Monday, March 17, 2014

Musings on the education of children. . . and mothers

"As September approaches, and with it my entree' into the wonderfully exhilarating and altogether terrifying world of being an educator, I have begun to give some thought to what my goals are and what methods I will use to achieve them. I am impressed with the array of options and curricula available now that were not around in the 1980's when my parents began their own journey of educating their children. Thankfully the days of hiding in our homes, virtual prisoners, with curtains drawn, until the magic time of half past three every afternoon arrived and we were allowed out to play are distant memories from the dark ages in the history of home educating."

I wrote those words several years ago and never finished or published that post. And I haven't published anything since. . . until now. It isn't hard for me to figure out what happened. Almost unbelievably, since I thought I had already been running at mach-10, life accelerated. Around the same time I began officially teaching our eldest, I learned I was pregnant with our fourth child. For me, being pregnant at 34 was a lot more difficult than when I was in my twenties. I felt like I had an odd sleeping sickness. I would literally lose hours of time - sometimes falling asleep mid-sentence.

Since those foggy days, life has been full of teaching, disciplining, planning, organizing, cooking, and gardening as well as a few months a few years back of packing, moving, de-wallpapering, and painting. Yes, we moved about 1/2 hour farther east on Long Island to plant a church in Northwestern Suffolk County. We currently have three children that we are formally educating and one that is busily occupying herself with dolls and coloring books until her turn to begin.

I still struggle at times with planning. It took me years to figure out what a meal plan would look like for me. It is easy to say, "I need a meal plan." It is another thing altogether to figure out how to make it work. Even now, the worst times for me are when I have reached the end of my plan and I need to go over our schedule and put in the next five-ten weeks of meals. It isn't as hard as it used to be, but sadly it is still a task that requires motivation for me.

Now that my children are getting older, I am happy to be able to share the responsibilities of the household chores with them. I told them that I know they have great ideas that could probably work better than my routine, but I want them to learn my way of doing things first and then branch out with permission. That way, I can teach them my methods, tips, and tricks and they can practice the humility needed to work under someone else. I do want them to learn why I do what I do, but I also want them to realize that there won't always be a simple answer, or any answer given. While I appreciate creativity and initiative, sometimes they will just need to follow orders without question, get on board with my agenda, and not modify it to suit them.

Sometime soon (I hope!) I will post more vignettes of our life. Already the children are enjoying the glimpses from when they were smaller. For now, I have children to teach, bread to bake, and closets to clean.


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