One of the greatest resources, I believe, for new homeschooling Mama's are other successful, seasoned homeschooling Mama's further on down the line. Homeschooling Mama's that are in the trenches and have been for some time can offer such a wealth of information to newbies- but also, and more importantly, much needed wisdom and understanding. Kendra Fletcher, of Preschoolers and Peace, does just this in her e-book Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling older kids with success while loving the little ones at your feet.
I was excited to read Preschoolers and Peace because, well... I have one of these:
Mrs. Fletcher is one of those seasoned homeschooling Mama's who has been in the trenches long enough to know some tricks of the trade and has even reached the finish line a time or two (and lived to tell about it!) In her e-book, she offers helpful tips and tricks to encourage peacefulness in your homeschool with even the littlest ones under foot. It is entirely possible! And she shows you how with practical ways to keep the youngest children occupied, the older children thriving, using schedules to help and not hinder, how to keep meals on the table and probably most importantly of all, how to keep yourself grounded and centered and focused through the day to day needs of so many dependent upon you.
One thing I appreciated so much about this book is the compassion with which she writes. She doesn't write as though she has 'arrived' and is above those feelings of being overwhelmed. She writes, admitting fully that being overwhelmed may always be a part of it- but she encourages you in that those feelings can be met and taken care of when we turn them over to God. She addresses the difficulties of home educating a household when there is sickness, pregnancy, new babies or just plain exhaustion. (And she should know! She was either pregnant or nursing for 10 of the 16 years she has homeschooled!) Best of all, she writes as though she is just a dear friend sitting across the table with a cup of chai, offering the support and encouraging counsel we all need.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and are wondering how to accomplish what needs to be done with preschoolers underfoot- then this book is for you. When you finish reading it, you will have a whole arsenal of ideas to implement to help you through your days.
If you are in the midst of the journey and wondering why (and if) it is worth all the trouble- then this book is also for you. Sometimes the best words of advice are the ones we already know in our hearts- but maybe need to hear someone else say too. What you are doing is valuable, you (and your all your hard work) are indispensable to your family and with God's help you CAN do it (and do it well.)