Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Grade 4, Spring Term, Beowulf Week 3, Day 3 ~ When It's Not Working

I'm starting this post in the morning, which should tell you (or me) something right there.

We are off course. Now, in general I don't mind being slightly off course; I know where we want to go and I trust that we will get there. But today? Today is the perfect of example of what happens when a rhythm falls apart and the parent isn't holding the space and leading by example.

It's nearly 10:30. The boys are playing ~ I can hear them. I've stopped at their door several times this morning, reminding them to get started on their chores. They reluctantly stop what they are doing and start on my directives, only to lose focus within minutes and return to their world of make-believe.

I've had a stop/start/stop morning myself. I am in my pajamas and my bed isn't made. I've fed everyone breakfast. I've tidied the kitchen, putting away the clean dishes and preparing the breakfast dishes so that T-Guy can wash them. I scrubbed the exterior of the Vitamix base. I've also looked at every blog I find inspiring and have looked at several news websites. I've checked in with facebook more than once.

I know that the situation today is my responsibility. I didn't cause the environment to fall apart on us, but things are less tidy than usual especially in the family/learning room. I didn't follow through on making sure that it was ready for us, whether that meant tidying it myself or having the boys clean up after themselves. I told them to clean their room several times yesterday and yet I still allowed them to watch basketball last night and go to bed with a messy room.

Plenty of homeschoolers (and other parents) would tell me to loosen up and not worry about the mess, especially in the bedroom. All I can say is, you're not me and you don't live my life with my children. We need the calm that comes from a tidy, uncluttered space. We need the discipline that comes from caring for our home spaces. As soon as we see mess we feel chaotic and unmoored. Now, I'm not talking epic mess and clutter; after all, the entire house was perfectly clean and tidy just last Friday. Just enough chaos to throw us off our rhythm.

I hide from clutter and chaos. I retreat to my chair in the living room, which I can count on to be relatively tidy at all times. I retreat and I get absorbed in other things (the computer, a book) and I stop leading.

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So we gathered ourselves, spent some time restoring our environment, and did our homeschooling. I feel better; I don't know about the boys.

Lessons today: long division, pronouns, multiplication tables, American history, Beowulf.

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