Friday, January 20, 2012

on my mind

At this moment my mind is a river of thoughts, a jungle of options, a slew of emotions.  No, nothing traumatic has happened.  There's just so much going on.  I'm weighting a million different homeschooling choices, as I'm knee-deep in planning for our next school year.  The current book-writing negotiations are flitting through my consciousness as is a recent email along the lines  of "how do you do it all".  That question is such a can of worms.   So here's what's on my mind...


*  I swear, I don't do it all.  Seriously.
*  My house just appears to be clean (unless you look at the baseboards).
*  You think homeschooling is hard, but in our home it's just an extension of being together.  Our "school" takes maybe an hour and a half of our day.  But, learning happens all. the. time. 
*  Our first grade year has rocked!  Aria's reading Amelia Bedelia in front of the fire before the rest of us get out of bed. Today she wants to know what caused the ice age.   She's hungry for all kinds of learning, even math, even worksheets.
*  But that's because we hardly ever do worksheets.  This is not "school at home."
*  The secret to being happy is to realize that you love your life right this moment.
*  Today I loved unpicking some free-motion quilting in front of the fire.  What a nice reason to put up my feet.
*  I have an incredible amount of energy for "projects".   Homeschooling is one of them.  The Curves Class is another.  I'm nervous about what it will require of me to write this book.  So much time, so much energy.  And all that comes from me and my family.  How should I decide?
*  What you choose to give your time to defines you.   Family?  Craft?  Health?  Entertainment?  It defines you not so much because it's your job as because it reveals what you value and shapes who you become.
*  Darn it this is way too deep.   
*  I'm actually preposterously satisfied with life today.  And optimistic about this coming year.
*  I'm not afraid.  That's key.
* But I'm planning on doing 2nd grade different and I'm considering letting Aria attend a 2-day homeschooling program.  This is forcing all kinds of value-processing inner discourse. You poor things are getting the brunt of it.
*  This would be so much better if you and I were sharing tea and cookies. 
*  But, ya know,  I do feel better now.  Do you think it's OK if I go sew?  Will you mind?  I promise not to cave and plan history units or search online for local drama programs for kids.  Eeek, good thing I promised!
*  Because, sometimes the best thing to do is walk away from the computer and go do life.

33 comments:

  1. thank you for sharing those thoughts, rachel. i like this: "The secret to being happy is to realize that you love your life right this moment." very nicely put and very, very true!

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  2. Totally agree. Life is so much richer when one is living in the moment.

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  3. what a great post: full of positivitey. Wouldn't it be nice to all sit down for a cuppa together

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  4. A great post indeed! You seem like one of those duracell bunnies in the ad, with all your energy (even though you say you don't do it all). :D I read another blog (ourmothershipadventures.blogspot.com) where the kids (quadruplets age 13 and a 5 yo) are homeschooled, and I truly wonder how you two manage it all.

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  5. I homeschooled my two from K- high school (they are 30 & 28 now) and know exactly what you described. It's not always an easy lifestyle choice to describe to others. Keep your eyes upward.
    My favorite line from today's post: "Go do life"---- well said and way to go.

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  6. I'm thinking like you in reverse at the moment. I've spent the last year sewing while my kids have been in school. Next year we are going back to homeschooling after 2 years break. I'm really looking forward to it and definitely re-energised for it. Just keep in mind there is no "right" way to do it, there is only the right way for you and your children. And it is really important that you include you in that, not just your children. I'm glad you've had a good year homeschooling too!

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  7. Looooooove your comment about the worksheets! I teach in a Montessori elementary school, and am very anti-worksheet. Mindbogglingly (is that a word?) parents seem to love them... I love hearing about how your kids are learning through more concrete & real experiences!

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  8. You have a great balance in your life, and I admire that! Go sew fun things!

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  9. Great thoughts! You know I was homeschooled and I loved it! in my 4th grade year my parents let us attend a 2 day a week program and we got a lot out of it I think. It was good variety if nothing else.

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    1. What are the odds of connecting with someone who lived a similar experience? Thanks for sharing!

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  10. I enjoyed reading your post today. Thanks for sharing. : )

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  11. Love this post, Rachel...the not necessarily thought out but oh-so-genuine words. I love to "see" the same traits in you over and over again honesty, optimism, dedication to your family and children and making sure that they learn great values in life. Thankful for you and your faith. We serve the same Creator.

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  12. Love to read about your thought process and see a bit "behind the curtain". I think the blogs I read the most are the ones about sewing AND real life, because we're all trying to figure it out and find the balance that works for us.

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  13. Aw, I get comments like that and it is difficult not to let them anger me. It is frustrating for me b/c it seems the commenter thinks she knows more about my life than I've actually ever revealed.

    Thanks for a glimpse inside today. And have a lovely weekend!

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  14. Loved your comment, "Sometimes the best thing to do is walk away from the computer and go do life." Since my blog was deleted, I realized how much time I was spending (wasting?) staring at a computer screen and not engaging--with family, with my creative projects, with friends. Perhaps it was God's way of telling me (not too subtly) to walk away from the computer and go do life.

    LeAnn

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  15. Thanks for your comments! I felt vulnerable putting this out there since it's not my normal go-to content, but I'm glad I did =).

