I've always attempted to achieve more than is actually possible. Goals have been set over my lifespan that, now looking back, are just simply ridiculous. The last few months, it's been all about simplifying... Life, family, housework & homeschool. Especially homeschool.
I've learned so much from other stay at home moms, from my own mom, from WJ and from daily communion with God. While each of these have taught me in different arenas of preparing our girls for life, I have been most convicted of my 'perfection' mentality. While I firmly believe in goal setting and lists, I have realized that I did not want this mindset to wreck the future of my girls' well being. In the words of my own dad, "it's all about BALANCE". And I am thankful for this stretching.
Over Christmas break, I revisited our lesson plans, re-writing and stretching them out a lot. We've gone from trying to spend 3-4 hours a day in 'school' to sometimes not even an hour! I've found that Goose is still learning her core lessons without the pressure to perform. In changing my high expectations, she's actually learning more quickly! Prissy's just happy with a dry erase marker board, so I'm good for now.
We have desk time for an hour every day (give or take). I have divided our other activities to cover the whole week instead of every day... Nature, Worship, & Art (or a combination of these because, after all, they can go together). We are continuing our study of the states; turns out Goose loves maps as much as I do which makes this Mama smile! She is even beginning to help me read to Prissy at night, which is amazing. While our schedule may be more laid back, and she may not be as advanced as some... I am content with living our own pace. She will be taught order, organization and discipline as we continue living our lessons every day.
Speaking of organization...
As far as housework... well, this is the biggest challenge for me. I have strived to keep a neat house. I love organization. However, I also want my family to 'live'. While we don't encourage chaos in the rooms of our home, I've adopted what a wise woman once termed the 'functional mess'. If something seems messy, ask yourself, "is it functional? is it active?" meaning: is it being used right now? as in crafts, stuffed animal hospitals or the rock collection that is their dinosaur museum? Even thought I still hold to the 'everything has a place' mentality, allowing a little wiggle room has freed my neurotic mind when it comes to the inner workings of our household! I'm quite certain this has made the other three dwellers very happy. For me, the adjustment is so enjoyable. Who knew? Well probably all of you!
Life is every changing. And to think this doesn't apply to the early years of raising children, or any year for that matter, is crazy. I have found this big sigh of relief a wonderful thing. While life may evolves, it certainly doesn't need my help in making it more difficult.
Now, let out a big sigh.
Felt good didn't it?!?