"I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General""

Thursday I was in military mode for our schooling. In case you wondered, this journey is not as easy as it seems. By itself, the concept of schooling at home is daunting…I mean, you are trying to teach your own kids, all day. Enough said. 😉 I share today’s skirmishes to perhaps give someone hope, who is plugging along wondering if they will survive. You will. I’ve been at this over a decade, and I’m still kicking. I was sharing this adventure with some fellow homeschool moms at Schoolin’ Swag today, because being transparent is how we learn, and how we receive the help and support we need:

katielist21pm (after repeated stops and starts): “This has been an uphill, both ways, through molasses in winter kind of week. Lots of “I was just…” excuses for not following through, for walking away from lessons, for getting a million drinks of water, for sharpening the pencil down to a ridiculous nub. Oy. So, I decided to use the spiral notebook approach today and give her more control over her own destiny. lol Handed it to her this morning, with a folder containing her worksheets. And, since it is in print, there is no question about what is being asked of her. If she neglects her work, it’s all her. Yep, it’s “Mean Mom” Day. I’ll letcha know how it goes.”

1:30: “I’ve also resorted to having her raise her hand to step away from her work. Even so, a drink of water is requiring time for digestion, apparently. Yes, I’m trying to keep my sense of humor…though I don’t feel very funny. Ordinarily I am all about having a relaxed atmosphere, being spontaneous, having the cat on her lap for reading etc., but “Today is not that day!”

2:00: “She is eagerly checking off boxes. I have Vivaldi playing for her writing/copy work time, which always makes things happier and more productive. And she got 100% on her spelling, which is a huge milestone for her. So grateful to be finally conquering my insomnia/chronic pain issues so that I can have more stick-to-it-iveness, and focus!”

3:00: “And, for those continuing this journey with me…she’s jumping to check off boxes, but still positively dragging her feet with things she knows how to do, just choosing not to do them. So, we had a discussion about choices…that this is a matter of “I won’t”…not “I can’t”. I apologized that part of this has been my fault…I was so tired, so distracted by health issues, that I got lazy, and she learned to respond accordingly. This is a new day. She was rested, and had a good, balanced protein breakfast. She is hydrated. I have my Jeddy’s Blend in the diffuser. And, we delay lunch yet again (for both of us…she needs to see that her actions affect others), until an item is expedited in a timely and excellent fashion, with a right attitude. These are bigger lessons to learn than times tables…these are life lessons which will shape her adulthood. I’m in it for the long haul, and thankful that I get to do this.”

3:30: “And now we are working on the flash cards…each one requires a fan fare prior to the answer…and periodically it is essential to count the “done” pile and the “to do” pile to ascertain how many are finished and how many are left. Oh, and on occasion there is a little monster in her pocket who needs to converse with her about the problem. And then there is the shuffling. I didn’t pray for patience today… 😉 “

Precocious, curious, bright, passionate, with a strong sense of resolve. Our Katherine. Love her so much.

3:45: “Katie is very bright, a quick study, memorizes like crazy, does educational stuff for her play time. Some of this is tedious to her, I know…but that is the stuff of real life. We all need to discipline ourselves to push through things which are not fun. I think we’ve seen a not-so-great trend in recent years, where kid’s school stuff has to involve stickers, prizes, incentives, and fun fun fun every day. Those kids make lousy employees.”

4:30: “The end of today’s story. We finally finished school, at nearly 5pm. She got all her boxes checked off, and I asked her to draw a picture at the bottom of the page, depicting what the next school day *could* look like with a right heart attitude. She liked the idea…it seemed to give her hope. She finished it, handed it to me in tears, apologized, and sat here in my lap for some time. I explained to her the potential I see in her, but she needs to choose wisely. Reminded her that her school matters to God. All of her choices do. Told her I want so much more for her than the direction her current choices would take her in. Made sure she knew that I want her best work…which may or may not be “A’s”. She’s smiling. All’s right with the world.”

These are teachable moments. Her tender heart always wins out in the end, and I am so grateful that I know that. The Holy Spirit in her life eventually helps her sort things out, when she puts her bellowing emotions aside. So true of all of us, right?

Truly, this is messy parenting. But I would much rather have a child who struggles and understands what it looks like to face and conquer self (for another day, or hour, or moment) , than have a kid who conforms out of sheer fear of discipline, tows the line without any friction, but is not aware at all that there is a battle for her soul going on, even during the mundane responsibilities of the school day.

It was a hard day. It was a good day.

Keep pluggin’, homeschool mom!

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