Friday, June 22, 2012

Homeschooling for Wimps

 {There it is in all its messy glory, with no attempt to straighten it for the picture}

Every year around this time the same thing happens.  Amidst putting portfolios together to hand in to the school district to prove that I am educating my children, filling out and getting paper work notarized for next year, (because yes I am still home schooling again) picking out curriculum for next year, and writing up lesson plans for now three children I think I am going to lose it.  I threaten numerous times to quit and to put them all in school.  I start searching the internet for classical christian schools in the area and try to figure out how we can afford it if we say, basically stop eating and using electricity.

While I do have a basic backbone to our year, (Ambleside Online and Classical Conversations) I still need tweak things to fit our style, pick a math program that will work and not leave everyone in tears, make decisions regarding certain books and whether they should be on the schedule or not etc etc.  It's stressful because these books cost money, and I want to make the best decisions because I am going to be stuck with them for the year.  I also worry about college believe it or not, and if I am preparing them well enough, and if they will be able to get scholarships so they can actually afford it.

I was going to title this post "Homeschooling is not for Wimps", but that's wrong.  Homeschooling is for wimps, because I am the biggest one, and somehow I am doing it.  I am sure that I am not the only home schooling mom of many who has heard "I don't know how you do it, I could never do what you are doing!", like somehow I have some super powers they don't have.  People assume that I am super organized, super disciplined, super creative, and even find it fun to sit at my desk littered with books and papers for hours and hours planning the school year.  Wrong!

I am such a baby every year at this time.  "I can't do it!", I say for the umpteenth time as I slam a book down the desk.  "This is impossible and no one can do this!"  How can I be expected to keep the house clean, feed the baby, have dinner on the table, keep the 4 year old busy, weed and plant the garden, run errands, and teach full time while being interrupted countless times.  That is at least 4 full time jobs!  I rant and rave and throw my adult temper tantrum as the kids fearfully ask Christian, "Is she really going to put us in school?"

I liken home school planning to giving birth.  Right when you are about to cross over that hump, right before the baby is about to make his or her appearance is when you are yelling, "I CAN"T DO THIS!  WHERE ARE THE STINKIN" DRUGS!"  Then the baby arrives, and you, in your hormone induced euphoria, blissfully forget the whole thing and wonder what you were freaking out about anyway.  So here I am in the midst of the hardest part of the year yelling, "I CAN'T DO THIS!  WHERE IS THE STINKIN' YELLOW BUS!"

But then somehow you do it.  You get over the hump.  The lesson plans are done, you are into the fall and enjoying learning with the kids again and wondering what your problem was.   Thankfully I have an amazing 11 year old daughter who reminds me to calm down and patiently sits down with me and helps call out page numbers and chapters as we go through the weeks, filling in the grid.  I also have a wonderful patient husband, who reminds me that no I am not a failure, that the kids have amazing test scores, and most importantly the relationships we have with our children are priceless. 

So while I wish that I could be paid for these 4 full time jobs that occupy my time, the Lord reminds me that I am being paid, it just isn't in cold hard cash.  What I am being paid with is what money can't buy. 
And I have to apologize again.  No you are not going to school my dears.

And I need to remind myself next year to listen to that still small voice that continually reminds me that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  If I am feeling burdened, I am doing something wrong and focusing on the wrong things.  I need to remember to put my hope in the LORD and not in my perfect curriculum choices and scheduling.  Those who put their hope in their curriculum choices grow weary and faint, but those who hope in the LORD renew their strength.  They don't grow weary and they don't faint.

So that's where I've been.  Now that I've had my free blog therapy it's back to planning.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Alpacas

We are very excited to have Grace and Aiden get started in a 4-H program this year.  The one we chose is an alpaca club and it is just 2 minutes from our house so it works out perfectly.  They were each assigned their own alpaca to train for the 4-H fair and they will also be learning how to dye the wool, process it and make things from it.  I had taken them down this past week to visit and see if they wanted to do it, and after meeting the owner and walking around the gorgeous property we were pretty stoked about it.

Christian took the kids to their first meeting so he took these pictures, and it looks like they are having a lot of fun to me!  I love those big alpaca eyes.




 The other kids in the club are great too, and we are expecting this to be a great opportunity for them this year.  I love the fact that they are going to be doing art and working with the animals.  The one owner of the farm is an art teacher so she has some pretty fun projects planned for them.  One of them being needle felting, which is something that I had been wanting to do with the kids but wasn't sure how to get started.  I know they are going to love it.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pirate Baby

The kids love playing dress-up, and thankfully we have a huge trunk of clothes that a good friend mailed to us when her kids were done with them.  (Thanks Holland!).  They are very frequently used and this particular day this past week the kids asked to dress Claire up as well.  How could I say no?  What fun it is to dress-up your baby sister!






The funny thing is that every time I pull these pictures up on the computer, if Claire is sitting on my lap, she starts laughing.  She is sitting on my lap as I type this and is giggling away.  Somehow she knows it's funny!


On another funny note, while I was taking these pictures, Naomi says, "Hey Grace, I'll be the princess and you rescue me from my deadly peril!"  This girl says the wildest things.  I can hardly believe that she will only be turning 7 in a few days.  She is more like going on 18.






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