Friday, December 28, 2012

Life: Check

Another year is drawing to a close.  Time goes by way too fast.  I know, all parents tend to say this.  It's become somewhat of a cliche, but it is so true.  My first baby is starting his last semester of junior high; my last baby is 7 and I remember holding them and smelling their sweet baby heads like it was yesterday. Now the hugs often include a bit of rough housing or a tiny bit of force and let's face it...the boys are more likely to smell like wet puppy dogs than sweet babies.  I remember thinking we all wouldn't survive the days of insanity (having 5 boys ages 0-6 is kind of crazy making), but we did.  I've been so blessed by these boys and the time we have had together.

Christmas 2012

Looking back, I've wasted so much of this fleeting time.  Not only have I wasted time in the predictable ways by simply not using it wisely, but I've wasted so much time succumbing to perfectionism.  I've spent too many hours internally beating myself up because X, Y, and/or Z didn't happen as planned instead of enjoying what actually occurred.  I print out neat assignment sheets for the boys, but I call myself a failure when all the boxes don't get checked off, even if there is a perfectly good reason for it.  Like the fact we spent extra time on mastering long division, so we didn't get to writing.  Or if we spent extra time drinking hot chocolate and reading aloud, so we didn't get science done for the day.

This isn't okay.

This robs me of the joy that God intended.

I'm not perfect.  If I was, I wouldn't need Jesus.  Why am I so quick to forget this?  Why do I set unattainable goals and beat myself up when I'm not perfect?  Oh, yeah...because I'm a sinner.

So this year, looking forward, I'm going to focus on finding joy in the moment.  Not the moments I'd perfectly planned in my head, but the moments that occur when my ideas intersect with those of 5 (6, counting Craig) other living, breathing, wonderful human beings who are created in the image of their Creator.  God gave the boys to Craig and myself and created this family, knowing the flaws and strengths of each person.  Reducing life to a series of boxes to be checked off is joy-robbing and it's not God-glorifying.  

Does this mean I'll never turn a critical eye to our homeschool?  No.  Evaluating where we are and what we're doing is very important.  You can't achieve goals if you don't evaluate your course.  But day to day, I'm going to focus on what we do accomplish, and I'm not going to evaluate our days by the standard of perfection.  I'm going to fail, I'm going to be less than perfect, and I am going to trust that Jesus is there, standing in the gap for me.


On January 1st, check out other posts from the Crew:  2012: A Look Back

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Since I posted last, we've completed weeks 12-17.  They were crazy weeks, with Grandma and Grandpa visiting for Thanksgiving, Christmas preparations, regular life, and the fitting in of all doctor and dentist appointments before the end of the year.  We're on break this week (and were mostly on break last week, and kind of on break the week before that), and will be on break next week, too.

There are some changes in the works (here is my post from the beginning of the year).  The major change is that Luke & Ezekiel won't be going back to their  enrichment program.  They loved it, and have loved it for the past couple of years, but we need the time at home.  Jacob, Micah, and Nicholas will stay in for the rest of the year.

I'm looking at adding Windows to the World for Luke & Ezekiel.  It arrived on Christmas Eve, so I haven't had time to look at it yet.  I'm mostly happy with how our year has been going, but we're just not making the progress I'd hoped for with literature and writing.  I'm not sure exactly how this will fit in with Omnibus and Classical Writing, but I figure that will become clear as I look it over this next week.

I'll be adding New American Cursive for Micah & Nicholas (and will do a refresher with Ezekiel and Jacob).  I bought Book 1, and ordered the StartWrite software, but it hasn't arrived yet.  I'm hoping to combine New American Cursive with Draw Write Now.  Micah still hates to pick up a pencil, but he'd like to learn cursive and he likes to draw.  I really think writing will become easier as he practices more and builds up his endurance, and I hope this will make it less painful for both of us.

Jacob's writing will be changing.  We've had to spend more time than planned in math filling in some gaps, and we just haven't had time to do Writing with Skill, so I'm shelving that until next year.  He's been working on Sentence Composing for Elementary School, and he's going to do the first part of The Creative Writer this semester.  I was doing the Magic School Bus kits with Jacob, Micah, and Nicholas, knowing they were below Jacob's level.  I'm now having Jacob teach science to Micah & Nicholas, and I just ordered this Student Guide to go with our Snap Circuits set.  If I like it when it arrives, I'll have Jacob work through it.

I'll be adding Rod & Staff Spelling 2 for Nicholas, and I'm going to have Micah read Super Grammar.  I also hope to add poetry memorization back in for all of us.

Overall, I'm excited to start the new semester.  We took on too many outside commitments this fall, and I think eliminating the enrichment program for Luke & Ezekiel will help our weeks go a lot smoother.