• Family Life,  Schedule

    Fall and Pace Setting

    Some would say fall is their absolute favorite season, because its the season of change, pumpkin spice everything, boots, sweaters, and long nights. I mostly agree with all of those reasons except I have a hard time when the weather gets cold. Coldness hurts my body and my soul. All I want to do is sleep under my electric blanket and eat warm soup. Every day habits seem insurmountable. What was a great schedule, getting up early, working out before everyone woke up, and getting my shower in was super easy when the sun was up and my windows were open. However now that the days are short and the birds are leaving it is very hard to get motivated in the morning.

    I recently read an analogy about running and how pace setting correlates with moving through life. She talked about how runners get to a pace where everything feels great! They are moving easy, and all their muscles are happy so they increase their speed, which usually backfires. There bodies get over exerted and they loose time and possibly risk injury. Our life is run by pace setting as well. We can get over excited when everything is clicking, and the whole world seems to be in agreement with your plans so you take on something new. You start a new project, join a book club, and what you have done is leave the pace and like the runner you too can risk injury and loose time.

    Fall is not a time for me to get depressed that my pace needs modification nor is it a season to take on a new thing. Fall for me is a time to nest. Read books I already own, cook recipes that have been collecting dust, workout when the sun does come up, and be okay with the quiet.

  • Family Life,  Homeschooling,  Schedule

    Get up and clock in!

    My motto this season of homeschooling is “Get up and Clock in.”

    I have never been one to do school work everyday of the week before. If it was to sunny we could skip school and play outside. Rainy days were filled with documentaries and popcorn. My monthly cycle was a great day or week off from everything. Needless to say my kids learned to expect that somehow during the week mom would call off math lessons and writing assignments for something else. Fast forward to week 7 of our 7th year homeschooling and we have a full plate of assignments that can not be forgotten.

    My oldest is now in 7th grade and in the Challenge A program with Classical Conversations, and my youngest is in 4th and beginning Essentials. Challenge is thoughtfully named, I am assuming because its a challenge to keep up with the workload, which is not crazy hard, but time consuming. My 4th grader is having to write a paper every week, which actually means “we” are writing a paper every week. There is literally no time off and it’s been a rough transition (for me).

    Let’s be real, the transition is hard for me. It is hard to encourage my kids to keep at it when there are days I want to cry and throw a little temper tantrum, “but I don’t want to do it all again today!” My kids have been great! They are chugging along and praise God they keep showing up willing to do it all again today. So, for me then, I have to wake up, get up and clock in. Homeschooling these two is a sacred job and Gods grace will meet me each and every morning.

  • Family Life,  Health,  Homeschooling

    Taking care of yourself as a homeschool mom.

    I know you are busy moving on caffeine and little sleep, but I am here to tell you to stop and take care of yourself. We as moms wear many different hats, and if we don’t remove them from time to time we can implode.

    Taking care of myself has looked different within the stages of my kids growing up.

    • When they were babies getting a shower was a dream I made sure to have one every day without fail. I would put the baby in the bouncer or in their high chair, depending on their age, and take a shower.
    • As they grew older I needed movement to expel my anxiety. When the kids went down for a nap I worked out then showered in peace.
    • Now that we are regularly homeschooling from 9-3 I wake up before the house to spend time with Jesus and get my workout in.

    There are other ways to care for yourself besides working out or showering. Spending time being filled up is critical after we spend all day everyday pouring out. I attend a women’s bible study one day a week where I can vent, laugh, cry, and grow in the knowledge of who I am in Christ. There is no where I would rather be then at bible study. I don’t schedule appointments or say yes to anything during that time because I need it for me.

    Sometimes as mom, or women in general, we feel guilty for saying yes to “me.” But there is a house to clean, a nose to wipe, and another load of laundry to go through. Someone always needs our attention and if we give in there is no end or break after saying yes just this once.

    Our kids will grow up and if we have done our job correctly they will leave our house in search of whatever God is calling them to. We will be done with homeschooling, huge laundry piles, and dinner needs every night. I for one want to send them off feeling like I didn’t sacrifice myself or forget what makes me, me. As important as it is to continue loving your spouse throughout the child-raising years so you remember each other when you are an empty nest,  you have to love yourself when it’s just you left.

