November 18, 2009

Learning Without School

I'm avoiding the computer lately. Seems that every time I sit down there is another thirty things I have to add to my to-do list. My email box is stuffed to the gills, my paper in-box is overflowing, and my school stuff is heaped in a pile on the corner of my desk. Not to mention Mt. Laundry or the planning that needs to happen so that tomorrow won't be a dismal failure.

But then it hits me - like the spit up that hit me earlier today - unexpectedly... I AM GETTING THINGS DONE. Granted, maybe not everything (nowhere near everything), and maybe not even what I had planned to do... but we are accomplishing things. They are small milestones but they need celebrating.

For example... Here's a few things we DID accomplish today (even though they weren't on the assignment chart):

* The house smells like fall sweetness after we baked TWO Sweet-Potato-Pecan Coffee Cakes and a Sweet Potato Bliss (casserole) tonight. My daughter actually did a lot of the work with the help of my mom (who took turns entertaining the baby with me). We GREW the sweet potatoes in our yard, too. Dug them up just a few weeks ago.

There you have HOME EC and LIFESKILLS. Tomorrow night's dinner is in the bag - just add some green beans and a rotisserie chicken and we have a mock Thanksgiving treat a week early.

* My kids know how to use a computer. They have picked up some mean skills by watching mama. Tonight my son scanned a bunch of his artwork (his free-time project) so he could blog about them this week. I love it that he picked scanning art over video games. That's no small accomplishment for my X-Box fanatic.

There you have TECHNOLOGY & COMPUTER LIT. And I forgot to mention that my daughter looked my recipes up on my food blog while she was cooking tonight (easier than digging through the recipe cabinet and all those cookbooks).

* My refrigerator is cleaned out and my pantry, too - helps when you decide to tackle the mess during lunch hour so you can prepare for dinner. We also folded laundry - and managed to get Daddy to help. The kids picked up the house - some without even being told to help... and we organized the school boxes while looking for a Health book that was stuck in the wrong folder. Every time we've had a distraction we ended up using it to get things done... even though they weren't on the list.

There you have ORDERLINESS and DETERMINATION. So maybe they aren't academic subjects, but try to live a functional adult life without them and see what you get.

* The baby is alive and sleeping soundly. That means we took care of his non-sleeping little hiney all day - and kept him up in the evening so he would sleep through the night. After his 2 hour morning nap, he decided he didn't want to go to sleep again until around 6:30pm. I only let him cat-nap and he managed to fight sleep until around 10:30pm. I'll be surprised if he doesn't sleep through the night tonight. The little rat was a HUGE kink in our plans today. As cute as the bugger is, I'm beginning to think that he IS our extra curricular class this year (since the plans I had for doing Photography with the big kids aren't panning out for lack of time and energy).

There you have CHILD DEVELOPMENT and BABYSITTING. My husband and I both agree that the big kids will be superb parents by the time they 'graduate' homeschool.

* No, maybe we didn't check off our school list today... but what a blessing to be together and learn with each other. We read about horned lizards that squirt blood out of their eyes, found out that we didn't really need those two eggs that got left out of the doubled coffee cake recipe, and learned that meteor showers really are amazing (kids are in the back yard enjoying one while I write this).


Not sure if you would say that we are 'unschooling', but whatever it is, I'm grasping for the positive and thankful that God is allowing it to grow me to be a better mother.

Enjoying my TEACHER TRAINING 101... even when things get hairy...


Karin Katherine said...

What a great post and reminder that we are accomplishing things even when we think we aren't.

I will try to take a page out of your book this week.

Jeanne said...

Mt Laundry...chuckle!!

Tricia said...

I stumbled upon your blog this morning and really enjoyed your post about your day yesterday. I am at the end of my homeschooling days - my youngest is 15, so I just wanted to encourage you. Believe me, we had many days like that. Nowadays, my oldest (24yo son) lives in our basement and teaches at a Christian private school making peanuts, but influencing lots of kids for Christ. My middle dd has an apartment at college (45 min. away), but still comes home to spend time with her sister and us 2 or 3 X a week. We all spend time laughing and enjoying each others company. I had long, meaningful conversations with all 3 of them and even had a date with my dh yesterday.

Hang in there! The benefits you will reap are sooooo worth it. (Even if you don't get "schooling" checked off your list every day.)

God bless!


Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

I loved this post!

You are living beautifully and fully!

Thank you for the encouragement....

All`s grace,

Shelley said...

It's so hard to give ourselves grace. Thank you for extending some to us today! :)

Shannon said...

Thank you for the post! God knew I needed to read it, and I'm glad He lead me to your blog today. Yesterday we didn't do any formal schoolwork. It just didn't happen. I beat myself up over it, and the guilt just never goes away. But reading your post reminds that there are life lessons in the everday living, not just in the books and worksheets, etc. Thanks for the encouragement!!!

Shannon, your fellow Texan :o)

Tracy said...

Sounds good to me! You all get an A+

Anne said...

We're having this kind of week because I'm on bed rest. Pregnancy problems just *weren't* on my fancy lesson plans last August! (This would be a good reason to teach babies to read asap, lol!)

Anyway, it was such an encouragement to read your post.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God" (2 Cor. 1:3-4, NIV).

Sisterlisa said...

Busy Busy Mrs. Bee. :)

Thanks for the card Spritti. ((hugs))

Heather S. said...

Oh, I so needed this today! Thanks!

Robin @ HeartofWisdom said...

The things I see in my grown chilren are the things they learned when I was not teaching school-- good and bad. I see kindness, love, giving,organization, steadfastness, determination, and sometimes stubbornness.

Sweet-Potato-Pecan Coffee Cakes. I KNOW these smell good. I've been adding a sweet potatoes in with my roast vegetables (potatoes, onions and carrots) lovely.

Anonymous said...

It is very interesting for me to read the post. Thank you for it. I like such topics and anything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more soon.

John J McGeough said...

What a cool post. I take the approach that "it's in the pipeline" even though sometimes the pipeline backs trick is to "keep on keeping on". It all gets done in the end.

beth@brew*crew said...

Oh, I can so relate to this one! LOL Please don't worry about it, we've had years of unschooling (though I've taken to calling it *relaxed-eclectic-delight-directed-learning*), and not by intent, but default due to overwhelming life circumstances.

Now that Savannah's getting older, and we've been able to be more structured and consistent with our academics this year, I have been pleasantly surprised (and relieved) to see how well my 5th and 8th grader are doing and have progressed, in spite of all my MANY shortcomings as their mother and teacher over the years.

The Lord has reminded me that truly He is our schoolmaster, mine too, and always has been. We're all in this together, as a FAMILY. We homeschool moms do often take too much upon ourselves- role and expectations-wise I mean. I am so thankful that He has guided us (and you) this far, as He will continue to do... through every SEASON of our lives. Each season will look and feel differently. I love how homeschooling enables us to enjoy the uniqueness of each one.

Also, I really do think that the more comfortable we get with homeschooling, the more the lines between schooling and not blur. Life is learning, and as my kids are maturing and I'm seeing how delightfully well-rounded they are, I'm finding myself relaxing on the inside a bit more, trusting our own daily rhythms, appreciating the every-day learning that I *cannot* even plan more and more.

Glad to hear you're doing so good!
Love you seester!

Kristin said...

Nice post, Heather! I've been away from the internet for several days and I was thrilled to open your blog and see such a positive post about your accomplishments--good for you!




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