Every Sunday night, I gather my planning materials (planner, pen, homeschool books, etc) and grab a cup of hot tea, and I sit down to plan out our week. I enjoy this time and it helps me not to forget the various appointments we have coming up. I check what we accomplished the week before, and I take note of any last minute grocery needs coming up.
Homeschool has been an interesting adjustment, as we just started this fall. We are very excited about falling in love with reading again. One thing I try to do is enjoy being around kids. I see Stephen feeling relaxed and I see him enjoying them and encouraging them constantly. This is my mindset as I go about a day with kids. (He teaches math and science and his vibe is ... actually really positive). Yes there are rules, but there is also a WHOLE lot of joy. Read-aloud time is a wonderful, grounding experience in our everyday. I chug caffeine like nobody's business... ha :) Reading lists and booklists make me very happy! The difficult part is transferring this passion to my kids without getting in a headachy hissy fit by the end of the day!
I have learned to adjust my standards (read: Lower them) in order to just enjoy the day and my kids. I have learned not to push them so hard that they are dragging their feet and/or bursting into overwhelmed tears. Teaching reading and a child to read for the very first time is no joke, and teaching 5th grade history is no joke, either! God's Word is my centering grace and I find through Jesus and the saints the ability and the energy to do what needs doing each day.
Ingenuity has taught me... just kidding. Good planning has taught me that we don't need ingenuity to accomplish a good homeschool day. There are no magic formulas or amazing tricks for getting all that we want to accomplished finished by the end of the day. Offering up our suffering (such as getting sick this week-UGH) is another route by which we can go about our daily life. Sometimes life doesn't go as planned, and I have to give up on my go-to's and all of my survival hacks and just live in the moment until it passes. (And listen to good music. And pray rosaries galore).
God's grace surprises me each day and each week, and although the feeling of surrender is bitter at times, the reward tastes sweeter than honey. We started horseback riding and Molly has finally found something she feels very passionate about!! I have been waiting for this moment, and now I just get to fan the flame and feed the fire, and it is a lot of fun. Going out to the horse farm is a grounding feeling and--- how can I say this without depending on and falling back on a cliché ? It is a breath of fresh air. Thanks be to God. I also can't write this without saying how grateful we are that our parents watched our kids while we went to San Fran and will watch them again next time we go for a Christmas party with some of Stephen's co-workers.
Here are some go-to mantras:
You Do You (by this I don't mean "I'm ok, you're ok" I mean: you have limitations, you are not all knowing, you may be young or old...)
Go About Your Business (you have daily work that is yours' alone, no one can do that work for you)
Relax! Enjoy! (God wants peace for his people... I have 6 kids 10 and under... I will give myself grace because HOLY COW...)
God's not done with me yet (nor you)
Read critically, read widely: (just because you read something, that doesn't mean you condone all that it contains or the bias/viewpoint/worldview therein)
Fear God, keep his commandments- (the apocrypha says, "If you want to be wise, fear God.")
God's grace extends into the world- (There are plenty of temptations in this world. Nothing is off limits- there are things that can be used for good or evil- they can be a source of condemnation or redemption, depending on how you use them. Take refuge in God and in High art. Take refuge in the sacraments and scriptures, when dealing with sin and temptation.)