Thursday, October 2, 2014

Day Two: Off

I am struggling with how to begin writing again.  On one hand, I want to be completely transparent about my journey through motherhood, homeschooling, and just my life in general.  But, on the other hand, I fear judgment and unsolicited advice that seems to come up sometimes when I am too open.  I have noticed that, especially with the paths I have taken than aren't common experience (adoption and homeschooling being 2 examples) I feel especially hindered in my ability to be honest.  Because then those paths in general, instead of my particular concern, are put into question. If I have a concern with my homeschooling, for example, then I sometimes hear "have you considered the public school?  They really are quite good." I am very happy with the decisions we have made: to homeschool, to stay at home with the kids, to have 6 kids etc.  I don't want an 'out'. But, I have been struggling lately.  For some reason, I am just off my game.  I usually love being a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom.  But I have had a hard time looking forward to the day recently.

I'm still sorting through why this may be the case.  We go through seasons of ups and downs, as any family does.  Our ups and downs depend largely on how busy our season of life is, and, of course, on our moods.  Again, this is just like any family.  Ours is just a little complicated by some of our kids' pasts and the coping mechanisms that have arisen from these.  Heck, it is complicated by my own coping mechanisms, or lack thereof.

I think I might have hit my tipping point with how little self-care I can get away with.  I stopped working out consistently in 2010, when Ellie came home.  I don't have much alone time, and as a certified introvert, I really need quiet in order to center myself.  I don't see my friends much, or even talk to John very often about matters other than household management.  I haven't even had the time, or made the time, for God lately. I don't say this because I feel sorry for myself, I am simply trying to explain (to myself, mostly) why I might feel off.

The kids have been fighting a lot.  A lot more than usual.  I loathe conflict -- I usually avoid it by all means possible.  But, I have been forced to be in the midst of it lately.  And, its draining me.  One of my kids has the need to control, and another has a fear of others controlling him.  You can imagine how this works out.  My kids are not the meek sort, and we have lots of emotions flying around all day long.

The mornings seem to be the worst.  As soon as we can get into our routine, things go a bit better. I have decided to write about consistency for the next 31 days partly to remind myself how important it is.  I tend to see routines as boring, but really they allow for us to be so much more efficient with our time and therefore more free.  When I have a routine in place, I don't have to think through every step and my mind is less cluttered.  And, as we always hear, routines make kids feel more secure and therefore less tension erupts.

Our day today started with "morning routine," which is what we do every day after breakfast: get dressed, put clothes in the hamper, brush teeth, make bed and tidy room.  But let me back up.  This is what we should do.  It doesn't always work out this way.  Often it is a big source of tension.

Today, Nicholas did a superb job and I snapped a picture to show off to Daddy.

We then move on to my lessons with the kids.  I start with the youngest (Ellie) and move up through to Olivia.  While I am working with each child, the others kids have independent work, lessons with a tutor, or play time (depending on the child and the day).  Christopher plays in the school room with me, or plays with a babysitter on certain days. 

So that's the plan, but this is the reality: a bunch of kids in the school room at one time.  

Elijah is really doing well in math.  We started him at the beginning of Kindergarten math and he is sailing along and just finished his first of 2 1st grade books.  Here he is learning about weights and scales.

As much as I wish the other kids would stick to their independent work and let me work one-on-one with each child, good things seem to arise from the rebellion. One thing I love about homeschooling is how the other kids, no matter how old they are or what level they are on, can jump in to a lesson and learn something.  Christopher is learning about balance on a basic level, while Nicholas is remembering how he did this a few years ago.  

And they are working on sharing, taking turns, patience, and communicating.  All skills that are very much needed around here.

The afternoons are always read-aloud time.   This is my favorite time of the day, as I get to cuddle with the kids and "do school" at the same time.  I think of attachment and bonding are part of our curriculum, because they are so foundational for having a functional, happy life.  And that is what education is supposed to prepare us for, right?

1 comment:

  1. Oh those off days (which for me often leads to off weeks) can be so disheartening. And it's been one of those weeks! Thank you, for your transparency for it is encouraging to know that I'm not alone. :)