Aargh.

“Raising children is a creative endeavor, an art rather than a science.”  Bruno Bettelheim
 
I have no idea who Bruno Bettelheim is and no time to go look it up.  I just hope, whoever he is, that he knows what he’s talking about. 
 
At this rate, raising my children may be the only creative time that I have.  Only two days into “school” and I’m exhausted.  I’m not managing my time very well or there really isn’t enough of it!  School, home-keeping, outside job, journaling, art project, blogging, hubby-time, sleep…it’s not fitting into the day (hubby, those aren’t listed in order of importance).
 
It’s only day 2 – I need to remember that it’s always hectic at first until we find our pace and settle in.  Everything isn’t necessarily going to get done.  Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize! 
 
At least, I’m sort of maintaining a good attitude about it.   Ummm, if you don’t count the meltdown I had last night.  It’s all gonna be okay…and that’s a first for me. 
 
I’m making progress with living a more intentional life.  I’m setting fairly realistic goals, being flexible, and not throwing my hands up in the air and screaming.  Just a quiet “Aargh”. 
 
Progress!
 

Grace.

Tired and not feeling well today.  I’ve plodded through the have-to’s including school planning and basic chores.  It’s hard to rest when so many things remain undone.  Unfortunately, even this blog feels like an obligation today, but a deal is a deal.

Why is it so hard to show ourselves a bit of grace.  When our kids are little and cranky, we don’t hesitate to put them down for a nap.  If a family member is feeling sick, I’m all about shooing them to bed for some down-time.  However, when its me, I tend to want to push through and keep going.  I don’t know why.  It’s not that the earth would quit spinning if I stopped for a bit.  It might be that I’m elevating my own importance – I don’t want to find out that the family would be just fine without me for a short time.

What if it’s because it’s easier to be nice to the people I love than it is to be nice to myself.  Something to think about…right after I take a nap.

Conundrums and Quandaries?

thCA73529CA few questions as I ponder the possibility about maybe eventually getting ready for the new “school” year. 

  • How do we enjoy the rest of the carefree days of summer if we’re setting up and planning for school?
  • How will we start school if I don’t organize and make a plan?
  • Do you need to schedule a time to start learning?  Shouldn’t it be happening all the time?  “Wait, don’t learn that now…it’s not the right time!”
  • If I do schedule a start time, how do I know when we’re finished?  Can you really finish? “Okay, I’m done.  I’ve learned everything there is to know?”  Who would grade that test?
  • How do you adequately prepare a child for a world that hasn’t happened yet?
  • Who decided that all children should be reading by the age of 6 (or earlier)?
  • Who decided that worksheets are the best way to learn?  Wouldn’t actually using a map be a better way?
  • Why are you supposed to sit down to learn?  Can’t you learn while you are hopping on one foot?
  • Can you learn to cook just by reading a book?
  • What can you learn to do just by reading a book?
  • Do you really need $60 worth of school supplies to learn something?  Free education?
  • Why was the high school graduate who waited on me at Sonic today unable to make change?
  • Why does everyone have to go to college?
  • Why do we gage someone’s success by how much money they make and if they went to college?
  • When in life does someone give you the answers before they ask the question?
  • Why can’t we just accept the fact that not everyone needs to learn calculus or trigonometry? I’m not saying that it’s not important, but I’ve never personally needed it.  Somebody definitely should learn it. (Not sure that everyone needs to read Moby Dick either)
  • Isn’t it possible that everyone doesn’t need to learn everything?  What if we recognized that people had unique talents and abilities?  (Check out a story called The Animal School by George H. Reavis for more on this topic.)

Just a few thoughts from this homeschooling mom as September looms.  Back to school supplies on store shelves tell me I’m already running behind.  It’ll be Christmas before I know it. 

Countdown to a new season.

Today is the day.  Yet again, I am going to attempt to declutter and organize in preparation for the new school year. 

We usually “start” around the middle of August when it gets too hot to enjoy outdoor activities and endless hours in the pool are no longer desired.  As homeschoolers we probably fall firmly in the eclectic category meandering somewhere between unschooling and traditional learning (worksheets, etc.) .

I follow a basic outline of study using the guidelines in the Core Knowledge Sequence. We move through the content at our own pace and check off the topics as we go.  We are very open to “beautiful weather” days and interesting extracurricular activities.  Grocery shopping, chores, doctor visits, and the like are all educational opportunities.  We read…a lot!  I rarely use textbooks and haven’t ever really used “curriculum” unless bits and pieces are discovered at the thrift store.  We go to the library at least once a week. 

We aren’t in a co-op, but have participated in various homeschooling group activities.  Last year my youngest daughter was a cheerleader for a homeschool football team.  My son was the mascot for the same team.  This year my son is a senior and is working almost full-time to earn money for school.  My daughter will try choir.

This year our house really needs some work in order to be ready to add learning into the mix.  We’ve moved things around quite a bit this spring and summer.  We moved our business into and then out of our home.  We made room for our two college kids to come home for the summer. We’ve had lots of guests. My studio is spread throughout several rooms, cabinets,  and closets.  It looks and feels like chaos.  I can’t count how many times someone has said, “Do you know where _____ is?”. 

So…this week I’m going to concentrate on getting it all together.

Our large family/entertainment room is going to house my studio and a dedicated classroom.  Belongings will go to their proper place. Hopefully boxes and bags of stuff will leave. Surfaces will shine!

I’m not going to post “before” pictures because we don’t all know each other that well and I don’t want you to think (know) that I have slob tendencies.  I am going to try and post updates. 

Change is good!

And...there will definitely be time made for creating!
And…there will definitely be time made for creating!