Wednesday, August 12, 2009

pictures in my mind

We did it. We completed our first week of homeschool. I somehow managed to perform all (most) of my regular daily chores as well as parent four children with vastly different needs, teach a first grade curriculum for the first time and start kindergarten with Janie. I'm not bragging, but I have to stop and admit that it was a tall order and I did it. It's possible and it was a good week, not a horrible one. Today I need to make up for the laundry I didn't do all week, or at least the rumpled clean laundry I didn't fold, and clean the bathroom. Neither one is looking appealing. I'm groggy and waiting for my iced coffee to kick in.

For now, I'm going to allow myself a blog post. I don't have tons of photos of our week. I wish I did. It was enough that I did what I planned to do, which was a lot. Looking back, though there were some moments that I've saved and pictured in my mind. I hope my memory is good enough to always remember these things, but just in case I forget they'll be recorded here.

On Monday, my biggest surprise came from Janie. I knew that she had learned from watching Dana do his schoolwork. I knew she was smart. Still, she wowed me. She sat up straight and expectant as I gave her first one task and then another. Each time, she looked at me with eager eyes and said, "What's next Mommy?" AND, at the very end, when I had run out of things to do with her, she said, "Is that it?" She was smiling, but I could tell she expected more of a challenge. After all, she's been working quietly beside Dana for over a year, listening as we work and singing along to the little kindergarten songs we sing. Why am I surprised at all?

One of the greatest joys of teaching my children at home is watching their God-given desire to learn flourish and blossom all on it's own. I can't take any credit for their desire to learn. God made them curious and creative, and I get to be the one to guide their discoveries. This week, I have so enjoyed watching my little Clara Joy learn along side her big sister. She sits quietly next to me while Janie works on this or that project. Every so often, Clara shows me a letter she has drawn or asks me to recreate the work Janie is doing, so that Clara can do it too. Her drawing and hand-eye coordination have come so far, and I'm not making her do anything. I just get to watch her learn and grow all on her own.

Dana is doing well too. Handwriting has been a little painstaking, but he's making improvements and as far as I can tell, he's right where he should be. So far, Math appears to be his strong subject, which is funny, if you know me. Math was always a struggle for me. What struck me about this week wasn't his lessons or the strides he made in Reading or Math. It was his compassion for his little sisters and brother. This morning, as he left for the first soccer practice of the season, he wouldn't leave until he kissed each one of his sisters and his baby brother goodbye. He also took a minute to reassure Janie that it wouldn't be long until she had her first practice too and that he wouldn't be gone very long. She really is his closest friend and he knew she was sad that they were on separate teams this year. I can't help but look forward to the day when he shows that kind of sympathy and love with his own children. He's my sweet boy.

It's been a good week and I'm ready for that lazy Sunday nap, even though it's still Saturday.


Carl Herder said...

Great to hear the first week went well Karen. I love the set up of your blog now, with all the kids on the side, and the revolving pics! How sweet that Dana is showing so much outward affection for his siblings.

I miss you all so much. Skype sometime today? I'll be signed in :)

Timmy's Girl @ Luv My Quiver Full Of Arrows said...

Hope you got your nap, Karen!

What a wonderful son you have in Dana. He reminds me of my eldest, whom is now 16, and is such a joy to me. So many told me that having teenagers would be the death of me, and yes..sometimes it is hard, but more than anything it has been one of the sweetest times of my life.

xoxo, Veronica in CA

Rick Herder said...

You are a terrific teacher, Karen. We are very proud of you for all you do. Keep the love and creativity flowing.