A friend of mine sent me an email the other day with a few questions. I thought they were very important questions that deserved very real answers. Here’s a portion of the email…..
……I just want to know where you find all of your time! Seriously, how do you have time to read other people’s blogs, plan so wonderfully, organize, teach, be a wife, enjoy your kids, go on field trips, keep up your blog, etc., etc., etc. Not to meddle in your personal life but all these things I notice when I visit your blog. You’re akin to Super Woman!
I must admit, I feel inadequate for my position right now. I fear I am going to ruin my child and that she will be uneducated because of me. Looking at your blog is very helpful and gives me ideas, but I wonder how do I have time to do any more when I barely get through as it is? How do you do it? Surely if you can do what you do with three kids, I can do it with one?
What are your days like when you are doing school? How much time do you spend each day?…..
The following is the majority of what I wrote in response.
Ha, a super woman – I wish! I’m just as overwhelmed as the next person – really!! In fact, I just got finished sending one of my best friends an email last week asking her to pray for me. I’m completely overwhelmed right now and feel like I’m just treading water some days.
She reminded me that this season of my life won’t last forever and that I need to treasure each moment rather than worrying about all the things that aren’t getting done. I go to bed most nights with the dishes still piled in the sink. There are usually at least three loads of laundry piled up on the couch ready to be folded. I have yet to have time to organize all last year’s schoolwork and get it put away…….
I am able to be on the computer a lot right now because I’m still nursing like crazy. Eli is a ferocious little eater! After I spend one nursing reading to the older kids, I usually spend the others on the computer since the older ones have gone out to play or are working with their dad. As Eli slows down on his nursing and gets more active, I bet my computer and blog time will become almost null and void!
As for field trips and other activities. We run too much! 🙂 Once school starts back up, I tend to slow down to almost a snail’s pace. I can’t do school and run here and there.
And for schoolwork – I’m sure I’ve told you before that I don’t do everything. I would drive myself and my children crazy if I expected every page of every piece of curriculum to be completed. They would hate school and so would I! I just do what I feel like the Lord is leading us to do. I trust Him that I won’t ruin my kids. I trust Him that they will have the tools necessary to figure something out if I’ve left a gap. I trust Him that He’s preparing each one for the work that He has planned for them. I still have a lot of work to do in trusting God, but trusting Him with their education is an easy one for me.
I tend to see life as education. When we cook, work with the cattle, go on a field trip, read a chapter book together, do chores, take walks, go visiting, plan a party together, shop for groceries……..I feel like I’m teaching them about real life. They must be prepared academically, but all that will work itself out if I’ve offered constant opportunity to learn in each of the subjects. I don’t stress over making sure every page of every workbook is done. All that stuff is usually repeated at some point anyway. If I’ve prepared them to know where to go to find an answer when they’ve got a question, they will be fine.
Our school days usually run from late July through April. We do Bible study together and then chores. Afterward, each child usually does their math and language arts – Mahayla on her own, Caleb with me. Then we get together for unit study type lessons – history, geography, science, projects. It’s usually lunchtime by this point, so we take a nice long break. Many afternoons we’ll take some time to read from a chapter book together and maybe do something like art, foreign language, or computer games on their own. The rest of the afternoon is completely free for them. They aren’t allowed to watch tv until right before bed, so they’ll usually do things like piano practice, playing outside, Mahayla might knit or crochet, they might cook something together, board games, a science experiment on their own. I’ll often gather a few items of interest and put them out downstairs as “motivation sparks” to do instead of whining that “there’s nothing to do.”
Now, this is how it used to work! 🙂 Throwing Eli into the mix this year is going to make it interesting!! You may watch me spiral out of control as the year progresses!! 🙂
Don’t worry about feeling inadequate. We all do, at least sometimes. I’m praying for you!
I asked my friend’s permission before putting any of this on my blog. Like me, she hoped that someone else might benefit from seeing that we all have struggles. No matter who seems to have it all together, there’s usually more to the story.