Summer Learning

I always have grand plans.  Plans of how our homeschool year will run.  Plans of how our days will go.  Unfortunately for me, many of these plans don’t work out.  I’m always left feeling like we aren’t doing enough because we don’t do everything on my “list”.  Well, the truth of the matter is this is a lie.  A big, fat lie.  Our kids are learning.  They are progressing.  They are processing everything and making connections.   As parents, we worry about our kids.  We want them to do well.  We want them to be happy and to “succeed”.  Success looks different to everyone.  For some people, success may include college.  For others, it’s trade school.  For some, it’s becoming an author or a CEO.  The point is, success depends on what is valued.  For us, we want our kids to be independent.  We want them to find some happiness in life.  We want them to love God and follow His prompting towards whatever life He has set for them.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,

“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

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Copyright RosesatDawn 2019

God has the big picture in mind.  He knows where we are headed and how we can help others learn about Him.  He has only our good in mind.  Guess what?  I can’t see the big picture.  I don’t know where we are headed in life.  I know our end goal, but the twists and turns in our life ahead are unknown to me.  After all, I am not God.  I am simply an imperfect human being doing her best to follow God’s will for my life.  So I, naturally, focus on what I can control.  I focus on what I do know.  And I make lists.  I make plans.  I like to cross off items as I finish them.  It gives me a sense of accomplishment.  It makes me feel like I am moving forward.  And while there is nothing wrong with this, it is not the be-all and end-all.  Our journey towards God and living with Him forever in the afterlife are the end goal.

1 Timothy 2:3-4

This is good, and pleases God our Savior,

who wants all people to be saved and

to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Sometimes in the midst of planning and dealing with everyday life, I lose sight of this fact.  I lose sight of the end goal.  I forget that just because we didn’t continue doing our science curriculum during the summer doesn’t mean that we aren’t moving towards our end goal.  Just because we haven’t done a foreign language lesson every day, or even every week, doesn’t mean we aren’t learning.  Just because our days don’t look like what I want them to, it doesn’t mean that we aren’t making progress.  Our children are outside playing in the dirt.  They are climbing, running, and jumping.  They are moving their bodies.  They are looking at the sky and taking in the songs of birds.  They are examining plants and worms.  They are cooking and baking and inventing new recipe ideas.  They are sitting down and doing nothing.  They are learning.  They are loving, squabbling, and praying before every meal.  They are loving on their three-month-old brother.  They are helping with the chores and gathering wood for the winter.  They are watching the seeds they planted in the garden grow.

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Copyright RosesatDawn 2019

Sure, I can’t document everything they are doing right now and consider it “school work” to prove that we are actually teaching our children.  I can’t quantify it and put it all down on a worksheet or have them write an essay on their days.  I mean, I could, but really, what would that be teaching them?  That all life is supposed to be considered work?  How about rest?  After all, even God rested after He created the world.  And if He considered it important, then I should as well.  They are learning.  They are probably learning more about what they are going to need to succeed during our time off than during the school year.  Yes, I just said that.  And it may just be a reflection of what we value in life, but we don’t care if our kids go on to college.  We don’t care if they “just” want to stay home and be a housewife, or run a small farm, or write novels all day, even be an artist.  We care about them following God’s calling in life.  And right now, their calling is to take in the glory of God’s creation.  It’s to go out, have some fun, do a little work, and rest.  Now if I can only remember to do the same, then we might just be on the right track.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

 

How is your summer going?

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Fall is upon us

How did it get to be September 1st already?? August seemed to go by so quickly, but then, the summer always does! The leaves are well on their way to changing up in our neck of the woods and it is getting colder.  Not that it ever really warmed up much for us this year, but still. There is that wonderful nip of Fall in the air.

I always have mixed feelings about Fall. While I love the smells, and the crisp air, it means that Winter is on its way. And since we live in Zone 2, winters are long and cold for us! But I am trying not to dwell on this fact. I am simply going to enjoy the changing leaves, wonderful smells, pumpkins, apples, and everything else Fall brings as much as I possibly can.

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Fall is also back to school time! Well, at least for some of us! We have been plugging away for three weeks now, already. There has been a lot of learning going on, at least I hope so anyways. Our oldest has definitely taken a more self-motivated turn this year. She is in the fifth grade and is getting through most of her schoolwork by herself. She does need some help with Math (those negative numbers are pesky things!) and English. But for History, Science, Bible, and other electives, she is mostly on her own. I have been so impressed with her this year. We changed curriculum last year and she fought it. I understand change is hard, but overall, the change has been very positive. I really enjoy the curriculum we are using now and everyone else seems to be enjoying it this year as well.

