“From House to Home” {Link Party} #76

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

 

But, first,

**Check out the Build Your Bundle sale of Homeschool Curriculum!  You’ll find something you like, I’m sure.  The Mom’s Bundle is only $10.  And if you buy 2 bundles, you get one free!

**Giveaway “All About Spelling”

**Giveaway “Encouragement for Homeschool Moms” set by Diana Waring

**Giveaway 4 Tickets to Blue Man Group in New York City

**Get a Wall Calendar for $.99 (99 cents!)

**Get Mystery of History unit 1 for $3.99 on Kindle

**Increase your social media numbers by signing up for Giveaway Promote’s next big cash giveaway event: Summer Dreams Cash Giveaway! And please put me down as a referral:  Gena Mayo

**Giveaway of “See the Light” art DVD lessons on Moses

**Get a Free Kindle book of Minecraft Secrets!

 

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!

 

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(This post contains affiliate links.)

From House to Home {Link Party} #75

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

 

But, first,

**Giveaway $100 for Homeschool Curriculum (Build Your Bundle)

**Giveaway 4 Tickets to Blue Man Group in New York City

**Giveaway Summer Family Fun Pack to Chicago Botanic Garden

**Get a Wall Calendar for $.99 (99 cents!)

**Get Mystery of History unit 1 for $3.99 on Kindle

**Sign up as an affiliate for the first ever “Build Your Bundle” - Homeschool Edition Sale and earn money, plus recruit affiliates to join with your unique link and earn off of their commissions too!

**Increase your social media numbers by signing up for Giveaway Promote’s next big cash giveaway event: Summer Dreams Cash Giveaway! And please put me down as a referral:  Gena Mayo

**Giveaway of “See the Light” art DVD lessons on Moses

**Get a Free Kindle book of Minecraft Secrets!

 

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)


 

I Choose Joy!

 

 

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(This post contains affiliate links.)

From House to Home {Link Party} #74

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

 

But, first,

**Sign up as an affiliate for the first ever “Build Your Bundle” - Homeschool Edition Sale and earn money, plus recruit affiliates to join with your unique link and earn off of their commissions too!

**Increase your social media numbers by signing up for Giveaway Promote’s next big cash giveaway event: Summer Dreams Cash Giveaway! And please put me down as a referral:  Gena Mayo

**Giveaway of Orkin Backyard Explorers Kit:
- The Orkin 9-Page Activity Bug Book
- Orkin Bugview Bug Catching Tool and Magnifier
- Red/Black Summer Wayfarer Sunglasses

**Giveaway of “See the Light” art DVD lessons on Moses

**Get a Free Kindle book of Minecraft Secrets!

 

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!

 

Follow on Bloglovin

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See the wonderful blogs I’ve linked up to here.

 

(This post contains affiliate links.)

From House to Home {Link Party} #73

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

**Be Sure to check out the giveaways I have going on right now!  Myrtle Beach Vacation for 4 and $700 worth of homeschool curriculum and products!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!
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From House to Home {Link Party} #72

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

**Be Sure to check out the giveaways I have going on right now!  Myrtle Beach Vacation for 4, The Lego Movie DVD, and $700 worth of homeschool curriculum and products!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!
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From House to Home {Link Party} #71

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!
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See the wonderful blogs I’ve linked up to here.

From House to Home {Link Party} #70

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks!  (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)  **This is a new button–if you wouldn’t mind updating it!

I Choose Joy!
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From House to Home {Link Party} #69

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!
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See the wonderful blogs I’ve linked up to here.

From House to Home {Link Party} #68

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!
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From House to Home Link Party #67!

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!
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From House to Home {Link Party}

Hi Friends–sorry no post today to accompany the From House to Home Link Party.  Things have been a bit overwhelming since last Friday when my mom suddenly passed away.  I have a few posts almost ready for the next couple of days.  But in the meantime, please link up yours!

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!

 

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Music 4 Little Learners & {Link Party}

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One of the most wonderful connections I made at last weekend’s 2:1 Conference was with the company Music 4 Little Learners.  It is a piano-teaching curriculum for ages 4-8.  My 5-year-old daughter has been begging me to teach her piano, so the timing for this was perfect!

Today is just an introduction to the program. I’ll be sharing more comprehensive reviews in the next 2 months.  But we have done some of the lessons for the last few days, and both my 5-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son love it!

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I have Kit #1 which contains a booklet with 35 lessons and 6 game/activity cards.  There are all kinds of manipulatives in the box: scale and song cards,

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tiles with numbers and letter names, notes, clefs, barlines, and gloves so they can more easily play the piano.

