Today the 4 Moms of Many are fielding your questions. I asked on Facebook what questions you would like to see me answer and you all are a curious bunch. With over 30 questions, I won’t be answering them all today, but we will add many to our regular 4 Moms topics for the upcoming weeks and I will try to get some more answers in upcoming posts.
Nicole and many more of you wanted some tips for being successful at homeschooling during a pregnancy.
1. Relax and let go of the guilt. Remember, not only has God called you to this pregnancy, he has called your husband and your children to this pregnancy. Morning sickness and tiredness affect you, but they also affect your family as well. This is not a surprise to God. This is the best thing for your whole family.
2. Do what you can do. My priorities during the most difficult parts of pregnancy are listening to beginning readers and reading aloud. The longer I’ve been involved in homeschooling the more convinced I am that the greatest educational benefits that our children receive are not the textbooks, classes or work pages, but learning to live life by serving others and mom’s pregnancy provides great opportunities for service.
Over the past few months, as I’ve struggled through the beginning of this pregnancy, not a lot of formal school work has been done. However, our kids have been planning a garden, making a greenhouse and planting seeds. They found a lizard, created a habitat for it and have learned about it’s habits and needs. They have taken over all the sourdough bread, cracker, muffin, bagel, pancake, etc. making. They have taken over taking care of the kefir and the kambucha. They have patched and painted walls, crocheted, knitted, sewed, etc. They have done a lot of cleaning and have helped play with and care for their siblings. They have menu planned, written grocery lists and gotten dinner on the table nearly every evening. And through all of this they have worked together as a team.
3. School year round. This allows your schedule to be more relaxed during the first trimester of a pregnancy without causing you to feel behind.
4. Teach your children to be independent diligent workers. Even though I’ve not been very involved in homeschooling the kids for the last several weeks, all of the children have continued to complete their everyday assignments without me.
5. Involve your husband. My husband is always pretty involved in homeschooling, but over the last several weeks he has taken over looking over the independent work that the children have completed during the day. He is always the math and Bible teacher and he also reads ‘character books‘ to the older children every night before bed. Honestly, if our children just did the things that daddy teaches, I think their education would be just fine.
Millie wondered how to make a sourdough starter.
Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship has some directions with pictures, but here are the basics:
- Put about 1/2 cup fresh ground flour (I used rye because it more easily captures the good yeast) and 1/2 cup water in a wide mouth pint sized jar (or other glass container). Cover the jar or container with a cloth napkin or paper towel, just so pests don’t get in, you want the starter to breath.
- Let sit on the counter for 12 hours.
- Discard 1/2 of mixture and feed 1/4 cup each of flour and water. Repeat every 12 hours.
- Stir vigorously at each feeding. The yeast you’re trying to capture require air to survive. I had the best results when I put a lid on my jar and shook it.
- Watch for bubbles to start appearing in your starter. As your yeast establishes itself you will see a period of bubbling, active starter. At this point in time the starter may have risen in the container. After this peak of activity, your starter will ‘fall’ and activity will diminish (that’s fine). Generally, when we get up in the morning our starter is well past it’s peak and looks inactive. It’s often most active 3-8 hours after being fed, so that’s the best time to check.
- You will need to continue the process of discarding and feeding for at least one week before you start making things with your starter.
- Remember, yeast is a living organism. Use common sense and help it thrive, even if that means not following the directions exactly. (i.e. when our starter was 3-4 days old and had had bubbles for a couple of day it seemed to ‘die’. I decided that instead of feeding it every 12 hours I would just shake it. It looked terrific the next day. I guess it just needed a little rest.
- Honestly, the best tip I can give about sourdough is to take the GNOWFGLINS Sourdough eCourse. I learned so much about how to manage and care for sourdough that we were able to move to 100% sourdough over the course of a couple of weeks. I could have learned through experience or research, but it would have taken up way too much of my time and probably ingredients
Karrie asked, “Why should the disabled not have children?“
I don’t know. Why?
Alicia snuck two questions into one, “How did you know you wanted/would be able to handle a big family?“
I’ll answer the ‘wanted’ question first.
My grandfather and grandmother were committed to accepting God’s blessings despite facing financial difficulties during the Great Depression and my mother was the youngest of their 10 children. I was always very cognizant of the fact that if my grandparents had been ‘wise’ in their family planning, I would not exist.
I’ve always been very thankful for my grandparents faithfulness to God, for my life and now for the lives of our 11 children. It’s only by God’s grace that we are here because the ‘world’ would say that my grandparents were ‘irresponsible’ and ‘foolish’.
Another factor in my desire for a large family was the fact that my mother faced cancer and as a result went through menopause when she was 35. My parents would have loved to have more children, but God’s plans were different than theirs.
I knew from that point that I was not guaranteed to have any children and that each and every child I was blessed with was God’s grace, something that I certainly didn’t deserve. I also have never, ever taken my fertility for granted and every child past the age of 35 has been an especial mercy to me.
How did I know I would be able to handle a large family?
I didn’t. I still don’t and some days I’m convinced that I can’t.
None of us can, not without God’s strength, mercy and grace. Honestly, do you really believe that you could do a ‘good’ (as defined by God) job of raising ONE child? Sometimes moms of many are just more aware of our dependance upon God than those who have less children.
It is our belief that God will give the strength, mercy and grace to do whatever it is that He has called us to do and so I believe that in August, I will have the strength, mercy and grace to raise 11 children for His glory, right now, I’m just focusing on being faithful with 10.
Be sure to visit the other 4 Moms to read what questions they’re answering today:
For more Moms of Many posts visit the 4 Moms page.