We typically do school year round and we don’t really follow a schedule, other than our regular lessons (Mandarin, music, and swim team). At home, we are very relaxed and we do formal lessons when it suits us. This past summer, however, I have been more relaxed than usual. This is due in part to the fact that our Mandarin teacher was in China. I was actually surprised to discover just how much I rely on the consistency of our lessons with him to anchor our schedule.
While so many of my homeschooling friends both in real life and online are preparing for the upcoming school year, we have been preparing for China. When the local kids are boarding a school bus, we will be boarding an overnight train to Xi’an. My planning time has been consumed with China – what to pack and necessary arrangements for our pets.
At the same time, the goals I have for the upcoming school year still play in the back in my mind. I had wanted to begin Latin this fall but I haven’t yet purchased curriculum. I had wanted to finish Story of the World volume 4 so we could begin the cycle again, but a las, we still have a quarter of the book to go.
My one saving grace is that I have invited the local homeschoolers to join us in an upper elementary science class beginning in October. We will meet once a week for hands-on science activities and inquiry lessons. I was able to find a small classroom space through the local fly fishing association. We’ll be starting with life sciences (upon the request of my kiddos) and in the winter, we will focus on energy. I am really excited about this opportunity and will likely videotape each lesson to share with all of you.
This past summer has also made me realize that my little girl is growing up. For the first time, she asked the hairstylist to give her a different cut and she finally got up the courage to ask her dad to get her ears pierced (she had first shared her intent in April but wanted to wait for the ‘right time’). She is just changing so much. This has been hard for me; she is growing up too fast.
My little man has become fascinated with the stories of King Arthur and has spent his free time crafting swords, daggers, and most recently chain mail. I love his creativity and ingenuity! However, he is also very determined and gets frustrated easily when his projects don’t look as realistic as in the movies. He isn’t satisfied with wooden swords and plastic shields. He wants the real thing. I know it is important for him to experience failure, to learn from his mistakes in order to grow. Yet, it saddens me to see him struggle.
It’s so clear that you have to cherish everyone. I think that’s what I get from these older black women, that every soul is to be cherished, that every flower is to bloom.~ Alice Walker
On a personal note, I have a very heavy heart right now – my dear father-in-law has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. This is particularly scary for us because my mother-in-law has had health issues for years and he has always been our rock and her caretaker. My father also informed me that my great aunt is battling cancer herself. As I get older, I know that the loss of loved ones is inevitable but it is always difficult.
In addition to the myriad of health issues surrounding us, my brother and his wife recently welcomed their fourth child. This would normally be something to celebrate. However, they continue to keep us out of their lives for reasons that have yet to be explained to me. In addition, a dear friend is going through personal issues and I struggle to find ways to comfort her.
In the past, I have always kept these fears and worries to myself, not wanting to burden anyone with my troubles. Yet, I don’t want to give my readers a false sense of my life. We don’t know the number of our days. It is up to each of us to make each day, each moment, count. Perhaps this is why my burdens weigh so heavily upon me as of late.
I will continue to stay positive. I am blessed and truly grateful. I am very thankful to be able to stay at home with my kids and really build a relationship with them on daily basis. I am thankful for every day my children have to get to know their grandparents and extended family. I am thankful for friendships and the opportunity to learn and experience life alongside one another.