I asked my children what they are thankful for today.
J (who is 8) said “a warm house”.
A (who is 3) said “yogurt! Cottage cheese! And I’m thankful for oatmeal!” – she is hungry. Can you tell?
And little miss E (who is not quite 2) said “Ma-maw!!”
And just now, miss A came waltzing past with a mouth full of peanuts and said “I’m thankful for NUTS.” – except it was much more garbled than that. Trust me. I am not sure that the way she said it is even spellable.
I am homeschooling differently this week.
For the last several months I have been pushing. Pushing. Pushing. Do. Do. Do. Because of something in my head that said we weren’t doing near enough. And it didn’t really seem to matter what I required, I still felt this way. And the attitudes and anger thrived and grew.
Somewhere in the last week or two, I realized it was time to relax. And that a relationship with my children just happens to be much, much more important than whether my 10 year old knows his math facts.
So this week? We haven’t gotten as many math facts memorized. But J is working on taking apart an old mixer. “I’m almost to the motor Mommy!” — and speaking of education, he now understands quite well this interesting phenomenon :
lone plug cut off with exposed wires + electrical outlet + hands = OUCH!
Biggest E has recently discovered Trixie Belden books and can be found with his nose in a book at the table, in the chair, or wherever else.
And when we were in the middle of math and we saw Molly the cat walking on the front porch with a much smaller tummy, we abandoned rounding, borrowing and carrying to go on a baby-kitty-finding-expedition. After searching several different places, we all came in except Mr. E. And within about 10 minutes we heard a victorious yell -“I FOUND THE KITTENS!!!!!”
Sure enough, Mama Molly had found a very good spot for her babies – in a drawer in T.’s shop amid sandpaper and sawdust.
Mr. E said “I prayed, and asked God where she had them and then I found them!!”
Someone else said “Wow, she sure found a good place to lay them!” – (yes, we have chickens too.)
Immediately the naming and claiming began. A said hers was Fancy Nancy. J suggested Danny and Tom. Mr. E thinks Boots or Socks would be a good name for the one with white feet.
It was so much fun. We were sad about the two kittens that were dead. We talked about why, and how sometimes they are born sick. We talked about what a good mama Molly is being. And somehow math got trumped and it was totally ok.
The other thing we are doing a lot more of is reading out loud and listening to audiobooks. We love the Your Story Hour audio dramas.. and lately we have heard about Sojourner Truth, Hudson Taylor, and now we are listening to a four part series on John Newton. And for Miss A. we have been listening to Beatrix Potter. Squirrel Nutkin, Peter Rabbit, etc.
While relaxing in our homeschool doesn’t mean everything’s perfect – absolutely not – it’s so much more fun. For everyone. And you know what?
We are learning.
About kittens. And godly examples from history. And how to treat each other. And how to cook. And how to be diligent. Because when I don’t push my children to their absolute limit, there is space and margin in our day for me to teach them how to be, rather than be upset constantly for how they are not coming up to the standard I desire for them.
Definitely more important than math facts.
Oh and me? I’m thankful today for laughter. For every good and perfect gift. For redemption and fresh starts and new chances.
And especially for a note written to me after a rough time with one of my big littles that said :
“I’m sre for not being diligent. we love ech othr.”
yes we do, son. Yes, we do.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.