Today I am sharing more about How to Homeschool on a Limited Budget on Homeschool Creations. Please come share your favorite budget stretching homeschool resources too!
I would like to come to you today sharing how we have the perfect family Bible and devotional system down pat. It’s flawless and we’ve used it for the last 10 years. But that’s not true. You can read in our homeschool life schedule that our normal routine had been to read the Word together at every meal and during read aloud time.
We fell off our family Bible time horse and have desperately wanted to get back in the saddle.
Like most important things that get pushed out by messy life, we never intended to stop reading the Word together as a family. However amidst my last pregnancy, my other blog that wildly turned into a full-time business, and my husband’s job that put him on mandatory night-shift overtime for over a year which left me feeling much of the time like a single mother, we let our family Bible time slip away.
Isn’t that just like the devil? A slow chip, chip, chip, and wearing down around the edges?
The enemy is crafty and will slowly chip away at anything we’re trying to do for the Lord.
Remember, those little foxes? We had let too many little foxes, and granted some great big ol’ fat foxes, steal our most precious daily time. I can blame the devil, but I still have to take personal responsibility. My husband and I have to take responsibility.
Putting our foot down. My husband has been able to take some time off from work on FMLA since we’ve had Amelia. While he has been off we’ve been assessing what our family needs and what areas we need to come up higher in. Obviously the biggest glaring issue pulling on both of our hearts is the lack of time our family has spent together in the Word. We have had enough of that!
Decide for change. We had to put our foot down and say that enough was enough. We didn’t want to watch our family slip farther and farther away from reading the Word together. We still read the Word during our personal time with the Lord, but there is something so powerful in a family sprawled out with Bibles and hearts open together. Time slips away, next thing we’ll know our children will be gone into the world. We want a lasting family legacy of being God chasers – together!
Commit to your children. We told our children that we needed a change, and we confessed that we were wrong. We admitted that we had let too much of LIFE take over our lives and we needed to get back to putting first things first – like family time in the Word. *Remember, it’s always important to confess to your children when and where you are wrong. My hope is this lights a fire and hunger in our children’s memories that they will always have a family Bible time with their children – no matter how messy life becomes.
Make a plan as a family. Our new plan has been to have time reading the Bible together aloud as a family after breakfast each morning. I would love to get back to reading the Bible after every meal, but for now I’m thrilled to be developing our after breakfast routine. I made a large Bible bag with a Bible for each reader in our family along with several Bible story books for our younger children. The little boys (2 & 3) have the fun job of handing out Bibles. After Bible time is done they put the Bibles back in the bag. This gives them a special job to look forward to completing.
Pick your battles. We decided to let our two-year old come and go as he pleases (there are only so many battles that I can fight ;)). Our 3 and 6-year-old have to stay at the table and listen quietly (let me add that the 3-year old is almost 4). Usually Liam climbs back in his booster seat at some point while we’re reading, otherwise he sits on the kitchen floor and plays with Thomas trains. He is still hearing and he is still in the room. And hopefully one day soon I’ll say today is the day that Liam is staying in his chair.
Dive In. And we just dove back in. We started reading with the book of John and read 3-4 chapters together each morning. I also read a few martyr stories from our beloved book Jesus Freaks. We’ve read through this book each year for the last 5-years.
When it’s hard. I’m not telling you that deciding to spend time reading the Bible as a family each day will be easy. Actually, it’s usually the opposite. The enemy doesn’t want your family growing in the Word together. I have found that there’s a Murphy’s Law for Bible reading time. Whatever can go wrong, spill, cry, or possibly explode (diaper wise especially ;)) will. I have to set my face like flint that we will read the Bible! Each morning when we’re done I’m sure to praise the Lord with the children that we did it!!
My prayer is that this post encourages someone. We fail and pull ourselves back up to model grace, grace, and more grace to our children often. How our family gets Bible time done may not work for your family. You may need to try reading in the evenings, or during read a loud time. I would love to work back to reading at every meal again – that’s my goal. I admit that we’re not there yet. However, it is a wonderful testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness that even during our too long of a season of not reading the Word together our older boys (9 & 12) still had their time with the Lord each morning. Praise the Lord for His mercy and goodness.
