Monday, September 24, 2012
In the old days, farm families worked hard on their land. There were plenty of chores for the entire family. Yet, somehow, they managed to do some studying and schoolwork. Since homes were not full of distractions (like television, video games and computers), studying with the family was a lovely way to pass the time.
Today, many homeschoolers use a strict schedule of starting school at 9 a.m. each day. I used to do this when my children were little. As they got into the teen years, life became more complicated. It was no longer the sweet, slow-paced "nursery" phase. In this modern day, we are also going to be constantly fighting to maintain a balance of using technology (being entertained by it) with learning, studying and producing. This lesson must be learned by today's children.
In the last week, with the addition of a new baby in our family, I have been very preoccupied. There has been more laundry, more cooking, and much more work for me. This also means less sleep! (gentle smiles). Even though this is a joyous time, I have been struggling with a way to keep up with homeschooling my 15 year old (John). He needs to be reminded to do his assignments. He needs to be motivated and encouraged to do independent work. Daily I have been trying new methods to get him on track.
Tonight, I think I found a solution. Our spending time together is centered around chores and school. When we are together, it is when we are cleaning or cooking, or he is reading me his McGuffey or a Bible passage. Tonight, even though we were both exhausted after a long day, we sat at the table to do his math lesson. We laughed at all the mistakes we both made. But this helped our analytical skills as we found the mistakes and re-solved them. This is what quality time has become in our home - a time for learning.
Life never lets up. We often say that tomorrow, or next week, we will fix our routine. Or when things calm down, we will get back on track. But life will keep throwing us something new to juggle. The goal is not to wait until things are better, but to do them in the middle of the challenges.
Right now, maybe I can't play cards with John or watch movies with him. But I can do school. School became the fun. We are fitting it in, the same way things were done in history; after a long day of heavy chores and hard work. Our home studies are happening in creative ways. They are happening in a simpler way, from a simpler time - by the hearth, with laughter. . . It has become our evening entertainment.
Oh, Let This Not Be True! - Only Rich People Have Clean Houses.
Much Better to use these - Mother's Rose - Colored Glasses.
When There Isn't Much Money - The Homemaker's Despair.
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