Weekly Homeschool Wrap-up–June 28, 2009

 

 

So, at least for the summer, this seems to be my Monday morning thing to do!   If you’d like to participate in this meme, visit Carol at ThreeLittleLadies, and be sure to leave your link so that we can check in and see what you’re up to as well.

 

As an individual, I…

love how the Lord uses us, even in our unworthiness,  to minister to one another.   Our family drove to Baton Rouge to spend the weekend with another homeschooling family that we met a couple of years ago.    They were traveling from the D.C. area.   We didn’t have as long to connect as I would have liked, but I was so in awe of God as the mother shared with me how much I had encouraged her over the relatively short time we’ve known each other.     She has homeschooled all of her children’s lives; for that, I am envious.   Yet, she struggled with the legitimacy of homeschooling, and especially of her efforts.   She is a college-educated woman whose parents expected her to continue through graduate school and maybe (she never said this) work and achieve before marriage and kids—very much the life I lived.    Instead, she married right out of college and grappled ever since with being, in her words, “just a wife and mom.”    This society—pardon me, this very jacked-up (or skewed, for those who long for more eloquence) does such a number on our collective psyche about what a woman or a man should do, and sadly, those who love us most can also be most guilty of trying to force fit us into a place that’s comfortable for them.      I believe I’ve shared this story before, but, had I followed my own dream, I would have been a journalist—the only way I knew at the time to make money and follow a passion for writing.   However, one of my sisters very disapprovingly told me that journalists make no money.   As a young teenager—about the age that my oldest is now—I needed approval, and when I didn’t get it, so went my dream.   It would be difficult to look back at my life now with regrets, but I told my friend that she need not concern herself with never having worked in corporate America and “having a level of personal achievement” (again, her words).    When you work for someone else, you have to subject all that you are to fulfill someone else’s dreams, and you often are working in environments and trying to befriend people whose values have little to do with your own.    What is the personal achievement of that?   Anyway, my friend said that hearing me talk about what the kids were doing from time to time allowed her to see that being a wife and mom is a worthwhile pursuit, and that it is hard work.    She said that when I shared, it made her think, “She really takes this seriously,” and it has allowed her to take plotting her children’s course more seriously as well.   Praise God that my rambling is helping someone.

 

Two seems to be my magic number, as in two formal workouts per week for the last several weeks.   I won’t even go into the normal “this week should be better.”    I’ll just keep plowing away at it.    I hate the way that men’s and women’s bodies respond so differently to diet and exercise.   We received our Wii Fit as a Christmas present.   While unemployed, my husband worked out just about every day.   Now, however, we work out about the same number of times a week; we eat the same diet (he actually eats more).    All of his clothes are falling off, and I’m just praying not to have to buy new ones for myself.   I must have a metabolism that a slug could outrun.

 

As a wife and homemaker, I…

am concerned that our older kids don’t know how to do more around the house.     They have chores, but the oldest’s list of “can-dos” is substantially shorter than mine when I was 14.   Because of everything else we’ve had going on this summer, I haven’t been able to coach in some of the areas I wanted to.    Our son helps with cooking; the oldest is usually moving too slow to spend time in the kitchen.   They were to wash dishes on weekends, but that hasn’t happened yet, and when the oldest asked my husband how to wash a bowl on last weekend (in part to fake ignorance and attempt to get out of doing it, I’m sure), I felt as if I was slipping.    It’s so easy at times to do things yourself rather than to slow down and teach them to someone else.    Last week, all three children and I got down on our knees and cleaned the upstairs baseboards.   True confession: I’d never cleaned them in the almost 10 years that we’ve lived in the home, but they honestly didn’t look too bad.   The kids did a wonderful job.    As crazy as it sounds, I flirted with having the girls do this rather than asking our son to help.   Admittedly, this was a slip back into my traditional thinking about what men do in a home as opposed to what women do.   I quickly dismissed it because 1) the five-year-old wouldn’t be able to clean as well as he could, and 2) I don’t want to raise a slob or a chauvinist.     As I look at a sofa full of unfolded clothes (another gap between the oldest’s skills and mine), it occurs to me that I need to tighten this up.

 

As a mom and homeschooling parent, I…

am plowing along in this area as well.     I’ll work with the youngest on math, phonics and reading as soon as I finish this entry (if she allows me to complete it with little interruption—not likely).

 

We completed American history—hooray!!   I think that, now that we’re practically into July, the kids can actually begin to feel like it’s a summer vacation (smile).   Without knowing what all will transpire over next school year, it intrigues me to see how much the kids would ask to do over the summer if I left it totally up to them.   Maybe next summer…

 

As a business owner, I…

am preparing to speak at the Heart of the Matter Conference in August.  More immediately, I am back in editing mode and looking forward to adding some great new reads and activities to the elementary curriculum.

 

God bless your week this week, too.