What if these moments – these messy moments, covered with children on the couch, balancing sippy cups and story books – all while spaghetti sauce pops red hot on the white stove top – what if these very moments culminate as good as it gets?
Is there really anything better?
One of the best ways to savor the sweet yet messy motherhood days is to surrender to them. Don’t run from the beautiful chaos. Sink your toes deep in the moments of now and linger with your children. You’ll lose yourself. Somewhere in-between the exploded diaper in the crib at naptime and the blue crayon that got tossed in the dryer with the white load – you’re lost.
But I don’t think that I want to be found.
This motherhood messy goodness doesn’t simply apply to having children ages five and under. It’s all good and muddled at our house. Over halfway to manhood, he towers over this five ft three Momma. He’s almost six ft tall. Did I mention that he’s only twelve? He’s deep into WWII history studies, and he can’t devour enough information on gunmanship.
Just this week he made an announcement.
Are you ready for this?
His little brothers can have his Legos.
Even though I can’t imagine he’s serious, it’s bitter sweet.
The bitter taste is the fact that I don’t remember the exact day manhood started to take over my boy – my first boy. I don’t remember the moment the mustache hairs popped out on his upper-lip. I can hardly remember his boyhood laughter now. It’s all crowded out now by the height and the deep voice and World War II, but I’m clinging.
I wonder if I got too stuck in the messy, and if I truly enjoyed every moment that the Lord has given me with him. Did I miss it, Lord? Did I squander any moments that could have been treasures?
I am the chief among sinners for not always getting it right.
Also, know that I taste the sweet. I am here. I haven’t left him. As a child who was abandoned my biggest fear has always been that I would somehow leave my children. I’ve always fought to be fully here – fully in body, mind, and spirit. I look at him and admire this strong young man, and this becoming. I don’t bemoan because I want my little boy back. I’m excited that I’m growing a man for Jesus and his growing is part of my growth.
Even though most days I’m stuck in the juggle of many babies, many lost socks, and many crossfires for my attention – one day soon part of my heart will burst into the world as a Godly man.
I hold on, and I soak up these days.
And these grace gifts may be as good as it gets. This is it ladies, we are living in the moments now as mothers, that we’ll dream about when we’re old and tucked in our beds. These baby faces that use our best scarf on a Sunday morning as a tissue and then look up and say, “Thanks Momma,” these moments are as good as it gets and I wouldn’t trade them for any other way.
“Does anyone know of a website that has a checklist for household chores and how often they should be done?”
Here are the great sites, resources and tips left by the readers on the Holy Spirit-led Homeschooling Facebook Page:
Amy said: “Chartjungle.com. Several charts on there. Sometimes I use their charts for ideas and then make my own.”
Holly said: “Motivated moms has a wonderful checklist! It costs a little bit, but it is worth every penny.”
Alicia said: “Look on Pinterest….tons of household chore routines on there.”
Amy said: “I’ve made charts for individual rooms and laminated them. Then made little name tags, several for each person. Put Velcro on so we can attach a person’s name next to the item they are assigned to on the list. Attach a little snack size ziplock at the bottom. When chore is done, detach the name tag and put in the Baggie.”
Jennifer said: “Moneysavingmom.com has daily, weekly, and monthly checklists.”
Heather said: “Fly lady is amazing! Love her!”
Megan said: “There are some neat apps on iPad and iPhone for that:) I have made up notecards for each of my kids for what is to be done and put them in hard plastic zip pouch.”
Melanie said: “Justmommies.com has an organization calendar with cleaning and decluttering routines for every month.”
Melissa said: “You might want to use www.myjobchart.com if the chores are for your kids.”
Lisa said: “I don’t know where I found it, but many years ago, I saw something about a chore box. I made one, delegating index cards to each chore. Each card was then filed in the recipe box per daily, weekly, monthly, semi annually, and annually. The weekly ones, I also labeled a specific day of the week on them and spread those out during the week so not everything was getting done on one day. Example: weekly looks like Mon-Wash Towels and clean bathrooms, Tuesday-Wash Kids Clothes clean kitchen (including sweep and mop), Wednesday-Mom and Dad’s clothes and vacuum steps and upstairs, Thursday-Pick up living room and vacuum and do extra bedding and wash whites, Friday-wash current bedding, Saturday-Extra towels and catch up on what didn’t get washed in the week. Rarely do I do catchup because I’m trying to get the kids to understand that when they move out, they may be only able to wash laundry once a week, so they need to learn to watch their time carefully. I also assign dishes and evening meal to one kid each night, but weekends DH and I do it. Meals they don’t really do alone, I am always nearby to help, but our youngest is 12.”
