So how's it really going?
I tell you, I get asked this question all the time. And usually in a fog, I do my best to spit out some coherent statement about education... and children... and stuff like that. But, like any good teacher, there comes a point in which I need to actually sit down, process, and evaluate what exactly has been going on for the past 80 days!
What works for us?
- Reese Rally. Every morning when the school alarm sounds, Khloe (age 3) goes running around screaming, "It's school time! It's school time!" Then we rally together and begin our day with prayer, scripture, and songs galore!
- Independent work. The kids are divided into 2 learning groups... the uppers and the youngers. Each group has a collection of work to do while I focus on the other. This includes written work, computer games, puzzles, stretches, and from time to time, a movie! Let's keep it real.
- Stretch break. We stop whatever we're doing... every 30 minutes... and streeeeeeetch. Then get back on the grind!
- Headphones. Quiet time. Enough said.
- Recess. 60 minutes of play, 60 minutes a day! This time is precious and unique, and I love it. You see, I can either play with the kids... orrrrrrr.... have a quiet moment to myself, in which these people are sternly warned to stay far, far, away! (Don't worry, I can still see them... usually.)
- Afternoons. We haven't quite mastered that yet. Some days we get it, some days we don't. Yup, still trying to find that groove - especially with my uppers, while my youngers are napping. The set up is there, but my motivation usually isn't. Again, real talk.
- Laundry. I've never been perfect at it, per se, but I once had a system that worked well for our household of 7. And for some reason, ever since we started homeschooling, I just don't do laundry anymore. Strange, I know! Disastrous, most definitely.
- Paperwork. Attendance sheets. Written work. Lesson plans... I just don't like it!
- Mom guilt. I was a much better teacher (by profession) than I am a homeschooler. And I battle that thought every day. Honestly... every single day. I question what I'm doing. I wonder if it's enough. I compare my old "nice, fun, patient, loving, laughing" self to my new "mean, short, mad, tired" self... and it's ugly!
Where do we go from here?
<<WARNING... Control freak ahead>> Welp, we're going to sure up those things that are lacking, of course! Our second semester plans are officially in the making. I am tightening up the afternoons, getting back to my 2 loads per day laundry routine, and cleaning up the messy paper work!
Now what about those thoughts? What about the guilt? What's my plan there? Not quite as easy of a fix.
Truthfully, I have to leave it at the feet of Jesus... all of it.... including my incredibly perfect plans. Let me bring you into my prayer closet, and expose my real life stuff. Each and every day... and then again, several times throughout the day... I'm crying out, "Lord, I messed up again!"... "Lord, I can't do this!"... "Lord, You have to help me!" ... "Lord! Lord! Lord!" Are you hearing me? I'm living a life of continuous pressing, persevering... and PRAYING! Oddly enough, there's no room for my prideful perfection.
It's more clear to me now than ever before... that no matter what season of motherhood I'm in, the outer circumstances are working in me a greater good! Truth is, you don't have to be a homeschooling mom to experience readjustment, laundry piles, and mom guilt. All of this outside pressure is designed to point us to our Maker. And I must ask, how's that progress report looking?
Humbled. Grateful. Learning in this season.