I just purchased the Organized Mom Super Set! You said if we had any questions to email. Well, basically, I am totally overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Do you have something to follow as far as a “this is your best plan of action if……” type thing? 😀
I thought if I told you a little about my situation it might help you to be able to answer me. I have six children 9 and under. Three boys oldest 9, one turning 7, and one 51/2. Then three girls one 3 and twins who are 16 mo. We are supposed to be going into the 4th grade with our oldest. We have tried to follow a relaxed homeschooling approach and would like to do more Charlotte Mason ideas. When I say tried I mean, basically I haven’t been very consistant and we haven’t done nearly enough learning the past few years. I hope for this to be a turning point for our school. I have a few different resources and we do go to the library some. They love being read to and I love to read. Our oldest is a struggling reader. He has just not taken off with it at all. He is behind in math as well. (as far as public school is concerned) So, even though he is a bright child, we are not “grade level” by any means. My middle son is supposed to be entering 1st grade, he isn’t reading at all. My youngest son is starting K.
Please guide me in this. I am just now purchasing your set because my hubby, bless his sweet heart, just didn’t see any need in me getting it a couple of weeks ago because he feels like I have things that I don’t use, why buy more. I understood his view, but need help! I explained to him tonight that I need to start school, but don’t know where to start, how to set goals, what to use, how to plan each day, how to do any of this…. I need some sort of system and that your stuff is all that I feel like the Lord has showed me this summer. I’ve been praying for HIM to lead us and give us wisdom. I keep feeling like more curriculum would be a waste and that we need to use what we have (maybe get a new workbook for the younger ones and just finish what our oldest has started and then purchase the next book for him) (this would be a workbook for each from Sing Spell Read and Write and then we will get the next Math U See workbook when we need it) the rest we could use books and experiments and maybe this notebooking you talk about.
He told me that if your set was on sale tonight I could get it if I felt like it would truly help. I have basically stepped out on faith and just trusting that with God’s guidance and wisdom and maybe a little help and direction from you, we can get this off to a start. Please tell me what to do first. Your info. gave the impression that I would be in a sense taken under your wing and guided in getting this off the ground. If so, I can never, with the deepest outpouring of gratitude, express to you how much that would bless me! I am one desperately, longing Mama who wants to do better for my Lord and my babies.
You said something in one of your downloads that I identified with completely…. Even if I tried putting my children in public school, I wouldn’t be happy, I would be miserable, that is so true. I feel like I can’t do this sometimes, but then I realize there is no other option!!!! This is what I am called to do. I anxiously await your advice. Love, Audrey
By the way thank you for all of your free downloads of audios and books. That has been such a refreshment to me in this struggle lately. I haven’t found anyone else who offers anything free… That gives the impression to me that you are truly wanting to help everyone, not just wanting to make money. I haven’t had the money for anything much this summer and you have really helped me. I have a hard time finding the time to listen and read, but maybe you can give some ideas there. How do I fit this planning into my schedule????? Thanks.
Hi Sweet Friend!
Thanks for your email. I want to thank you for trusting me as your companion on your journey. That blesses me more than you will ever know. Yes, God did lead you here. I am HERE. I am only an email away. It may take me a bit to snag time to answer you, but I really try hard to answer as soon as I can. I want to see you succeed. I am here for you!
I am going to answer this question and post it on my blog. It is such a great question. I am sure that others probably wonder the same thing. I love your questions. They are wonderful! Just feel free to send them to me. I will dig in as I can. I am actually trying to answer questions daily on my blog. You may want to peek regularly at my blog (http://wwww.CindysDesktop.com). That is the “spot” where you can find answers to questions and you will probably find a few new friends there too. 🙂
As I read your email, I felt like I went back in time to the point where I felt the feelings that you are sharing here. I found some things that helped me tremendously. Hopefully they will help you too.
First, know that these are tough and demanding years. Your children are all at the ages that need YOU so much. I am sure that it feels like a whirl-wind. I was soooo tired when my children were at those ages. You know that you always hear old-mamas like me say, “If I could do it again” or “I just wish I could go back and know what I know now.” As matter of fact, my husband and I were talking just two nights ago about how different things are now. Parenting seems to hit you like a SWISH and the years of the children at home are gone as soon as there is calm. By that time, you finally feel like you are “getting things down.” During those early years, we were had to work so hard. We do wish that we could package up the certainties and absolute confidence that we have now and do it again.
