Yes, we are now officially homeschoolers. (yay!!!!) We started on Monday! :)) Leading up to the day, I kept wondering if it would feel horribly stressful or peaceful having all the kids at home with me. So far, it has felt very peaceful to get into the new rhythm and enjoy our new (5 bedroom!) space!
Here are some thoughts I have had this past week.... some relate to homeschooling and some are just thoughts from my random stockpile of ideas, opinions, wax on, wax off.
An unlikely friendship can be life-giving. This article from Buzzfeed "This Guy formed a real, heartwarming friendship with a woman who did his nails for 3 years and people are touched." I love reading the back and forth texts, and I love hearing how this boy became more confident in himself as the friendship blossomed and they both found their voice. It just proves and goes to show that the touch of human kindness never goes wasted.
David Sedaris is funnier than you. Seriously though, his essays in his new book Calypso had me heartily chuckling out loud. He has many jokes in each short, readable essay. I loved the origin of the title and his fiasco with the turtle (won't spoil it for you but rest assured I will be thinking of Grandaddy for a long time to come.... and spitting out my wine in comical laughter every.single.time). Sedaris is so funny, I think he could easily spend more than 2 hours talking without repeating himself a dozen times and on top of that, easily send me into hysterics. Did I mention David Sedaris' "Santaland Diaries" as a live performance was my (very) first date with Stephen?! We laughed at the exact same things-- the best sign. :)
Our new space doesn't cure everything that ails us. You can still hear Conrad screaming in his new bedroom. He was formerly sleeping in a large closet, in a pack n play, so I'd say it is an improvement in our way of life, though. Nothing will ever cure what is ultimately my feelings of inadequacy. That kind of faith in this choice has to come from God. Material things, possessions, a large bank account, etc do not provide peace of mind and I think that lesson was a long time coming but it's definitely one I've accrued over this past year.
I learn some new significant life lesson every decade of my life. In my childhood, I learned to trust God. In my teens, I learned how to recover from heartbreak. In my twenties, setting out on the adventure of life with a husband and new baby, I learned how to trust my own thoughts and beliefs and establish them apart from my parents. Now in my thirties, I'm learned how to relax and trust more in relationships. I was hashing this out recently with Stephen, and I realized that in my twenties, I was very suspicious of people and I would confront them for their sins and problems (in particular, Stephen) and in doing so, I forced them to admit or confess to something they weren't necessarily guilty of. Now I'm learning that all of those accusations and suspicions were rooted in fear. Stephen really does love me. I've stopped trying to convict him (and others!) and I am so much happier than I used to be.
Homeschooling really does make more time for the things we love to do. In particular, read. Frances has a new-found interest in Shakespeare. Molly spends hours everyday in the afternoon and evening reading and reading and plowing through books. She is interested in honest Abe Lincoln! Going to the library has become an adventure and a delight. If the rest of the year is anything like this first week, it is going to be great.
It works well to split up the classes almost evenly between me and Stephen. I'm teaching English, Religion, and History according to the Seton method. We do classes. This youtube channel has been a challenge to me as a homeschool Mom. Here is her first day back. We weren't sure how we would spilt it, but we decided to have Stephen do Science and Math classes at night. I do read-alouds and foster a reading-friendly environment during the day. The kids have an hour of educational screen time (they can do Xtra math, Bob Books, and ask me if you have any other apps in mind).
There is no doubt that homeschooling is saving us money, but that's not why we're doing it. Listen: we prayed about this decision for months before withdrawing our kids from a parochial school that we loved. It is true that tuition would be more costly than paying for curriculum from Seton. Ultimately, though, in praying together intimately for about 6 months, Stephen and I longed for our kids to do things like fall in love with reading, get along better with each other, grow in the love of God and the nurture of the Holy Spirit. And it doesn't hurt to have more time and freedom to travel and do field trips. But that is precisely where we are saving. I won't be running nearly as many errands and doing as many outings, because my days are spent with fulfilling, exciting work as I educate my kids in academics as well as the wisdom of God and the foraging of nuts and seeds. (completely free!!!!) So win, win.
Linking up with Kelly what what