September 1, 2009

What's Going On Inside? Here's a Glimpse!

Colin suggested yesterday that I use this blog to keep a record of what's going on in my mind and in our lives as we begin our homeschooling journey. It's one that could last one year or many; the unknown doesn't bother me, at least I don't think so. It seems reasonable to reevaluate every year what our goals are as a family and the direction we want our lives to take, following the Lord's guidance.

So here we are. The summer is drawing to a close. It's September 1. I have been looking over our current weekly schedule and moving things around for the fall, focusing more on structure and routine than I have this summer. Laundry day is moving to Thursday, from Monday. Doing laundry will continue to be something I do with the kids, part of our school day as much as it is part of our lives. (For those who don't know, we live in graduate housing. To do the laundry we have to go from our building to the high rise basement to do our laundry. We can use many washers at time, so the task can be done from wash to fold in just a few hours. We do laundry once a week.) We're going to start attending the Wednesday morning toddler sing-along at the library for Brian's benefit and will continue to go Thursday afternoon for story and craft time for Elizabeth. Our attendance at the latter has not been as regular this summer and I look forward to getting back into the routine. The childrens librarian is wonderful and a knowledgeable resource for finding fabulous literature for us to enjoy at home. As the weather cools, we'll likely start up our weekly playgroup with E's girlfriends one afternoon each week. Some good friends (you know who you are!) moved out this summer, but there are a couple of new neighbor girls to invite. The community is ever changing, but never disappointing! The last regular weekly event on our calendar will be Tuesday morning Bible study at church. I've been attending for 5 years and have the humbling privilege of leading this semester, or until we move. The group of women is precious to me and has been a source of encouragement and growth since becoming a mom.

Oh yes, in the midst of all of these things we'll be schooling. And yet through all of these activities the kids will be learning and growing. I'm glad for the opportunity to continue doing what we've been doing the last 5 years with Elizabeth: learning through living. Of course, I often feel like I'm going to need to prove myself, convinced that the kids going to school will be learning more, advancing more, and generally succeeding more. But this is a fact of life regardless of whether your child is in a traditional school or not; some kids will excel at things that other children find quite challenging and vice-versa. Recently I found myself quite jealous that so many of our neighbor kids can ride two-wheelers and we hadn't pushed Elizabeth to learn. (Yes, this is a glimpse into my dark, jealous heart.) But it was a good lesson for me to rejoice with other families as their kids learn to do new things and rejoice with my kids when they master new things, regardless of who learns it first. (I have a very competitive spirit; pray with me that God will transform this into something pleasing to Him. Right now, I'm pretty sure there's not much that's pleasing about it!)

So, all that said and if you're still reading, we're currently investigating Whole Hearted Learning. I've ordered the Clarkson's The Whole Hearted Child Home Education Handbook from AbeBooks (a superb resource for cheap used books) to read further than the brief synopses in Home Schooling Methods. And for the time being, I'm going to stick to Rebecca Rupp's Home Learning Year by Year to keep me on track with what I'm teaching Elizabeth.

To summarize, my head is swimming thinking about schedules, goals, methods, succeeding, and failing. I was reminded yesterday of the "What is the chief end of man?" catechism question. The answer is, "to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." May God impress this on our hearts today, wherever we find ourselves and in whatever we're doing. Help us, Father. Thanks for being so good to us.

1 comment:

  1. wow...just reading your blog i already feel overwhelmed for you. what days do you plan on napping??

    the beauty of home school is that the day is much shorter because you don't have to wash 20 sets of hands before lunch, or line up 20 kiddos after recess (and count hoping that all the kids somehow made it back to line!). you only have one brillant and attentive little girl to teach, and with her eager spirit i know you will both find this time rewarding and enriching. another side benefit is that brian will be exposed to a lot of the curriculum and although not old enough to learn all the things elizabeth will he will be observing the process which may make him more inclined to learn earlier than other kids (trying to appeal to your jealous heart :) ). good luck as the year begins and try to be patient as you, elizabeth and brian settle into new routines!