Oh, Christmas. I'm sure you're about 14 days away. Not five. Nope.
This week was full of appointments and taking school work to friends house and asking babysitters to help. I have been stressed all week because of these appointments and the massive amount of work I knew we were missing. I was thinking of my many homeschooling friends and imagining all the work they were getting done. Were they doing extra Advent work? I saw an adorable Advent e-book online and ordered it. I printed 2 copies (@ 60 pages each) before I realized that this was not going to happen. (They were only $1.50, so I wasn't freaked out.) I just knew that they were doing amazing Christmas crafts (art- and we've done exactly zero Christmas art/crafts), baking cookies (math), talking about Bethlehem and Christ's birth (history, geography), reading Christmas stories (reading), and journaling about all the things they were thankful for (writing).
Today we started with art and a project totally not about Christmas. Why? Because it didn't occur to me. At all. I grabbed the art curriculum book and let the kids chose what project and medium they'd like to use. Immediately after art they began running in circles. Literally. I sent them outside and cleaned up. Then I saw A Home School Mom's Letter To St. Nick post on Face Book. I felt so.much.better. But I was still stressed about all the work we missed. Stressed.
John and I did reading/language arts and Sarah did her independent work. Then it was time to go to the farmers market to pick up some gluten free bread I've been craving. I was dreading taking the time away from school - there had been so little of it this week- and the kids were jacked up.
But as we walked into the complete mayhem of the market an incredible thing happened.They started asking questions of each other and me. Good questions about all the different stores there and the display cases full of unique and familiar food. They came up the idea of writing down all the different cultures they were seeing - Polish, German, Amish, Greek. Sarah asked where 'Amish' was, so we had a talk about that. We got a snack at a little lunch counter and they each did some money math.
When we got home I sat down with my attendance sheets and realized that I hadn't marked days all month. Not one. Thankfully we have been using our check lists and they are dated, so I looked back and discovered something wonderful:
While I was busy worrying about all the stuff we weren't getting done, there were many, many things we were getting done. We read, we journaled, we did math (and played Monopoly one morning - talk about using money skills), we did write about thankfulness, we mapped three new countries. We know three new capitols and that Russia is the largest country. All three of them know what 'commutative' is and Sarah identifies tasks as such or not all day long. As I sat there and smiled, as I realized that what we are doing is working, I teared up. We are learning. And we're learning more than 2+4=6. My kids got along today better than they have in so long. (If I forget Wednesday, that is.) The market trip was filled with laughter and smiles. It was joyous, loving, kind.
And I thank God for that.
I think I may be learning that we have our own pace and that pace is perfect for us. Just like my husband is the perfect man for me, I think how we school- the pace we set, the activities we do-these are perfect for us.