The start of our school year is NOT going as planned.
A series of events have made this perhaps the most off kilter start to school we have had in our homeschooling tenure.
(more on that later in the post)
Oddly enough, however, I've VERY OK WITH THAT.
I'm learning to embrace life's curve balls, and yes -- embrace our less than perfect homeschool.
Because - let's face it - LIFE IS LESS THAN PERFECT - and our response to life's events teaches our children so very much. I contend that our less than perfect start to the school year might be even more valuable than my perfectly planned start.
Put that Type A Personality Aside
This is hard for me.
I'm assuming this is a Type A tendency, but I could be wrong.
Right now we are taking on some large home improvements - carpet installation, new air conditioning, finishing a basement, and more.
In addition to this, SQUILT Music Appreciation is growing by leaps and bounds and I'm trying to keep up with writing new curriculum for you!
Our school area is all over the place and there are many interruptions.
Oh - and did I mention I am having surgery later this week? It should be pretty simple, but I will need a couple of weeks to recover sufficiently. The thought of not being able to do anything normally would drive me crazy. Oddly enough, I'm ok with it right now.
(Above you can see the mess in my master bathroom (basically everything from the floors and beds in the bedrooms), an upstairs floor with no carpet, and my sweet boy smiling through the chaos!)
Five Tips to Help You Through the Chaos
- School can be done at ANY time. Doing math on the weekend when there are no workmen around is OK. You can even continue doing school into the summer if you get a late start in August or September.
- School can be done ANYWHERE. My ninth grader (Challenge I) really needs quiet, steady school time right now because her work load is difficult. She has been going to her granddaddy's house to get her work done, which is a win-win because she gets quiet and he gets her company.
- Everything is TEMPORARY. This chaos won't last, and in the next few months I will be moving into a beautiful new school room in the basement.
- Grace goes a long way. I'm learning to give more grace - to my husband, children, and everyone else for that matter.
- Ask for help. People want to be a blessing and help. Trying to go it alone doesn't work. We are meant to live in community, serving one another. There is a season for giving and a season for receiving.
Less is More
In our homeschool, less truly is MORE.
As we get a slower start to the school year, I will be sure to focus on just a few things with my fifth grader (Foundations in Classical Conversations).
(My 9th grader is on autopilot... a wonderful benefit of the Challenge program!)
Our first month or so of school will look like this:
- Simple Morning Basket (which includes our memory work cards from Homeschool Story)
- Reading Aloud and Alone
- Tinker Crate (feeds my son's creative side with little work required from me)
- Geography & History Notebooks (which I have already created)
Yes, I would love to get to our Latin & Greek Mythology resources, but I will have to put those aside right now to focus on my recovery and sanity as our house is in a bit of disarray.
(And that's OK!)
Final Thoughts - NO GUILT!
When life isn't optimal and you are homeschooling, sometimes the guilt can set in.
Do not fall prey to the guilt trap!
Everyone's grass seems greener when you are struggling, doesn't it?
I have some thoughts about that:
- YOU are enough. Your children are benefitting just from being around you. Nothing replaces a parent's love or influence. Don't let others advise you that maybe you should send your child back to school to make your life easier.
- A lack of extracurricular activities is FINE! Last year we cut organized sports in the spring because it was a very hard time for our family. Guess what? It was just the peace that we needed, and my son had a chance to develop other interests and actually PLAY with friends and on his own. Totally OK.
- It is necessary to focus on YOURSELF. You are the pulse of your home, and your health and well being are important. Taking care of yourself MUST come before homeschool.
- Kids are very capable of helping. My children know how to cook, clean, and do laundry. I will be relying on them over the next few weeks to help run the house as I recover. I believe that is a valuable skill for them, and they will be blessing our family by developing that skill.
I am also keeping my copy of Teaching From Rest on my nightstand so I can refer to it often. Sarah's words speak to me, especially during this time in my life!