Second Semester…

I have lost track of weeks.  All I know is we were going strong with school then I broke my toes, we moved, we traveled, I had lots of work to wrap up, the holiday season came and I have been exhausted and puking for weeks (now much better) with the reality of another baby coming.  It seems we have never really gotten up and running!

In my darkest days I was ready to throw the idea of home education out the window feeling like a dismal failure.  But, brighter days are coming. They must be.  Lars is still pleased as pie to learn at home at his desk next to the window with his pencils and books and animal posters.  Not to mention his growing collection of the Magic Tree House books.  He abilities to self-learn have really grown in the last two months; they had to!  The result has been much less daydreaming and poking around with his work.

I am a stickler for being where we should be academically and we ain’t up to snuff in some areas. We will begin writing hard core this next week and will probably switch math curriculum as Right Start is too complicated and involved for Ben to do every night after a day of work and there is no way I can figure out how to teach it!   Being a lay-academic myself, homeschooling as a “lifestyle” and not a firm six hours of work is hard for me to swallow. I am finding a balance, gradually.

For now, we will stick to the task at hand and finish as strong as we can.  Lars started his Friday sports program again and also co-op where he will be studying American history. While at a family day at an art center, he won a scholarship for an art class that will study the elements of architecture and create art pieces based on such.  He is excited to start that as it is right up his alley.  Anders has much to learn.  He has no patience with workbooks, preferring books, games and art projects.

My biggest struggle with home-school has been finding a routine and sticking with it and keeping my mind focused on the boys learning.  I can be teaching shapes and my mind is really thinking about some social issue…  I am learning to train my brain when to think on what…

I was thinking on our culture’s need to quantify everything.  We care about grades and awards and an abundance of activities by which we measure success.  And we all stress out trying to measure up to some invisible mark and compare ourselves and our children with peers.  I look at Lars so far and all he has walked through being on our family team and I see firm character emerging.  The kind you only acquire through experience and under the supervision of the Spirit.  More than ever he is tender, kind, quick to forgive, patient, helpful, generous, compassionate, joyful and as responsible as he knows how to be at eight.  There is a gracious strength emerging in him, something that no state test can measure.  I must remind myself of this, even as we pursue academic excellence–he is a whole person and education is for the whole person.

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