Monday, November 17, 2014

Lesson's Learned

The half way mark for our school year is quickly approaching. It has been flying by. Although the blog has taken a back burner to other projects the past few months, I have been journaling and reflecting on the lessons we are learning through our homeschool adventures. I'll share some with you here in case you are thinking of taking the homeschool journey or are just wondering what it's like. 

1. There are far more good days than bad days. Everybody has a bad day now and then. For us, a bad day might look like Mom's sick and doesn't feel like reading aloud today. Or it could be the kids are tired and whiny and just not in the mood to work the routine.  What I've learned from this is that it's okay to have a bad day every now and then because sometimes we need to give grace when we need it the most ourselves. Tough times help us appreciate the good ones and remind us to count the many blessings in life.

2. Beware of homeschooling by Pinterest! I love pinterest. I think its the organization of it. It's like filing a picture of a million ideas into neat little categories you get to name. It has helped inspire me to create and do things I would definitely not have dreamed up myself. My word of caution comes into spending too much time looking for projects you don't have time to do and don't need to do. There are hundreds of amazing homeschool parents out there who have awesome blogs and thousands of pin boards about every subject. There are a million ways to teach multiplication but as tempting as it may be, you don't really need to teach it a million different ways. The lesson here is don't let comparison steal your joy! Just because someone else does five science projects a week and watches a you tube video for every history lesson doesn't mean it's what you have to do too. 

Schiele Museum of Natural History, Gastonia NC

Myrtle Beach SC family vacation in October

3. Life Happens - Let it! There are days when not everything on the agenda gets done. Sometimes life happens and we prioritize taking a meal to someone over finishing our geography lesson that day. We have a lot of company. We have overnight out of town company many times a year. We also invite people to our house frequently for meals or play dates or reading and crafts. If you are obsessed with keeping the schedule this would drive you insane because it means not every day is the same. We learn about life when we let life happen naturally. The kids are always with us. So if we have company they are learning how to show hospitality.  They learn how to clean up and prepare a meal when we invite people over. They learn how to show kindness and share and be generous. If we have to go to the doctor, we usually all go which means we learn to be flexible and re-prioritize our schedule that day. Tonight we had the wonderful opportunity to take some knitted hats and scarves to a homeless ministry in our area called Highways and Hedges. We were able to help serve a hot meal to over a hundred men, women, and children who needed it. It was 42 degrees outside when we were arriving to serve. It broke my heart to see so many in need. It also made me wonder why we had never done this before! There is such a need. Serve others and show the love of Christ with your family! It is such a blessing. Our boys were surprised to see kids there the same age as them. They served bread and helped clean up.  I love that we get to teach these important life lessons with our kids at our side. They were not learning this in school for sure!

Balloon Festival in Statesville NC

Apple Hill Apple Orchard in Morganton, NC

Billy Graham Library, Charlotte, NC

4. Keep Calm and Mommy On! I have had sinus problems for over a month and am thankfully getting much better now. It was hard feeling run down and still seeing so much I needed to do. I was frustrated knowing the kids were fine and ready to learn, play, read, sing and do all the fun learning we were supposed to and I just didn't have the energy. It was miserable. Thankfully, my husband was gracious and supportive and really stepped up to help out with bedtime reading, review games, and even the housework. Even still, nobody does things quiet like mom does, you know what I mean? I have learned that education still happens even without glitter glue and the house will still stand with cobwebs in the corners. Sometimes priorities have to shift to make it through a day, but that's what being flexible is all about. 

Snowing in Boone, NC 

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32