Uncovering the JOYs of Homeschooling A Large Family
Homeschooling is always an adventure for me. One moment I think I have it all together and the next it all falls apart. Some days I am on top of my game and some days I can barely keep up with all the activities of the day. I sit and wonder how I can tap into all that energy my kids burn off each day. But even through the ups and downs, I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be home to educate my six children. I may not always get it right and I may not look pretty doing it (pjs count as dress up day…right?), but there is no place I would rather be than right where I am.
One challenge that has been especially difficult for me is teaching a child that is unmotivated. Every Monday morning has been a struggle. Starting the week with a rough first day not only dictates the outcomes of that day, but also the whole week. Unfortunately, my attempts to turn things around have been unsuccessful. I was depleted and frustrated, but still trying to give it my all.
In my time of weakness, I turned to my Wonderful Counselor. “Lord, give me wisdom on what to do. I will run myself ragged if things don’t change. I have tried everything but nothing is working. I know this is what you have called me to do but I am weary and tired. PLEASE Lord, help me.” (Sound familiar?) To my surprise, the Lord showed me that I was the one that needed to change. (Can I hear an AMEN?).
After a very long series of Mopey Mondays, I decided to make my Mondays more like Fridays (Thank you Lord for wisdom). I figure Mondays are harder to get back into the groove of school after having a couple days off. By Friday we are already in our groove so we might as well keep going! So now my Mopey Mondays are J.O.Y.Full! What did I do differently?
- I make a breakfast the kids want to jump out of bed to enJOY (anything with homemade whipped cream on top!)
- I start school later than usual and I make a concerted effort to be more laid back.
- I have the kids work on only three core subjects (Grammar, Math, Reading and/or Spelling).
- We watch educational videos (1 or 2 videos on hand or rented from the library)=quiet house for a bit and some sanity for me!
- We sing educational jingles for memory work (singing makes the kids happy).
- We have art class (we use Mark Kistler’s Draw Squad -not an affiliate link)
- We play educational board games.
- I diffuse a lot of essential oils (more than my usual) and douse myself in them too!!!
Homeschooling is filled with joys and challenges–all life changing. Homeschooling is the hardest job I have ever had to do in my life but I am having the time of my life doing it. Just like any full-time job outside the home there are days when I am eager to go to work and days I want to call in sick. There are stressful days and days where everything works out better than planned. There are days I am rewarded and days I am walked on. But in the end, who am I doing this for? Jesus.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…Colossians 3:23
When you hit a rough patch in your homeschool days, what do you do to stay motivated? What have you done in the past to change things up a bit that has worked for you? Have you ever had to change your entire homeschool schedule to benefit one child?