Silas is in second grade. Devon is in kindergarten. Naomi will be two next week. Needless to say, the act of juggling parenting and homeschooling is proving to be a little bit tricky this year. I've been kinda stressed about it over the last month, but I know it will get better. Here are some of the reasons why.
First, I can see how I'm going to have to relax some of my box-checking, perfectionist, first born tendencies this year. It will be good, though not easy, for me to go with the flow a little bit more. As Becky reminded me last week, the benefit of homeschooling is that I can make it work for my family. I know that, but it was good to hear it again. My kids are doing well academically, so if we skip a reader or just skim some history chapters, then the world will not come to a screeching halt. I may even combine the boys in a core, which I never thought I'd do. For various reasons, however, it's becoming something I'm seriously considering. That's a whole other post though.
Second, I was encouraged by a post Beep (that's what I call my sister) did on her blog a week or so ago. She was struggling with being pulled in several directions all at once and not feeling like she could do all that was being required of her. Then she was reminded of some verses that helped her put things in perspective. It was exactly what I needed to hear. Pop over to the Moffit site and read what she had to say on the matter, especially if you're feeling overwhelmed by all the hats you have to wear each day.
Third, I was reading some old posts on my dad's blog and read an article he'd posted about my mom. I've read that article a gazillion times before, yet I'd never noticed this sentence about my mom's view on homeschooling us - "The only time it was tough, Barbara said, was when Ben was a toddler." What?! Really? I have no memory of that being a stressful time. My siblings and I have the same age spreads as my own kids do, plus my mom was homeschooling us at the same stage I'm homeschooling my kids right now. I know for a fact that my academic success was in no way hampered by any shortcuts taken during the time my brother was a toddler. I also know that my emotional well-being was not destroyed by a mom who was evidently a little frazzled trying to balance parenting and homeschooling. So ..... I think it's safe to say that I don't need to worry too much about getting school and parenting done perfectly this year.
Our first three weeks of school are already done, but they were chaotic. Life is slowing down and we'll be returning to our three weeks on/one week off routine next on Monday. Meanwhile, I'm going to take some time this week to come up with a schedule for our school days that is a little more structured than what we've been doing over the last month. I'm confident that will make life better.
All that said, I know I'm going to have some "this is never going to work" feelings over the next few weeks. Feel free to remind me that it's only second grade (Silas is doing excellent) and kindergarten (Devon remembers much of what he learned while listening in on Silas' kindergarten and first grade) and playing (Naomi is really good at playing), that it's all right to not get every box checked, to pray for wisdom in how I prioritize and schedule my day.