With seven kids (although not all of them are "officially" homeschooling and some have graduated), it's vital to be able to teach at least some subjects together or have the bigs help the littles. Some subjects like history are easier to teach to all your students at once than math might be. And don't hesitate to include your little ones in lessons for the older kids. One staff member said that because her son participated in all the dissection lessons for his big sisters, he could confidently handle those lessons when it was his turn to study high school biology. You never know what the littles are absorbing when they're playing nearby or listening in while the big kids do their work.
Read these articles for helpful advice on multi-level teaching:
Now some encouragement for those days when you think you've blown it . . .
You got through Monday. You did it. And I know there were moments you suffered from "mad cow mama" syndrome, but what's done is done. Good thing your Father is patient, and your kids so forgiving. They love you.
I think it's good they see the crud sometimes. They are experiencing real life. You're not pretending to be something you're not or marching to some smoke-and-mirrors parade, all smiles, all the time. Who can hold up that kind of farce, and who'd even want to? Yeah, the real Mama is not phony. She's flesh and blood and her kids are too, and someday they are going to remember that their mama made mistakes sometimes just like they will as adults. She didn't feign success all the time; she did the best she could and strove for her Father's will. But she was never perfect. Those kids need to rest in that. That is a safety net for them later!
Your kids see the tears. They see a defeated spirit sometimes. Good, because at some point they too will face daily frustrations and life's trials, and they'll need to cry it all out as well. They need to be reminded that we are ALL in need of a Savior (we don't just preach it--we live it), that no one is perfect, not even Mama. And some days, ESPECIALLY not Mama.
Be real, beautiful Daughter of the King of kings. Tomorrow, work hard to be a gentle doe. But if the mad cow raises her ugly head, just lift your eyes to the One who made you. The One who made your children and then gave them to you to care for during this time for His perfect reasons. Soften your heart because of His mercies and compassion towards you (and your children!).
After all, He is the perfect One. You are His child. And you are human, just like your kids are. Start again; His mercies are new every morning and He smiles on you, obedient Mama. He will light your path again, and again, and always.
“Hey, Mama” Mondays are a regular feature of the Homeschooling with Heart Blog. You can find more “Hey Mama” encouragement here. Or for more about Gena and her husband Paul’s publishing journey, read her bio. Feel free to contact Gena at email@example.com.