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Here are the kids learning how to count lines and spaces.

 

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Playing a game:

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Buliding the grand staff:

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And playing the piano with the help of specially labeled gloves.

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piano camp

Check out
Music 4 Little Learners Piano Camp or the kits and start your little ones on their piano journey! If you’re looking for something fun for the summer, the Piano Camp would be perfect!

(Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.)

 

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!
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Pictures from Easter and Fire Station & From House to Home {Link Party}

Here are some pictures from the last week or so.

Easter:

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Easter Philosophy Adventure 002

 

A Field Trip to the Fire Station:

We were just about to get our picture of the whole group sitting on the front of the fire engine when the fire fighters got a call.  It really added to the effect to watch them speed away with the siren blaring!

Fire Station Collage

This was an artifact/memorial from the World Trade Center that was just inside the fire station doors.  It was nice to see a Bible verse in a public building.  :)

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After the fire station our group went to the park to play.  It’s still too cold around here!  I’m so ready for spring!

Park Collage

 

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!
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Giveaway: Dippy Cups & {Link Party}

Dippy Cup Giveaway

 

Dippy Cups logo

 

 

Dippy Cups slider-8

 

Have you heard of Dippy Cups? They’re so fun! I won a set on someone’s blog recently and thought my readers would enjoy them too! So, Dippy Cups have offered to give away a set here, too!

Dippy Cups are small, silicone, bear-shaped bowls for kids to use for dipping sauces. They’re great for ketchup, BBQ sauce, syrup, ranch dressing, etc! We all know toddlers (and all kids, really) love to dip!

The Dippy Cups come in 6 colors and are dishwasher safe. Check out the website at http://DippyCups.com.

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Enter to win a set of Dippy Cups through the Rafflecopter app below. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to my email.

Dippy Cups buy-today

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!

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From House to Home {Link Party} with 2 Giveaways

I have 2 giveaways this week for you to enter:
A $25 Shopping spree to Grapevine Studies Bible Studies
And
A Student Planner from Well-Planned Day!

See the links in the first two link-ups below!

 

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!

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“Frozen” characters in clay & {Link Party}

We got the movie “Frozen” for my daughter’s 9th birthday, and I think the kids have watched it 10 times already! Three of my four kids used “Frozen” songs for their auditions for “Robin Hood.” (I think 1/4 of all auditioners sang songs from “Frozen” this time!) And the latest. . . these cute clay figures!  I think we might have to come up with some more “Frozen” crafts.  Can you tell who is who?

(By the way–I have some great books for kids and teens for a giveaway this week. Be sure to enter!)

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It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!

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Advice From One Homeschooling Mom of Many to Another: #4 & {Link Party}

Advice from One Homeschooling Mom of Many to Another
For the past month I’ve been posting some advice for a mom of seven who is struggling in her first year of homeschooling.  Three weeks ago I posted my response.  I also have 3 posts from 3 friends of mine: Post #2 can be found here.  Post #3 can be found here.  And today’s post is from a mom of 7!
One of the first things that comes to mind is that her struggles are perfectly normal. I am  sure that most of what she mentioned I have experienced. We have succeeded in some areas and failed in many others. I had an advantage in that I did not start homeschooling when they were teenagers, but much younger.
Anyway, I would suggest first of all to back off on her expectations. I get the feeling they are pretty high. It never works to compare your family to what you think other families are doing/accomplishing. No family is the same. It also seems that the character of the children is her main priority. So if she keeps that in mind, perhaps she needs to take a break from academics and just read the Bible aloud and have kids memorize scripture. Also, she seems to be loading many burdens on herself. At 14, the older girls are perfectly capable of self-teaching with the right curriculum. She does not have to be everything to everyone – they have many siblings they can rely on for part of it. One suggestion also would be to step back and just do some fun things for awhile. For example, read aloud to them and then have the children act out the reading with a skit they write. Go to the library and load up on books and just let everyone read good books. Listen to classic books on audio. Go outside and play. And make sure everyone goes to bed early enough to get a good night’s sleep.  And remember, the children are getting older, so what was a difficulty last year you do not even think about now or wonder why you thought it was such a difficulty.

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!

