now we're growing in Him together and we're growing together in Him.