Juggling is tougher than it looks…

I am going to have to postpone the giveaway. I had thought that the books were here in the house. My husband was certain he knew exactly where he had put them. It turns out that we were both wrong. He looked everywhere that he could think of. It turns out that the books are still in storage. He is going to get out there just as soon as he can. However, our storage garage has gate hours, and my husband does have to work. This means, it could be as late as next weekend before he can get out there. I do apologize for the delay.

On the other bad news front, I am doing absolutely terrible in my readathon. If this was a readathon in which I was getting paid per page or chapter or book, I would definitely be disappointed. I believe I have finished a total of two chapters in The Indian in the Cupboard. I am enjoying the story. It is full of nostalgia and adventure.

I have, once again, placed far too much on my plate. It seems like there is so much to get done, and there just isn’t enough time to do it in. Some deadlines are a month while others are by the end of the day. There is laundry and dinner and school to attend to. I want to ensure that there is time for myself. My time with my husband is limited during the day throughout the week, so I want to make certain that I take advantage of every moment we do have. Instead, I end up giving up and watching tv. It’s my worst addiction. Give me my Netflix and a pot of coffee, and I am absolutely covered for the next few hours.

This, of course, is not a good way to spend my time. I need to be accomplishing far more than I have been lately. I am tired at the end of the day. I am tired throughout the day. I am fighting to keep my eyes open, lacking the focus I need to complete some of the oh so simple tasks I have placed on my ever growing list. Which, by the way, I just added that hexagonal blanket to. It turns out that it isn’t the one I finished. For the giveaway, which I remind you has been delayed, I will instead be including my blanket I’ve named Not your Grandma’s granny square blanket. The pattern is similar to that of the log cabin afghan.

So, I’ve got projects galore that need to be completed. I have books I’d love to get around to reading. I’ve got a life I can’t seem to keep up with while dodging the avalanche falling around me. I’ve got a family to care for and a career I’m still trying to build and manage. I’ve got homeschool I never planned on teaching.

As a child, I tried to learn to juggle. I remember choosing different objects to juggle, knowing that the jugglers all chose items based on their weight. I was positive that I would find the perfect weight that I could manage. I tried balls, bean bags, and various other small objects. Whatever they were, I never did manage to keep them in the air. Over time, I became good enough to keep them off the floor. I always felt a sense of pride at this accomplishment. They didn’t fly wildly anymore. They didn’t land everywhere. I always managed to catch all three.

In life, I juggle a lot. Heck, show me a person who doesn’t. As children, we juggle school, home, chores, and play. When we grow up, we juggle bills and work with responsibilities, family, and friends. We throw in dating, then marriage mixed with children and pets. We add in our own desires and needs with those around us. We try to keep everyone happy and healthy. We take care of meals and shopping. We juggle. A lot.

As a child, I learned to keep those balls in my hands. They might not have all been in the air when they were supposed to be. Maybe I cheated and caught without release. It’s easier to control things when you hold tightly. As an adult, I still try to hold everything tightly,  gingerly tossing into the air things that don’t need my immediate focus. Problem is, I have only those two hands. The same two hands that could barely manage to keep three off the floor. Now, I’m juggling far more than three. I’m juggling countless things all at once. And, is my habit, I’m clinging tightly to every single one of them. I gingerly toss one little thing, but only so high as to not lose sight of it. I almost immediately snatch it back up again.

Even if it’s not in my hand at the moment, even if it’s not my primary point of focus, I cannot get it out of my mind. As I write this post to you, as I let my mind wander and list a few of those things for you, I have a dozen more still bouncing through my head. I’m planning dinner while remembering the conversation I need to have with my eldest child. I am thinking about the meals I want to make this week, I am thinking about the recipes I want to try in the near future. I am working through a few problems that I cannot figure the solution to while thinking of what chapters my daughter needs to do for school this upcoming week. I am fighting off the disappointment in the fact that I must postpone the giveaway. I am thinking about the books I want to read, the books I want to write, the blankets I want to crochet, and the tshirts I’d love to turn into pillows.

And when my brain is all over the place like this, how do I focus on the one thing that needs my main focus? How do I decide what that main thing is? I really don’t have the answer. But, I’m off to start crossing things off the list. Try to settle my thoughts, ease my mind. I promise I am not cancelling the giveaway. Please forgive me for the delay. Thank you all for your love and loyalty.