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8 thoughts on “Weekly Homeschool Wrap-up–June 28, 2009

  1. Hi Belinda,

    Three things. First, good morning. (That's not one of the three.) :o) One, I am so with you on that male/female diet and exercise thing. It's so disgusting, isn't it? Maybe God meant for us to be fatter and not so body-image absorbed? But I refuse to go up a size!

    Two, your friend reminded me of a wonderful website for women who struggle with the things you mentioned, especially the "only a wife and mother" sort of thing. They have a neat section on how to come back home from the work place, if not physically (thinking of those who are already at home, like your friend), then mentally and in the heart. You may not agree with everything you see, but there is some great content there. http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com

    And three, have you read The Element, by Ken Robinson? I am in the middle of it. It's about finding that thing we enjoy so much that we lose track of time doing it, and doing something big with it in our lives. (Very abbreviated blurb.) Your sister's comment to you about not being able to make a living as a journalist is right out of the book! I recommend it, with disclaimer — I have to add a disclaimer to everything but the Bible, lol. I am not all for the humanistic philosophy, but there is some good stuff there.

    I enjoy lurking at your blog but I've not been very generous with comments these days — too distracted!
    Have a great summer!
    Sally

  2. Hello friend. Your blog brought a smile to my face today. Isn't it funny how we people perceive us differently than we perceive ourselves? Love the comments about metabolism (can't wait for my new body in Heaven!) and cleaning (my hubby just asked me if I supervise thier chores, I don't =0P ) Lord bless your week!

  3. I especially liked what your daughter wrote. It makes me wonder what your dd was thinking about when she wanted everyone to read that. Had she invited them all over for a party without asking first? I can't help but smile.

    I was born in Oregon but was raised in Kansas from age 5 until I was 18. My sister moved to Nebraska to work with Boystown when she finished her masters in psychology in Washington…

    Have a great week.
    Carol

  4. I am praying for you as you struggle through the chores. And it can be a struggle! Here's something you might want to keep in mind. I make sure my boys know how to cook, clean, sew, and do laundry. Why? Because there is no guarentee that they will be going from my care directly into their wife's care. They need to be able to keep house themselves! Lol! Our biggest downfall though is my computer time. I get up before the children. By the time they've gotten up, I've already made coffee, taken care of the dog and the chickens, started laundry, packed my hubby's lunch, made breakfast and enjoyed some coffee with the Lord. When they're finally awake enough to do their morning chores, I'm sitting down for my computer time. For some reason they have a hard time working if I'm sitting even if I've already done a whole list of chores, lol! Where working it, though. Slow but sure. Persevere and God wil bless your efforts!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Betty
    PS. Thank you for your precious comment on my blog. You truly have a gift for encouragement!

  5. Chores! Ugg! I have a little boy who loves to tell me he is an artist and so should not have to clean. He is getting better at it. I hope that they will be able to do most of what I can by the time that they are 15. However, I really want them to work with a happier spirit than they often do. Keep up the good work.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

  6. Belinda,
    I love what you wrote about your friend. I think that is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Last December when I finished my MBA, I had this incredible feeling of self value. Now, I know that seems like a good thing, but what disturbed me is that it made me realize how low my self esteem was before that. I had felt that I wasn't smart or of any value because I didn't have that piece of paper. It's very sad. Honestly, as parents and homeschool teachers we contribute more than we ever would in the workplace. You have done such an incredible thing by communicating this to your friend. This will be passed down to her children as well.

    I have the same struggle with my weight. With age, my metabolism has come to a halt. I used to be able to lose it very quickly, but now it just seems impossible. I guess we just need to focus on the small improvements.

    I have really struggled with getting my kids to get their chores done right. I used to be a family teacher at Boys Town and there we had a system where the eight boys we took care of would do their chores every Saturday morning from 8-12. And we would assign tasks of course, but one of the boys would have to check everyone else's chores and if they weren't done right and the boy didn't address it then, that boy would receive a consequence (which is bad). I've been thinking on this a lot lately because my house became a disaster area last year because I didn't have time to do it all. And I feel like if we implement a system like this next year, it gives the boys more ownership over taking care of the house. I thought that if the chores aren't done right next year during the week, then they will lose tv time on the weekend (which they treasure more than anything) and my husband will be the one to decide if they are all doing their jobs. (It drives him nuts when the house is a mess on the weekend and he deserves a clean, comfy place after working hard all week.)

    I hope you have a great week! Goodluck at the conference!

    Love,
    Chris

  7. I have really enjoyed getting to know you through WWU. I apprecate how you are encouraging other women to find their value in what God thinks the most important job for them….being a mom. That job is soooooooooo BIG and sooooooooooo important. More than they realise. I pray more woman wake up and not to believe the lies of the evil one.

    I pray blessing on as you keep moving forward. striving and moving forward to where God leads you in your homeschool journey.

    Blessings and ((HUGS)) my SSiC
    In Him<><
    -Mary

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