Friday, February 1, 2008
It may seem hidden, but the joy is still there
It's no secret that January was one rough month. As the new year began, it quickly became clear that we had lost that wonderful rhythm we had before Advent. It was a rocky endeavor getting the school work back on track. Actually, we're still not on track. Luke and I both have had difficulty concentrating on the tasks at hand. I don't blame him. There have just been too many overwhelming distractions. It didn't help that we felt cooped up most of the bitter cold January. Then we found out we lost our baby and I realized that while I remained joyful and hopeful, I found myself really down, more down than I expected to feel. I guess it shouldn't have surprised me, but I haven't felt like this in so long that this has almost felt like an entirely new experience. While I took my September miscarriage in stride, this one has been quite the opposite experience for me and my husband. After a couple of weeks of headaches (probably related to hormones), we went out today and the sun was shining and it wasn't that cold and I felt alive and happy to be outside.
All this time I've been thinking and thinking about how to rejuvenate our little homeschool. I felt hopeful today for the first time since the new year began and even though that was only four weeks ago, it feels more like four months. I don't have any new plans. I kept thinking over and over to myself that what I teach is as important as how I teach. Did I read that in a Charlotte Mason book? I'm sure I did, but I can't really remember, but somehow I think the key is in that statement. I know Luke could sense that I just wasn't as into our learning this month and it was reflected in his attitude. How can he be excited about learning when I wasn't that excited myself? How could he go on when I felt so distracted and far away? So, no, I don't have any new plans or ideas because I think that would just overwhelm us more. I don't think that's the answer. Instead, I think the answer is simplicity. I won't add any more to my curriculum this year even though I'm inspired every day by all you homeschooling moms out there, but I will re-emphasize art and more read aloud time. Luke really likes it when I'm there learning alongside him everyday. He needs my presence more than anything else. I want to see both of my boys happy and healthy and joyful in learning at home and that's the bottom line. Somehow, I made it harder on myself than I needed to. Anyway, I'm excited about what lies ahead for us in February.
I think about joy each day and when I do that, it's awesome how the bad in life can somehow get pushed aside for all the good things that I may have ignored. There are always more good things than I expected to find.
Here are some good things this week:
1. I'm getting faster at knitting. I can now watch a movie and knit at the same time. I don't have to watch my fingers so much. Knitting has taught me perserverance. What a great gift. I can even purl pretty quickly!
2. I'm enjoying listening to The Swiss Family Robinson on car rides with Luke and Sammy. This is a book that I did not read as a child and it's so fun to discover a great adventure book along with my son.
3. I promised my husband that I would not purchase any new books on Amazon for the month of January and well January is over and I just bought three new books! (I may have to give up Amazon again for Lent!) There's always joy in new books!!
4. Like Meredith, I checked out several beautiful books on knitting from the library this week! I love learning and I love learning about this craft. There are so many exciting projects and I hope I can have the patience to attain new skills so that I can knit things other than squares for afghans!
5. Today is the Feast of St. Brigid and I adopted her as a patron a couple of years ago. I have to admit that as I get older, I find comfort in the lives of the saints. They inspire me in the many ways they devoted themselves to Christ. St Brigid inspires me as I live out my vocation to give my children a truly inspired life of learning. I know as the patron of scholars, she will help us in our joyful pursuit of learning. By the way, I got this book about a year ago. I think this may be a good time to start reading this one. I'll add it to the nightstand stack.