If your pavers are 2 3/8" thick, compact your gravel bed to 3" below the edge of your concrete. Screed your sand using 3/4" galvanized pipe and a straightedge and lay your pavers. This should put the pavers about 1/4" high. Then run a compactor over them. The sand should compact to a level that is really close to your slab. Don't compact the sand first.
Be sure to compact your gravel base in layers, and compact it good!
If your pavers are a different thickness you will need to adjust for that.
I don't know if a 6" base is enough for Wisconsin winters, maybe somebody closer can advise you about that.
Stay at home dad? You're tougher than me, I have two kids and taking care of them is harder than going to work!
Hope this helps.