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The younger kids and I have already learned a lot about Christopher Columbus, classification of animals, vertebrates, and complementary colors. It has been a busy time, but I know I have been having fun so far. Here’s to hoping it continues to be fun! We will be having a little break coming up at the end of month and I am looking forward to it, lol. I am really excited to have these breaks in our year and I think it will be a great time for us to recharge our batteries.

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I have to admit that the only thing I’m not so excited about right now is school supplies. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE school supplies. Absolutely love them! But, since I have already purchased what we need for this year, I have to keep walking by these…

And these…

But for all of you who haven’t purchased your supplies yet, I am a bit envious, lol! So whether your school year is well underway, or you are just starting out, here is to a happy and safe year!!

I am an amazon affiliate.  My family and I appreciate your support! 🙂

Make the most of what you have

 

clockTime Management. This is something that so many people, myself included, struggle with. There are different reasons we all struggle. Whether it be procrastination, which is a form of perfectionism, trying to juggle too many things in our day to day lives, or just being plain overwhelmed, we all must find a way through.

I have found, as time has gone on, that I need to be better about time management. This has never been my strong suit. I am a procrastinator, plain and simple. But I have learned, as I hope more people have begun to, that procrastination is simply a form of perfectionism. If I can’t do a job right, or if I fear that I won’t have enough time to finish a job all the way, then many times I just won’t even start. I am slowly, vvveeerrryyy slowly, learning to overcome this and work through it anyways. I am trying to take the things I am telling our own children (it doesn’t have to be perfect it just has to be done the best you can) and applying them to my own responsibilities

I have made strides in some areas, but there are many in which I still struggle. I often find myself wishing for a couple more hours in a day. But since God gave us all the same amount of hours, I guess I will just have to continue to use what we have to the best of my abilities.

Ephesians 5:15-16

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,

making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

I am focusing on trying to develop some basic routines. Just some little things that help me to get more done in a day. Since there are only so many hours in a day, I have started trying to write down two or three things every day that I need to get done. I am calling them my focus items. So that way, when baby Z takes a nap, I remember what I need to turn my attention to. Otherwise, I get distracted and work on something else during that time and then I get frustrated when I remember what I was actually supposed to be working on.

I am trying my best, with God’s help, to use my time wisely. I have mismanaged it in the past. But I want to make every hour count. I want our house to be as presentable as possible. I want some more time to work on creative projects. I want some more time to be able to help our kids develop their creative sides. I want to do the best I can to help our family life run more smoothly. As my husband always says, we never know how much time we have here on Earth, why shouldn’t we use what we have to make the world a better place for ourselves and our families?

 

What is your biggest struggle with time management?

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Monday, Monday

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It’s Monday! YAY! Oh wait…

I know, I know, it’s not a normal reaction to Monday. It’s not my normal reaction to Monday. But for this Monday, I will make an exception 🙂 You see, this Monday is the start of our new homeschool year. There is just something about the start of a new school year that makes my heart sing. Maybe it is all of the freshly sharpened pencils, or the brand new binders waiting to be filled, or maybe it is the potential growth that the new year brings. Whatever it is, I will revel in it because as we know, all too soon we will need a break!

So this year we are starting something new. I am transitioning us to a year-round homeschooling schedule. I have to admit this is something I never, ever thought I would do.

School year round, are you crazy?! I need a break, the kids need a break, what on earth are you thinking?!? But honestly, after reading about other people who are doing it, thinking about it, stressing out about getting everything done, and doing some more thinking, it makes sense. It might not always make sense, but it makes sense for us right now.

We have had some major life changes in the past year or two and our school year doesn’t look the same as it did when I only had one child to teach. This year, four of our children will be doing school. Granted, R will only be doing preschool, but still, it’s work!

I have modified our schedule to allow for a four day school week. Wednesdays are our grocery shopping day and as much as I would like to still do school on that day, it just never happens. (I’m not asking too much, huh?) So that leaves Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday as actual school days. This is what happened last year, but I didn’t plan for it so a lot of things I wanted to do just never got done. Now I am prepared! But, you know what they say about the best laid plans…

A lot of people follow what I have heard termed as a Sabbath schedule which is six weeks on, one week off. While I think this makes a whole lot of sense in theory, when I took a look at our year, it didn’t quite work out that way. So basically what I tried to do is plan around holidays, long weekends, and some weeks off where it made sense for us. And that, my friends, is one of the beauties of homeschooling. Find what works for you, tweak it, modify it, play around with it, and then go for it!

Who knows how this will work out for us, but I’m excited for it! Bring on the new school year!