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Advice From One Homeschooling Mom of Many to Another: #3 & {Link Party}

Advice from One Homeschooling Mom of Many to Another
Recently I had an email from a mom of seven who was struggling in her first year of homeschooling.  Two weeks agoI posted my response.  I also received some responses from 3 friends of mine, so they will be posted on the other Thursdays in March. Post #2 can be found here. And today we have post #3, from a fellow mom of 8!:

I am a friend of Gena Mayo from I Choose Joy. I am 43 years old will be married 20 years this year. We have eight children ages 17 down to 3. We’ve been homeschooling since we became parents. We decided to homeschool when our oldest was just two months old after attending a homeschooling conference. I am not sure I have any great pearls of wisdom but want to say you are normal. Whatever you are feeling, you are normal and there’s no shame in that other than our own pride being wounded that we are not living up to our own expectations.

Gena mentioned you are in your first year of homeschooling. I have heard it said that the first year of homeschooling should be more about getting to know each other again and creating organizational plans and delegating, than grades and school. Part of me thinks you had high expectations and haven’t met them and that’s robbing you of your joy.

Mothering is exhausting under any circumstance but throw homeschooling in the mix and being with our offspring 24/7 and you have a completely different exhaustion, in my humble opinion.

Here are my suggestions:

1. Your relationship with your husband should always come before anything else. You will be giving your children a huge gift to see the priority you place on your marriage and each other. So that said, set up a date night, tell the kids you want to surprise daddy with his favorite meal and a date tonight/tomorrow night so you are feeding them early and they are going to bed early because mom and dad are having an in-house date. Get them involved with decorating, setting the table, getting the house clean. The older kids can read, clean their room and even put the little ones to bed. I think this would go a long way in restoring togetherness among the two of you and your children seeing how important you are to each other and what child doesn’t want to surprise daddy before he gets home?

2. Set aside time for yourself this weekend and let your husband know you need this. Whether it be a couple hours at Starbucks, the library, in the bathtub or your room. Make time for you. You can read, watch tv, write letters, craft or sew, but it has to be something you enjoy for you and no interruptions.

3. Delegate. If your children and husband are not doing anything, they have to be in order for homeschooling to work. Your children are not too young to do chores. I think a goal you should have is most of your children doing the bulk of every day chores with you doing half the meals and helping deep clean. You are the manager (and yes I have Managers of their Homes but haven’t used it in years but I certainly learned much from it) so manage and delegate tasks according to age and ability. I own my own business and do a morning paper route, out of necessity when my husband was laid off six years ago and again last August, so my family does the bulk of the house work. It’s the way it has to be when I work almost 40 hours a week. Granted I have my husband home right now so he’s a huge help and has taken off the stress in helping with homeschool and overseeing the children. But our situation is unique because of his unemployment. We also have a small farm and the children do the bulk of those chores as well. We told them if they wanted animals they would be taking care of them because dad and I wanted to do just vegetables! :) We are raising the next generation and our priority is to raise responsible adults who know how to work hard.

If you get these three things set into your schedule, I think all the rest will fall into place over time. Notice I didn’t say overnight. You have a huge adjustment in having all your children home again, but your three older girls, even your 6 year old can learn to take over some of the meals. Start with breakfast or lunch as those can be fairly easy meals to fix. All five of our older kids can cook many to several meals each. Our 7 and 5 year old help with prep work.

As a mom, you have the most important job in the world – raising your children! God chose you to be their mother and them to be your children. He didn’t make a mistake. You can homeschool successfully and He is with you every step of the way. Homeschooling is more than just school. It is our children learning godly character, learning skills to last them a life time, learning to love and forgive. And as Gena’s blog title suggests, “I Choose Joy”, joy is a choice and we need to choose joy no matter the circumstances, just think of the apostle Paul’s example. I doubt he was very pleased to be jailed but he did choose joy amidst a difficult situation. Homeschooling is as much for our children as it is for us. God refines us in the process.

Anyways, I’ve got to bake with my little ones but hope you can take something of what I said and apply it to your life and home.
May you be blessed with strength and encouragement today.

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!

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See the wonderful blogs I’ve linked up to here.

Advice From One Homeschooling Mom of Many to Another: #2 & {Link Party}

Advice from One Homeschooling Mom of Many to Another
Recently I had an email from a mom of seven who was struggling in her first year of homeschooling.  Last week I posted my response.  I also received some responses from 3 friends of mine, so they will be posted on the other Thursdays in March.  Today is post #2 from a mom of 6.
Guest Post:
 I also have 2 sets of twins, as well as 2 singles, ages 20, 18, 18 (girls) and 12, 8,8 (boys). I have homeschooled from the beginning.
I wanted to give you some practical tips on homeschooling a large family, which I wish I had known when my kids were younger.

How do you maintain the crazy life and not lose yourself or your mind?

