Good morning, world. I’ve got nothing in particular planned today, either for my blog or for my family. The girls are currently consumed with a variety of books that came in the mail yesterday, and don’t seem to need me much for the moment; both a blessing and a bit disappointing. I’m getting the occasional call for help (more of a general wailing and complaining that I have to deal with or listen to) in deciphering an activity page or cutting a paper doll, and Hawthorne is busy careening around the living room, ping ponging off of the furniture and grabbing at his sister’s things.
I feel like I should have some charmingly spontaneous, yet perfectly educational and enriching activities planned for our day. Real homeschool mom stuff. But maybe all of the activity and drama of yesterday qualifies us a pass on today? Sparing details, it involved slippery wipeouts on concrete, screaming, blood, public nudity and urination, and near-face-breaking stroller climbing accidents. Plus the public school students here are still on vacation, something we’ll be doing ourselves the day after the school year officially starts.
There’s a list of ideas for the week that I made in a notebook, which has been misplaced at some point yesterday when I was in the middle of trying to do some of those things with the girls; a carpe diem moment when Hawthorne finally went down for a decent and well timed nap. Unfortunately, it was pretty unproductive. Violet feigned interest in things I was offering to do with her, and Clover abandoned her activity in favor of flopping around on the floor and loudly talking to me about things, inflaming Violet with rage because she couldn’t concentrate. A reversal of the usual roles.
When wading through the detail of our homeschool journey, I feel pretty lost sometimes as I search for what will work for our kids and family dynamic. Occasionally though, I step back and realize that the corners are slowly filling in. The whole picture isn’t there, and probably won’t be for another year at least. Montessori? Unschool? Charlotte Mason? Classical? Some of each?
I love seeing all of the little people here living and loving and learning together. My hope is that they’ll share learning experiences, gleaning from each other and giving to one another, and finding compassion for people of a different age or ability than you. Clover is already plotting her plan to teach Hawthorne to read. Somehow she skipped over the part where she could be teaching Violet, but she doesn’t think Violet is as cute as her baby brother.
Clover also began planning to put on her own production on of the little mermaid for us, and has ideas for her set and costume. Some of those ideas involve her using me as slave labor, sewing costumes she designs, and hanging backdrops and curtains.
Lately I’ve been learning to let go of expectations and plans a bit, and trying to go with the flow better. Catching opportunities to pursue questions and interests that the kids have, ideas they get for things to do, or alternate paths they think to take when we’re out exploring. Letting them get wet when it might not be the most convenient. Embracing the mud. Boldly charging out of the house to do stuff even when it feels overwhelming.
The other day I strapped a fussy Hawthorne on my back and headed outside with the girls so they could go do whatever, while I paced around and began reading A Well Trained Mind.
One of my biggest struggles is establishing and maintaining organization. Whenever I try to help my sad situation, I seem to only make things worse, and the kids tear through my attempts at sorting and making homes for things, taking things as I set them out and throwing them all over the house. Eventually you might find me sitting on the floor in tearful resignation. These are the times I haul things off to the thrift store and the curb on garbage day.
Thinking about our upcoming cross country trip with the kids is enough to twist my stomach. How do you plan for 5 hours on an airplane with a Violet and Hawthorne? How do you shove a tornado and lightning happily into an altoid tin?
The sun is officially up. It’s time to begin our day (even though everyone has been up for 2 hours already). I think we’ll just head outside and let the day take us somewhere.