Tuesday, January 17, 2012

So, How’s It Going?

I get that question a lot.  And most every time, someone is asking about school- mostly fellow home school moms, which, by the way, have an ever increasing value to me with each year.  I am so grateful for them.  Usually, I don’t like the question because usually, I don’t like the first answer that pops into my head because usually it seems I get asked this question after a really hard day.  Incidentally, I am figuring out that “hard days” mostly have to do with me and my responses to Julia and Brighton’s being on the planet for only 10 and 8 years, respectively.  They do very 10-ish and 8-ish year old things.  Bottom line:  My response should be more gracious and understanding to their plight of being 10 and 8.  But that’s for another day.

Moving on...

Four months in, we have a good schedule that gets the necessities in before Julia’s 12 o’clock online history class.  Brighton has one too but his is not “live”.  The great thing is is that they both really love those classes, so I feel we are getting a healthy education on early Greece and Rome.  Brighton has been counting down the weeks until he gets to Alexander the Great.  Grammar throws us all off kilter as I hardly remember learning any of it the first time around but we are surviving but at the same time I find myself wondering, if I haven’t heard the term “verb-transitive- since 4th grade, why do we need to know that?  Of course we do math and I add in the electives I choose for my favorite part of the day~ “line time”, but as they are getting older, the work they do gets more difficult and it takes longer.  They are only 4th and 2nd graders but I am already missing the “early years”.

First day of school 2008

Gone are the days of reading a dozen picture books to Julia on the window seat, after I had to help her up onto it.  Sigh.  Gone are the days of math lessons taking about 5 minutes which usually involved brightly colored manipulatives.  Gone are the days of 3 and 4 letter words on spelling tests.  Gone are the days of weekly outings to Starbucks school. {It’s just a bigger production now, too “LOOK-AT-WHAT-WE-ARE-DOING!”}    Gone are the days of my saying, “Oh, we will get to that eventually.”  {“Eventually” is here.}  Gone are the days of being finished {homework and all} by noon.  Gone are the days of only spelling tests on Fridays.  There is much I miss.

So what about now?  What am I seeing now that gone is truly gone? What am I thankful for now when I wish we could just crawl up on the window seat with Goldfish, rearrange pillows and read picture books?

Julia reading historical fiction on her own just because she wants to {this happens to Brighton.... as often as a total eclipse}
Learning about honoring and respecting each other when they really want to just fight
Making decisions about having an efficient and a hard work ethic
Locating on a map countries of which I had never heard and knowing God’s Spirit is working there too
Seeing me get rattled and how I handle that with them
Finding out what it really means to serve your family even when you don’t feel like it
Figuring out that grades do matter
Their realizing that the world is SO much larger than what they see and there are needs out there that are stag-ger-ing
Learning that, even though he is not directly involved, our school days are just as important to their daddy as they are to me
Figuring out that team work is cool
Having real conversations about real situations that shape, hurt, challenge, encourage, and inspire their hearts... and that would be what I am most thankful for... the time for that

I also know there is much to look forward to... whether I am still teaching them at home or not.  As they get older, there is more I want to share, more that I can expose them to, world event links to click on, incredible books I want to dive into with them, more topics to discuss, and truths to explore from different vantage points as their world gets larger.

Words to refocus my thoughts..

I’d say it was going well.  The hard days, even though they zap my energy and even make me sad, I know good stuff is being learned, stuff that will serve them well in the cul de sac, at school, in the baseball dugout or on the field, at church, in the ballet dressing room, at spend the night parties, in future jobs, at college, and, most importantly, in the plans and purposes that God has for my children.

I love these two kids and feel like I won the most competitive contest of all contests to get these two, even though I did NOTHING.  God.  I choose to rest in the fact that God holds their hearts and if He can orchestrate getting them to me and Jeff, getting me to say “yes” to homeschooling and getting us through five years of it so far, He can also, most assuredly, carry out the rest of His plan.  I will choose to rest in that.

I will.


Sarah said...

That picture from 2008... oh my. That seems like 10 years ago. How are they (and we!) so old?

As your home school friend, love reading this!

Alyssa said...

How can five years have already come and gone? Although it may feel long and hard, you are doing good work. The fruit of your labor is showing and will continue to show in years to come.

andrea said...

lovely post
PS you can forget responding to my latest email (the part where I ask 'so how's it going') hahhaha! I bet you get asked that a lot. I think people see how smart, respectful and lovely your children are and want that for their children too. I guess the common denominator is God!