This week has been one of the hardest in my homeschooling memory.
Things are generally fairly upbeat here. I STILL believe in being positive and seeking the good in everything, but I need to be brutally honest today.
I had a bad homeschool week!
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Tuesday, our Classical Conversations day was a good day. It always is. Wednesday went from bad to worse, and Thursday started off bad and ended horribly.
By the time Thursday afternoon rolled around I texted a very close friend of mine and expressed some despair. Being the sweet friend she is, she replied telling me I was entitled to be frustrated and that I had a very hard job homeschooling my kids.... to which I replied, "I really do lead a charmed life. I need to count my blessings. I can hear my mother saying 'Snap out of it!' " .
Immediately after I sent that text my phone rang and it was my friend. Within one minute I started to cry. The frustrations of the week came out at once and I told her I just feel so guilty admitting when things are hard.
I am supposed to be the one ENCOURAGING others. I am the one people look to for positivity and "you can do it" messages. Besides, I could have it so much worse.
It was then that she told me something I really needed to hear:
Encouraging others doesn't mean telling them how great things are and how wonderful things will be. Sometimes true encouragment happens when you are walking alongside others, doing life with them, and experiencing the same tough days.
Let me honestly encourage you today.
I've had a horrible week, but I'm pressing on and pulling out the positive. Visions of public and private school have danced through my head, but I know that would simply be trading one set of problems for an even BIGGER set of problems. I still believe in homeschooling with ALL OF MY HEART. I think, however, we do everyone a disservice when we don't talk about the hard days.
I'm sure you are wondering what made things so bad. I really can't put my finger on it.
I do know that homeschooling a teen is TOUGH. I need a lot of grace from my teen and I need to give her a lot of grace, too.
I also know I have a nine year old son that is gifted. Trying to keep him challenged is taking a lot of energy this year.
There are a lot of changes in our homeschool right now - with one approaching high school and the other growing quickly out of the "little boy" stage, there are just a lot of emotional and academic adjustments.
Thank GOD for my husband. He fielded texts and calls from me all week, and came home in the evenings to do science, PE, and other things for me. I would be lost without him.
I thank God also for friends I can confide in, and for a support group of Challenge moms on Facebook.
I have learned that I AM NOT ALONE. We all struggle. We need to share those struggles because that is where the true encouragment occurs.
There you have it. That's my bad week. But as I said earlier, I still believe in pulling out the good from the week, because there was GOOD -- a lot of it as I look back, actually. I'm also confident of God's mercies that are new each morning.
Tomorrow is another day and as homeschoolers we must press out, because that perseverance is a huge lesson for our children.
On to Collage Friday:
It was a short week because of the Labor Day holiday. The kids spent a lot of time with friends over the weekend and had plenty of unstructured time. Maybe the fun and friends detox contributed to our hard week?
1. Grant reads aloud to me while I cook dinner. This week, he's reading The Thanksgiving Story (since we're at that point in our history studies). Last night he said to me, "Hey, this is written by the same lady who wrote The Bears on Hemlock Mountain." Hooray for homeschooling!
2. We had a rare night out just mom, dad, and Anna while Grant spent the night with a friend. We tried a fabulous new restuarant in our area that had the BEST gluten free hamburger buns.
3. Grant is growing so quickly! Dad treated him to a new basketball last weekend. You would have thought he bought him the moon. I am happy that it takes very little to please my son.
4. Swimming on Labor Day weekend. Dad and Grant swam their hearts out (Anna was at a friend's lake house) while I sat on the porch and read Little Britches. That was my perfect way to spend an afternoon.
5. More basketball. Our hoop is one of the best purchases we've ever made. Grant spends at least 2 hours each day shooting baskets, calculating his free throw percentage, and so much more. We discovered Lebron Asks on Khan Academy this week - so cool!
6. Anna's latest read for Challenge B is Little Britches. I am reading through this book so we can have meaningful discussions. It's REALLY good!
7. For all you Classical Conversations Essentials folks out there -- Grant's rendering of Chart A in Essentials. We're getting very familiar with types of sentences, purposes of sentences, and the 112 sentence patterns you can create. I am SO thankful Grant is enjoying Essentials so far this year.
Moving Towards Graduation
At our CC community day on Tuesday, the Challenge Students were introduced during assembly time. It is wonderful for the little ones to see these older children and for the parents to hear what goes on in Challenge.
Our Challenge students are in a separate building and sometimes we don't see them much. They are devoting six full hours to their academic subjects with their tutors.
The deeper I get into CC the more I see how beautifully each level prepares children for the next step up... Foundations prepares for Essentials.... Essentials prepares for Challenge. I am astounded at the integration of subjects and how every single thing points us back to our Creator.
Mama's Been Cooking
I go through phases where I cook a lot, and others where I sometimes take the easy way out.
Recently I've been cooking A LOT - especially trying new gluten free recipes.
Amidst our bad homeschool week, dinner time has been a GOOD time. Food speaks to the soul.
That was our week in a nutshell.
I hope I ENCOURAGED you.
Please share with me in the comments any tips or words of advice you have for those tough homeschool weeks. Maybe we can all encourage each other.
Please join me for Collage Friday by linking your post with a photo collage wrap up of your week.
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