I would not worry even one day.
I would play more.
I would laugh more.
I would work less…and that is on school work AND housework. 🙂
You are right in the most demanding school years for your children. In fact, this year will probably be a break-through year for your oldest. Some things will begin to “click” for your son. He will take off. It will get sweeter and sweeter. These are definitely your toughest days, beloved!
Probably the biggest help for you would be to KNOW what to expect. SO often moms worry and fret because they are soooo afraid that they are going to mess up. They are so afraid that they are doing something wrong. They fear that they will miss something along the way that will mess up the whole process of learning. They fear that things will always be this way. They fear that THEY are the hindrance to their child’s learning.
Oh! Sweet friend, you are a doing a beautiful, beautiful job. You are the very, very best teacher for your child. I know that because you are trying so hard. I know that because I can see your heart for your children in this email.
Charlotte Mason said that mothers are the best teachers because they have a “thinking-love.” You have that, Audrey. You are going to do a wonderful job! You are studying. You are seeking God. You are plugging away. You are keeping on in spite of the frustrations and demands. SUPER JOB! Very well done beloved!
So, what do you do? My son is 21 and was homeschooled through the years. He has been very successful in business and is now just got selected for the Army Special Forces. I am so proud of him. 🙂
I asked him a while back what he would want for homeschool moms to KNOW. He and Jill plan to homeschool their children when they have them. I asked him what he wants to remember and KNOW with certainty through those years ahead of them. He said that it would be to RELAX and KNOW THAT THEY WILL GET IT! Yes! They will! I wish I had known that from the very beginning. I would have never stressed out. I would have never melted down. I would have taken the learning curves a lot steadier.
Sweet friend, they WILL get it. They won’t always be here. Praise God! You are on a sweet, sweet journey with them. Don’t just look for the destination. Look at the little things along the way–even the struggles. Laugh. Enjoy. Embrace all of it. Soak it all in. Enjoy every step of this journey. If you can’t, get rid of anything that hinders–any books, any techniques, any outside interferences, and anything in your heart that distracts and hinders YOU from relaxing and enjoying this journey.
What do you expect?
What CAN you expect ahead of you?
Well, sweet friend, these years are years that you are building a foundation for his entire life. He is learning all of the basics. It is going to take a lot of repetition, patience, and pushing past the struggles. These are very formative days. They are forming more than skills to learn. They are teaching your children more than a bit of information and fact. These days are building a foundation for life.
Sweet friend, he IS going to get it! Because you are homeschooling, he WILL get them. How do I know? I can read your precious “mommy” heart in this email. You will do a wonderful job. You really care about your children being a success. You will do super. They WILL get it! 🙂 Give it time. Keep on working hard. You are going to do a wonderful job!
Wondering: What is the first thing to do? Anything to do today that might help?
Probably the most important thing to do is to pull back and look at your family’s greatest needs beginning with YOU and then, thinking through all of the children.
I know you are a busy, busy mom. However, this is sooooo important. I regularly pull back, if even for an afternoon, and really look at where we are and what we NEED THE MOST. Usually there is just one thing that could make a big, big difference. Sometimes there is a WHOLE LIST. But, as I find the most important thing to do, it is amazing how it overcomes the barriers if I will focus on that one thing.
