I wanted to share some extra love and encouragement for all you moms out there who are trying to get used to the fall schedule changes. Whether you homeschool or send your kids to school, it’s hard to adjust! If you’re hanging by a thread, you’re not alone!
My plan was to get back to school this week, homeschool that is. I have been going through curricula, setting up schedules and stocking up on supplies for weeks. I woke up early Monday morning, exercised (which I haven’t done faithfully all summer), woke up the boys like a town crier and got breakfast ready. “Wake up boys! Time to wake up! It’s 7:30! Rise and shine!!!’ They moaned and groaned and rolled out of bed with their eyes closed. But no amount of groaning was going to persuade me to let them go back to bed. I planned to start school precisely at 9:am with real clothes on and the chores done.
Yep. I’m a dreamer.
One thing I knew after 20+ years of homeschooling was that it wasn’t going to be smooth sailing. There has not been a school launch week yet that has gone exactly as I had planned. No matter how much prep work I’d done there were going to be bumps in the road. And this year has been no different. Lots and lots of bumps. Some of the bumps felt more like Mt Everest on top of Old Smokey.
By 8:00 on the first morning we had already gotten off course. There were some kid character issues and slow-pokiness to deal with. Then we moved on to dog poop in the hallway, a dead rodent in my bathroom, cleaning out lockers (which they were supposed to have done the week before) that took 2 hours and a friend with a minor emergency that needed help. We got very little school done, not only because of the constant issues, but half of the books I ordered had not arrived yet. By 10:pm that first night I collapsed into bed and wondered if I would ever get my groove back.
But then I remembered something….something that made all the difference. And after that I fell asleep with hope for the future.
- The early morning character issues exposed a problem I hadn’t known about. We dealt with it, made a plan, and I can tell it really lifted a burden for one of our boys.
- The hallway carpet got scrubbed and vacuumed, something I’d been wanting to do but not finding the time.
- The dead rodent, well the only good thing about that is that it was dead.
- Since we cleaned out the lockers during school hours I did the job with them (last week they would have done it on their own) and we had a really nice time looking at all of their old projects and talking about all we learned last year as we tossed out the papers. It helped us all feel a sense of excitement for the new year.
- I took one of my boys along with me to help my friend and that was a sweet time spent together that we rarely get.
- Since we are waiting for some books, we pulled out a few maps and pencils and did some really fun geography that everyone enjoyed. They’re still working on the maps just for fun.
There’s always something good about any day. Hidden opportunities and unexpected blessings. Even a dead mouse can bring joy when you see your son coming to your rescue. The kids know I hate it so they bravely do the dirty work.
Day 2 had its own share of challenges including a trip to take my oldest son to rent a car that became the Gilligan’s Island of projects. What was supposed to take 30 minutes took 6 hours and I barely made it to a dinner meeting I had. I walked out the door at 11:00 that morning to drop him at the car rental place, calling out behind me, “Get those assignments done boys and I’ll be back in half an hour to do the next lesson!” I didn’t get home until 9:30 that night.
I understood how Gilligan’s family must have felt. 3-hour tour my eye.
What was good about that? Well I got to spend a gob-ton of time with my oldest son and quietly watch him handle some very rude and dishonest people at the car rental place. He was MUCH nicer than I would have been.
The next day, Wednesday, I got up an extra 15 minutes early to add to my prayer time. I thought I needed it or we would never get school done. I normally have my prayer while I exercise, but I went for a bit extra since it had been such a hard week. After prayer and a little time on the treadmill, I had a few emails to answer so I didn’t come out of my bedroom until 8:15. I expected another rough start since I hadn’t done my town crier routine, but what I found was amazing! My 4 boys were all fed, dressed, chores done and doing their school work. Say WHAT?!
I nearly cried.
OK I did cry a little. Boys love that.
I went around to each of them and hugged them and thanked them for being so responsible then we went over their assignments for the day. Really….I was kind of amazed and thanked God for this miracle. I don’t expect it to happen every day, but it sure was nice and I will pack it away in my memory for the other days that don’t go as smoothly.
I can already picture us 15 years from now sitting around the Christmas dinner table laughing and talking about old times, them with their families and me soaking in all the togetherness when one of them smiles and says, “Hey, remember that time we all did our school work and chores without being asked?” And I’ll tear up and hug them again. Then I’ll hug their wives and their kids just for being there.
Yes. It was that nice of a morning.
So maybe Lisa will get her groove back after all. If not, that’s OK too. When you ask me what I learned from this rough start to the new schedule, I will say that I learned how good God is to use all of the problems and turn them into blessings. I know for sure that every day will be filled with richness, even if I don’t recognize it right away.
How’ve your first few weeks of the new season been? Hop over to Facebook and tell me all about it!