I do the baking in the morning because Nora is happiest in the morning and will sit in a bouncer if she's not sleeping. And it's just too crazy later on in the day when I'm trying to supervise homework, piano lessons etc. If I have to do some last minute things for dinner then I will, but I try and do early preparations as much as possible. I don't like to use the girls nap time to do chores, if I can possibly help it, because I'd rather read, blog and check and respond to emails during that time. And I help Annabelle with her school stuff for some of nap time each day as well.
I have been asked on several occasions, if I feel like my kids are behind when they start school because I haven't enrolled any of them in preschool. The answer to that is 'no'. My older kids don't get to watch TV or movies or play computer/video games during the week and the only thing I let my younger kids watch during the weekdays is Leap Frog Letter Factory, or sometimes Leap Frog Talking Words. Though Friday I'll let them watch a movie if they'd like. Because that's really they're only media, they choose to watch it several times a week and so far, Elisabeth, Charles and Annabelle have learned their alphabet letters and sounds from watching it so often. 2 year old Jane is getting close. Also, most week days when the youngest two are napping, Annabelle has 'school time' where she goes through workbook pages (I buy them at Costco) and alphabet flashcards. I'm always there to help her if she has any questions. Randomly throughout the day, when we're together, I'll ask Annabelle to do things like, "spell cat" and we'll sound it out together. Or, "Let's see how high you can count" and I'll help her when she struggles. And because she helps me bake, she's learning about measurements. We also read together each day, sometimes just one book, other times, a few. I think because of all this, when my kids go into school they're not only at par with all the kids who attended preschool, but they're ahead of them! They're already reading when they go into kindergarten and they know their shapes and numbers as well. As for the social, they each have four siblings plus we have playdates at least once a week so they're fine there as well.