Today was our first day of homeschool and it was a roller coaster. It was long, it was tiring, it was sometimes frustrating, and it was sometimes exhilarating.
It took us a long time to get through stuff because things were new and the kids needed to get used to what they needed to do. There was a lot of debating: "well, why can't I do it this way?" and distraction: "hey, Mom, you know what I want for my birthday dinner next year?" This kind of stuff drives me crazy, but it's a constant, so I am trying to learn NOT to let it drive me crazy while at the same time gradually training them out of those behaviors. Because if I don't not let it drive me crazy then I will be crazy very quickly. Literally crazy. I don't want to go there.
There was also a lot of disruption from the younger kids. Frog felt compelled to holler at the top of his lungs every time I tried to have a group lesson so that no one could hear a word I said. Peanut is going through this thing where just the littlest things make her wail and cry and carry on for ages, and then she has to curl up on my lap for a long time, preventing me from moving around the room like I need to at times. I got out the Lincoln logs to keep Peanut and Frog busy for awhile this morning and after a few minutes it was one big Lincoln log fight after another. There was lots of crying and even some pinching and kicking and biting. It was exciting. But there again, this will be my homeschool reality for the next several years (can you imagine when it's the twins?) So I have to figure out a way to deal with it, or at least choose to not let it upset me.
The twins were actually pretty good today. I mean, they were nine-month-old babies, with all that entails, but they weren't unusually difficult.
Bean was far more difficult than the twins. He only did half his work. He dawdled around and ignored me half the time and disappeared to his room or the basement. And this is after I had him help me select his curriculum so that it was something he would agree to do. And this is the first day of school. Day one and we're already behind. I thought I was finally past that with Bean and it's discouraging to see that we're still dealing with these same issues that have held him back for years.
However, many good things happened at my house today. Some real learning happened, some kids at some points caught a little bit of a vision of the thrill of learning, and then there were a couple of very spiritual moments. In those moments I saw the importance of the things that I am able to teach them at home which they are not able to learn in a public school setting and I knew that this really is what they most need. There was also a very sweet moment where I felt that I had help from my grandparents on the other side of the veil. I am so grateful for those glimpses that I am on the right track. I am also grateful for the things I am excited about in our curriculum this year, and that some of the kids are excited about some of those things too.
I am weary right now, and if I think about it, the thought of doing this every day for a whole school year and for many school years after that makes me want to cry and cry. It's just so much and it's so hard. But I can take it one day at a time. Yes, I can do that. I did it today, and even though I dropped some balls I still juggled a lot of them and that's pretty cool. I can do it again tomorrow. I can do hard things, and doing hard things will make me strong. And like I said before, out of small and simple things great things will be brought to pass.