Alecia said: “CHOREBUSTER.net!! It’s free and it schedules everything out for each child based on level of difficulty and other factors. REALLY GREAT!!”
Karen said: “Similar to Motivated Moms – The Confident Mom Household Planner.”
Additional Cleaning Ideas and Resources:
This post contains my referral link. Here’s my full disclosure policy.
My due date of February 2nd came and went. As many of you know once you go over the magical due date the end-of-pregnancy misery amplifies. My third trimester was spent mostly on the couch from exhaustion and muscle aches and pains. Going over my due date was not part of my plan and hadn’t happened in my previous five pregnancies. I comforted myself that Amelia would come in the Lord’s perfect time. During my overdue week, I had three nights of intense contractions that kept me up for hours but lost strength and rhythm by morning. Finally, on the morning of February 9th, I awoke at 5:45 a.m. with an intense contraction. I thought that I would time the contractions starting with the next one. That time never came because less than two minutes later came my next contraction. By the time I made it down the stairs (without falling ;)) to the bathroom, I had several contractions. I called to my husband that we had no time to wait around and time these puppies – we best go now!
During the 15 minutes that it took for us to get out the door and in our van I had seven contractions and was coming to terms with the fact that I might have this baby on the side of the road. I was praying that the Lord would help us get to the hospital so I could have her there. The fact that my water hadn’t broken yet gave me some peace; although I felt the moment that it would break I would be out of time.
Now, this is how you know that for us bloggers blogging touches many aspects of our lives. I had just read my friend Amy’s (Raising Arrows) birth story for her sweet baby Creed. In Amy’s birth story, she mentioned how from experience they wanted to call ahead to the ER and give them a heads up that they were coming in. This way her and her hubby wouldn’t have to stand around at the check-in desk (of course her story has a different twist ;)). As Trav was flying down the road, and my contractions are coming strong one minute apart, Amy’s blog post came to mind, and I called the ER in a flash and told them the following:
Hi, there. In about ten minutes a big van is going to pull up outside and a wild pregnant woman in a fuzzy blue bathrobe is going to be rolling out with contractions one minute a part. Oh, yeah – this is my sixth baby. I need someone standing there waiting to take me upstairs to OB or we may be delivering the baby on the sidewalk.
The hospital staff was on their toes that morning. When we pulled up, they had two nurses and a paramedic waiting with a stretcher. I think they were disappointed that I wasn’t going to have a sidewalk delivery as they had time to whisk me upstairs to labor and delivery. Once upstairs they had the L&D room ready for both the baby and I. My midwife was ready for action, but I was shocked to find out that I was only 5 cm dilated. My midwife explained what happened was I had a large bulge of water under the baby’s head. This was causing my body to speed up and get ready for delivery. She ordered my epidural which was very anointed as it has been with all of my births. My water broke on its own a few minutes later, and to my great relief, my contractions spaced back out. I had time to rest and put on my make-up before delivery. (I like to feel human when at all possible.) My mom, Travis, and Naomi were in with me for the delivery and at 11:37 a.m. Amelia Elaine was born weighing 9.6 lbs and 21 inches long!
Amelia is a joy and delight. We all have enjoyed every coo and burp from this beautiful little creation from the Lord. Her name means “handiwork of the Lord,” and we see this each day. Our youngest sons, Liam (2) and Gabriel (3), are on official baby watch. If Amelia twiddles a mitten off or has a spit bubble, they join together to shout the news. We hear “awwww, baby” throughout the day. Naomi (6) is out-of-her-gourd with happiness about having a baby sister. Jadin (12) and Zion (9) are sure to remind me when they haven’t had a recent turn holding their sweet little sister.
Now that I’ve been delivered from my hardest (but worth it :)) third trimester to date you’ll be seeing more of me here on the blog. I’m refreshed, revived, and beyond ready to start sharing more of our journey here!