 I really try to keep a sense of humor when things don’t go perfectly well, and they won’t. Chaos isn’t so bad, and you get used to it. My life isn’t so chaotic anymore with 3 finished with school, but my chaos included a year of chemotherapy because of breast cancer 5 years ago, so perspective is key. There is joy in life itself. There is joy in the blessings of many children, a home, a job. Count your blessings often, and thank the Lord often.

How do you and your husband’s relationship not get lost and become a roommate relationship in the midst of life? How does everything not just feel like work?

 Talk to each other and tell him your needs. Be one another’s confidant. Life is work and often times you feel only like roommates, but that happens even if you aren’t homeschooling or have only 1 child.

What do you do with younger kids while trying to school older kids?

For the 3 and 6 yo,
Fill the kitchen sink with soapy water and have them wash ALL the plastic dishes, stack cups, give them beans to put in cups. I always had a box of these items that only came out when I did school with the older kids. The 1 1/2 year old twins are harder. Keep that nap schedule for as long as you can. My twins (8 years old now) were tough at this age so school happened mostly during nap time.  Have the older kids do independent work when the younger ones are awake – reading, writing assignment, math homework. Can you hire someone to come over and just play with the younger ones while you teach the other kids? Can you find a homeschooled teenager in your church to come over 2 times a week to read and play with the younger ones? Maybe a grandparent or single person?

How can I be everything everyone needs all the time without getting burned out?

Don’t do everything! Just because you homeschool doesn’t mean that you are their only teacher. Join a co-op so that someone else can teach certain subjects. You’re already providing them with a better and safer learning environment by pulling them out of the public school; you don’t also have to teach them everything. This year, I am only teaching my 12 year old history. He has a math tutor, my husband teaches science, he has an online writing class, and in co-op he does art, speech, gym; and Bible with my Community Bible Study group.

How do you not be tired..and how do you manage your home and kids all day and have anything left to give your husband at the end if the day..

Assign chores to everyone – have your kids help you make a list of things that need to be done daily (unload dishes, garbage, bedroom…) and weekly (toilets, big garbage can…). Then assign those for the week and rotate those chores. Do a “30 minute pick-up” where everyone is assigned a task or room, and send them all to do that for 30 minutes while you rest! Ask dad to help too. You BOTH work all day (and your work is harder). Evenings shouldn’t only be your burden. If husbands need us to be wives to them, then they need to make it possible for us by not letting us be overtaxed with work. Otherwise exhaustion will take us over. Also consider using paper products for breakfast and lunch and skip the dishes. During the school year, I need to NOT do dishes on school days.
Have the older kids each be in charge of a younger kid for half an hour or an hour every day to give you a break to take a walk outside by yourself, or read the Bible outside.

I recently bought and read and made a schedule based on Managers of their Homes (book).

Keep it simple – simplify as much as you can.
It will get better. Try to be consistent, have a general schedule and don’t worry if you veer away from it; think of what you did accomplish rather than what you didn’t.

I am reading and praying and drawing near to Him…

Pray a lot

There isn’t enough of me to go around..

 That is correct – assign jobs; “anything you remove, you put away,” if it doesn’t get done, there are consequences like no play time or tv (or computer time if you allow it) on weekends

I have always stayed at home and funny enough 5 kids seemed manageable but 7?

It’s the little twins – believe me, it does get better! Enjoy their crazy antics; I miss that when I look back at the pictures of the chaos.

We hardly ever leave the house because it usually takes longer to load everyone up than to actually do whatever it is we needed to in the first place.

 A walk and sunshine does wonders

I really do love being a mom and I wouldn’t trade my life for anything else I just really want to know if this time passes or if it’s just always spinning out of control.

 No one can do this perfectly, not even the Duggars. That’s just television. I hope some of these ideas help you as they have helped me get through some difficult times. Be encouraged that your effort will be a blessing to your family. My older daughters thank me for homeschooling them and plan to do the same when they have children someday. There nothing more encouraging to me than that.
If you have anything to add, please leave a comment!

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!

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New Series: Advice from One Homeschooling Mom of Many to Another {Link Party}

Advice from One Homeschooling Mom of Many to Another

Recently I had an email from a mom of seven who was struggling in her first year of homeschooling.  I hope that my response will be helpful to more people than just her, so I’ve decided to share it here.  I also received some responses from 3 friends of mine, so they will be posted on the other Thursdays in March.  Be sure to come back to read them!

My answer (edited somewhat to preserve her anonymity):

No matter what the size of your family, starting to homeschool after kids have already gone to school is hard for anyone!  I heard one speaker say it takes one month of adjustment for every year the kids have gone to school.  So, hang in there.  It’s learning a new way of life for you and for your kids.  And having the little twins sure doesn’t make it easier!

