I've never really been one to do a weekly round-up post. I guess that's because our girls were both past elementary age when I began blogging. I view weekly round-ups as something that appeals mostly to younger families Frankly, if there were homeschool blogs out there when our girls were little, I didn't know anything about them. I wrote down some things when they were littler, but not often. Usually I took pictures! If digital cameras had been affordable for anyone besides Professionals, I would have taken even more! I've been doing a lot of reflecting, cleaning and sorting recently, and so I decided I'd just share some of those thought with you over the next couple of months.
If you're wondering when I'm going to post the next installment of our Working and Homeschooling series, it will probably not be until August. Fear not ~ there are still more posts to come in this popular series!
What I've Been Doing Recently... Part 1
Even though we're only technically about a week into Summer, the girls have been busy working on their 4-H sewing projects since early May. Recently, I've been giving them a lot of tailoring advice, troubleshooting the sewing machine, taking the machine to the repair shop for help, helping interpret the pattern instructions, and reminding them to sweep often.
Why would I spend our summer this way? Because both girls learn patience, perseverance, and real life skills while sewing 4-H projects. Maybe someday one of them will make their own quilt like the one on the picture (one you'll hear more about in a future Roadtrip post.) In the meantime, they're learning to alter patterns, and thus, are able to alter the clothes they purchase at thrift and consignment shops so they go from somewhat fitting, to fitting well. Em is still really slim, Arlene is really tall. Sewing will be a lifelong useful skill for both of them to have.
I've been sorting, selling, and donating books. Some might call it a travesty to move books out of your home. I'll be honest, most of what has left has been curriculum that we've finished, or decided not to use with Arlene, because her learning style is so different from Em's. Some of the books I have earmarked for donating to the local friends of the library book sale are ones I've had for years, but not looked at in the past decade. If those decorating books haven't re-caught my eye by now, I'd rather have the shelf space back for something else!
I've been working. It happens. I have a terrific boss who understood when I told her I needed to cut back from four days a week to three. It's been a little tight on the budget, but I've felt so much better physically that it's been worth it!
Sometimes, I've been out in the yard. I love to garden, but I've been feeling as if I'm NEVER actually home to be in the garden! Thus, not everything got planted I had planned, but we are trying to maintain the few things we did plant. The yard has been getting mowed regularly, and I've enlisted help from both girls to try to tackle the weeds in the flowerbeds. It's a work in progress!
All three of us girls have been volunteering at Conner Prairie. There is a new exhibit opening on Friday, so there have been extra trainings in preparation for that. The girls are co-captaining one of the youth spinning teams for the State Fair in August, so there have been spinning practices, plus their regular volunteer days. Once again you may be wondering ~ WHY? The youth volunteer program at Conner Prairie is one of the best in the nation! They not only train the teens in history, guest interactions, and historic re-enacting, they train them for real life! Deadlines, uniforms, costumes, trainings, encouragement, it has them all! This is Em's seventh and final year in the youth program as she is aging out at the end of this summer. Besides teaching her about Christ at home and at church, I'm pretty sure this program has had one of the next biggest influences on her character development. It's not easy, but the rewards are long-lasting.
I've been thinking about all the Mamas out there who are just starting out on their homeschool journey. How they're so fortunate to have so many choices for curriculum, but how I see so many of them overloading their children at a young age. I want to reach out and hug each and every one of them and tell them to not worry ~ God is in control. Some of them might laugh at me, but they need to know that whether you spend $1000 a year on home education, or $10 a year, your child needs you and your love and mercy way more than he or she needs a math curriculum! I love seeing the variety of homeschool blogs out there. I hope they encourage other Moms to try something new, but not to heap guilt on their heads. It's a fine line between saying "Here is what worked for us," and saying "You need to do things THIS way."
God has been pressing upon me the need to spend more time just being in His presence, and slowing down whether the world slows down with me or not. I've been trying to take time to notice the weather, smell the flowers, actually listen to a whole conversation instead of tuning out halfway through. (Yes, I've been guilty of that a lot this year ~ Sorry!)
What has God been doing recently through me and for me? He's taught me how to love others again. He's shown me where I've failed and need to apologize. He has shown me once again that what the world thinks doesn't matter at all, but what HE thinks matters most of all! He has been restoring my health. Things had gotten out of whack in a lot of areas and since last Fall He has been showing me what needs changed. It is really wonderful to have days when you wake up and feel good, instead of dreading another 24 hours of pain. This body keep aging, but with God's help, I'll make the best decisions about how to care for it.
I've been seeking after God, and I've found that He has been there all along, waiting for me to stop chasing my crazy half- made dreams and start following His plan again. He hasn't asked me to be someone else, He just wants me to be His child. I don't know where His plan will lead me, but I'm finding peace in being able to once again say "Thy will be done."
What have you been doing recently?