The past few months, and especially the past few weeks, I have had a unique problem. One I have never dealt with before in all the years we have been homeschooling. I hesitate to mention it, because I fear I am alone in this difficulty. I have certainly never heard it discussed before. But the truth is, here it is, springtime, every homeschool mom/curriculum junkie's favorite time of year, and I have nothing to research. No math curriculum to read about, no questions about the best science, no hunting through blogs or forums to discover a new history program that we just have to try out this year. Nope. Our school year went so swimmingly well that I already know exactly what we will be using next year. The only thing we are changing is science, and I already know what I want for that.
So as I'm sitting here, twiddling my thumbs, with no need to peruse catalogues, no need to surf the Internet or wander through my local teacher supply store, I realize, this isn't actually a problem at all! I have just gotten so used to the thrill of the hunt, the urge to seek out the better, flashier, easier, the more exciting. And I have missed the pleasure of appreciation.
I need to stop and just appreciate. Appreciate the fact that we can finish our day's allotment of work in less than four hours, that some days, we are done by lunch. Appreciate that the kids are all moving forward, slowly, sometimes, but definitely surely, in their education. That we are learning to read, to write, to compute, to appreciate and understand the world around us. Appreciate that the kids are learning independence, they can work their way down their list of subjects and even, mostly, enjoy themselves while doing it. Appreciate how far we have come since the early days of squeezing school in between naptimes and diaper changes, the days when every day had the potential for disaster because of hard-headed preschoolers and volatile toddlers and learning often seemed like pulling teeth and I looked for reasons NOT to do school. Appreciate that we are still in the "fun" stages of school where coloring pages, funny stories, math manipulatives, putting on plays, and exciting science experiments (you know, the ones that don't involve dissecting anything) fill our days. Appreciate the note that Nate wrote the other day in his handwriting book:
Thanks for helping me be a good student.
NateAppreciate projects like this, that help us review:
Appreciate that our "principle" works so hard to afford us the luxury of this lifestyle of learning. That he is supportive and interested and does whatever he needs to do to inspire, encourage, and motivate both me and the kids.
Appreciate that we have plenty of time in the day to work on character issues and build relationships and exploit our curiosity to build our creativity and to learn all those great things in life that you can't really learn in school.
And really, I need to remember that even when the year doesn't go as well and I DO have to research and find something that will work in place of what we have outgrown, I still need to appreciate... just appreciate the blessing that is homeschooling.
This post is linked up with Ben and Me Blogging Through the Alphabet, A week.