I have been feeling overwhelmed by the approach of the new homeschool year this year (something about having to teach four grades at once while simultaneously caring for four small children and keeping semi-order around my house and preparing food for ten people three times a day....)
But I am trying. So I sat down Sunday and looked at the calendar. I remembered a suggestion I heard a few years ago: six week chunks of school followed by a one week break. Like the six days of creation followed by a day of rest. Six of those terms and you have a 180-day school year. It sounds good to me this year. So I put it up against the calendar and tried to align things to my satisfaction. I found that in order for the breaks to fall where I want them, we need to start school August 24th. Ugh. I am not ready. I wanted to wait another week or two. But my desire to have the predictability of the "six weeks on, one week off" outweighs this. My kids need as much structure as I can possibly give them.
I am therefore in full-blown Homeschool Planning Mode, and my house is crumbling around me as I turn to the computer every spare moment I have to try to get everything ready by Monday.
My enthusiasm goes up and down. When I am online looking at curriculum and planning how we are going to do things, I am super excited. When I start to think about how we have very little money to buy curriculum this year and can really only buy the stuff we absolutely need, or when I start thinking about how my brilliant plans for a daily schedule always come unraveled as life gets in the way especially with my very needy and screamy little ones, and of course my highly un-motivated older kids take any excuse to run for the hills the minute I am distracted, and I have to fight a thousand battles just to get the kids to learn a little bit of the stuff in the awesome curriculum I find, then I feel weary and discouraged. Oh no, here we go again, I say. Do I have to do this?
I can tell you that I would NOT do this if I didn't think it was what the Lord wanted for my children. I promise I don't do this because it's fun and easy. But I can tell you that I know that it is what He wants me to do. And so I will muster up all the excitement and energy I can, I will fight the discouragement and feelings of failure, and I will do my very very best to give my kids the best education I can. I know what a good education looks like and I know I can teach them so much, as much as they will let me.
I think the adversary hits homeschooling moms pretty hard at the beginning of the school year, and I know that many of the feelings I am having (discouraged, tired, overwhelmed, daunted, etc.) do not come from God. And so I am choosing to go on and to trust Him, that He will open up a way even when it seems impossible. That what I am doing will be enough even though I am so often sure that it isn't. I am still struggling with these feelings, but that's understandable: the war we fought in Heaven before we came to earth continues here every day in our minds. I can expect to have to fight off the thoughts fed to me by the little imp on my shoulder. But I know that I have an angel on my other shoulder, and in fact I have angels all round about me to bear me up. I have felt them and I pray daily for their continued assistance.
And so we go forward! Here's to a great school year! Remember that by small and simple things great things are brought to pass.