Friday, August 21, 2009

Coffe Talk-August 21

Good Morning, ladies! come on in and grab a slice of Amish Bread (cinnamon or chocolate chocolate chip) and a usual, no coffee. But I would love to offer you some delicious chocolate milk!
Hope everyone has had a great week. Or couple of weeks, really, cause I haven't been around the blogosphere much lately.
School has started with a bang around here and frankly, I am just barely hanging on! We are in full blown survival mode! I have missed more points than I have gotten this month and haven't read or commented on many blogs in weeks. You may have noticed that I haven't typed a blog either...just can't find the time!
I have been very slowly reading through a home schooling book that has really convicted me about my method of schooling. I think, because I have classroom teaching experience, it is a little hard to transfer to a home mind set. Our first year at home was AWFUL because I placed "school" expectations on my son and I. Pledges had to be done at 8:00a.m. Reading was at 8:30 on the dot, etc. While that system works in a classroom setting, it didn't work in our home and I finally learned to relax my standards and allow for some flexibility. That being said, I am still one of the most "anal" home schoolers I know. I write lesson plans, I keep very strict attendance records, I keep every piece of paper we use just in case someone comes to "check" on us. What I have learned, however, is that learning and school are not fun for us. Not for the kids or for me.
This book I am reading makes a great point. We have so many resources right at our fingertips. It is not so important that I teach my children facts because they can go to any computer and pull up those facts in a matter of minutes. What I need to teach is a godly spirit and attitude first, and a love of learning next. If my children love to learn, than they will find a way to learn.
Now I am certainly not saying we are stopping our structure altogether. Certain skills must be taught. Math and reading will never be improved if the skills aren't introduced and practiced. But my methods up until now have been instruction, workbook, move on. My children don't LOVE to learn, they HAVE to learn. So, the past couple of weeks I have been trying to change my style. We have begun a Bible Study that I am writing and customizing just for them. I have loved doing this, I have learned a TON...but it is very time consuming! I am also trying to make things more fun. More math games, more arts and crafts incorporated, more flexibility, more practice with the computer, less stress from mom.
It is a slow process. Because what I have learned is that having fun takes time. I know, that sounds weird, but to play a game or build with blocks, or make up a poem takes a lot more time that to just explain the work and get busy. Our days have been starting at 8:00 and ending about 4:00 and we have been skipping subjects! Add on top of this a very active toddler, dance, guitar, baseball, church, tutorial...I am tired! I am drained!
I have also learned about a new system called work boxes that I am considering. They will eventually foster more independence, but the initial start up will also take time and money...something I just don't have right now!
I am not trying to whine, I feel better about the direction we are going in than I have felt in a long time. I truly feel the Lord guiding us in this direction and know it is the right thing. What I am struggling with is how to do it all. I do believe this is just a season and if I have to sacrifice my own time for awhile, it will be worth it in the long run. But I am continuing to struggle with balance. I know they say a mother needs to take time for herself to recharge, etc. and I do see the wisdom in that. And I would be lying if I said I didn't long for a few minutes of quiet rest...even these few moments typing as I let my kids sleep in are sacred...but I don't feel I can take those moments right now. I feel so selfish saying I "deserve" it because I don't feel I deserve anything. Am I making sense?
Anyway, that is our life right now...well that and making Amish bread because I have run out of people to pawn starter off on so it is growing out our ears!!! We have tried banana, cheesecake, cinnamon, get the picture. I just found a recipe for sourdough pizza crust that can be half baked and frozen...maybe that is my answer. We can put away some pizza around here!
Hope you all are having a great week and don't forget to hop over to Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk!