Friday, March 12, 2010

WR: Schedules & Meaning

I am a gowiththeflow type but have a couple kids that aren't. After another dramatic morning with Cub we decided together that not knowing what TIME things would happen was adding to his stress/frustration level so I came up with a detailed schedule for him, Flower and I . The week proceeded at a much better pace though it's still a challenge due to evening schedules and routines determined by Viking Man's profession.

All that being said, we did get more done- duh. Reading Rafe Esquith's books have, as usual when I read about people of excellence, challenged me to step it up. I've been having kinda a crisis since the fire/funeral, centered mainly around what I've invested the last 2 decades in; mainly homemaking and child rearing. It's a bit dis-heartening when the tens of scrapbooks that were thoughtfully created were thrown into a dumpster due to fire, smoke and mold damage; jsut a small snapshot of the bigger picture. Frankly, I've struggled with a plethora of emotions about it, wondering if all that I've invested in is just gonna end up useless and wasted? And to add to my own angst I've done too much comparing of late. Enough of our colleagues and friends, smart and educated people, have kids our kids ages and they are going to college straight out of high school, having played sports and instruments and danced while their parents work, creating a middle-class life style full of opportunities and vacations and new clothes and gadgets and college experiences that have eluded us due to choices within and beyond our control.
And too, we've taken an unique road with our kids, one that factors in God and calling far more than societal expectations. I've been accused of re-inventing the wheel, but, in response to that, we are utilizing time tested and honed pedagogy's as well as Biblical mandates. But still, to quote an oft-used phrase around here, it's not easy being green. So, while I'm clear about the reasons for and why, I'm not so sure about the outcome. Because, really, the outcome is one that we've relinquished to someOne with a higher pay grade.I'm talking faith, not a pass-the-buck response, and trust and hope. And while I'm pretty courageous about a lot of things, seemingly jumping in feet first (thought usually only after lots of research and planning) dis-couragement is my Achilles heel.

So, I am back to basics. What's the vision? What's the goal? What's the strategy? Esquith writes extensively in his book, "Lighting Their Fires," about the disease of mediocrity sweeping our families, schools and country. He shares vignettes of crude and rude adults at public events, CEO's who promise help and don't deliver, customer service reps that laugh in the face of abysmal service and apathy about customers. And I resonate with the discussions because our vision is to usher our kids to a place where they can see and know and desire, not just merely want, but hunger and thirst, for excellence. I'm not raising kids. And I'm not raising adults. I'm raising eternal beings who will live forever, and my high hope is that they live in the presence of the Holy. And before that, that they serve Him with all of their might.
My husband and I can be singularly focused and outcome based. We are committed to vision, often, it seems, when its inconsequential and frivolous to others. But I keep coming back to the point- without vision, what's the purpose, hope or meaning? I enjoy the journey, but heck, I don't want to be the answer that is 2 degrees off and ends up out in deep space instead of landing safe and warm and at home.
With that, here's our week: Copywork for both Flower and Cub, along with dictation for Cub.Lit Analysis for Cub, individual reading and read-alouds. Math, including thinking skills, story problems, mazes for both. Geography puzzles for Flower and Friends, along with map work. History focused on reading from D'Aulaires Greek Myths and the Children's Bible. Science consisted of a Butterfly unit led by KB. Time playing and drawing was multi-tasked with listening to the Story of the World- Ancient World read by Jim Weiss and IEW's Poetry Memorization CD. I can't find the actual book of Poems so we are content with review right now. We added in a Latin phrase: Post proelium, praemium: After the battle, the reward.
Feche-Boy continues to plug away at Algebra I, Latin I, Biology, Apologetics, IEW, Art, Drama and lots of reading. This week's choice is Stephen Hawkins A Brief History of Time.
TDA consisted of Art with our uberawesome art prof, Mrs. Z; Drama with the talented and creative amazing Mrs. M, whose drama games are soo hysterical and fun that we all hurt at the end with laughing. Not only are the games a hoot but we have seen a decided increase in students confidence and ability to think on their feet. Even our most shy and "I-can't-think-fast-enough" student is jumping in on the fun factor and shocking us all with wild and wonderful witticisms. Then IEW, Apologetics, Biology or Music History and Science along with a Devotional Read-Aloud (Christiana , Pilgrim's Progress part II). The younger kids sub music for Apologetics and everyone is doing Latin Worship songs and Prayer.
How was your week? And more importantly: What is your vision? What are your Goals? What is your strategy?


Tina said...

I have been thinking so much of the same recently and seeing so many options that move beyond our gang b/c of money. I hate that, but at the same time, it inspires me to more. I'm picking up the book from the library tomorrow...Lighting Their Fires & There Are No Shortcuts both by Rafe Esquith...maybe it will light my fire too. Great post. Appreciation abounds.

Daisy said...

Excellent post & you've pegged something I'm wrestling with right now while surrounded by huge stresses (namely hubby's health).

Those lost scrapbooks were perhaps the physical links to the achievements of the past but honestly, our children are the real scrapbooks of our parenting journey.

I can see week in and week out that you are the type of mom who is creating (with the Lord's help) beautiful masterpieces that smoke and fire cannot harm.

Moonbeam said...

With your help and guidance, your children have had a productive week. You seem to have had an introspective one. Discerning the goal/vision is not as difficult for me as remembering it when I'm dealing with the day to day life. Too often my best strategy is to hang on tight and pray. Not very pro-active but usually effective.

WildIris said...

You've expressed here many of the emotions I've felt about what exactly is it that I am doing here home schooling the last two decades of my life, and the burning question: Has it been worth it after all. Having faith, not just in a religious way, but faith in knowing that what you are doing is the right thing, the kind of faith that enables one to not look back with regret is the kind of faith I relish. My kids are not perfect, they are not college bound in the middle class way, but they are good people. That they are good, dependable people with morals and ethics is my comfort.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The TIME thing is a hard one I've yet to master.
A good weekend to you,

Anonymous said...

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Karen said...

You are absolutely right. You are raising adults not kids. You are raising eternal beings not kids. What you are giving your kids is much more important than the frivolous things that can be bought at the local superstore.

The important things about all of those scrapbooks was that you actually have done enough memorable things to fill that many scrapbooks. Really. Who has scrapbooks filled with pictures getting up early, rushing the kids off to a brick building, working in a gray cubicle, spending an hour in traffic, getting home with take-out to feed the grouchy kids who would rather you just drop the food near them and leave them alone?

Your week looks amazing. That drama class looks like fun. What terrific resource.

Redradtech said...

I so hate mediocrity and my 2 youngest just slide along. I cannot believe they came from me. I talk to them, model good behavior and excellence and they just trod along with what will pass as ok. Very frustrating as through the years that I homeschooled them I stressed excellence and expected it!! they said I was a perfectionist and too hard on them. What is a parent to do