I wrote my previous post in bits and pieces here and there, and it ended up being quite long. But there were some other thoughts I wanted to share – not so much on the logistics of HOW we are going through our next year of homeschool, but just some general thoughts that have been on my mind as I plan for a new year. So I thought it would be fitting for me to write a few posts to share these thoughts with you, if for no other reasons than to be real and to organize these thoughts into written form for my own benefit.
First and foremost, it really bugs me that I have allowed the boys to fall behind as they have. And then it bugs me that I let it bother me so much! Vicious cycle huh? I know we are behind where I intended on being at this point, but I am not sure if I am overreacting and being too hard on myself.
Granted, we are not behind merely because my boys are not doing well in the work they are given, or even because I have not been trying hard enough. I think the major issue has been that I was totally unprepared for how much a baby/toddler changes things. It’s not as if this was my first time with a baby/toddler in the house, but it had been 8 years between having Drew (now 10) and Joey (now 2). In case that is confusing to you, Isaiah (now 8) is my stepson who I have raised since before he was two. And although I did not experience the joy of bringing him into the world, he is fully mine in every other way. Back to the point of sharing all this – I was unprepared for the chaos, the disorganization, the sleep deprivation that I soon experienced. It became so much more difficult to get anything done throughout the day, That’s ok, I thought, we will make up for it when he is a bit older and has a better schedule.
Well, to make a long story short, Joey is now 2 and the daily challenges have not disappeared, they have just changed. Now instead of sporadic catnaps and teething crankiness, I have to worry about keeping important papers out of his hands, keeping scissors out of his reach, and keeping him occupied for 5-10 minutes at a time so I can work with the boys. Most days I just resort to trying to cram as much work as I can into the 1.5 to 2 hours he spends napping in the afternoon. Why didn’t I think any of these things were going to be issues before he came along?
I had it all planned out. The pretty picture in my mind was quite different than the reality I live every day. He was going to be “trained” early, I said. We are going to do blanket time daily, I said. He will learn to listen to Mommy and play quietly, I said. HA! Who was I kidding?
Not to make it sound like he is a bad baby, he is really well behaved 90% of the time. BUT I still have a very hard time telling him no unless he is in danger or there is another very good reason to. He is my baby! My baby that I prayed for 8 years to be blessed with, My little miracle! And man oh man, can he melt his Momma’s heart (not to mention Daddy’s) with one look, one cry, one pout. Yep, he’s got me wrapped around his lil finger, and unfortunately, I think he is completely aware of that fact.
So I have repeatedly allowed myself to postpone lessons or activities and even rush through things we really needed to spend more time on. And now I’m stuck. We must move forward from this point on with a mission. A mission to get back on track and make getting things done a major priority. And this is the reason behind my frantically searching for a better way. A better way to learn, a better way to thrive in the here and now. This is our reality, our family, our home. I think we need more structure (yuck, I don’t even like saying that word much less typing it) and a schedule that works for us not against us.
I am coming to realize that all this effort is wasted if I do not MAKE it work. I am going to have to teach my lil guy that Mommy cannot always drop everything to cater to his every whim. I think it is time for him to learn that although Mommy loves him very, very much, I also love his siblings very, very much and have responsibilities to them as well. If I am not willing to do hard things, how can I expect my children to follow suit? If I don’t make learning a top priority every day, then how am I communicating to my children that it is important?
I am still in the midst of planning and figuring out the logistics of how all this is going to work, but I am confident that God hears my prayers and pleas for help and guidance. I am trying very hard to hear His voice and follow His will through it all. I know He will not steer us wring!
Stay tuned in the next few days as I ponder more “new school year” questions and ideas (as long as the glimpse into my busy thoughts have not scared you away forever)! Until then…