Now, this is a bit tricky because it COULD be something that you are totally missing–I have a long, long story of thinking that our problem was that Elisabeth was still not reading at 12–yes, I was MORE than freaking out! The real NEED was for me to minister to her heart and give her TIME to grow and mature. I wanted more than anything to just TEACH the lessons and for her to GET IT! 🙂 Well, isn’t that what we ALL want? (WINK)
From reading your email, I really believe that the greatest need is for you to pull back and develop your philosophy of education and lifestyle of learning. It sounds like you have been a subscriber to my ezines. This whole summer my focus for that ezine has been on helping everyone get started (or re-started) homeschooling on the right track. If you missed any of those, you can find them all online right now at this link:
I know you are busy. I know that I am writing you the first week of September. But, what I am about to say is probably the most important thing you will hear for the rest of your homeschool years–you do have to look at homeschooling for the “long-haul” if you want to really get a solid foundation. Get your kids busy in a project that they can work on while you take some time to study and get everything visualized (you need a vision), planned, organized, and running smoothly. I KNOW the time of year. Oh! I really KNOW the pressures. But, I also know the difference in how much is learned and how easy it is. Get the kids busy with a project OR let them PLAY for a bit. (Do remember that PLAY is one of your biggest tools for teaching little ones–it can make the difference in how fast they GET IT. FOR REAL! They need that time to think, ask questions, and put information into its place in their minds. More on that another time!).
Take some time to read, think, plan, and get a vision for your homeschool. If you think you don’t have time (and most of us do think that), I cannot tell you ENOUGH how much this one thing will help you. It will smooth out the “wrinkles” that are frustrating you. It will make things soooo much easier. It is kinda like going on a hike (like my son’s ruck marches) without your map and plotting your course. If you can take out your “map” so you know what the terrain looks like ahead of time, things will be much better. You will find a much easier journey if you can plot your course. You can get around the obstacles. You may even save your life.
My son was talking about selection for Special Forces. Just before he was scheduled for selection one of his buddies died in the group before him. They had no idea how this wonderful 21 year old guy could just collapse and die. He was in perfect shape. He was one of the very best! Their first suspicions were that he was not drinking enough water and collapsed from dehydration. Of course, that did not make sense. They KNEW to drink water and take good care of themselves. It is trained into the soldier from bootcamp through every step of the way that they MUST take care of themselves. The autopsy showed that he had been snake bit. Matthew told me that he had the same map, same training, same freedom to choose the path. Yet, this wonderful soldier had gone the wrong way. He got in a spot that where he was biten by a snake. From the wounds it looked as though he had been deep in water. Only a little way away the water was not even knee deep. Did he know the dangers? He should have. It cost his life.
Why do I use this illustration? Homeschooling is a LIFE. If you can set aside time to look at the “map” and “plot your course,” it will help you tremendously. It may SEEM that you don’t have time. But, on this side of the journey, I can’t tell you enough how important this time is. You need to set aside time for YOU to learn and grow. You need time to study and weigh out all of the options. You need time to develop your teaching beliefs and approach.
The difference is amazing! You really do not have the time to waste in going on without a solid plan for homeschooling.
All of this to encourage you to find a time that you can set aside just to study and grow as a mother. If I were in your position, I would “take off” from school right now and get a plan. Then, I would implement a few things that would make learning easier:
Narration (talking and listening! :))
Getting outside to play and enjoy nature.
Swap out the things that are frustrating for the things that will breathe life into your homeschool. Don’t hold on to the things that are not working. Begin now to develop a LIFESTYLE of learning. That means to implement things that you can do as you go along the way. Make learning a lifestyle.
How do you do that? What do you do first? Well, you actually have my FAVORITE set already. There are some of my greatest treasures in that set. I would recommend two things FIRST. Pull out HOMESCHOOLING THE EASY WAY Ebook. Read it through. Snag time to read it as you can. It will give you a nice overview. Don’t let it frustrate you because it has SO MUCH in it. You have many, many years to get it all down. Just read through it one time–I do recommend that you go back later to read it in depth and make a plan to implement it but for now just read through it. 🙂
While you are reading through it, download the LET’S GET ORGANIZED FOR THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR seminar audios. Those are MIGHTY! There was an anointing during the recording of that event that just continues to flow through the set. Download and really soak those in. They will do three things: give you an overview and vision for where you are going, encourage your heart, and give you some practical helps that will probably troubleshoot some of your struggles.
Let me know how this goes. You are not alone. I am here! My prayer is that I can be your friend who comes alongside of you cheering you on. I do that as a mom who IS finished. I have stayed the course. It is the greatest accomplishment of my life. I want that for you! 🙂
Well, must get running!
Stay in touch. Keep me posted. Most of all, have your very best year ever!