We’ve made it to the last day in our Large Family Homeschooling Series! It’s been so fun diving deep into how we make it work homeschooling our large family. For the last day I thought we’d do a kind of overview and I’ll share these 5 Super Simple Large Family Homeschooling Hacks.
5 Super Simple Large Family Homeschooling Hacks
Some of these large family homeschooling hacks may seem obvious, but they’re the keys to making our large family homeschool run smoothly. We try to keep our lives as simple as possible. The kids bring enough chaos themselves, we can keep everything else chill!
I can’t cook. I once set cheerios on fire trying to make “hot cereal”… Not kidding. So that may be the real reason that we keep our meal times super simple. There’s also the fact that A-Man and I are both incredibly picky due to some autism eating struggles.
But how do you keep your meals simple? Well, the first bit of advice is to get off Pinterest! I know there are a million great meal ideas, but you just don’t have time for that! We have a list of maybe 10 dinners that we love and we cycle through them over and over again. Sometimes we (I) get on a taco kick and have tacos every night for a week… Whatever, pregnancy cravings are real!
We also keep breakfasts and lunch really simple. 99% of the time we have cereal for breakfast, and sandwiches for lunch. Yep, real life, pb&j sandwiches. And *gasp* we don’t even cut them into fun themed shapes. We’re those mean parents that just give boring sandwiches.
Follow Natural Rhythms
Okay, I maybe did a whole post about this earlier in the series, but it deserves another mention. Or ten more mentions. Seriously, please don’t try to fight your family’s natural rhythms! Are you all early birds? Get your school done early in the morning so the afternoons you’re free to just chill out (or nap!) If you’re a night owl, don’t try to force everyone to be ready for lessons by 8 am!
When you follow your natural rhythms you’ll face fewer meltdowns, and have an overall happier family.
I don’t know about you, but I get questioned a lot being a homeschool mom with a large family. We get asked about socialization. People quiz our kids when we’re out and about. It gets a little ridiculous. Some of the questioning makes me feel like I need to be THAT homeschool mom. The one who’s teaching three languages and runs fourteen co-ops. But I don’t need to be that homeschool mom, and neither do you.
I know that we sometimes want to do all the things! There are co-ops and playdates and Lego clubs and youth groups and sports teams and Bible studies and library days and they all seem to be calling our name. Take a breath before signing up for any more activities.
Is it worth not only the actual time of the events, but the mental energy of remembering it each week? The trial of getting all of the kids into the car to go? The time spent figuring out which parent is driving which kids where? If it is, great, but if it isn’t let it go without the guilt!
Add In Buffers
Add. In. Buffers. Everywhere.
Making a schedule for your day? Add in buffers. Making a plan for your week? Add in a buffer day. Planning your homeschool year? Add. In. Buffers.
If there’s one thing that will save your sanity as a large family homeschool mom, it’s your buffers. Seriously, plan to need that extra time. Worst case scenario you don’t need the extra time and you’ll just have extra time. To do whatever. Read a book. Take a bath. Hide from your kids and eat chocolate. Whatever works.
I know we want to say that we have no time to add in buffers because we literally need every second of our day to get everything done. That’s where I’ll refer you to the earlier large family homeschool hacks to simplify and don’t overcommit! Add in a ton of buffer time, and you’ll be good to go.
Give In to the Chaos
This is more a general-mom-sanity-hack, but I’m including it. You’re going to have to give in to the chaos a little bit. I’m not saying your whole life needs to be chaotic, but there are going to be times where your life is a little crazy and accepting that is going to do magical things for you.
Plan as much as you can, simplify your life wherever possible, but be ready for the times where everything falls apart. They will happen, and that’s okay. Having a large family homeschool is a beautiful thing, but sometimes it will be chaotic.
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