Monday, January 7, 2013

This Home Schooling Life: Back to School

We started school again today.
It was fun to be learning with them again.
After only a few weeks off, I had already forgotten what Queen Mary had done to Lady Jane Grey, and why the people of England disliked her so much.
James remembered all the details and filled me in on the information we had just read together 3 weeks ago.
We enjoyed learning more about Michelangelo and two of his contemporaries, Leonardo Da Vinci and Raphael.
I've taken art history classes, but I had no idea that one of Raphael's most famous paintings, the Sistine Madonna, has these little cherubs in it.
Did you?
I've always thought those cherubs were pretty cheesy and lame, seeing them on the covers of journals, umbrellas and tee shirts.
I thought they were a creation of the 90s, and certainly not 500 + years old.
You learn something new every day.

Well, I do anyway.

I feel like I am getting a 2nd education as I teach my kids.
It's really amazing.
I love our curriculum so much.
The books we read, all the history, the Shakespeare, the biographies, the biology, botany, and nature study, it fills me, mind, heart and soul.

It's never been the teaching part of home schooling that is hard for me.

It is so fulfilling to teach my own children in the way that works best for them, with the very best kind of education I can offer them.
That's the easy part.
It's the rest of my life that makes home schooling a challenge.
And after a few weeks off, the challenge seemed a bit more daunting today.
How quickly I forgot that the house is a full blown disaster by 4 pm, just when my patience and energy are at their very lowest.
I forgot the endless stream of interruptions to our school day: Davy asking for water, Davy spilling water, Lilly needing help with her letters but still wanting to do it all by herself, realizing Davy learned how to climb the ladder on the playhouse and rushing outside in the middle of a lesson, 4 needing snacks and lunch, helping one kid with borrowing and carrying while doing phonics with another , Davy crawling on me while I read on the couch with William, and so on, and so forth.
I forgot that sometimes by the end of the day I start saying things like this: "no one in the kitchen now!  Mommy needs her personal space while she makes dinner!"
I forgot that by the time Aaron gets home I am ready to run out the door for my 2nd workout of the day just to release some of the tension that has been building up between my shoulders.
It's either that or a big bowl of ice cream.
Can you relate?

It's easy to feel like I am a martyr sometimes.

Like I have a harder lot in life than anyone else.
But I know I don't.
Not by a long shot.
During my workout this morning, I was talking to another mom who was going to rush home after our Boot Camp class, get herself and her son ready, and rush them out the door to school.
When I get home from Boot Camp, the house is often still dark and quiet, and the only thing I rush to is the shower, where I stay for a long time.
Other moms I know have to have everyone up and dressed, fed, lunches packed and in the car by 7:30.
I often have kids still asleep at 7:30.
And certainly no one is dressed by 7:30.
I think about my friends who work outside the home and I say to myself, "well, it's easier for them because no one is at home making a mess, so their house stays clean all day."
When I know the truth of the matter is that my house is torn up from the floor up when we're trying to get out the door, so I'm pretty sure they come home to a messy house after a long day at work.
No fun.
What it really comes down to is that mothers work hard no matter what they're doing.
(Fathers do too, don't get me wrong, but I'm talking about moms right now, OK?)
And some of us have it much easier, or much harder, than others.
Or sometimes a bit of both.

In the end, I am forever grateful for this opportunity I have to stay home and home school my kids.

I have a husband who fully supports me doing this, and that is a true gift.
I have kids who like it and, most of the time, enjoy learning alongside me.
I know I am fortunate indeed.
It's just that after 3 weeks of vacation, it's hard to get back to normal.
Like James said today, "it's kind of hard to get everyone adjusted to school again, isn't it, Mommy?  Is that why this is kind of a hard day?"
Yes it is, James.
Yes it is.
Wishing you a speedy adjustment period as you start your 2nd half of the school year--whatever that may look like for you.
And encouraging you to remember the truth of this verse:
"Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."  Hebrews 4:16
Even if you feel like you are, you are not doing it alone.
Love from,


sarah k said...

We're getting back into the groove, too...and I was very short-tempered by the end of today (the 2nd day back). Mama needs a little afternoon break, and it's hard to fit it in when I don't finish school with the oldest until the youngest is getting up from her nap and the middle is finished with his "room time". I agree with you--my challenge is not so much the school part as fitting the rest of life around it in a way that doesn't make me feel like my entire day is a frantic race against the clock.

Oh, and cleaning my house---does not seem possible anymore. Only on the weekends, which is a bummer.

Last thing: I was homeschooled myself, back in the days when people still looked at you cross-eyed and said "Is that LEGAL?!", and I consider myself fairly familiar with the curricula available--but I had never heard of Ambleside Online. I will have to look into that. Sometime I'd love to read more about why you love it. I'm only semi-satisfied with what I'm using now and interested in finding something that resonates more with my priorities for education.

hennymats said...

We're still adjusting, too. The kids hate going to bed early (and the little one refuses to), and of course getting uo early, too... Work is insane and of course the house is nowhere near where I want it to be.

Adjusting :)

We'll be fine. We just need to give each other credit for what we accomplish each and every day.