I have noticed that around this time of year many young homeschool moms are showing signs of fatigue, and seasoned homeschool moms are offering words of encouragement. This week especially, I noticed a large number of Facebook and blog posts by seasoned homeschoolers sharing their experience of avoiding burn out in those early years. My interest was especially peaked when I read a post by Heidi St John on her blog The Busy Homeschool Mom. I could relate to her description of transitioning from a picture of public school to the reality of homeschool.
Since becoming a mom I have always liked the idea of home education. It wasn’t until the three youngest became school age that God opened the door to make that possible and impressed on my heart it was time. In the last few years we have muddled through the process of creating a classroom, choosing curriculum, and figuring out what we’re suppose to be doing.
Our formal school is usually held mid-morning. We have a small room in our basement we’ve turned into a classroom. When not being used for school, it’s a great location for crafts, games, play dough, and all those things best done in a non-carpeted room.
Magoo had several complaints over a couple of days early this week that he didn’t want to “do school.” He was speaking of the book work. As I explained to him how he will use spelling, writing and math in the future, and the restrictions he would face without those skills, he more willingly did his work. Throughout the remainder of the week he asked several questions about dads occupation and how he might need to write something down and why. I was delighted to see those wheels of reasoning working.
Learning does not need a special time or location. We took math to the kitchen this week by doubling a cookie recipe. Heart lessons were learned when we shared the cookies with our neighbors. Dad also enjoyed eating some of our math homework.
Our favorite location for learning is outside observing nature or reading books on a blanket. As the chill of winter does not currently allow for that, we are most often found under a quilt on the couch with a stack of books.
My favorite moment of this week was when I caught the kids with incomplete morning chores. Any mother knows sudden quiet is always a concern. When all became too quiet, I dropped my own morning duties to seek out the children. While picking up some toys and books, the littles had become distracted. I found the three of them sitting on the couch with Columbo quietly reading aloud.
Parenting is tough work, and if you’ve read my prior post you know I have no problem getting real. Parenting is also very rewarding when we stop and take the time to see the fruit of our labor through the Lord’s eyes.