Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Bye-Bye 14/15 School Year!

Here we are again. The last day of school. Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Our last day of co-op, using air dry clay to make sculptures.
How many times have we been here?  Gosh, this was my 8TH year of homeschooling!  How is that even possible?  I remember so vividly plunking Mister in a chair at the dining room table and beginning this journey, with Brown-Eyed Girl alongside, ripping the pages out of books and climbing all over the table.

Then along came Petite, but we just kept plugging along.  She would mimic Brown-Eyed Girl as she made the sounds of the alphabet. She would pad around in her blanket sleeper all day, stealing writing implements and coloring on walls (and sofas) while I tried to teach her older siblings.

And now there is Baby B, just three months old, but already getting earfuls of astronomy lessons and Shakespeare stories and Bob Books while he nurses contentedly.

Everyone seriously fights over holding this little guy.  He's our biggest school time distraction.

I have those moments when I realize how many more years I have left of this, and I panic.  I wonder how on earth I am going to teach higher math (computer programs!) and another child to read at the same time.  I worry that I am not able to devote enough time to each child to help them with the things they struggle with or enhance the things they are good at.  In fact, when I look too close at our homeschool, and even our family, I tend to worry A LOT.  Every year, more is demanded of me as teacher-mom and my children as they advance in their education.  And of course it multiplies with every child that joins our family.

More and more, I realize how much homeschooling is going to cost me.

And I don't mean just homeschooling. I mean the path we have chosen to take in general, and in specifics, when it comes to raising our family. Homeschooling them is just part of it.  But there is so much more.  This is about doing life with our kids.  Walking along the way together.  Inviting them into our world and joining them in their world.  Forging the two together so that we are close.

I don't often think of what I would be doing if I were not homeschooling my children.  I don't often dream of what I'll do when these years are over.  Perhaps it's because I know for sure that this is what I am supposed to be doing.  And I love it.  While also knowing that I'm not just preparing my children for what comes next, but myself as well.

Last night, as I poured my heart out to Josh regarding some concerns I have about the kids, I admitted that this is so much harder than I ever thought it would be.  It's not just motherhood, it's taking on the kids' education as well. It is huge.  Yes, I do get it when people say, "I don't know how you do it!" because it is daunting.  And it's not just two kids close in age, it's another one four years behind and another one six years behind her.  It's reading challenges, math fear, test anxiety, and kids struggling to sit on their butts.  It's my whole life invested in them, not my own career.  But I just as readily say to those moms who are developing their career while pouring into their kids, "I don't know how you do it!"

There is no Easy Button for this.

He's got the whole wide world to explore.

But now it is summer. And it's time for me to let go just a little.  Let the kids have more screen time than I like.  Try to put aside the worries about what they'll forget and what we still need to work on.  It's time for the beach and for sun tans. For bike rides and ice cream cones. For summer read alouds and reading whatever I want, too.  It's time for a little rest.

We had a great year.  God was good.  He was ever faithful.  The story isn't over yet.

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