Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Need to Phase Needs to End!

This sunset was so spectacular Grace and I pulled over to take pictures.

One of the things I do not want to forget as we go through the next few years is how many awesome adventures we had in our first few years of homeschooling.  Math, history and science are super important, but as I look back through this blog’s five year history, and read about our travels to New York City, our kitchen table science experiments, our nature walks, our time with friends, I realize we cannot for one minute forget that these moments are what makes homeschooling magical.  

Recently I heard an analogy about life using tiny grains of rice.  A bowl full of rice is your life.  Those little grains are each day that you walk this earth.  If you can only pick out 5 or 10 that are associated with great moments, such as vacation, births, marriages, etc and the rest of the grains are filled with drudgery then you are living an unhappy life.  What percent of our grains represent great days?  Not enough.  I want to live a happy fulfilled life.  A life bursting with love for my family and joy in my surroundings.  

Lately I have become bogged down in the “need to” phase of homeschooling.  We “need to” finish math before we can go to the library or “we need to” get two chapters of history done today so we can catch up or “we need to” run a zillion errands because life is so busy.

I tend to do this to myself.  Lose myself in the details of life and forget to make that one grain of rice count.  I know from 5 years of homeschooling that we will finish what we have begun.  The math will be done.  History will be done.  However, my girls will not remember each individual lesson.  They may feel satisfaction about learning a concept they struggled with but they will not remember the daily struggle.  They will not remember all 100 items in history, or who every historical figure is in Story of the World, but they will remember their favorites and they will remember the activities and experiences they have around these objects and people.  I have to recommit to bring our lessons to life.  It is how we have always approached learning and I do not want to get bogged down in the “need to’s” and forget to fill our jar of rice with days that fill up our hearts with joy.


Karen said...

Keilee and I were just talking about this last night. I was telling her that while we didn't go on great vacations every year we did things on a day to day basis that I hope she will always remember. It is really about the JOURNEY. This post is what I needed to hear today Jess. Thank you.

Diane Knecht said...

Wow, I so agree with this post and found myself doing the same questioning so much recently. Unfortunately with Grace about to start 11th grade in some ways it kind of changes the ball game. I don't want it to but the "need tos" get more and more. Then your daughter comes to you and asks to do chemistry and geometry with another teacher in a school type setting. So, yeah, we have lots of changes in the works as well. I feel good and bad about those changes. One I feel like a homeschooling mom that gave up and gave in to everything I don't really believe in, but on the other hand my own child asked to take these college prep classes and understands the importance of getting it done. So I am listening to her wishes and hoping for the best for the new year.

Sandra said...

Thanks for posting this. I read it this morning and despite having a long list of things we need to do I decided to take advantage of the great weather - warm for summer let alone late autumn. So Miss 14 and I drove to an estuary north of town and had a great morning's birding - highlight being a black stilt which is rare and endangered bird that we've only seen once before. We've come back feeling reinvigorated and I'm sure we'll still get through somw of those need to items later today.

Jessica said...

I remind myself of this every day right now. With so much activity in my home it would be so easy to stress out that algebra and history are not finished yet. I don't want to pass that stress on and I know we will finish it, but not at the expense of an afternoon at the barn or at the beach!

Jessica said...

Diane, you are not giving are the model of a homeschool parent - you are allowing your daughter to pursue her interests at her pace. Because she choose a more traditional setting for structured classes does not mean that you gave in. You are giving to her, not taking from her.

High school does change things. No longer can we just push it off and say we will get to it eventually. We NEED to finish algebra and history in order for me to ethically give her a credit. So we will finish. I keep telling myself public schools have 6 more weeks of classes and we can finish this in six more weeks but the reality is it will take longer for these two subjects and we just have to be okay with that.

Jessica said...

Sometimes you just need to recharge. We took 2 hours one day this week to begin a study on government and presidential politics. I was not expecting to do this but the girls told me it was a great day. Last night I was not expecting to go to the beach, but it was low tide and warm. The other stuff will get done too......right now it is all about balance.

Diane Knecht said...

Thanks for your words of encouragement Jessica! I greatly appreciate them. I am becoming more and more at peace with sending her off to learn elsewhere for everything but history this coming year. What is even more important is that she is really excited about the challenge and meeting new people. Have a great weekend.

Rebecca LaMere said...

What a wonderful reminder, thank you

Mary Prather said...

I understand... I think we've been feeling some of the same things lately. :-)

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