Now it's time for the older four children to clean up their respective rooms. Patrick and G share a room in the basement, and Elf and Emperor share a room upstairs. I'm showing you what it REALLY looks like on a given day before it's time to clean up. Unfortunately it isn't a very good picture of Elf and Emperor's room, and you don't see the full scope of the mess. That can't be helped. I've painted their names on the walls, and many of their drawers have tape telling them whose drawer is whose and what's inside. Their blankets also have their real names stitched upon them.
Patrick and G are pretty well self-directed through this whole process. They put themselves to bed, although occasionally I can hear them mock-fighting with sticks, broom handles and fake swords. I "redirect" them when that happens. Elf and Emperor need a bit more help. A parent has to check that teeth are brushed properly, the room is clean, the cat is fed and all is calm. If Elf and Emperor have earned a "homeschool star" that day, they will each pick out a book to be read. Usually D is the parent who takes care of these tasks, and I attend the smaller children.
After all the children are tucked into bed, D stays up with S until 10 or so and tucks her into her playpen whether she's sleeping or not. I am downstairs on the couch with J, and we move a crib mattress next to the couch for J to sleep on. J is not ready to sleep properly in a room yet. I'm not sure where we'll put him when he is as there is very little room in Elf and Emperor's room. Perhaps he will sleep in the same room as his sister for a few years. We haven't decided yet.
D sleeps upstairs in our room. The way it works out, someone is sleeping in almost every room of the house but the kitchen and bathrooms. Good night!