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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How Homeschool's (Really) Going

Some of y'all may have seen on Facebook that I took a bit of a blog hiatus last month because I was too busy losing my mind to write lovely posts about how I'm nailing motherhood/homeschooling/wifeing. The school year started out like most things do: high on hopes and dreams and low on reality. By the end of Week 3 the wheels were starting to fall off the bus.

Homeschooling has been hard. My classroom consists of an unmotivated 2nd grader, a precocious Kindergartener, a rambunctious four year old and one very loud and very opinionated two year old - who has a penchant for pooping in the middle of particularly hands-on lessons.

Learning: patterns and shapes
 Illuminating: our first names
 Discovering: turtles like mushrooms
 Baking: Brownies 101
Creating: biome models
Destroying: what once was lovely and good
 Observing: a failed science experiment
Escaping: the home part of school
Drawing: a Viking longship
Pretending: SpiderMan vs. Thor
Feasting: Like royalty

It hasn't helped that I'm very much an all-or-nothing kind of person. I laid out my August and September work-out plan right alongside my kids' lesson plans and was dutifully getting up each morning at 6am to get in the workout (Insanity...should have taken a hint there...) and a shower before throwing up a quick Hail Mary and greeting the kids at 7am.

By the end of Week 5 everything just seemed really hard. I was overwhelmed by four distinct personalities, two different grade levels of curriculum, three tornadoes of testosterone and one dramatic diva. Each moment of peace was shattered before I could sink into it. Each lesson was interrupted. Each one of us cried at some point each day.

I felt like I could ace homeschooling if only it weren't for my 2 year old. Or maybe it's my second grader who's the issue. Yes, I'd be fine and in total control if my second grader were less stubborn. Maybe both school-age kids should be in school...then I could go back in time and live my pre-school mom life! Mornings at the park and Bible studies with childcare included....Or maybe I just need a Parent's Morning Out program! Then I could ship off both the little guys and just be a teacher for the morning...I spent each afternoon replaying the morning to figure out what needed tweaking.

Week 6 ended with me having a come-to-Jesus with my second grader. It wasn't a pretty conversation, I'm quite certain I handled it badly. There was a toddler banging on the locked door while I talked to his back as he lay in his bunk above me. I told him he could do school here or he could do school down the street, but I refused to fight with him over it anymore.

In Week 7 I let our science curriculum slide. And I let my workouts slide. I replaced spelling lessons with read-alouds and we limped into Fall Break happy to have survived.

Last week was Fall Break. We slept late and read a lot and my second-grader wrote a beautiful essay about our dog completely without prompting. (Writing is one of the subjects we specialize in fighting over.) It was glorious and just what my soul needed. This week we're forging ahead. I don't really have a different game plan. I did buy candy and toys from the Dollar Store and if the kids get through school with no attitude, they can choose a prize at the end of the week.

I'm still convinced less-school is a good thing at their age. I still believe learning to pull their weight with chores and to speak respectfully to mom and dad are more important than reading at grade level.  I still love our slow mornings and the sound of their voices blending in protest as I close our read-aloud. I still dream of the possibilities that open up when high schoolers are homeschooled.

But I'm praying more and trying to hold this precious homeschool dream, this thing I wanted to do even before I wanted to have kids, with open hands.

Lord you created these kids and you gave them to us. You created us and you know our hearts and hopes intimately. Would you guide us and lead us into your best for us in this season?




 
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