Tuesday, November 22, 2011

go with the flow

Last night as I read stories to my children before tucking them into bed, they had a brilliant beyond brilliant idea. We were reading Cranberry Thanksgiving. It's a lovely book with a fun and surprising ending. My son loves the character Mr. Whiskers and the fact that he is gruff and wants to sing pirate songs instead of hymns.  I think that resonates with his very boyish heart. 

 "Hey, mom,"  my son said.

**Total side note:  Most of my kids' conversations start with either 'Hey, Mom' or the longer version: 'Hey, Mom, guess what?'  Do your kids do that too?  Funny isn't it?**

Back to last night...."Hey, Mom, can we just quit school and do Five in a Row again?"   I was taken aback a bit. I love the phrase "QUIT school'.  I had to smile at them.  'Yeah, mom, can we?' his sisters begged.  Within seconds they had it all planned. Lapbooks, coloring, projects and baking cranberry bread.  'All we really have to do is math and reading for school-school.' 

For you newbies or non-homeschoolers, apparently 'school-school' is the nitty-gritty hard stuff that you do even when you are doing other things.  It's a very official term apparently.

How can I resist?

  But it has been rolling around in my heart that we were not on the right track. You see school this year has not been what I expected, or planned or hoped for.  Financially, we couldn't buy 'the usual' curriculum, so I've made some cheap and almost free deals on most of our books this year. Praise the Lord!! Plus the fact that I don't have to invest in teacher manuals for every grade now goes a long way in saving money. And not allowing our kids to write in their MathUSee workbooks, but in a notebook instead is a HUGE saver!  But it wasn't what I wanted, or even what the kids wanted. We've just had to buckle down and make do. And I get that some years are like that. I really do.  And I'm ok with it...somewhere in my heart I am, really.  Sometimes you can't  have all the bells and whistles, some years you have to focus on academics or character training.  And that is ok too.  They will always be learning something. 

But I have been missing something.  Missing our slow mornings reading stories on the couch, missing their younger years when we made projects and crafts.  Every.Single.Day.  We've been in a just-get-it-done-so-we can-be-done mode all year and it's exhausting.  No fun, no spontenaity, no frills, just nose to the plow, finish your math before dad gets home, boring, boring, boring.  I think because it's so dry, even the fun school work has been drowned out by the rest of it. 

So the fact that they asked to do this isn't all that surprising.  It just made my heart smile.  REALLY BIG. 

So after putting them to bed, I printed off three copies of homeschoolshare.com's lapbook for Cranberry Thanksgiving, dug out my Five in a Row teacher manual, and you can guess what their first question after they woke up this morning was.

"Hey, Mom, are we going to read that book and make a lapbook?" 

"You betcha, sweetie!"

Ah, bliss. This is how we are suppossed to school in our home. 

Those little old ladies in church and your mother and your aunt are so totally right. They grow up right before your eyes and sooner than you expect.  And sometimes, they learn much faster than you think. 

1 comment:

Mrs Danielle Brown said...

So sweet. I just went to the web page you mentioned to print out papers. Last night I was having her help me make Thank you cards and she was having soooo much fun. When I made her put the crayons away to get ready for bed, she cried and cried. I knew I needed to make coloring together part of our daily life. This gives me one more direction to take that in. Thanks!