    Imagine going and going for all the years of homeschooling, and extra curricular volunteering jobs never taking the time to find a hobby or meet a new friend at bible study? I think you would be drained and tired maybe scared to let your kids go because what on earth will you do with your time. You don’t even know what you like.

    Spend these days loving your family well and do it on a full tank. The days of homeschooling are long. The house is never as clean as it could be and there is always one more meal to prepare. Find what makes you a better mom and don’t let it get rescheduled or put on the back shelf for that is where it will remain.

    If you needed someone to say it’s ok to spend time taking care of yourself then please let me tell you it is ok, and necessary.

  • Homeschooling

    Monday Mussings

    The alarm rang and my Fitbit vibrated me awake for another Monday. It’s not easy waking up even with the time change but I manage it and find my way to the coffee pot. Last Christmas I was blessed to receive a Kureig and nothing’s easier then pressing a pod of Peet’s Holiday blend into the machine and waiting a few minutes for fresh coffee. With my coffee in hand I sit and spend the early morning with Jesus. This is my routine every day and I choose to believe that because I’ve spent the morning this way I’ll have an easier day.

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    Mondays are our community day with Classical Conversations, and as the Director I get there early to open the doors turn the lights on and make the parking lot a safe place to play. I’ve been doing this for a few years now. I don’t tire of this routine because I love community day. I never started homeschooling with the intention of being on my own so having a group of likeminded families to walk with has been life giving. There are so many chances to walk away from it all. I’m a homeschooler after all! Wouldn’t it be easier to stay at home without anyone holding me accountable instead of belonging to a group of people who are going to continually ask how it’s going? The church needs community to share Gods glory to the world. We can’t sit at home and keep our talents and gifts to ourselves. Our communities work when people show up and give of themselves and I for one have been blessed beyond measure because I’ve shown up. My kids have been blessed because we get to be around other families going in the same direction every Monday.

    Lord you may have this Monday and please become greater in me that those I come in contact with will know I am yours. Thank you for my community Lord may you bless it and make your face to shine upon it and be gracious unto it. Thank you for the opportunity to grow in knowledge, working out my understanding with others and giving back. Thank you!

    Whatever you are doing this day, have a great Monday!

     

  • Family Life,  General,  Homeschooling

    Counting my blessings.

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    What is working in my life today?

    Over the summer I started taking tennis lessons with a few of my girl friends, and as of today we still take one lesson a week and we’ve managed to make time for another hour of play outside of the lesson. It has been so much fun learning a new sport, and the laughter has been medicine to my soul.

    Our home school this year has been the most productive year so far. We have come along way from meltdowns that would last all day, and bad attitudes to kids who do their work without much complaint. After 6 years of relationship building and trust growing I believe we are finally able to get through some serious academics. Thank you Jesus!

    I discovered a new workout this summer through Periscope, Dancebody, they offer streaming for those of us who can never get to their studio in New York. It’s an intense workout that makes me happy. I actually wake up excited to get moving. Only after coffee and wake up as usual.

    My local church been in an 8 week read through the New Testament together, and once a week in our small groups we go over what was interesting or hard regarding the reading. I have loved reading through the New Testament and have enjoyed the discussions it has brought out about Paul and isn’t it wonderful to just read and not necessarily be seeking any self gratification but just to know more about Jesus.

    Within my small group I’ve been asking for prayer regarding how I can handle stress better. It seems when I am stressed I can go from 0-60 and crazy in seconds and it’s not a great way to live. I’ve taken on the projects I have because I believe them to be valuable, but feeling like I am always behind is horrible. For the past few weeks I’ve had women praying for me and I have to say my ability to plan so I don’t stress out has been going well. Plan and schedule is a big part of a peaceful life. Who knew?

    Our baby girl turned 9 this week. I can’t say I feel like “time is flying by” but time sure does make the shoes bigger. There are many blessings of home school but having my little girl still be a little girl who loves My Little Ponys and Build a Bear is priceless. I pray she remains innocent and young for as long as God will’s it to be so.

    In a time with so much negativity it takes work to see the blessings, but I try to keep counting them.

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