Christmas Countdown and Advent Calendar

Using a Countdown for Family Christmas Projects

Click here to download the free Christmas Countdown Advent Calendar

FROM WENDY:

Our Christmas Countdown Tradition

We have been doing a Christmas countdown in some form since the oldest kiddos were barely big enough to count all the way to 25. This is one of my favorite Christmas traditions with the kids because of the anticipation it creates, but also because of the ability to incorporate new ideas in with old favorites.
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Parenting Fails – Pitfalls to Avoid

Our Parenting Fails

FROM WENDY:

My parenting fails and struggles this week…and what I’m learning from them

Consistency is hard because it’s…well…constant

I know that my kids need clear boundaries and consistent follow through. I know this one. I’ve watched it in action time and again in the classroom and in my house. But consistency is hard! It’s hard to not fudge the line when three-year-old naughty is ridiculously cute. It’s hard to fight the chores battle when it’s the end of the day and I’m tired and it’s so much easier to just clean up myself. It’s hard to diligently give the same response over and over to that kid that is really testing the line because he wants to know where the boundary really is. Consistency is hard….
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Shopping for Your Kids – A Minimalist Christmas Shopping Guide

Christmas Shopping for a Large Family

FROM WENDY:

This post should actually probably be called NOT shopping for a large family…

We are pretty minimalist when it comes to Christmas, or even when it comes to toys in general. We have several bodies in our not-super-large home, and there is not a lot of room for stuff! At some point pretty early on, I made the “we will only have as many toys as will fit in these cubbies” rule, and established regular toy-purging times in our year to ensure that things stay pared down to non-crazy levels.
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Should I Have Another Baby

How We Answered “Should I Have Another Baby?”

FROM WENDY:

I have actually asked Google this question more than once.

I know, I know, we have a lot of kids. Why am I asking, right? But it never fails, baby fever hits one of the two of us when the smallest person in our house is somewhere between three and six months old. The “should we have another baby?” conversations start again, and the decision feels monumental. At this point, we don’t agonize nearly as much as we used to. I fully acknowledge that this could be because we’ve lost our minds. However, I like to think it’s because we’ve realized some really awesome effects of having a lot of kids…or even just one more. So if you’re asking the question, “Should I have another baby?”, here’s why I think the answer should (almost always) be yes.
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Behavior Charts and Free Printable Behavior Plan

Free Printable Behavior Charts We Use Every Day

Click here to download the free printable behavior charts

FROM WENDY:

Less talking + more action = happier parent-child relationships

It’s that moment when you realize that you’ve given the same kid the same instruction five times and he’s still immersed in his Lego construction. You’re trying to decide, “Is this spanking worthy? Or is it a time out? Maybe I’ll just confiscate his Legos for a week.” You hear yourself speak, and realize that you’re probably being over-the-top and are going to need to apologize for this later, but oh well. The constant decision-making of disciplining children can be so exhausting, not to mention the escalating level of frustration with the child who’s ignoring you. This is not what I want for my relationships with my kiddos.
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Taming Crazy Behavior and Reducing Chaos

What We Do When Behavior Is Getting Out of Control

FROM WENDY:

Six kids can be crazy.

Children in groups have this special way of amplifying one another’s attitudes or behaviors, and when one kid starts getting amped up, things can spiral fast. The key is to recognize the circumstances that lend to crazy and interrupt them as early as possible, before things get out of hand.
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Fun Things To Do With A Large Family

Our Favorite Fun, Memory-Creating Adventures and Family Outings

Click here to download the Fun Family Day Cards

FROM WENDY:

It starts with an intentional investment in creating shared experiences.

Years ago, a family we were close friends with had to be separated for several months due to a work situation. My friend and her kiddos stayed behind while her husband worked out of state Monday through Friday and flew home for the weekends. She and I had many conversations about the struggles of that season, but one thing that highly impacted Jamin and me was the way they spent their family time. The days that they had all together were few during that season, and they protected that time for adventures together as a family. Rather than letting Saturday be housekeeping and homework day, they took day trips together and made their short time count.
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Our Large Family

Our Large Family Homeschool Mom Blog

FROM WENDY:

Who are we and what is our large family all about?

We are Jamin and Wendy. We are two former elementary school teachers turned small-business owner (online piano lessons) and homeschooler. We are more famously known for having six children in seven years, four curly-haired girls with the two most awesome brothers. Yes, that means I’ve been pregnant for basically forever. And no, our house is never quiet. I like to think of it as managed chaos; dramatic concerts, nerf gun wars, and toddler tornadoes are the norm.
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