||My husband and I have 6 children ages 9, 7, 5, 3, 2 and 13 months. We tried homeschooling last year and once our youngest was born, I just didn't think I could do it anymore! We thought our Catholic School was a good second choice, but we are not at all happy with some of the influences of other children on our children. We now feel that the only option for us is homeschooling. With so many little ones, how can I manage to keep my sanity?! I am such a perfectionist and the real reason I was overwhelmed was because I didn't feel the children were getting the education they deserved with me having to take care of the little ones and then I felt the little ones weren't getting the attention they needed because of the schooling. How is this possible while homeschooling so many?
When I read the first sentence of your letter my spirit was filled with joy and I sang "Praise God from whom all blessings flow!" What impressed me most, besides the beauty of the gift of life, is the word "we" used throughout your letter. Obviously if the Lord has blest you and your husband with such an abundance then He must surely have given the two of you a spirit of cooperation. I sense that you and your husband have prayed for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. With the two of you praying and cooperating together you will be empowered by the Spirit in your decisions. Remember, that if the Lord calls, He will give you the graces necessary to fulfill His call.
I think it is vital that you seek a teaching system that will accomplish your priorities, keeping in mind that people are the priority. I can tell you truthfully that the CHC curriculums are solidly Catholic, user friendly, academically sound and cost effective. They are designed to encourage students to work independently as able. Each curriculum clearly explains which subjects are priorities and those which are not. This is the same discernment process all teachers must use when preparing a day's work.
You want flexibility not rigidity in planning. A prepared lesson plan and curriculum should relieve you of a major amount of work and give you the flexibility so important in real family life where people's needs are utmost.
My husband and I call parenting a large family "tag team parenting.' Each of us is willing to do whatever for the good of the family. You and your husband are an anointed team. Working together doing the nuts and bolts job of running a household will bring you closer together. The Lord will bless your efforts and reward your dedication.
Please do not worry about being busy with children and slighting others. Keep the priority where it belongs—on people. In the evening when you pray the family rosary ask the Lord to give you the opportunities and time to spend with each child separately. Offer up a decade of the rosary for each child. Say their name aloud and the blessings you seek from the Lord for that child. Love multiplies when nurtured and encouraged.
Be gentle and realistic with the demands you place on yourself. Above all stay close as a married couple, attend Mass frequently and keep communicating. When you go to receive the most Precious Body of Jesus walk side by side and pray for the graces necessary from our Lord. Ask Him to continually anoint your marriage with wisdom, cooperation, compassion, humor and love for one another.
Your letter has been an inspiration to me. I can tell you that these lovely days of so many "little people" are such a blessing and seem to be gone all too soon. What a strong witness you and your family are to the community. Praise God for such a witness.
Dear Jesus, Your glory is shining through the lives of parents and children who strive to do Your will. The gift of life is most precious and our desire to protect this gift is our joy. Uplift and uphold this beautiful family. Amen.
1 Corinthians 13: 1-13
As I was praying for your family, I was led to read this scripture. It is powerful and truly the best teaching for us today on the meaning of Love.
Sending out a prayer,