Yes, I am a mom of six! …and we homeschool… which means we are together most of the time! That is usually a good thing, but there are days when it is the last thing that I want. Yet, for the most part… the kids work hard, help out, and are the best kids I know! – yep, I’m a little partial. However, there are still days when I feel totally overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff that needs done. Which is why over the years, I’ve pretty much established a mental health routine along with our school routine.
1) First, with a big family there are just a few things that you have GOT to let go. When friends ask you to help out with other things, most of the time you have to politely decline. I have a hard time with that. I love to help… but, I’ve realized especially over the past few years… I cannot take on any more responsibility. So, you may want to review all that you are doing… and cross off your list those things that just are not necessity.
2) Second, I try to be organized. Yes, it really is difficult… and I’m not saying that I’ve arrived. BUT, having a semblance of organization can really make a huge difference with how well our school goes, how well the house gets picked up, and how well we eat during the week. To make my life simpler, I even color code the kiddos supplies. That way we know at a glance whose stuff belongs to who. Making a plan and sticking to it allows you to operate on auto pilot at times!
3) Focus on the important things. Yes, I try to be organized – but if my house is a mess… I’ve got to let it go. If we’ve spent hours on force and motion for kids schoolwork and the kiddo still doesn’t get multiplication… let it go for today. Don’t allow the “norm” to oppress you! Do your best, and leave it there!
4) Use homeschool curriculum that makes it easier for you. Don’t be afraid to use curriculum that is video based, or that is an elementary online curriculum. It will enable you to help all your children, and may help you keep your sanity.
5) Find curriculum that can be used across grade levels. I love using the vocabulary games in Vocabulary and Spelling City for this very reason. I can import all my lists and then set my kids to it. I don’t have to hold 5 spelling tests each week! Definitely freeing! I also enjoy the Apologia science because I can use one text book with all my elementary aged children. It’s fun and very easy to plan. Makes my life a whole lot simpler.
As a mom to a big family, don’t be afraid to take advantage of resources that you might have at your disposal. Ask a friends daughter if you could pay her to clean your house, have your older children help you cook dinner… the list could go on. Be creative, not stressed!