We're starting our 8th year of homeschooling this year. Eight down, Eighteen to go!
One thing that's helped our school day go smoother is grouping the girls together in as much as possible. Each day I have all the school age girls around the table and we read the Bible, poetry, and science. It may seem strange to add science into that list, but we use a very conversational science program that fits grades K-6th, so they all listen together (Ashlyn wants to continue to listen this year, but she'll still have to read her own book now that she's older). I've added in other books to this time like Everyday Graces and The Princess and the Kiss, but essentially the Bible, poetry and elementary science are the foundation of our group time.
How do you read the Bible to such a varied age group? Well, if I have a Pre-K student, I read her little Bible-my favorite, the Family Time Bible and she's not required to listen to the family Bible time, but often does anyway. For our group time, I choose a version of the Bible that fits the youngest child (aside from the PreK child). Last year it was Hope's Bible, the NIrV and this year it'll be Bethany's Egermeiers Bible Story Book. Yes, these are too immature for the big girls, but they can always use a simple review of the Word and they have their own Bibles to read during their independent time.
As for poetry, I have used the oldest child's book (it comes with her "core" or one grade's worth of work, from Sonlight). Last year all the girls enjoyed Favorite Poems Old and New. I am not after a deep understanding of poetry, just an ear for it. By reading real poetry out loud as a family each school day, even the younger girls can naturally know how poetry is supposed to sound and their appreciation for it grows. With this type of exposure, I don't feel the need to read the poetry books from the younger girls' cores, we'll just cycle through them again once Ashlyn moves on to higher levels. It allows me to cover poetry while dropping a book or two from the daily list.
As I teach four children this year (I usually don't teach 3 year olds, but I have one who's insisting so she has a few great picture books and a finger play-rhyme book to call "school"), I have to be efficient with my time, and I've found working our group time this way has been a huge time saver.