Slowly Unfolding

“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” 

My little fairy is taking her sweet time unfolding and I am grateful that she can have the gift of a slow education that is engaging her mind as well as her heart and hands and whole self. 

I won’t lie and say that it is easy all the time but I know that it’s right, despite how squirmy it makes me, so.. she sits in my lap and we work through the math. We snuggle on the couch and she fights for each word. If you have a child like this.. You are okay. They are okay. It will be okay. Life is not only for the academics. I know my sweet girl is going to have a rich and beautiful life because she is a maker. She is a beauty gatherer, always collecting things and drawing stories that she wants me to write the words out for her. 

She is doing just fine. The question that I have to keep answering is, Do I have the courage to journey slowly? It’s not an easy one to answer either because it requires trust that all will be well. It requires both diligence and patience and knowing when to leave the whole thing in Gods hands and bake brownies together instead.

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Three Years In

If anyone had told me three and a half years ago that I would become a homeschooling parent, I would have laughed in their face. I am not a primary school teacher type of woman. I don’t fawn over sticky faces, get my kicks from finger paint everywhere and joy from watching sweet little faces sound out their words phonetically. I am so not her. 

I am much more of the routine ditching, day trip, coffee shop, wine and laughs with my girlfriends into the middle of the night, knitting while doing everything type. I am just *slightly* free-spirited and rebellious by nature. And that’s probably putting it lightly. This didn’t change when I gave my life to Jesus as a teenager. If anything, I felt like all of my nature, personality and tendencies finally made sense to me. 

Regardless of how I ended up here (that is a story for another day), here we are. I did things this year I never could have imagined possible and I gained a new appreciation both for the things you can do because you said you would and for knowing your limits as a human being. 

God has given me tremendous grace and freedom within my call to homeschool our children and as a result of that, I fully trust him with the results of what we are trying to do here. I am not an A-type personality. I don’t have checklists for each and every lesson and moment of our days. That’s not who I am. My Meyers Briggs test reveals that I am an INFP. I am a majorly extroverted introvert but I still need time alone to recharge. I am terrible with the fine print and nitty gritty details but man, I love me a big picture. I love to look forward ten and twenty years and imagine who our children will become, in part because of the choices we are making.

It has taken me these last few years of putting in the work and slowly seeing the fruit being produced to say that what we are doing is building something seriously rad.

It has taken me all of this time to realize that everything I thought would be my downfall as a homeschooler is what actually makes me great at it. The ability to be flexible and roll with it when you’re oldest is working on math at the table and you’re on the couch teaching your six year old to read when the three year old announces either that they’ve wet their pants or need a bum wipe should be a marketable skill.


 I’m fairly certain that I cried through the better part of this past winter, each night when my sainted husband came home but what matters here is that we did it. I did it. With as much love and patience as I could muster and made it through to the other side. I have now taught children to read on the couch, in the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the car, in the backyard and while their siblings were basically throwing a parade right in front of our eyes in distraction. 

This has reminded me and also taught our children that learning happens everywhere. It is not exclusive to those sitting in desks in a classroom or those with a paper degree. We are not only learning if we do it in one specific way or if it is being taught by someone with a degree, though I have mad love for those teachers who basically have magical properties and can wrangle thirty children at once.

We are never done learning. I never went to university and I always felt like that made me less intelligent among my peers. I thought that meant I hadn’t learned as an adult but let me tell you, God has blown the doors wide open in that department for me. That good historical fiction based on a real person I just read, a good film, beautiful music, the many times I stepped foot into foreign countries… Spoiler alert, all learning. The forgiveness I have given and received as well as the choice to be loving and letting myself be loved when I didn’t think I deserved it? All learning. 

If there is any wisdom I can impart to my children it would be this..

There is a God and you are not Him. You don’t know everything. There is always something new to learn if you can humble yourself and take a posture of openness to what is being given to you. 

Here I thought I would be teaching my children and boy, are they schooling me. What a gift.these last three years have all been gift. 

September Days

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September was busy and beautiful. We started a new year of school at home together. We visited the local Wildlife Park, the girls started Irish Dance lessons, our oldest daughter turned six and had a sweet little party with her friends. I am so grateful to be going to bed truly tired. The days are so full right now with two busy girls who love to dance and sing and color and play LEGO and be read to..and my little son who is like a party in a can. He is always smiling and climbing things and laughing unless he is teething or sick in which case he is hanging off my legs all around the house or screeching and trying to hit me while I read to his sisters. Yikes.

In any case, I am ready for the cool days and hot drinks and a lap full of wool.

“Delicious Autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I was a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive Autumns.” -George Eliot

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Back To Homeschool

A lot has happened since I last properly blogged so I am not even going to try and bring you up to speed on life around here. Let’s just jump right in.

We started our school year with a morning spent at the local Wildlife Park. It was our first time there since Oliver started walking and he was so excited to chase the peacocks. And squirrels. And ducks. It’s incredible to think he will be two years old in January. The time has just flown by and he is a real charmer.

 

This year Lucy is in Kindergarten and Abigail is in Preschool.
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We are using the Sonlight curriculum for the second year now and quite happy with the read-aloud books offered. I was able to thrift many of the books for dirt cheap and then I felt zero guilt in picking up the last few on the list at full price or borrowing them from the library.

We are planning for lots of read aloud time each day which is our number one priority and then phonics for Lucy who is slowly but surely becoming a reader. We are using the book How To Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons and we love it. It is so straightforward and the lessons are short which help a lot. Our first week of getting back into our routine of being home has been so blessed. I hope to keep sharing here what we are up to this year! Join us 😊

Day 1

DSCF2322 DSCF2326 DSCF2332 DSCF2334 DSCF2335 DSCF2340 DSCF2341 DSCF2342 DSCF2343Breakfast out together. Stories. Coloring. Naps. Lots of good end-of-summer fresh air. Great first day and happy their Daddy was here to share in it. Taking huge comfort in these words. Every last one of them and know deep down in my bones this is right. Praise God for Day 1.