I have to confess that I haven't felt like I've had my game face on lately when it comes to homeschooling. And by "lately," I mean since the beginning of December.
Don't get me wrong, we're getting it done. There's math and science and heads bent over history books and plenty of reading. But I wanted to have this all-together-now thing going on where History (or shall we call it Social Studies?) related to Science which related to Literature. I wanted to be all Pinterest-clever and crafty. I wanted to be doing regular French lessons with the kids -- not to mention sewing lessons -- and that's totally fallen by the wayside. I guess you could say there's a lot more "wanting to" than "actually doing" going on around here.
But as I sit down with my planner and try not to get too sore from all the kicking myself, I have to remind myself that they are learning. I know they are learning -- I can see amazing improvements even during the rather crazy time these past couple months have been. And it's not just the basics that they're learning -- math, science, history, grammar and so on. Here are seven other things I know my kids are learning.
1. To work as a team. For real.
2. To have strong stomachs. Two weeks ago, Wyatt sliced off the better part of his pinky-toe pad. His sisters learned what a cut that needs to be seen by a health professional looks like, and they learned how to apply pressure to a wound. (I'd been wanting to teach them some first aid... Success!) But more often than not it's things like what happened the other day at lunch, when Lilly was in the bathroom that is downstairs right by our "dining room" and I was running around trying to get a load of laundry started. She has been, um, learning increasing independence with certain task, and was asking about them nice and loud. I was answering her questions frankly, nice and loud. And Jayna was sitting at the table trying to eat her lunch. When she asked, "Uh, could you continue this conversation later?" I laughed and said, "Sweetheart, I will feel like I've failed as a mother if I send you out into the world unable to handle a bit of real potty talk with lunch." ;-)
3. To be patient. With each other. Always. *sigh* This one is definitely a work in progress. But they are learning. Oh, yes they are...
6. That learning can happen anywhere. The doctor's office. The couch. Even the car dealership, while we were getting our car worked on.
7. Their potential. I don't just mean this in the "Oh, someday I could be a really famous athlete" or "I could be an astronaut" kind of thing, which is all well and good. But they're learning about the difference they can make no matter what they do by being loving, by serving others. Here are the words from the last page of Skyler's recent book report on a Wright Brother's biography...
"They believed they could fly."