Archive for September, 2011

My Lesson about Simple Homeschooling

I am thankful for other homeschooling moms who blog, as I was greatly helped this evening! 

I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed recently, and while there are probably several reasons, I think a big one is that I am comparing my homeschooling style with other homeschoolers, specifically ones who are doing everything!  (Or at least look like they’re doing everything.)  As a mother of seven who’s trying to homeschool six kids in grades 2-8, I can’t do everything, and there are days when I feel like I am ruining my kids for sure!

So, in desperation, I googled “Simple Homeschooling” and came up with a blog by that name.  It just so happens (thank you, LORD) that her most recent post was about THE secret of successful homeschooling; nurturing relationships

Well, that is something I have NOT been doing a stellar job with, as I have been nagging the kids to do their jobs without being told, clean up, put away their stuff, get their school work done, etc., all because I feel like a complete failure.  (So nagging will help, right?)  🙂

Anyway, right after reading this, my eight year old came up to me and said, “We’re all having pudding and watching Little House on the Prairie downstairs.  Could you come and be with us?”  Okay.  Time to test the theory.

I said, “Umm.  Sure.”  (I had been planning on spending this time getting ready for school tomorrow.)

I went downstairs, and the other kids commented, “You’re going to SIT with us?  Oh, good!”  And there was no end of cheerful chatter and discussion that continued even after the show was over.  The kids even suggested we just sit in the living room and talk until Scott got home at 10:00 pm. 

So as it turns out, my kids like me and think I’m the best mom in the world!  I’ll trade that anyday for being the best instructor and administrator, and who knows, maybe they’ll learn more tomorrow because they feel loved and valued by their teacher!

An Anniversary Picnic

I have been married to my beloved for seventeen years, now!  It has gone by so fast!

To celebrate, we went on a “date picnic.”  We picked up some food at Applebee’s, found a nice spot by a lake, and enjoyed the beautiful weather and meaninful conversation.  After a short stroll along the path by the lake, we headed to Barnes & Noble, where we each enjoyed some reading material.  Then home for some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream! 

I love you, Scott, and I hope that seventeen years becomes only a fraction of our entire marriage!  I still want to spend the rest of my life with you!!

School-in-the-Afternoon Update

We did school in the afternoon today, according to my little experiment, and I loved it!  I felt so good to get real work done in the morning, and then really be able to focus on the kids in the afternoon.  And I didn’t even get tired, maybe because doing physical labor in the morning is less stressful than doing school with seven kids!  (Okay, Foster’s too little, but he still needs my attention!)  And it seems like if there are going to be emergencies, they tend to happen in the morning, which can derail my best-laid plans.  (Emergencies like, “Oh, my goodness, I forgot to call ____!”  Or, “That is due today?!  That means I have to do it now!”)  Now, I do have a tendency to like change, so we’ll see if I still like it in a week or month!

“So much of parenting is about…” (Not!)

As I was waiting for a blood test this morning, I overheard the two receptionists talking to each other.  (It was impossible not to hear them.)  After discussing Mom 1’s pregnancy for awhile, it went like this…

Mom 1:  Now my oldest is giving me trouble.
Mom 2:  How old is she now?
Mom 1:  Fifteen months; she’s really had an attitude this week.
Mom 2:  Oh, that’s going to go on for about a year and a half.
Mom 1:  Really?  (In a despairing tone.)
Mom 2:  Yeah.  YOU KNOW, SO MUCH OF PARENTING IS ABOUT DISTRACTING YOUR CHILD AND BRIBING THEM WITH TREATS.

Wow!  She then went on to describe her toddler son’s bad behavior.  But if her parenting advice works so well, why does she have such a hard time?  It’s because she’s following worldly advice, probably found in all the “Parenting” magazines strewn about the waiting room!  The child-centered approach will ALWAYS backfire sooner or later because it appeals to (and encourages) the child’s selfishness.  (And in the case of a toddler, it’s usually sooner!)

Homeschooling Experiment

I’ve always been a little stressed out about doing only school in the morning and leaving everything else (like laundry, cleaning, etc.) for the afternoon.  What normally happens is, I’m too tired after lunch to begin (let alone finish) the “physical labor” involved in housekeeping.  And it just seems so much more right/wholesome/even biblical to get up and get my hard work done in the morning.

So…we’re going to try a little experiment to “free up” my mornings.  My goal is to spend three hours “doing school” in the afternoon.  (I know some of you are gasping about that short amount of time, but I just can’t spend my whole day doing school!  And we do go year-round, which relieves some of the pressure to do everything all at the same time.)  Also, instead of doing school Monday through Thursday, I think we’ll do Tuesday through Thursday, with half-days on Monday and Friday.  That way, I can focus on most of the laundry on Monday morning, most of the house cleaning on Friday morning, and other weekly and monthy chores Tuesday throught Thursday.

My older kids can begin their school work in the morning, with the goal of having only “group school” remaining–and/or work with which they need my help. 

We’ll see how it goes, but wouldn’t you know, my plan will be “messed up” right from the get-go because this Monday is Labor Day!  :{

“Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.”  (Proverbs 16:3)