When I was a child, I asked my mom to play a game with me, while I was dusting. I later read about this game while reading a book out loud to my own children. The idea for the game came from the book, “All of a Kind Family.” The mother in the story hid buttons which, if the child dusted thoroughly, would all be found. It made the work kind of fun!
I’ve learned a lot through reading, but also from moms I know, with larger families. Though I don’t have a large family, I know very many who do! Here is some sage advice which I have learned from them and others! (Be encouraged, too, that every mom of a large family started out with just one.)
Julie McKim, mother of 13, says in her Time-management tapes, “The more you want to accomplish, the more scheduled you must be.”
“It is not where you are, but the direction you’re going, that’s the important thing.” Betsy Tillman, mother of 7.
Train your children to do what they can, and not procrastinate because they can’t do it all. If you can’t complete the whole task or job now, do what you can—do a little. Doing a little at a time, eventually the job will get done. If every member of the family picks up 5-10 things now, the house will be picked up very quickly. If every member of the family spends 15 minutes cleaning now, it doesn’t take long before the house is clean.
Train your children to do the cleaning, laundry, load the dishwasher, etc. At 6 a child can put away all the plastic dishes, the silverware, even many of the plates, etc. At 8, a child can learn to do much of the laundry, and even do whole loads by himself! But don’t wait until then. At 2 years old, a child can help sort socks and fold washcloths, and practice skills such as color-recognition, counting and matching while helping you with the laundry. Here is an excellent video that shows young children helping with the laundry.
At 8, a child can learn to wash a load of laundry. To train them: (After you have explained and shown your child how to wash a load) write down the steps of sorting, putting in laundry soap and the settings of the machine on a small piece of paper, cover it with clear contact paper, punch a hole in the bottom and thread a long piece of yarn through the hole and tie it. The child will be able to wear this around his/her neck and read the instructions without coming to ask you and the paper and writing will not get ruined if it gets wet in the laundry area. Keep the instructions hanging on a hook in the laundry room.
Train your children to pick up one project/game before starting another.
Train your children to have a “Quiet Time” (a time when they are quiet before the Lord, reading their Bible, and praying) first thing every morning, and lead by example. Plan it into your morning schedule, before school, chores, or anything. Include Scripture memorization and prayer as they get older.
When home, after lunch, have all children (even your older children) have a “quiet” time of reading, thinking (if not sleeping) in their beds (napping for those who need it).
Train your children (very, very early) to look at your face when you say their name (we didn’t—wish I had) and, as they get older, to say, “Yes, Ma’am” or “Yes, Mom.” (This assures you that they heard you if you gave an instruction, and is a commitment on their part to do it.)
The more children you have the more opportunity you have to serve others. If you have a large family, use it as an opportunity for more service, rather than complaining or using it as an excuse to get out of serving.
If you want to be encouraged, and have a chuckle besides, read this article, “10 Kids, 10 Minutes,” from Homeschool World: Practical Homeschooling Magazine.
No matter how many children you have, be diligent in training in obedience to the Lord. Not only for the Lord’s and your own sake, but for your children’s sake. They will rise up and call you blessed someday!
“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:8-10 (KJV)
Thanks for reading Faith’s Firm Foundation!