Piles of books, completed tests waiting to be graded, notebooks full of to do lists, scraps of paper, and pencils… all the miscellaneous daily products of homeschooling. As a “neat” lover, these bits of disorganization and mess just really push me over the edge at times. This is not to mention the daily stress of making sure that work is completed, books are read, and multiplication tables practiced. Sometimes, it just puts me in a… bad mood. It’s overwhelming, and seriously intimidating. I have to admit, there are many times that I want to act like our youngest and sit on the floor and cry in a heap of pity party. Or. Maybe. just maybe… quit.
Then, as I sit and look at the mess surrounding me, I see the note placed on my desk earlier by my next youngest daughter. A note that expresses her love for me and thankfulness that I love her and take such good care of her. She’s thankful that we spend all day every day together, and she loves me even when I’m frustrated and grumpy. Wow. It’s clear she doesn’t see things the way I do… she sees it from the eyes of a child. The important things aren’t necessarily the cleanliness of our school room, or that her tests from 3 weeks ago aren’t graded. She sees the important things counted in minutes and days… time spent together. That’s exactly what homeschool is, and investment of time.
Forget the minor details, choose the things that will last and provide joy and amazing memories in days to come. Choose laughter, and take the time to purposely invest in your children. The tests that need graded will wait… in fact, they can wait awhile!
Isn’t it amazing how one little note of love and gratitude from an 11 year old can change your whole perspective?
Ah… my homeschooling friends. There are days that we really need each other. Days that just being able to ask one another if my regular crazy is anything like yours? …and then the refreshing feeling when we are told just how crazy our fellow homeschoolers are. It’s great, and without it I know I would have been discouraged many years ago.
At our house we have a first grader, a third grader, two seventh graders, a tenth grader, and one in her first year of college. Days are full, busy, and always crazy. I do find that the older the children get the more independent they become. Which is quite a blessing. This allows a little more time for other things. Yet, my first and third grader require A LOT of my attention. So, until I get them functioning independently… I’ll be facing a big dose of crazy.
Most of my children have always preferred to do things on their own. However, there are a few of them that really have been dependent on me and have a difficult time breaking that. My twins, though in seventh grade, have been very dependent on me and up until this year had to have me in the room sitting there with them to work. This year, in order to help encourage more independence, I purchased them a video curriculum. This has definitely helped untie the apron strings.
My third grader is great, she can go in the school room and get out her books and get to it. She still needs review and help with certain problems, but she will work without my ever abiding presence. However, my youngest will only focus on school if I am sitting there beside her. This can make for difficult days especially since I work from home. So, most days I sit with my laptop right beside her desk while we work on numbers, letters, and 1st grade science curriculum. Some days I get alot done, and other days I get nothing but her schoolwork done. Seriously, nothing – not even a shower… and then dinner is something quick. So, there is the source of most of my crazy these days. Sure, it’s a trade out… and it limits my personal freedom… but one day soon she will be grown and gone. My oldest had some of these issues and now she is in college doing her own thing. So, I know… it will be over soon… and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.
So, there is my crazy for now… what’s yours?