I now know some other large families, but for many years I received my encouragement and help mostly from the internet.  I’m part of an email loop called MOMYS, Mothers of Many Young Siblings.  There are so many women on that loop that no matter what question you ask, you’ll find someone to give advice on it!

I also got help from books.  Managers of Their Homes (and Chores) helped a bit.  And even though I can never do it the way I plan it on paper, it still helps me get focused.  I also liked the book Large Family Logistics and got a lot of great ideas from it.

I’m so sorry about you feeling like the joy has left your home.  I think I would put aside the regular school work for a while and do some fun learning.  Let the kids choose some topics they’d like to study and check out a bunch of books and videos at the library.  They could do lapbooks on the topic if they think that’s fun.  Go on some field trips.  The Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op website has a great list of field trip ideas for every city!  Read aloud a bunch.  That’s one of my favorite parts of each day.  Do some art, or music appreciation, or anything else that’s fun and different to help everyone get happy again.  January is a rough month for most homeschoolers.

> How do you maintain the crazy life and not lose yourself or your mind?  
I do feel like I’m losing my mind–at least once every day!  But talking it out with my husband, getting some good systems going (kids assigned to chores, check-off lists, laundry schedule), and getting out of the house alone occasionally helps.

> How do you and your husband’s relationship not get lost and become a roommate relationship in the midst of life?
A few years ago we started talking together in bed every night.  We make sure we go to bed at the same time, so we have that time to connect (and work out issues if there are some).  I get less sleep now, but our relationship is so much stronger I would not trade it for the world!

> How does everything not just feel like work?
Well, a lot of it is work, so it is going to feel that way.  Parenting and teaching and homemaking are hard work!  So, you just need to look for the things that can delight you in the midst of it.  Aren’t your twins funny?  Take time to watch them and laugh!  Sing.  Dance.  Get silly when you can.

> What do you do with younger kids while trying to school older kids?
I’m still not good at this one.  I did hire a young lady to come and help in the mornings last year when I had a newborn and 2-year-old (and 6 older kids to homeschool).  Most of the time now I just let them play in the basement and hope they entertain themselves.  Other times, they have one of my older kids to play with them when they are in between schoolwork.  I do my focused read-aloud time in the afternoon when my baby is sleeping.  I wish my 3-year-old would still nap, since he doesn’t have the attention span to listen to me read for so long.  This is still an area I’m not very good at!

> How can I be everything everyone needs all the time without getting burned out?
Here is another thing I’m struggling with as well.  I just try to make sure my priorities are straight.  I do need some alone time every day, so if I get it, that helps be reguvenate.  But it’s still very hard and I often feel like there isn’t enough of me to go around.

> How do you not be tired?
I am ALWAYS tired:(

> And how do you manage your home and kids all day and have anything left to give your husband at the end if the day?
My husband is such an encouragement to me at the end of the day (most days) that I do have something left.  But not everyday.  Remember, this is your first year of homeschooling.  It’s a really hard year!  Everyone, including you and your husband needs to understand that and lower their expectations.

> The biggest problem I feel is that there isn’t enough of me to go around.
Yes, I feel like this, too.  I just make sure that I check everyone’s schoolwork every few days, since it’s impossible to do it every day.

>  I want to teach my children Godly character and I want to love and respect my husband and I want to be good at homeschooling and I don’t want my house to be a wreck all the time and I want to provide healthy meals but honestly I feel like just the regular maintenance of everyday is so overwhelming.
It is overwhelming.  There is no way you can do everything.  Figure out where you can cut back –at least for a while (a year or two?). Easier meals, hiring someone to help, paper instead of dishes?  Can you lower some expectations about housework?  We never make our beds here.  One of my boys has two boxes under his bunkbed where he puts his clothes.  Nothing to hang up, no folding.  It’s easy.  I get cleaning ladies to come in once a month.  So I never mop or clean showers.

> We hardly ever leave the house because it usually takes longer to load everyone up than to actually do whatever it is we needed to in the first place.
My husband does the grocery shopping on Saturdays because of this. It is extremely exhausting for me to take everyone out.  So, we don’t do it very often.

 I’m so glad you reached out!  I do hear your heart, and I am praying for you.  This life (of having a large family, and homeschooling them) is so hard, but so worth it.  Don’t give up!  

My favorite Scripture:  Hebrews 12:1-3

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted

Your sister in Christ,
Gena

 

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!

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Follow on Bloglovin

See the wonderful blogs I’ve linked up to here.

(Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links.)