Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Schooling Amidst A Crisis

The past month, my mother-in-law has been hospitalized. This stressful situation is further complicated by the fact that my husband and I are in partnership with his parents as farmers, so her workload is passed around among us, along with our worry over her. There are also her personal things (bills, cleaning, rescheduling) to be tended to. We also like to have one of us at the hospital when the doctors come around (there are six of them, and they come at random times). So our life has been a little messy and everything that can give, has gone.

We started fall harvest (THE busiest time of year on our farm) and my husband had an emergency appendectomy.

We had intended to begin school on August 1st this year, but that was not a possibility. I decided to wait until my mother-in-law was out of the hospital, but as the weeks stretched on and the pressure from other responsibilities increased, I began to have concern as to whether there would EVER be a "good time," so after discussion with my husband and children we started school this past Monday.

Did we finish *everything?* No. But we were so happy to be back around the kitchen table together. The next morning, I was needed at the hospital very early, so a sitter watched the kids and we fit the rest of school from the previous day's plans into the afternoon. It took two days to complete what would normally be fit into a morning, but we are able to be flexible about when and where we can work on it.

While my dyslexic middle child was in tutoring sessions yesterday afternoon, I worked on phonics with my first grader while my fifth grader did his math lesson. We listened to a song based on our memory work on a CD in the van going to and from the tutoring session. My oldest child read out loud to us from one of our literature study novels.

Is it perfect? No. But it was fun and satisfying. My daughter (six next month) took a lot more from the Native American Indians lesson for the older children than I imagined she would. Her journal entry was about it. Was I able to do everything according to the plans I had laid out? (Laughing) No, but does anything ever work that way?

The most enjoyable part for me was the undivided attention and time I was able to give each child separately. I have felt pulled in so many directions and had so many hats to wear lately, my connected relationship with each of them has been put to the test. It was so wonderful for me to have conversation with, lap time for, and intense interest from each of them without having to worry about what I should be working on instead.

I was doing exactly what I am meant to. The most important work I will ever do is raising these children, and I'm so thankful that homeschooling is a part of that for my family right now.
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