Saturday, January 22, 2011

We are in a rut

So the other day I blogged about how I am just going to go with the flow when it comes to homeschooling my kids, and I am.  I just feel like we are in a rut.  Right now it is not fun for me.  The kids are learning, this I know, but I don't feel like we are having much fun doing it. 

I have been trying to think of ways to make it more fun for all of us.  I think next week we are going to take all of our lessons outside.  Ellie is working on writing her letters, I have plenty of sidewalk chalk for that.  And Jackson is working on fractions, I am sure we can find something outside to do that.  We just need a change to get us out of our homeschool rut.  I know a lot of it has to do with the fact that it is freezing outside and so it is not as fun to be out there for too long. 

Any ideas from the peanut gallery?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Today I sent the kids to their rooms to clean. They are at the age where they know what needs to be done and I know that for the most part I can trust them to do a good job.  This past summer we pulled out the carpet in their rooms.  (Troy's job situation has kept us from replacing them.) They now have concrete floors.  So it is easier for me to sweep up the trash on the floors and to really get all of the stuff out from under their beds. 

So today after the first 10 minutes I went in to their rooms and with the broom swept the remnants into a pile in the middle of the floor.  This gives them an idea of what they have missed and what will potentially end up in the garbage. 

The rule at our house is whatever makes it into the trash pile when I sweep goes into the trash.  They are like little scavengers when I sweep!  They run to the pile and get out their most prized possessions.  Some may call this harsh but honestly in the United States our kids have too much.  I know that there are tons of kids that would love to have a 1/4 of the stuff mine do. 

I watched a TV episode the other day where a woman lived in 125 sq feet!  No that is not a typo.  That is what she lived in.  The host of the show praised her on her lack of stuff.  She got it.  She didn't need all of the stuff we have as Americans.  It got me thinking about all of our stuff!  I organized the school room yesterday and although I did purge some, I found myself holding on to a lot more.  I need to let it go.  How many books can one kid read?  But how do we change our thinking?  I am unsure but this is what I have been thinking. 

I think that we need to turn our thoughts towards the Lord for one.  He does not condemn those that have things, this I know.  But I don't think He wants us to hold on to things with all of our might either.  I think that He wants us to be thankful for what He has given us and be willing and able to give it all back to Him.  If that means selling it all and giving the money to your church or just plain giving your belongings to another person in need; I think that He wants us to keep an open heart and mind. 

At this stage in my life I am surrounded by others that give unselfishly, it is amazing to say the least.  I am continually blown away by the generosity and kindness of my friends and family.  And then I realize that God has put each one of them in my life.  They are all followers of Christ.  They are like-minded in that they only want to do what is pleasing in the eyes of their God.  How cool is that? 

As I started this post I was going to tell you a funny story about the kids and cleaning up.  But as you can see I have gone off on a different tangent.  Didn't mean to but I think it is good.  As I have been journaling I have found that sometimes the Holy Spirit leads my thoughts and these things just come out.  :)  I am grateful for that because I know that He is speaking to me and that is so comforting!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Back to School

Today officially ended our Christmas break.  I know your thinking we are behind.  But not really.  We are right on track as far as I am concerned.  I used to be worried about deadlines and the amount that we were getting done until I realized that I pulled Jackson out because of deadlines and stress.  I wanted him to have time to learn.  Here at The Brown Academy we have nothing but time.  Everyday I have an idea of what I want to get done and 9 times out of 10 we do.  I say that is pretty good. 

So today we did a little math, reading, and handwriting.  That was Jackson's part.  Ellie worked on the numbers 2 and 3 and the letter G.  She has great letter and number recognition but her fine motor skills, although very good, are not there yet as far as writing them.  Guess what?  I am not worried! I let her practice for a little while and then we went to something else.  Oh and she did have some reading.  She "reads" to me everyday.  Really she is looking at the pictures of the books and telling me the story based on them.  She hates for me to help her.  Many times the story she tells is nothing close to the real one, but she is using her imagination and as far as I am concerned this is the first step to reading.

So any other homeschool mom's that read this blog agree?  Disagree?  Think I am crazy?  I actually feel like I finally got it!  There is no reason to be stressed.  When I am not stressed my kids are not stressed.  We were done with school today by 1030 and we started at 9.  I would say that was a GREAT school day!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I have been journaling and thought that I would type this out and share with you.  It has been a very rough few months.

I started thinking about life.  Something that is real and going on right now came to mind:

Charlotte has really been testing Troy and I lately.  We have had to discipline her more and more often over the last few months.  Last week was the worst.  I noticed that in the midst of it all she began to cry out and want to be held.  At first I played it off as a distraction, she didn't want to be punished, and then it hit me-she wants to know that she is still loved.  In the chaos of the yelling, spankings, time-outs and frustration; she wants to know that I still love her.  

At that moment I grabbed her up and held her close.  I sang to her and rubbed her back.  She was making that sound you do when you have been crying uncontrollably for an extended amount of time.  I rocked her to sleep that day, she was at peace knowing that she was in her mother's arms and that I loved her so much.

Today when I thought about that scenario I realized that I was having the same feelings with God.  As I have been going about life I have made mistakes and have been disobedient.  He disciplines me.  Lately it feels like more often than not I have been in a lot of trouble.  He is punishing me over and over.  I am worn down, I just want to know He loves me.  He has shown me over and over that He loves me; I was just too hysterical to see it. 

The words discipline and punishment are running through my mind.  Over and over.  And then a gentle voice says a new word. REFINING. I can't get the word out of my head. I am no longer consumed with thoughts of discipline and punishment.  I am not stuck on this word.  REFINING. 

I came home and looked it up.  The definition is: to bring to a fine or pure state; free from impurities; to improve by inserting superior elements.  

I am seeking counseling and she has been telling me for a while that all of this mess, these emotions, this stuff in my life is God working on me.  He is growing me.  I didn't know what that meant.  Do any of us?  It is hard to think that way.  How long will it take?

Today the Lord showed me that He does discipline when necessary but really He is refining me.  He wants to get rid of all of my imperfections and make me pure.  The 'superior elements' are only things that He can add.  

I know that I will never be able to achieve perfection.  That will only happen when I am with my Father in Heaven.  But for now I am learning to rest in the fact that He is sanctifying me to Him.  And how cool is that.  The Lord cares so much for me that He would work this hard!  

I praise Him for that.