Year Five.

We started school this week.
And we have survived to tell the tale.
While it's true that money can't buy CAN buy Chinese Food...which is almost the same thing.
Saying that we "thrived" might be a little bit too generous of a description for our first week of school, but we made it through most of the material with all of our sanity and hair still in tact - and that's a success story in my book.

I think it's because we kicked off the new year with a celebration supper of Chinese food the night before.
We are all about the food.
And nothing says: "Let's hit the books!!" like good ole' General Tso's...

My school shelves.  I heart them.  Top row is mine. 2nd row is Kaden's 4th grade stuff.
3rd row is Jesse's 1st grade stuff.  4th row is Ransom's Pre-school stuff.
Bottom row is books, books, books!  And globe.
Floor is...I don't want to talk about it.

All four school years previous to this one, I started out Enthusiastic!!  Excited!! And Ready-to-Conquer-the-World!!!  I've been ready to kill it, and I have felt pretty much on top of my game.  (Well, except for maybe last year when London was brand new and we moved into our new place the very night before.  Last year might have looked a little bit like Survivor, too, come to think of it...)
Our schoolroom/boys' bedroom.  With a happy tablecloth on the table and a happy, fun, first-day-of-school breakfast.
Anyway....this year, I felt a little more like:  Tired!!  Overwhelmed!!  Holy Crap - it's Time Already?!?!?! And, my personal favorite:   I have a Wild Child Whirling Dervish Toddler....How the HECK am I going to pull this off??!

Any newbie (or oldie, for that matter) homeschooling friends out there who want to feel amazing about themselves and their new have a standing invite to come spend a day with me and my Hoolies.  I promise you will go home feeling like a Rockstar.  It's the least I can do....

Why, before we were even halfway into our very first hour, sweet Lady-like London Child threw not one, not two, but THREE rolls of toilet paper into the flush AND about 15 of Ransom's matchbox cars - with astonishing speed and agility, might I add - all the way down our flight of stairs.  Her box of raisins projectiled themselves ALL over the living room, and she screamed like a banshee when she didn't get her way.
A huge, full-sized chalkboard gift from my Daddy-O from MY old highschool.
I must have looked like I was about ready to throw myself down the staircase right along with all of Ransom's cars, because before Kev walked out the door to work, he took me by the shoulders and said:  "It's not always going to be like this.  You know that, right?!  It's going to get better!"

..............said the man who got to drive to work in a blessedly silent car all by himself..............

Halfway through our day, we found our rhythm.
And we had pizza for lunch.  With the Cosby show.  Again, the food....Happiness.
Things could only go better from there, right?
Things could only look up?!

And they did.  Honestly.
Bill Cosby, pizza, and deep, cleansing breaths.  They do the body good.

And we are learning together again...this thing called Life, and these days called Crazy.

I always like to start my kids a good week before the rest of the school systems start back to school.
I think it's all psychological.
I want to feel like I'm ahead., and I want to give us a few days to find our rhythms.
....And to remind the boys to Always.  Shut.  The.  Bathroom.  Door.  Or.   Else.....
Ransom's little "school kit."  Just a hodge podge of workbooks and odds and ends - mostly from the Target dollar aisles.
I think this entire Homeschooling Journey is so very much like every other Journey I have been on in the course of my wee little life.  There are so. many. things. that I said I would never. ever. do.  It's almost funny, really.  Except that it isn't.

Let's just make a little list for funsies, shall we?  Things like:
I will never marry a pastor.
I will never live in a city.
I will never ever homeschool my children.
I will never raise support to be a missionary.
After we were out of ministry for awhile:  I will never go back into ministry.
I will never live with friends.
I don't ever want a girl to add to my collection.

To name a few....
Check Baby.  Check Baby.  One, two, three....ten.
There are perks to having your classroom in your bedroom. 
Anyway, Life is funny with all of its twists and turns.

Never in a million years, would I have ever seen myself doing what I am doing now.  And loving it - or most of it, most days - even.  Four kids - when I never really even wanted any in the beginning!  Homeschooling - when I always believed that only weird people homeschooled their kids!  And stretching and growing....and learning...and being humbled at every twist and turn.  But getting to walk this journey with my kids and having them want to walk it with me!  It's really, pretty amazing.

And I honestly - deeply believe - that, at least for now.....this is what I was made for!  This is my highest calling - being a mother to these four gifts that are mine just on loan - and that I get to do this....weak, tired, broken, reckless, such as I am ME...I have been entrusted with these kids!

And not for a second do I believe that homeschooling is for everyone.  Nor for even a millisecond do I believe that I am the world's best teacher.  Holy Hannah.  Beeelieeeeeeve me.....there's not a doubt in my mind about that one.  But this is the path for us right now, and childhood is fleeting so I am trying to soak every bit of it in.

And I am confident that God's grace in me will cover over a multitude of my mistakes and ineptness.
And so I humbly accept this challenge for one more year...
Insert cute picture that has NOTHING to do with my blog post.
So ~
Here's to the ride, Boys!  To another year!
Here's to days of Insanity and days of pure Awesome.
Here's to school in our P.J.'s and to Ipod jam sessions while we work.
Here's to having your sister crawl all over you while you try to read, and here's to hot cups of coffee all around.
Here's to days where your Mama is full of Jesus and to days where she has to apologize 8 million times.
Here's to laying on your bed while you do Math and to early morning basketball matches.
Here's to learning together...and to helping each other grow.
Here's to - hopefully - Character over Curriculum....
And Here's to another year of trusting.  Of loving - deep, and raw, and real.

And here's to the ONE whom Life is all about in the first place.....


Blairish said...

Oh Amy. How I needed your post today. Today I quit homeschooling for the 13th time this week. and tomorrow I'll probably beat that total. I've never met you, but you are a gift to me. Please keep opening your home of hoolies to me, I can't tell you how much it means.

Shannie said...

Wonderful, Ame. Thanks for the encouragement! And I say to you--come any time YOU want to feel like a rock star! Haha