A break in my most common ramblings about books. This blog used to be much more about education, and Charlotte Mason, than about books. But as my years as a homeschooling mom kept changing, the book posts became more frequent, and posts about homeschooling more scarce. I blame it to a need for privacy and to major disenchantment.
I used to get excited and share the things the girls were going to learn about, all they did. I used to FB about it all, blog about it all, share it all. Not anymore. I’ve not become cynical. I have not. I do hope that the wish to share all that may one day come back to me. I mean it. But not now. Right now, I’m at a contemplating stage. I’m a sad, and I am mourning. And this will have to take its course before it changes. I refuse to give in to the quick fix culture, the quick fix Christianity, the urge to make our lives picture perfect, and if impossible, the urge to fake it.
There’s several things I’m considering when I’m by myself. Unresolved questions I try to sort out.
With the little knowledge I have about educating my girls, after several years of learning and failed practices, I wonder how is it we have not achieved a minimum of stability or harmony. We are currently at a break, and I am at loss about what to do next year. I know we’ll be at the co-op we’ve been part of this past school year. I know we’ll be going to Europe in the fall. I’ve purged and put away unfinished things from last year, I’ve taken out new things for next year (since for many years I’ve collected the needed books and materials ahead of time). But my heart is not there.
Last year I tried to change my attitude. I paired down the work load, I worked and reworked the schedules, I tried and tried to adjust my attitude time and again, I tried to start the day positive, yet I failed and failed. Lessons started as a battlefield, they escalated to war proportions, and ended as bad as they got.
It’s not as if the girls are not learning. They truly are. It amazes me how they have improved in the midst of all this disjointed thing we call lesson time at home.
To you, shaking your head in disapproval, I tell you, (and sorry if I sound abrasive, I am upset, I admit it), I must tell you, I get the riff, studies, lessons, are not always enjoyable, they have to be done. Yeah. I get it. Yet I don’t. I used to think that if I had been educated the way I set to educate my own, -with this freedom, these riches, these principles and their practices-, I would have appreciated it and loved it. But I am not that sure about that anymore. I also have no idea how it is they don’t take to this, even when I get deeper, strip the whole thing from one more layer of pride, get to a more humble place, start small, even smaller.
And don’t preach to me, please. I may not have read it all, but I’ve done my homework, enough to keep us going in the right direction. There must be something to life and to teaching that is above our efforts, above our righteous knowledge of what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. There has to be something to life that it’s bigger than placing the pieces together in the right order. Something that we get or don’t get. And if we don’t get it, we need to learn to live with this understanding. But this summer I’m not sure I want to submit myself to this life.
Out of all this mess we call homeschooling, one thing I know. I can say I do have conquered some obstacles, I’ve learned now to love things which in the past I only did because I was told to do. The things I and others around me tried to constantly get away without doing while at school.
Even though worrying about the girls and their learning is something that constantly comes and goes, in the big scope of things, if I breath and try to be objective, I am not worried. I know they’ll be fine.
What I so desperately want, it’s some joy, some peace, some structure, harmony, a way of doing this homeschooling thing decently. But I realize that, asking for ‘some’ of all that, asking for some decency, is not a small thing at all. And not only, I am aware that this is not about what I want. Maybe I should not be asking for anything related to homeschooling anymore?
I know that, no matter what, we’ll continue. Next school year (which for us will start probably around July), we’ll try our best to keep at this homeschooling thing. I’ll keep praying, planning, and hoping for the year we have never had before. A year of joy. And, should that never happen, I’ll ask to accept our lot and maybe look elsewhere for our blessings, because they are there, and it may be I still have not learned where to look for them (or where not to look).
I always tell others what I am incapable of doing at the moment. I tell them to write down some of what they do (no matter how insufficient it seems), and if they do so, they’ll soon realize all the blessings that fill their days. I know I should do that too. I just wanted to share this, in case you are or have been where I am myself now. In a place without any coordinates (when, by the years doing this it should be the case we were sailing).
I feel as vulnerable as ever, and not as young. I have strong desires of being just a mom, and not their teacher anymore. Yet it’s my duty, I know. It’s as if I had been to the same battle year after year, and it’s only now that I realize the outcome never changes. Homeschooling groundhog day! And I have no energy for listening or reading how others give me tips, formulas, talks, advice, or anything that has worked so wonderfully for them. Neither do I want to hear others suggest where I may have gone wrong, or how my failures are the consequences of my ineptitude, my laziness, or my sinfulness. I am painfully aware of all I am not, and all I do wrong. I just don’t want to jump into this anymore. I don’t want to take this trip. I don’t want to prepare for it.
That was my rant. There. I got it out of my system. Now, the reality. I have a month, or a month and a half, and He can change my heart. And He will. Because I will ask Him. I’ll be back to whatever is needed to be back to. I will try one more time. I will pray, and plan, and I will wake up to His new promises every day. I will be ready to change, and ready to accept that which stays the same.
This was just to tell others who may find themselves in a not so cozy, warm, reassuring state in their life as moms and teachers, that a break is needed when it’s needed. Even if we don’t feel it in our hearts at the time, He’ll be with us, as He is, always!