How do You homeschool with ALL Littles?? Do you look at seasoned homeschooling moms incredulously, wondering how they possibly did it when they were in this stage? You love the idea of offering your kids a rich education through homeschooling, but with so many young ones underfoot, it just seems so hard! In this post, I want to offer encouragement for homeschool moms of littles.
I have a lot of sympathy for homeschool moms who all young kids. I remember that season very well having been in it for so long. In fact, I’m still in it. We have ten children ages 18 down to 7 months and we are going on our 14th year of homeschooling. Having kids under age six in our home has become the norm for our family for so many years now so that I can’t hardly imagine it any other way. Even so, I have to admit it really is easier now than when they were all little. Those early years of diapers, dishes, dinner, and dirty laundry on repeat…they were hard!
Video: Encouragement For Homeschool Moms of Littles
“I Can’t Get Anything Done!”
Being with very young children all day is really exhausting! Have you heard yourself saying the words, “I can’t get anything done!”? I sure have. For homeschooling moms of all littles, getting very little done is the hard reality.
A day spent with all littles is completely unpredictable. You may write out your daily “to do” list, but it is completely subject to your children’s moods, potty training, lost sleep, tears over math, spilled milk, and a host of other possibilities.
- whining two year old
- toddler deciding not to nap
- baby teething
- constant interruptions
- repeated questions from three year olds
- younger children still building immune systems so they are sick more frequently
- pregnancy or adjusting to a new baby
Additionally, many moms with young children are homeschooling for the very first time, so there are other difficulties as well.
- choosing (and learning) a curriculum
- discovering your homeschool style and your child’s learning style
- finding a routine that works for you
- finding homeschool friends/co-ops
- family or friends questioning your decision to homeschool that can be discouraging
- adjusting to a homeschool mentality after having been traditionally schooled yourself
These Are The Foundational Years of Your Homeschool
One thing I did not realize when I was in the thick of homeschooling with all young children was that I was in the investment stage of both our homeschool and our family life. Whenever you start any kind of endeavor, whether it is a business, a project, or perhaps building your first home, the beginning is always the hardest part. How many years does it take for a business to start earning a profit? When you dig out the foundation for the construction of a new house, it actually looks like you are going backwards, digging that big hole in the ground. Who could look at that hollow cave of dirt and see the beautiful home you have envisioned?
It is the same with homeschooling. In the beginning, you make the largest investment and see very little fruit. You change messy diapers, make meals, attempt a reading lesson, answer a million questions, read one more story, cry over math, bathe dirty feet, run another load of laundry, kiss them goodnight ….and crawl into bed exhausted. And for what?! To get up and do it one more day.
The idea of homeschooling is so appealing, but the reality of it just seems impossible some days. When you look into your children’s sweet faces, you wouldn’t have it any other way, but are you really getting anywhere?
When you have been homeschooling for several years, you gain perspective. When you see your kids become avid readers or develop unique hobbies, you begin to reap the rewards of all your blood, sweat, and tears. And it is SO worth it! When our second son showed an interest in learning guitar and taught himself to play by watching YouTube videos or when our daughters exhibited artistic talent in some of their baking endeavors, I loved seeing them blossom. Watching your kids become individuals right before your eyes is a beautiful thing. It makes all the investments of the the early years worth it, I promise!
Encouragement: It Does Get Easier!
The good news is that it does get easier! It gets easier because the longer you homeschool the better you get at it. It becomes second nature. You no longer puzzle over the math problem. You’ve learned how to break things down in a way that the kids understand. You are more familiar with your curriculum as well, so that’s one less hurdle.
I have noticed that when the number of independent kids in your home begins to outweigh the number of dependent kids, you really start to see the scales tip the other way. The younger ones are stimulated by just having the older ones around. They no longer look to you for all the entertainment. Additionally, when you have older kids around, the littles look to the older kids to learn the patterns and rhythms of the home.
When your kids are all little, they know nothing at all. You have to teach them everything! I remember teaching our oldest son how to ride a bike without training wheels. We went out every single day for weeks helping him. With all the kids after him, however, as we started to help them, we realized their older sibling has been teaching them. It took half the time and less work for us.
Do a little reading, writing, and math every day. A little here and there goes a long way over time. Let your goal be making progress. Hold your homeschool plans loosely. Some days you will get a lot done, other days not so much. But as long as you do a little every day, you will keep moving forward. Steady plodding brings success!
Get away to recharge. We’ve all experienced that moment when you feel like you can’t wipe one more nose, tackle one more discipline issue, or do one more math problem. You are starting to feel burn out. One of the best solutions I have found when I feel this way is to get away for a little bit. Going out for coffee, shopping with a friend, or just taking a walk will give you a break and help you recharge. When you come home, you will be refreshed.
Pause and tackle tough issues: What is the issue you are struggling with in your homeschool? Messy house? Behavior issues in your kids? Try taking a break from school to find a better strategy to solve the problem. If you have to take a day off of school to get on top of things, the kids won’t get behind. You will be able to make more progress when you have smoothed things out.
You Are Doing Kingdom Work
I want to encourage you that you are doing kingdom work. All the work that you are doing with your little ones has eternal ramifications. The children that God has entrusted to you are eternal souls. You have the responsibility and the awesome privilege to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. When you can have an eternal mindset, it really helps these small earthly struggles and setbacks seem much smaller.
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Hi, I’m Sheri! I am a Christian saved by grace, married to my high school sweetheart, and a thankful mom to ten incredible kids. I’m a former public school teacher who never thought I would someday be a homeschool mom! Drawing on 13+ years of homeschooling experience, follow along to find help for getting started, tried and true homeschooling advice, life skills learning, simple Morning Time ideas, and interviews with everyday homeschool moms just like you!