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life and getting by

Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 8:57 PM | Permalink | Shortlink

Several years after choosing to homeschool, I continue to think it’s right for our family. We all think it’s right. (We continue the conversation about our family’s schooling choice; it’s not a conversation that will end anytime soon.)

However simple the decision to stay the course, though, often enough we are faced with the reality that life, even a life we’ve intentionally chosen, isn’t necessarily easy. We’re not every day skipping down a lollipop-lined lane.

There are plenty of days (yesterday and the day before) when we’re reading at midnight because we’ve been so busy the rest of the day. There are days (today) when the dirty dishes fill the sink and cover the countertop because we spent time being silly with Dr. Seuss. There are even moments (though fewer and further between) when we (the parents) wonder if we’re doing things the “right” way.

The dishes and the late nights and the rushing and the wondering can become overwhelming…if we let it. It’s too easy to let our lives become completely overrun by work and homeschool stuff. It’s easy for us as parents to lose our grasp, to want to pull out our hair, to snap at everyone when we just can’t handle it all in a given moment.

What to do? Take a moment, take a breath. Look at the big picture. (I know, I know. There are times when all we see are trees – big, in-our-face, pushy trees – and the forest remains beyond our field of vision, but the forest is so worth taking a step back and looking at.)

What to do? Figure out what we (as parents) can do to recharge our depleted batteries and do it.

What to do? Prioritize. Figure out what we really want to cover in our homeschooling. What do we need to teach/cover at home and while on field trips and what can be covered by classes now or later?

In our home, our foremost priority is reading. We work math into everyday life. We observe the world, we have discussions, we go to the library, we go on field trips, we travel. Art? I’d love to do so much more art at home, but our daughter is in art classes we love. I try not to worry too much that someone else is teaching her how to add depth to her drawings, how to create landscapes, how symmetry in art can work. Languages? (Aside from the constant chatter at home?) We take an ASL course and we love it. We rely on what’s available in the community to fill in the gaps.

In our home, we also focus on sanity and balance. (Pardon me while I giggle a bit. But, really, we work on it daily.) We know that sometimes we just need to put everything down and take a day trip to Carson or take a walk or go to the cheap seats cinema. And, yep, there are days when we know it’s best to just stay home and hang out.

So, how do you maintain sanity and balance in your home? I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about this before. It’s a topic that remains at the forefront of my thoughts.

Also, I’m thinking about this again because (well, life, and…) I reread this post on Simple Homeschool. Anne Bogel’s writing really resonated with me and I think the post is worth a read.

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Happy homeschooling! ~vickie


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