Last year when we fully switched to the WholeHearted learning model, we began experiencing the freedom and joy which I believe every homeschooling mother and family can know. Joy returned to our learning experience. Along with the joy came freedom in our days. My ministry of discipleship to our children is homeschooling them. We use real, whole books to learn, along with living real life together.
That being said, there are some parts of school (which we call the disciplined studies) that require practice and they require my full attention to teach. Having a precious toddler running here and there and needing me was stretching me too thin to feel we were accomplishing the things we needed to be getting done. That left me feeling like a failure.
God has given me this directive to educate our children at home. He has filled our table with the blessing of a lot of children. And yet...I did not know how to manage it all and the result was a discouraged mama.
Monday I found a darling lady named Sarah who made a video. In the video she said something that sparked my attention. She mentioned the idea of morning rotations with mom. She has six children herself. She schools three, and the other three? A three year old and two year old twins. Needless to say, she is speaking from experience on how to handle the load.
This is genius. For morning rotations, you have each older child take a turn at watching the toddler so your focused attention can be on teaching the one on one stuff. It is such a simple concept. Each older child gets a turn at watching the toddler and your hands are freed to do the one on one teaching that needs to get done.
These pictures are every mother's dream scenario.
With incorporating morning rotations, this is becoming our every day reality, even with an active toddler running around. Little darling loves to climb on the table, find a writing device, and go to town on any paper and surface she can find.
Who me? Yeah cutie, I'm talking about you!
We are experimenting with times the older kids can handle watching their baby sister. I think a good starting point is 15-30 minutes a session. Break and let mom be on duty, then settle into another rotation.
Sometimes I am the queen of forgetting to, you know, PRAY and ask God to give me specific wisdom on how to keep going and what we need to do to change and get back on track. I get discouraged on how I feel we are failing and I let myself stay stuck for a bit. So I pray and tell God that things are hard and I feel like I'm failing, but I don't think to ask if He would show me something specific to try.
This week God was gracious to lead me to an answer to the problem I'd forgotten to pray about.
He also reminded me that I go without so many things because I fail to ask.
If you want further encouragement on managing the schoolroom, check out Sarah Mackenzie at Amongst the Lovely Things. www.amongstlovelythings.com. Not only is Sarah the cutest thing you've ever seen, she is bubbly and full of wisdom.
(p.s. Just as I was about to press the publish button my phone rang. It was my dear friend calling. She has been praying about my discouragement with me. She was standing at the stove stirring her apple butter and I was able to share with her that our prayers have been answered, that I found a solution to the problem. So much goodness.)