This past school year was challenging.
If you’ve read my blog posts for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed. (haha)
Our year started off great! With flying colors!
We stayed on task, we finished assignments, I was on top of our grading, and the rest of our school year was planned perfectly.
It was one beautifully (and perfectly) wrapped package. Complete with a huge bow tied on top.
Or so I thought….
A few months into our fabulous school year, we were hit with a trial.
No big deal. We got this. Brush it off and move on.
Then we were hit with another trial. Then another……
We dealt with heartache, loss, hardship, and a lot of frustration.
And little by little our perfectly planned school year was put on the back burner.
We finished. Barely. More like fizzled out. But it was completed.
As I sat here wondering what to write about today, a thought occurred to me.
Yes this year was difficult. Very difficult. And I could choose to only focus on those difficulties, thus allowing a sense of failure to overwhelm me.
OR, I could look back on our year differently. I could focus on the good that occurred. (There was quite a bit of good!)
Then, look back on those difficulties as areas of learning and growth.
So here I go!
- We began two very difficult Language Arts textbooks/workbooks with our older two boys. At first, they struggled, complained and were unable to complete an assignment without me. By the end of the school year, they were rocking it out on their own, fully confident in their abilities!
- I began teaching our boys to cook. From scratch. And they love it!
- Our independent study time has gotten better!
- Our struggling readers finished reading “The Swiss Family Robinson”!! This is a HUGE accomplishment!
- We finished quite a few awesome science experiments that helped our boys grasp some pretty difficult concepts.
- God has placed wonderful new friends in my life, and in the lives of our boys.
- Our boys have matured immensely. They’ve grown, not only as young men, but in their faith in God as well.
- Each of our kids saved his own allowance to buy his brothers Christmas gifts. (melt my heart)
- We have learned which curricula works and which curricula no longer works for our family!
- We came out of a tough school year in one piece! (haha)
Learning Experience :
- I did not continue in my endeavor to teach my boys to cook. But I did begin! Our time together was wonderful and I cherish those moments! Lesson : Even though I’m tired, and just want to finish dinner quickly and eat, I need to take that extra time with my boys. Yes, having 3 extra bodies in my tiny kitchen is frustrating at times, but it is SO worth it!
- I did not stay on top of my grading. I did however, learn which grading scale works for our family. Lesson : Don’t get lazy when it comes to grades. Especially for our Jr. High kids. Not only does it keep me accountable, and informed on where our kids are having difficulties, it keeps our boys accountable too! And, it is preparing us all for High School, where grades truly do matter!
- Trying to be everywhere at one time, and to be everything everyone needed, I got burnt out. On everything. Lesson : Learn to say no. Trust that God is in control, then rest.
- We did not finish everything that I had set out to do. Lesson : Simplify! While I normally try to simplify as much as possible, perhaps I did plan a bit too much for this past school year. We were rushed to finish it all every day, and that is never a good thing. Slow down, simplify, and relax!
- We took a lot of unexpected and unplanned breaks during the school year. Lesson : Life is going to throw us curve balls from time to time. That’s just how it is. And it is ok to take a break for some quality family time every so often. Don’t feel guilty! The school work will happen. It will be completed. Sometimes, our kids just need to know that we’re there and we love them.
Well, there it is. Our school year in a nutshell.
I’ve learned a lot in this journey. Lessons that I hope to put into practice for our upcoming school year.
After all, it’s not just our kids who are learning…..