The kids “pulled a fast one” on me, as they say, and decided to take different missions trips with the chuch’s youth ministry. This meant that each kid took a different week for spring break, and Mom got no break! Geesh!
Though I would have loved to spring ahead by sleeping in this past week, I did force myself to awaken and educate, even if later than normal. We have focused on basics, and I have allowed myself some in-between-teaching indulgences–some afternoons with The Artful Detective television series, a small and rare bit of crafting/ sewing time, and as I said, some sleep.
These two weeks have also given me a glimpse of what is to come within the next couple of years: my season of homeschooling one.
We began our homeschooling journey with a third grader, a kindergartner, and a newborn in tow, so I have become an expert–at least in my own mind–of how to manage more than one kid. I have walked (actually, stumbled might be the appropriate word) through learning centers, modified lesson plans to accommodate more than one, and of course, the art of having multiple conversations over multiple books and making it all make sense. I can make a lunch that works for the picky eater, the vegetarian, and the I’ll-try-anything-once kid all at the same time. What I have not done–at least, not consistently–is sit with one child and mold our day toward that one child’s interests. Our days prior to this season have always been designed as a combination of what I need, what our extracurricular activity schedule demands, and what interests our children–often in that order. I realize that someone wiser than I am might insist that children’s interests must always come first. In the case of home education, however, I truly believe that a parent cannot give from an empty cup. That said, I have followed the sage advice of the flight attendant: I manage my own needs first as an educator, so that I can manage our education needs well. Now I have to think differently about how I can best serve a child with a completely different learning style.
I am finding the Homeschool Mother’s Prayer Journal to be an immense help during this season. It has helped me think past the book selection or even how to teach. Instead, I have been able to step back into the “whys” of our decision to homeschool–back to a time when I was researching approaches and thinking about higher level objectives. The bigger shift is to transition away from pride in how we (as in God, hubby and I) are thriving, and back to a place of prayer. Lord, how do you want us to do this? What would give You (not us) the most glory? How do we best marry Your Word, her mind, body, and soul, and our expectations?
As we await answers to some tough questions, I also live in the midst of anxiety at the thought of asking her:
What would school look like if you planned the day?
Pray for me, dear friends Oi, vey.