I've been doing a much better job of putting together the weekly Lesson Plans this year. For most of the subjects, its really as easy as "the next lesson" in the book. But, its too easy to skip a subject (especially the ones the kids don't like), if I just say "do the next subject".
So I've been sitting down and writing down the specific lessons for each subject they are to do each day. I only do one week at a time because things still happen and affect their ability to get all of their subjects, every day - so then I "catch up" at the beginning of the next week.
That has worked really well, but its still easy to get near the end of the day and "not quite have completed everything". And I was still having lots of arguments over "who practices piano first and when" and also finding it easy to skip subjects that involved ME working with the kids.
So, after seeing a great "time schedule" developed by my friend Erin, I have developed one myself. It includes a list of chores for each kid, as well as which subjects we are doing at what times (generally speaking - I'll put 2-3 subjects in a block). It has specific blocks for subjects we do together (History and Science) and which child practices at what time.
For the past few days, we've been pretty much on schedule and there haven't been arguments about practicing.
All in all ... we are working so much more effectively this year, moving along very well, learning a lot about force, solids, liquids, gasses, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Babylon, early Bible stories, multiplication, division, vocabulary, spelling, and amo/amas/amat.