Sunday Journal: Low Ebb and Dreams

poetry tea time

poetry tea time

Nearly all of my free time this week was spent in pre-planning. I have a freewrite list of ideas for this summer and our upcoming year. A hopeful list of wishes full of mommy-school pipe dreams. Every year I have written this list of radical desires and every year I have tossed it into the garbage bin. I pour my heart into a list of dreams and then shred my desires blood-red into oblivion and accept the conventional path of education.

I’ve got an opinion on conventional and it begins with “F” and ends with “it!” Sorry…well not really. Conventional gets you Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton as presidential candidates…what happened to my country?!

Middle Boy

Middle Boy

I’ve spent some time pondering and remembering what I wanted these years to be. What sort of memories do I want my children to have when I am nothing but dust in the ground? This time I tossed the conventional and kept the dreams. I am not tackling every idea this year…just two…maybe three.

First we will learn nearly every subject together. I’ve dropped every curriculum we have used except Beautiful Feet Books and Brave Writer. I really cannot express how huge and scary that feels. Our read aloud time will move up to three hours per day. I’ve had to take some criticism for that choice from other homechoolers but after listening to Rea Berg, Andrew Pudewa and hours of personal research I stand by my decision.

Sonatina saturday

Sonatina saturday

This year we are going to study the poetry of mathematics. I haven’t found much to help me with this desire. I admire mathematicians. They see beauty and the Creator’s artistic expression like I try to grasp a fading dream upon wakefulness. I see the beauty of mathematical language but cannot articulate with any clarity. About three months ago I found this article by Paul Lockhart. I spent a month really trying to digest its meaning. Lockhart is like the stentorian Old Testament prophets of ancient

Sparkles

Sparkles

times. Seriously raging! Beautiful and confusing. I think Lockhart makes some very interesting points but he is both overly idealistic and pessimistic. Math isn’t the only subject screwed up by the educational system in America. Even I found a way to learn and love math (just algebra mostly), despite the way its taught. Applied math in the everyday mundane in not only relevant but also useful, beautiful, and kinda fun. Most importantly people have different learning preferences and some of them do prefer structured traditional curriculum with lots of repetition. Lockhart’s article is fascinating (and really long) and I’d love to hear any thoughts or opinions on the matter.

Littlest during his first official read aloud time

Littlest during his first official read aloud time

Anyway, we started out literature based study of mathematics with a lovely book called “Chasing Vermeer” by Blue Balliett. Amazing book!!!

I’ve poured so much of myself onto preparing and planning that I’ve suffered with low energy. I slept in every day this week and barely prepared any meals (my poor family!) I plan to be a much better mother and wife this week and get my head out of the planning cloud…

This week Littlest officially joined us for read aloud time and started his learning to read studies. We only did school twice with him this week and I am happy with that. By mid July he will be working and learning in a full-time schedule. I’m not in as big a hurry as he seems to be.

Older three out with Daddy for the weekend

Older three out with Daddy for the weekend

The older three traveled to western Kentucky this weekend to play piano before judges. I did not get to go because Littlest had a fever and needed to stay home. The older three did okay but not great. I constantly struggled with them to put in the proper amount of time to truly learn their Sonatinas by heart…and was met with constant opposition. I have to confess that I let them fail. Tomorrow I will discuss their results and judges comments. They will feel sad and the sting of disappointment. Sometimes failure is the only way to grow. Now, they will listen when I explain to them why they must practice for an extended time each day. I have several quotes from Mr. Suzuki prepared for them to copy in their notebooks this week. I felt terribly guilty that I had to stay home with Littlest and leave my husband to prepare them for their concert. They all had a tough weekend…

sick Littlest trying to play

sick Littlest trying to play

My mother arrives on Friday…my long time readers know how hard this will be for me. She never has a kind word for me and seems to enjoy telling me just what an awful and wretched human being I have turned out to be. I am a disappointment to her. I took a path in life for which she has no respect…and I refuse to offer apologies. If you pray (and I honestly do not care to which God you offer supplications) please ask that I humbly keep my tongue and temper…

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Sunday Journal: Low Ebb and Dreams

  1. I heard Andrew Pudewa at a conference a number of years ago and was thoroughly impressed with his talk on reading aloud to all your children, no matter how old they are.
    I love seeing your tea time pics. Brings back many memories of my four at those ages.
    I’m very intrigued by this lit based math book you’re doing. Will have to look into that more. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Whoa! Please stop being so hard on yourself! Your Mom isn’t the only one who doesn’t have a kind word for you. You are waaaay too negative about yourself. You are doing an amazing job – putting so much effort in school planning, having the desire to leave a positive legacy in your children’s lives, dreaming of a better way to educate them, and having the courage to listen to your heart and venture into new territory. Believe in yourself, listen to yourself and be kind to yourself. You didn’t fail to prepare your children for the concert. You provided the opportunity and encouraged them. They chose to not listen. You are right. Failure can be a great teacher. They will learn from this experience. We can only guide our children and provide the resources that they need. You are doing that in abundance. From reading your blog and the kind comments you have left for me, I can tell that you are a smart, kind, loving, and talented individual. I also suffer from a very critical inner voice. We are the only ones that can silence the voice and replace it with the voice of love.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The last picture is so cute. If your looking for things to do, try choosing some memory verses. Since kids don’t usually get that hyped up about memorizing verse, throw something in to sweeten the deal, like a movie night, ice-cream, or a special toy that they have been wanting, it worked for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think this post sums up what is great about homeschooling. You are making educated decisions based on your convictions and led by your heart to do what is best for your family. We read aloud a lot too and I love the snuggle/discussion time and vocabulary building opportunities. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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