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Just one girl’s late night (early morning?) thoughts

So, I was browsing through WordPress and reading through posts tagged homeschool (because I’m totally an island here and unsure which direction is land). I saw so many posts, so many families. Some were just announcing their journey into homeschooling while others spoke of yet another adventure or misadventure in homeschooling. I found inspiration along the way (both for homeschooling and this blog post). 

It occurred to me that there are many of us. We all came to homeschooling for different reasons. Some are here by choice while others, like my family, landed here through necessity. There are so many stories out there (share yours in the comments section). Our numbers continue to grow. This caused me to ask the question: Are we returning to the olden days?

In the olden days, focus was put into hands on learning. Learning life, survival, basic living. In the olden days, families worked together to keep the house functioning, to keep businesses afloat. Children learned basic skills such as reading, writing, and math while they were young, and when they became old enough they learned the family business. This was before children were placed into school houses. Before you required a degree to perform a job. You want to know how a job is done? Then go out and find someone in that profession willing to teach you. That was that. You learned a skill from a parent or a mentor. You learned a job. You took that knowledge and you did that job wherever you chose to set up shop. 

Could we be shying away from institutions (institutionalization)? Is free thinking the wave of the future? Now if only we could fix the economic system to make it easier for families to keep a parent at home…

I’m just me…

I’m sure you have noticed by now that I don’t stick to one thing very long. I bounce from topic to topic. I write about what is on my mind. 

Opening up is hard for me. I am happy hiding behind my keyboard. I try to be as openly honest as I can be. If just one of my posts reaches just one person and lets them know that they are not alone, then I have been successful. 

I don’t have any sage advice. I have a load of experiences that have molded me into the woman I am today. Life has dragged me through the ringer more than once. It’s also brought me so much joy. 

Right now, things are beyond crazy around here. It’s not really my story to tell. I’m just a bit player along for the ride. In between all that crazy, I am once more homeschooling my daughter. I am trying to find what works best for her. At times it is the most rewarding thing I have done in a long time, but most of the time it is frustrating.

I’m not a teacher. I only ever wanted to be a teacher for about a minute of my childhood. I outgrew that quickly. She’s so smart and capable. When she sets her mind to it, she flies through her assignments. When she doesn’t want to do something, she pretends she can’t. She is the queen of trying to bargain her way into extra breaks or a reduction in work. 

I envy parents who send their kids to school. They get breaks. I’d love a break from my children every now and again. She’s happier now, away from that wretched place. The place where children are sent to become robots. The children whose parents come from generation be yourself and be proud of who you are. 

I can’t understand that one. How are we a generation that claims to embrace individuality and yet the public school system is designed to decimate that very same individuality in our children? I watch TV and the stars are always quirky and unique. I will continue to teach my children to be proud of who they are and never allow anyone to change them. 

I’m just me… the boring, the exciting, the quirky, and the quiet. I may fall short of who I thought I would be sometimes. I may struggle as often as I celebrate. But every day, I can proudly say that I’ve stayed true to myself. I want that for my children, too. Who we are is all we really have. 

Validation…

Admittedly, it comes a little late. I wish that we had been supplied this information earlier. Perhaps, we could have saved our daughter copious amounts of pain and agony at the hands of the school personnel that were entrusted with her education and well-being during the day. However, this new information leaves me feeling validated in our decision to pull her from the school. It also supports our belief that our daughter was telling us the truth when she admitted to the things she was guilty of and denied other things. Continue reading

Back to #Homeschooling

Last week, when we decided to go back to homeschooling, we ordered a set of homeschooling books. They arrived this afternoon. 

The first experiment in the science book asks the question “how can you tell if an egg is raw or hard boiled?” We are planning to engage in this first experiment tomorrow. Today, our daughter hard boiled a couple of eggs so that they will be ready for tomorrow. 

We also have social studies, math, English, reading, reading comprehension, writing, and social studies to work from, now. We are ready for this next homeschooling adventure. 

I’d love to hear from other homeschooling families. How do you keep your children engaged? Any advice on finding local homeschooling groups for socialization and fun? 

When we began homeschooling in the past, it was meant to only be temporary. It has now become obvious that it is going to be a permanent solution. We just can’t put her through that kind of torture ever again.