Despite my foul mood for much of the week, I liked this week much better than I have liked any other week since 2009 started. Why? Because the mornings were all clear of outside activities. This is the ideal I’ve been hoping for and I’m now working toward. Basketball on Monday mornings was fun for Eli, but it meant getting off to a very slow start for homeschooling. Traveling there and back was not too inconvenient, it’s just that the heat and the hour and a half of basketball sapped all of us of our energy for the rest of the day. So much so that even #1 son often took naps on Mondays. Playgroup on Friday mornings has been part of our schedule for the past 2 years; however, the group has been rather inconsistent this year, and I’m wondering if it’s time for a change. A shift to a mini co-op perhaps? Afternoon meet-ups instead? I’m not sure what to do about it, so for now it will remain… but it was so nice this week to do schoolwork on Friday morning and then go out after lunch. In fact, this week all of our outings were in the afternoons and it seems to work out much better. So, for now it will go something like this: (pm meaning afternoons)
Mon pm–play outdoors at home
Tues am–Chinese tutoring & school
Tues pm–Chinese speech & drama at West Coast
Wed pm–at home (or out for homeschool group activities)
Thurs am–Chinese tutoring & school
Thurs pm–gym at Sporty Joe’s
Fri am–playgroup or some variation thereof
Fri pm–at home, housework
Sat pm–school prep
I am feeling the need to really limit my commitments outside of the home right now. It’s clear we still have a long way to go in training our children. Neither of them are ready to do their schoolwork completely independently, unfortunately. Although #1 is capable of independent work, we have not trained him well to do this (and he is extremely extroverted and likes to have someone sitting next to him most of the time!). So the focus for schooldays right now is consistency and training in good habits. Perhaps I should delve back into the Book of Daniel again…Ms J’s comment was timely in reminding me to keep my little students focused on following God’s instructions and the academics would follow. I’m also reminded that Daniel was a highly disciplined person, able to pass up foods that were delicious but forbidden, able to continuing praying three times a day even when it might cost him his life, and able to hear from the LORD in matters concerning the pagan kings he served as well as the future. The other quality that stands out to me about Daniel is his spiritual longevity–from the time he was very young until he was very old, there is no record of Daniel ever having wavered in his faith. He was uncompromising to the end. I long to be like this and to pray this for our two boys. Perhaps I should name our homeschool The Daniel Training Institute!
I have been searching for a vision for myself as the main homeschool teacher…a word of wisdom or encouragement to keep me going and remember what we’re aiming for in training these two boys. I can’t melt them down and pour them into a mold of the Daniel of the Bible but I will endeavor to keep his character and way of life ever before us through this season of training and educating our boys.
There, I’ve said it. I’ve made a commitment and I’ve put it in writing. God help me as I attempt to make it a reality in daily life.