Hi, Kim! I got your book for Christmas, and I can't put it down!! I've got so many questions for you!! I'm a wife and mommy to 5 ages 7, 6, 5, 2, and 3 months. My house of 1150 square feet is a total wreck all the time. I never eat or sleep right. I worry that I'm failing in my effort to provide a good homeschool education. And, my husband is having to constantly help me instead of vice versa. All this plus we are trying to sell our house so that we can get into something bigger. But, as I read your book I'm so encouraged!! Here's my 2 pressing questions: 1. Considering the house is such a wreck there's no chance of selling it as is, and it's hard to function well. Should I try implementing as I read or just get through the book as quickly as possible and then go back and implement? 2. Please, please tell me specifically what curriculum you use. I totally have to be very hands on in the curriculum I'm using. Thanks so much for writing this great book!! JenniferHi Jennifer,
There's no doubt you are in a tough place right now. My older mommy quick response is to say, "Enjoy these days, they will pass so quickly! Hold on to every moment with those little children and savor it." But I know that what you really want to hear is how to function so that you CAN enjoy it.
First, drink water. Every time you sit down to feed the baby, drink a whole glass of water. Next, eat protein for breakfast. Make some scrambled eggs for everyone. Eggs and cheap protein and very good for your brain and baby's brain. And the protein will carry you for hours. If you don't like eggs, eat cheese or the left over meat from yesterday or bacon. But get some protein for breakfast. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. Regulating your body with sleep will help you feel like a new person. Regardless of the state of the house or laundry, go to bed and sleep. You will avoid many negative things by just getting your sleep. Tomorrow, things will look better, you will have more energy after sleep and a good breakfast. Then tackle the day.
Second, do not worry about home education when your oldest is just seven. Can he read? Then give him a time of day when he should sit down and read something. If not, then when you are sitting down to nurse the baby, have him bring his phonics book to you and work through a lesson while you are feeding the baby.
How to implement: That will depend on your situation. I can't see your home. I can imagine. I can think back to my days of only little children and what I see is toys everywhere, crumbs on the table, dirty dishes, laundry piles. Wait, I think I still have that going on here. I just have big kids now who can help take care of it all in a matter of minutes. Your day is coming...but then those big kids are big and won't crawl on your lap anymore without squishing you, their hugs are crushing, and their laundry is huge, and they go out the door and drive down the road, and... Can you tell yet that I have a big kid flying the nest next week? And another one in eight months? And another one who will get her license this year? It was just yesterday that...Back to you, Jennifer, go to the back of the book in the Appendix section and start there with the 15 minute plan. Work for 15 minutes at a time restoring order.
Concerning your move and your home sale: Start packing strategically. I learned this trick from Emily Barnes and it is key to changing your home management. Go through each room of your house with three bags and/or boxes. Sort through the stuff and put in either the throw away black trash bag, sell or give away box, or the Keep Box. When you are done with the room, sort through the Keep Box and this time leave in the room only the things that are absolutely necessary. Put the rest in storage for moving or storage until you need it again. Clearly label the box with a number or name. Write on a 3x5 card what is in the box. At the top of the 3x5 card, write the name or number of the box. Put the 3x5 card in card holder box. Do this for each room or area of the house. Write in pencil on the 3x5 card so that as you further sort, organize, and purge you can easily erase things. Now for a warning. If your storage area has mice, don't use a cardboard box. Been there done that. Your storage boxes will be ready for your move, you will be clearing your house of clutter that gets in the way of real life, and you will have your house clear for showing.
Curriculum: Pray for wisdom and talk to your husband about what he wants them to learn. Go to homeschool conferences and listen to the speakers. Pour over catalogs. Get a book about book lists and start buying living books.
I think that Alphaphonics is the easiest and simplest way to get a child reading. After that, I like the Christian Liberty phonics books. They are thorough and my children who have done them have the most solid phonics foundation for deciphering words later on. Buy real living books, I use the Veritas Press catalog and Sonlight catalog as a book guide and source. But there are other book lists out there.
Math: I used Developmental Mathematics for years and still like it. The younger ones have also used Christian Liberty math books and I'm please with that. I recently bought the first Life with Fred book for my 12 year old and think it's fun. The jury is still out there.
History: Veritas Press and the text books they recommend as resources. Some years we do the cards, other years I just assign reading.
Science: assorted nature and science books for the elementary years, Apologia for age 12-13 on up.
Bible: Studying God's Word from Christian Liberty, Veritas Press Bible some years.
Jennifer, I can hear through your words that you care and that is key to success in anything. Keep Bibles handy around your home so that you can easily pick one up and read a bit. Pray without ceasing. Those two things will carry you far.