Change on the horizon

I should have seen it coming. 

And I suppose I did see it coming, eventually.

But the day the girls requested their own rooms, which would inevitably mean not having a school room anymore, was the day the shift happened.

No longer did we have a whole room dedictated to school work. The big table with four chairs in the center of the room, the large map of the world on the wall, the chalkboard laden with words and numbers, the timeline taped around the room, the pencils in a jar and also scattered all over the room, and books absolutely everywhere.

Where would we put all of this stuff?? How would we learn if we didn’t have a space dedicated to the learning hours?

Ruby and Molly got their wish, as much as it pained me to have them not in the same room. {I have been slow to accept that maybe there is such a thing as “too much togetherness.”} And all the school stuff somehow got maneuvered into an oversized closet at the top of the stairs. It could best be described as a total disaster. I would only open the door when I had to get something off the printer or maybe to retrieve our next read-aloud book. But this room frustrated me, overwhelmed me and made me feel like a terrible home school mom.

We schooled at the kitchen table. Ruby stayed at her desk in her room; she is in 9th grade and quite self-sufficient in her learning. Besides, time alone is one of her favorite things. 

Mack and Molly would spread papers and books and pens and pencils all across the kitchen table, and I would direct them and help them as they needed it. And I would loathe the chaos that it all was. We have two ottomans that double as storage, and you can imagine how much junk from school got crammed into these two ottomans. 

About four months into this past year of homeschooling, Molly asked me if I would look into enrolling her into a local christian school. Molly is definitely the most independent and social one of my kids, so I wasn’t surprised and was immediately open to the idea. I looked online and made an appointment for a tour of the school. Just her and me. 

Well, when the other two realized what I had done, they said that they wanted to go, too. They were also ready to try something different. 

I can tell you that many times in the past I have looked into private schools or other schooling options out of pure frustration and a “get these kids out of here” kind of an attitude. But this time was different. It was not on my radar, yet it made total sense to me at that moment. All three kids were becoming more and more independent and ready to spread their wings. I was developing other interests and, quite honestly, I didn’t enjoy homeschooling anymore. 

Their differences were more pronouced than ever. And I was overwhelmed with schooling three very different kids effectively. I know many families who have many more kids than I do who are also very different. I have friends who say that highschool is the easy part…don’t send them to school now! You’ve done all the hard work, now let them do their work, get a job, enroll in college early, etc.! And all of this sounds great. It was the plan, yet over time I began to change my thinking about taking this route. I am ok with letting my kids be what age they are, doing things appropriate for that age without necessarily moving farther ahead. Key words in that last sentence: My kids.  I think it works beautifully for other kids in other families. 

So, after a little bit of a process, all three kids are now enrolled at Carmel Christian School. We are all excited and looking forward to the changes. I am also reminding myself to prepare for an adjustment period. This will be so different for all of us. Up and out of the house early every morning, empty house during the day, and work to be done in the late afternoon. Time managment will be developed in new ways. Organizational skills will likely improve. And my kids will learn how to test and quiz much more frequently than ever. I will get to experience some freedom. Some quiet. What is it like to not be THE teacher of all the things? To no longer carry the weight that somehow you aren’t quite getting through to them? To now be the cheerleader and helper instead of the heavy handed teacher constantly giving a lesson—-whether how to divide polynomials or identifying prepositional phrases or the correct way to clean a toilet, how to wash clothes, etc. Always talking at them about every part of our day is exhausting. And, like I mentioned before, I know families that homeschool much more gracefully than we do. “Kudos” to them. And “Let’s do something different” for us.

Even this beautiful April morning I woke everyone up and told them we were going to start the day with a walk around the neighborhood. 

Molly says she wants to run.

Mack and Ruby say they want to each take a scooter. 

Then, Ruby changes her mind to walk and hold the leash for Rolo.

Then, Molly decides she should take the leash because Rolo likes to be ahead.

Then, Molly can’t run well while holding the leash, so she gives it to Mack. 

Mack tries to ride the scooter while holding Rolo’s leash.

Rolo is scared of the noise the scooter makes, so she doesn’t want him to hold her leash.

Ruby takes the leash since she is walking.

Ruby decides she is tired of walking and wants to head home.

I take the leash, Ruby takes Mack’s scooter home because Mack is tired of riding it.

Then, Mack wants the leash.

Then, Molly is tired from running and wants the leash. She teaches Rolo how to stay with her instead of going ahead.

Mack thinks Molly is hurting Rolo by pulling on her leash.

They argue.

I referee.

Molly gives in and gives Mack the leash, and he runs home with Rolo.

Molly decides to run the rest of the way home.

I walk from behind, reminded that this new path is quite fitting for each child.

It’s time. And we are all ready.

Couples Getaway

Last weekend Josh and I were asked to come speak to about 36 couples in Rome, Ga. We got to see many familiar faces from our Woodstock years, and I was so happy to spend time with such sweet people.

Josh spoke the first night about personal reflection on the scriptures and how that is the catalyst for spiritual growth. If you aren’t prioritizing time with the Lord, then your time with your spouse is not reaching its full potential.

The next day we both taught through John 2. And we share some of our own struggles and “stuff” that we need to invite God in to for help and for hope and for the health of our marriage! It was a fun day.

Josh closed out the weekend Sunday morning with a continuation of the importance of walking with God in every season. He touched on ministry and being sure we don’t think that ministry only happens at church or behind a pulpit. Everyone, no matter what they do, if they are a believer, they are in ministry. It’s being used by God wherever you are!

He took the liberty to talk about Coca-Cola during each session in some way, shape or form. Quite impressive. ha!

Sure am thankful for 18 years of marriage. Hopeful for many, many more with Josh. He is the best for me.