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  16. Heh, glad you were able to work some of that through :o) Glad I'm not the only one that rather mysteriously abandons cleaning things in favour of creativity though ;o)

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    1. Oh, totally. Cleaning is so ridiculously temporary. We're obviously choosing the higher path ;)

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  17. I know four families that homeschool and they do a co-op thing (not necessarily with each other) once a week, the kids seem to love it (and they all have fabulous kids). I enjoyed your post, you're absolutely right, what you do consistently defines you. Now...I will follow your lead and put down the computer and go and do life with my 4 kiddos and hubs :) ...that's not hubs as in plural, just one husband. Just clarifying :)

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  18. I am old enough that homeschooling wasn't viable. The state had worked to make it as uncomfortable as possible. That said, I had a friend who homeschooled his children about 7 years behind mine in school. Forming alliances, play groups and some shared experiences worked wonders. My friend who held a PHD in Physics tutored a lot of the older kids in math an physical science. He did not teach - he tutored another silly state law. The student interaction is good, so do workshops, field trips and testing seminars with the best homeschooling group you can find.

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  19. Not being afraid is wonderful! So many of us suffer from fear.

    I hope you have confidence that even if things get a little out of balance from time to time (like writing a book might cause), you'll manage to adjust and restore the balance.

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  20. i loved this post rachel. very inspiring! i agree, sometimes is it the most important thing to do life... the computer gets in the way sometimes! ;)

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  21. Great post, Rachel...very insightful and I imagine it was helpful for you just to spill all of these thoughts out. I have a friend who "unschools" her kids...she exposes them to ideas and gives them the resources and support they need when they're interested in something. I find it very intriguing to read about their life. Anyway, I'm glad you've found such a great balance - keep doing what you're doing!

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  22. Where is the "like" button when you need it?

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  23. I always wanted to home school my girls but I had to work full time. My job had all the insurance and benefits. But as an alternative we moved to an area that had fantastic Christian communityynand awesome public schools. I admire anyone who home schools for the right reasons. And yes, you may go sew. I am headed that way as soon as I stop reading blogs. They sure can eat up a day fast.

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  24. Rachel, are you in my head? Now I am not writing a book, I am not sewing as much as I would like, I am not blogging, I am not teaching classes, we don't do all the activities we like, and I don't spend all the time on my business I would like. Long ago we learned to work together quickly as a team to make our home comfortably clean, and that's good enough.

    Just last night I was telling my husband I finally feel like we are more than just surviving while trying to get things done, that we are really living. This is our 11th year home educating (17dd, 14dd, 10ds, 8dd) and our second using My Fathers World for our curriculum core. This gives us some structure to learn basics, exposes us to areas we would not naturally choose, sparks discussions, all while allowing us to live, flex and flow with our interests and lifestyle. We are raising our four people to be serving, caring leaders who develop and work in their areas of strength and interest, who encourage and empower others as we do life together. They all spend a lot of time working on what interests them, developing their gifts/skills. Our desire in choosing to home educate was to allow us a freedom in time and development. Rather than filling up time with data/info/busy work, we learn the basics, we learn to enjoy learning and then applying what we learn, we expose ourselves to areas we wouldn't naturally choose to spark what could be an interest or gifting as well as to help us relate better to others, and then spend the bulk of our time working in our areas of gifting.

    We are major homebodies, so this week I was marvelling at the ease I felt as we were able to: complete all our lessons; host the Girls Basketball Team Lunch (our 17yo plays basketball with the local highschool), make sure all 25 players from the Senior down to the shyest Freshman, as well as the 4 coaches, left connected, encouraged and valued; had time for personal reading; actually listened (rather than "hmmm, that's nice") and marvelled at new Lego creations and design ideas; hand wrote some notes of encouragement; made some business calls; sewed a bit; visited a newly-discovered wool shop with a friend and learned about wool; played board games with children; went to a movie in the middle of the week with friends who needed a distraction; attended basketball games; cooked meals; took a date night; and still had time to just be and breathe.

    I may not have done it "All", but it's a wonderful LIFE we are living rather than living a TO DO LIST. Our choices are allowing us to capture and enjoy moments, to brush aside the undone with permission, to restart what didn't get done without guilt, and to encourage each other to become all we are meant to be, human beings, not human doings!

    Beautiful blog! Thanks for providing so much inspiration in so many ways!

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  25. Lovely thoughts. You are so wise. I agree with your secret to being happy! I love my life, too!

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  26. Enjoyed reading your thoughts today. It seems to take constant evaluation to make sure how we live our lives match our priorities and values. We really are blessed to have so many things to choose from and consider.

    "What you choose to give your time to defines you." Love this!

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  27. The secret to being happy is to realize that you love your life right this moment.
    LOVE this. I am sharing on FB!

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  28. oh this is so much where my brain goes on a day to day basis - with 7 children, homeschooling, homesteading, home business and desiring to pursue my creative gifts.... I continually remind myself to simply be present and that helps so much.

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  29. You're awesome Rachel. Thanks for sharing!

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  30. fabulous post Rachel - I wish we were sharing tea and biscuits as well - and OMG you've made my day with the mention of Amelia Bedelia - I LOVE Amelia Bedelia and I'm sooooo glad she is still available and being read - soooo cool :) and you know what - now I'm going to have to google and get my very own Amelia Bedelia - I recently bought Ping which was also a favourite book when I was a kid :)

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