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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Busyness of Spring

Spring started making an appearance a couple of weeks ago.


But I was too busy to notice the tender new-life buds.


Or to touch the the dew-slicked leaves.


I was too busy making plans, penciling them into little grids, worrying over what was to come, and calculating the cost.


And spring, though it hasn’t yet arrived on the calendar, did arrive right under my nose.

A little while ago I was thinking that what we really needed around here was more rigor, a stricter schedule, and more activity. We were coming out of the winter doldrums, trying to shed our hibernating selves, everybody nipping at each other…our regular routine was feeling inadequate. And I was feeling not up to the task to nurture an adventurous almost-2 and educate a contrary almost-11, let alone deal with the daily squabbles of the in-betweens.

A schedule, yes! A grid filled out for each day to show me exactly what we are going to do. At least I wouldn’t have to go over my notes every five minutes to figure out where I was at. A daily checklist of what needs to get done with little boxes to check things off would do nicely.

We were getting a lot done. Not everything on the list. But a lot. Certainly more than before. We were spending more time with the Bible and learning about our faith. But, something was still not right.

And then this week came, and the tone of everything just changed overnight. Enter The Spring Soccer Schedule. And for hubby, The Spring Meeting and Conference Schedule. Suddenly all my evenings were filled. And my weekends. My whole life was a filled-in grid.

And my heart rebelled. If we can’t find a few moments to pause, take a deep breath and smell the spring flowers (or even just to read a good book because you want to) in the off-hours, it’ll have to come during the day when we are supposed to be working. Because what’s the point in learning all about God’s world if you don’t find the time to enjoy it.



The funny thing is, even without the grid, they find things to learn about.

A couple of months ago, I wrote about the need to light a fire under my kiddos when it comes to things like math and other topics that don’t interest them much…but that I know they need in this life. I still believe that. But I’m also coming to realize (again, remember I’m hard-headed and tend to forget lessons learned) that they can and will take the initiative in other areas. And nothing will squelch this desire in them more than my planning out every minute of their days.

So we are looking for a mean here, a place of balance. I don’t know yet what exactly this will look like. It doesn’t mean I won’t have lists of what I want us to accomplish. But it does mean that I’m going to be more flexible about how and when those things will be accomplished. We need more academic rigor for David’s sake in some areas(it won’t be long before he’s in high school, eeps!), but I don’t want to sacrifice a true love of learning for some preconceived idea of what academic achievement should look like.

How do you balance academic achievement with day-to-day living in your homeschool?

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