Systematic Theology and Ferdinand

My oldest child is heading into her senior year of high school.  While we always knew we were going to homeschool, I never imagined how quickly it would go by. This year I have seven children that are official “school age”. We quite easily cover grades from preschool to high school.

I suppose because as my older ones are getting, well, older, it makes days like today all the more precious to me. It is also a beautiful reminder to me on those challenging days why it is worth every sacrifice made to homeschool my children.

After the normal morning things that must be done like the making of beds and taking of showers, we all settled in the living room to read and discuss a bit on systematic theology. Yes, even the four year old was cuddled with me on the couch learning the importance and value of systematic theology.

But not only do the younger ones sit in on the older kiddos’ readings and discussions, it flips in the other direction as well. I gather up my little ones to enjoy The Story of Ferdinand and do a little craft. And who jumps in the mix? My 10 year old and 12 year old daughters. Yes, they were right on the floor with us. Why? Because who can pass the opportunity to sit with Ferdinand and smell the flowers? Of course there was glue involved. Even at my mature age, I do love using glue.

It goes deeper than just listening and gluing. It truly does. While a lot of what we read on systematic theology was too complicated for my four or six year old, they are hearing and understanding the importance of scripture. Of reading all of scripture, seeking to understand the Word, and knowing God better. Each and every day that we sit, read, and discuss, this truth sinks a bit deeper into their hearts.

And relationships, memories, and connections are being strengthened each day between my children that will stand against time. I see my little ones cuddled up beside my older ones sharing favorite picture books or gathered at the table all drawing and creating together. They garden together, knit together, explore the woods together with no thought to age segregation.

It is by far one of the greatest rewards of this homeschooling journey. Do not let me be deceptive. We deal with grumbling and complaining. People need quiet and space and a break from the chaos that is family. No rose colored glasses here, folks. But at the end of the day, I savor the moments with systematic theology and Ferdinand.

Organizationally Challenged and My Reads

In my mind, there is this beautiful image of an experienced mother who manages with grace and patience her humble abode and those precious offspring she has been blessed with. Then in the quiet of the evening, taking a moment of deep reflection, I think, “What in the world happened?!?!”

Reality of the Organizationally Challenged. This is what happened, my friends. There is no denying it. No sugar coating it. No turning a blind eye to the truth that is glaring in my face. I am in a continual process of mastering the art of organization and time management. After twenty years of marriage and seventeen years of motherhood, one would think that I would have the flow of our days down to a science. Nope. I have read the books. Planned the schedules. Implemented the routines. Just when I think we have found our groove, something or someone throws a kink in my plans. It is most likely me sabotaging my own efforts believing I have found a better way to manage my time, family, and home. Will I ever learn? Maybe. Maybe not.

Being organizationally challenged has trickled down to this lovely blog. I am so behind on sharing great reads! Oh, how I love to share a good book with others. But time management? Yep. At the end of the day, as I lie in bed, I think, “Oh, I forgot to blog about this book or that book!” Shameful!

Now I am at the point that I feel so far behind, I’m not sure how to move forward. (Trust me, this happens in all areas of life for me, lol.) Here is my plan. I’m going to update my menu area to show books I have read thus far this year. Hopefully I’ll start getting a few reviews up. They are likely to be short and sweet but still a helpful reference. That is my desire at least. It can be difficult to find books for your children and yourself. It makes me smile to think I am sharing some literary love here in my little space.

And now I’m going to go curl up with a good book and pretend my home is running like a well-oiled machine. I’ll face reality tomorrow.

Finding Our New Groove

No matter how smoothly the days are running, you always reach a point when you need to find a new groove. Children mature, schedules change, and well,  life happens. We are in the midst of that transition time right now as their are shifts happening in our home.

My oldest daughter has been taking two classes at the community college and takes her finals tomorrow. She will have a couple of weeks off before summer classes began. For summer classes she opted for the online option. This is a bonus for me because now I don’t have to take her to and from class. It has really eaten a chunk of time each week that seems to throw those days off balance. Summer will fly by and that means we need to have plans lined up for her senior year. Hard for to grasp some days!

While my oldest sees the end in sight, I have another high school student preparing to take college classes in the fall. A couple of middle schoolers that need a bit more encouragement for independent work. Elementary level kiddos who just seem to soak up so much information and want more and more. Teaching my kindergarten guy to read, working with my preschooler and trying to keep up with a super active 23 month old.

Needless to say my days are full and never boring. Unfortunately they are not flowing well. They seem jumbled, messy, inefficient. So we are working on a new groove. Balancing the needs of various ages and stages. Making sure the important aspects of learning and living are not pushed aside. Finding joy in the everyday and ordinary.

So the blog has been a bit quiet. By the end of the day, I just want to curl up into bed and enjoy a chapter of a good book Books may be my one weakness, you know. I believe they are feeling sorely neglected. Hopefully when I finalize a few plans I will share here. Perhaps my new groove will encourage someone trying to find theirs.

But for now I think I will take a moment with a good book and give my brain a break from all the planning.