How do you homeschool when it’s CRAZY? (Homeschooling with babies and toddlers)

Are you homeschooling with little ones in the mix— underfoot, climbing on the table, needing snack every 4 minutes, causing general havoc?

I have lived this life for quite a few years. Somehow we all survived and now my two oldest are homeschool grads and in college, so apparently they must have learned something along the way, in spite of shrieking toddlers and their mom being on her last nerve much of the time.

Starting around 2011 when Toby (our fifth) was born, things got crazier and more difficult every school year. Just this year, I am starting to come down the other side of this particular rugged mountain experience. The peak of the mountain was probably in 2017, when I had five in school, 1st grade to 12th grade, and three too young for school, ages four, two and nine months. 

Amanda recently sent me the question below. I have heard at least three other moms voice a similar question in the past few weeks. Amanda has Annie who is 10 years old and in 5th grade. She also has James and Leah, twins (adorable pics throughout!) who will be two in October. This conversation is shared with Amanda’s permission.

(I also added a few more ideas at the end, that didn’t necessarily apply to Amanda’s situation, but might be helpful for others.)

Amanda: Hi! With the “virtual” school year approaching…I have a question for you!

Just how in the world do you homeschool on the HARD days? The days where the little ones are throwing fits every 3rd minute? The days where no one is listening? The days where it’s just plain hard?! We amazingly are getting to keep Annie home from school this year (one good thing I can blame on covid!) ..still enrolled in public school but it’s not going to be enough instruction, so I’ll be doing additional math and reading/language arts with her and Bible!

Even with reviewing math all spring/summer with her it’s been hard at times, but given the situation we were able to be super flexible. But with her being home full time now, I want to establish such a schedule that it’s still “school” to her..not a whole bunch of free time, etc? How do I do it?! 🤷🏼‍♀️😬😆

Annie and the twins

Me: Great question, and believe me I get it!! Homeschooling with little ones in the mix is just plain hard! Here are my thoughts and suggestions, for whatever they are worth: 😅

Continue reading “How do you homeschool when it’s CRAZY? (Homeschooling with babies and toddlers)”

When You Feel Discouraged

Some days discouragement knocks on the door and then floods in, before we hardly realize it. Here are some thoughts for those times when we battle disappointment, disillusionment, or feelings of failure in spite of giving our all.

IMG_E0894The devil loves to come marching in and start feeding us lie upon lie when we are discouraged. Continue reading “When You Feel Discouraged”

Mom, You are Priceless (seeing yourself through the eyes of your child)

{I shared these words back in 2011, when speaking at an event for a gathering of mothers. I hope these words encourage you today. We had a break in the cold weather recently and Katelyn took these pictures of the girls in the pine needles and sunlight. Neither of these girls were yet born when I first shared these words.}

All of us here today have at least one thing in common, and that is that we are mothers.  We have been privileged to bring at least one life in to the world, and the well-being of that little person has been completely committed to our care.  It’s a miracle and an awesome privilege.

I am expecting my fifth child in just a few months.  It’s a boy, which makes four boys with one girl right in the middle.  I am thankful to God for blessing me with these children, and for ALL that He has taught me through it.  I do not stand here today as a mother who “has it all together.”  I am not a super-mom. Continue reading “Mom, You are Priceless (seeing yourself through the eyes of your child)”

A thought from Steve (with Fall pictures!)

IMG_5448After reading my last blog post, about working alongside your children, Steve said, “There’s a spiritual lesson in that.”

Here’s the truth he shared. We have One who comes alongside us, too. As followers of Christ, we’ve all been given jobs to do, many of which seem beyond our abilities. Our Master hasn’t left us alone to figure it all out ourselves. He’s given us Continue reading “A thought from Steve (with Fall pictures!)”

Golden Tones of Late Summer (with kids crying in the background)

The loveliness of the Shenandoah Valley welcomes the change of season a little more each day; days of late summer mixed in with days of early fall. Katelyn and I have been enjoying the scenery on the drive to and from the farm where she and Ethan work on a butchering crew.  So we took a drive out that way the other day, to try to capture some of it on her camera. Yellows and golds are some of my favorite color tones, both inside my home and outside of it. Goldenrod may be Continue reading “Golden Tones of Late Summer (with kids crying in the background)”