Hi, Laura. You certainly have your hands full with four little ones. What a blessing though! I only have two little guys and have prayed millions of prayers for more but then I wonder what I'd do with them if I had them! Just my two wear me out some days.Laura M wrote: ↑Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:21 pm Ok...I'm in desperate need of some encouragement and/or advice! I will start with a typical day:
I get my 12 month old settled with some toys and call my other 3 children to the table with high hopes and feeling very excited at what they will learn today. Reluctantly they sit at the table.
I start with prayer and desperately ask God to help them have good attitudes. By now the baby has begun crying at my chair. I try to ignore him and begin getting each child started with their work. My oldest says he can't concentrate with the baby crying. I go get the baby settled in the playpen. The kids have all scattered back to the playroom and I have to call them up and begin again.
OK...they are all at the table and I begin the phonics lesson with my 6 year old who just doesn't seem to get his vowels down. My 7 year old interrupts because he needs help...I lose my 6 year old from the table. The baby starts crying again.
I think you get the idea. The only one eager to learn is my 4 year old daughter. I keep reading all these awesome posts about early readers and kids who love school and love to read and I feel so discouraged.
You are certainly starting out right by praying and seeking the Lord as you start each day. I do that too, more for myself than for them!
Do you feel you must work with your 6 and 7 year olds at the same time? I would probably try to work with them individually at different times if at all possible. You could just read to them while they play in the playroom. I know... that's no real solution when you have things you want to get done. I do try to limit table time as much as possible. Maybe your 7 year old could use some educational toys and games with your 4 year old while you do the phonics lessons with your 6 year old? Then, work with the 7 year old while the little baby naps.
I have found I have to get very creative at times. My boys do like school but they distract each other and meddle with each other too much.
Hang in there! It gets so much easier as they get older. On a really difficult day, just read to them and don't let fear grip your heart. The Lord knew exactly what children He was giving you. He must have thought you could handle it! Have you read the list of 10 things to do with a child before the age of 10 by the Bluedorns. You can find it at their Trivium Pursuit web site. It has really helped me to relax and breath and not feel rushed.