Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Out with the Old, In with the New

As we bring this school year to a close, I'm full of mixed emotions.  This last year has been, by and large, a success, full of its inevitable downs and ups.  As only my second full year of homeschooling, I feel I am finally getting my "sea legs" -- I have found that the most valuable skill a homeschooling mother possesses is flexibility, and her most necessary virtue patience.  In light of those two things, a myriad of other considerations follow:
  1. In order to be flexible, the curriculum must give a little.  I have discovered this year that the curriculum I am currently using is no longer what suits our family best, so I am excited to make some adjustments for next year!
  2. Flexibility must be balanced with a sense of order.  I can't be so flexible that nothing ever gets done, nor so "orderly" that we become a cyborg family.  I think that not cramming our schedule will help us to move things around if need be.  Like those Cracker Jack games where you have to reorder the numbers in the square, you can't budge if you don't have any empty space!
  3. In order for Mommy to be patient, Mommy requires time for enough sleep, daily prayer (and Mass if possible), daily exercise, and a little bit of quiet time in the afternoon.  Looking forward, these will become permanent entries in the schedule.  Mommy can't give what she doesn't have, after all!
  4. Both patience and flexibility require that everyone carries their share of the household duties.  If I am overwhelmed with minutiae, it's so easy for the most important things to get lost in the shuffle!
I guess all of this goes back to my earlier post about order in the home.  Every family is so unique!  One of the real blessings of homeschooling is the ability to design a custom lifestyle that fits the gifts, charisms, and individual needs of everyone in the home, allowing each to grow and thrive in his or her own way.

So, even though I am looking forward to summer vacation, I am also already eagerly anticipating the joy and challenges of the next school year!

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