Home schooling a large family can prove to be quite the challenge sometimes! I’d like to share with you a few encouraging tips to make your day more productive, profitable and joyful.
We still have 9 children living at home. A few in their teen years, a few babies, and a few in between. Home schooling was “easy” when we had nothing but young children. Everyone still enjoyed sitting on the couch to hear a story. Everyone was interested in art projects, and everyone liked peanut butter and jelly for lunch, and… I could still help everyone with their school work.
You know, back when I actually knew more than they did!
Of course it is a joy and a blessing to see our older ones grow and learn more than we did. That is one of the reasons we wanted to home school in the first place. But when they do have a question, and need some real help, it’s not like it was 5 or so years ago. “Mom, I don’t understand fractions” is much different than “Mom, I’m really having trouble with this geometry proof.” Helping with those are much more time intensive than explaining how to add fractions.
The problem comes in, at least around our home, when you are trying to help one of the older ones, and the little ones are trying to “help” too. An 8 month old and 2 yr old surely don’t understand the principal of sharing. And time with Mommy is one of the least things they want to share.
What to do? For the last few years we have tried to plan things for the little ones, to keep them busy during school time. Saving toys for just school hours, giving them special projects, etc. It worked for a while, but not for an hour or two each and every day. And it worked okay for the 3 and 4 year old, but what about the ones younger than that? sigh…
I am just overjoyed to have figured out a workable schedule, the children all agree, it is much better now!
My secret? (and you may have already discovered this)… wait until the afternoon to do school!! After lunch, when the little ones are napping. This has truly being life changing for me and my children ages 9 – 15.
Why feel obligated to get school started at 9am? It is most definitely okay to teach your children in the afternoon.What hours do you keep? What has worked well for your large family? I’d love to hear about it!
Jennifer is the cherished wife of a very visionary man, and a home schooling mother to almost a dozen children. Her deepest desire is to consistently love her husband and children, and to be a diligent and joyful keeper at home. Her favorite pastime is to encourage fellow housewives in their highest calling of wife and mother. When she’s not creating Homemaking DVDs or hosting webinars, she can be found blogging at Renewing Housewives.