Thursday, August 16, 2012

Did We Start School or Am I Dreaming?

We began our school year this week and I wish I could say that it has all been smooth sailing.  Dear Husband had been sick with a horrible cold all weekend and really worn down and is still fighting it.  This led to dear little ones being sick too.  They all began coughing and sneezing late Monday afternoon into Tuesday morning, but, we still continued with our plans.

Well come yesterday, everyone's colds had come into full swing and school was called for the day!  Not much fun if you are constantly stopping to cough and grab tissues!  This is the first year that we had a kink in the very beginning of our school year...but, that is okay because it was a little off before  we began anyway.

Let me explain what I mean....

For about six months now I have been feeling that things could run much smoother for us, but, was not sure how to make the change.  I came across and read two phenomenal books about Whole Hearted and Real Learning.  These books really spoke to my heart about what was on my heart at the time (and still is).  They helped to explain that real life is learning and that homeschooling can be SO much more than school at home!  I was trying to do both and that is where I made my mistake.  I have wonderful books that my children use and they do well with, but, it just did not feel right.  I constantly run from child to child to child rushed and hurried throughout the day and it is just not enjoyable for any of us.


This year has felt pretty rushed and hurried on the whole as well :(

I feel like I am always rushing around trying my best to do what I need or want to do to rush off to the next person or thing that needs my attention.  I admit that this is not how I want to remember these days and I really do not want my children to have memories of always rushing from one thing to the next!

So...I spent weeks reading and loving what I read and trying my best to prepare during the summer vacation.  Home school parents really don't get too much vacation time in the summer since there is always planning to be done for the following year ;)  I made the decision to transition to this new real life learning style which is heavily literature intensive and relies mostly on living books.  Sounded great to me!

Well...then came real life and with real life there are other pressing things that need your attention and life can and will become chaotic from time to time.  There was a little snafu with ordering what we would need for this year as I had to put a hold halfway through purchases due to unexpected financial expenses that arose and then we were plagued by sickness for a good two weeks this summer which kind of threw all of my planning ideas out of the window for a while...but that was okay.  I was a little apprehensive since I wanted to get all my ducks in a row and begin planning.

Well...once I came back to the purchasing the needed items, I fell back into the chaotic workbook scenario I was trying to avoid.  I did grab that security blanket and purchased some workbooks old friends that I really was trying to avoid.

So at that point the score was about 60-40 Real Life taking the lead, but, the game had not even begun yet!

Last week as I was writing lesson plans I realized that Real Life had taken a dive and Old Friend took the lead :(  I had written the majority of my plans for the next five weeks based on those workbooks!  Those workbooks that cause chaos and rushing and teach my children that learning is mostly about filling in a blank!


So as I realized this last Wednesday I made peace with it and decided to do it that way for this week only and really make an effort to put my heart into it for the rest of the term to make it what I need it to be.

Then...came the sneezing and coughing and sore throats of my little ones.  I decided last night that we are going to totally scrap this week and officially begin again next Monday.  I am looking at it as a test drive of sorts and I did not like that one and am trying again.  One of the perks of teaching your children at home is that you can do this if you wish :-)

As I was making my way across the Blogosphere this week I came across two phenomenal posts that also spoke to my heart.  I had mentioned earlier about always feeling rushed and hurried and I think that this is something that tends to plague mommies as they try to do it all.  I read a wonderful post at MomHeart by Kat, titled I'm Done Living A Walmart Life.  She really hit home with me about the idea of trying to do too many things and nothing being done well!  This is how I have felt for some time now.  She also suggests to

Do as little as possible, as well as possible.

Those nine words speak volumes!

I loved it so much that I printed it out (many times), laminated them and am placing them around my house to remind me to keep my focus on a few things, but, to do those things well.

Yes I am very visual and if I see this throughout the day it will serve me well. Made some for Dear Husband too and he loves it too!

The other wonderful thing I read was from Elizabeth Foss about the first day of school never going as planned. Her kind words gently remind me that I am doing all that I do because of my children. Sometimes as moms and teachers we try so hard and do so much and when things do not work out according to our plan we can get down because of it. She puts it wonderfully and reminds us to make room and remain open to other wonderful things that were not in your original plan and to ask God for the "grace and the humility to set aside my plan for your better one."

As I wrap up our not first week of school I am remembering to leave room for the Holy Spirit to guide us along our journey throughout the day. There is so much that I want to share with my boys and ask Him for the grace to help me each day. If I take each day as it comes and am not anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6), then I am reassured that in with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

So that is where we are right now. I am asking God for the grace to make these changes that I have felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to do. I am trying my best to do very little, but, do it well and to remember that all that I do is for them, not for me!


  1. We can heed those suggestions from Elizabeth and Kat in our every day life, in addition to our homeschooling life. Blessings for your school year. and I hope you all get over those nasty colds!!

  2. Awww, hope your house is feeling better soon! "No expectations" is always my motto for the first week...For the last couple of years, I have learned that we need to ease into things (routine) with baby steps. We all need routine but the shock treatment rarely works! LOL We even got started last week with NO new books (that was a first out of the 9 years:) They are on order and we will be ready when they get here. God bless you with the grace you need to serve your family well, my friend!