While there are definite blessings in having older children to help with a new bundle of joy, there are challenges as well.
Not so long ago our “classroom” consisted of 4 students spanning toddlerhood through high school. Our first three children are a convenient 2.5 years apart. But, our surprise baby is 6 years younger than child #3.
During that time I was frequently asked, “How do you survive homeschooling older children when you have preschoolers, toddlers and/or babies underfoot?”
- First, you need to be nourishing your spirit with the Word of God. This is a short but intense season of mothering and if you aren’t filled with God’s word, it’s going to be that much more difficult!
- Examine your activities and chose them wisely! During this season it’s perfectly alright to cut back and do only what is absolutely necessary. When in doubt, make sure your priorities are (in order): God, husband and children (plus homeschooling).
- Take time for joy! Enjoy your family in this season. It will pass and soon you’ll be craving the pit patter of little feet. If you have trouble doing this, force yourself to take AT LEAST 1/2 hour per day, sit down on the floor and let your kids crawl all over you! Do a puzzle, read a book. Slow down and enjoy them. Your dirty dishes and what-nots will wait!
- Go to bed at a reasonable hour. A rested Mom is a healthier and happier Mom. And we all know how that translates into a happier home!
- Don’t skip meals. Things can get hectic especially during meals times. While you make sure that little Tommy has his protein, fruits and veggies, don’t forget that you need proper nutrition too!
- If you have not done so already, take the time you are at home to begin training your children to be responsible adults. Yes, this will take time – years. But, no time like the present to start.
Stay tuned, in part two, I’ll recommend some activities to keep those busy hands out of mischief while you work with your older children.
Check out these great resources from Rainbow Resource Center!