Sunday, August 5, 2012

School Year Prep

I have been laser focused on school the past week or two.  I wish that I could say that after all of this sorting and reading and planning and organizing I was confident and ready for the start of this school year.  The scissors and glue have been organized into little labeled boxes, and I typed out a schedule that we will probably try to use twice before it blows up in my face and I learn for the millionth time to go with the flow
I am more nervous than I remember being in the past.  In other years I was worried that I would not be able to teach the material in a way that my son could learn it.  For some reason that isn't on my list of worries this year.  This time I am concerned about our family dynamics as we a new pupil.
This year our family has a 2nd grader, Kindergartner, a 3 year old and a 19 month old.  The Kindergartner is ready and ripe for learning.  It will be fun to watch her grow and learn, but pulling her out to work on phonics and other skills will change life for my 3 year old.  She is his best playmate.  He is left to play with the baby.  His interactions with the baby usually consists of torturing her.  The days are about to get interesting.  My 2nd grader is great and will do what is asked of him, but if I am not right there keep him going on the next thing he sneaks off to find Legos or some craft/building project.  He has totally caught on to the fact that if he is busy and quiet he can put off school work.  This is the puzzle I am trying to put together this year. 
I wonder if I can be a good teacher and a good mom at the same time.  How can I explain borrowing from the 10s column while keeping the little ones busy?  Even as I type that it makes me sad.  Aren't I supposed to be doing something more with them than simply "keeping them busy"?  Can I keep a mindset that I am called to train them not just entertain them?  Can I make learning a joy for all of us instead of just a list books, subjects and worksheets that are to be completed? Is there a way that we can learn together or is that just a nice idea that you read about? 
With all these questions and worries I am left in one of two places.  Either I am left alone with my thoughts and fears and drive myself crazy or I fall to my knees begging God to give me wisdom.  I know that I am in over my head.  The tasks is too large, and I am too human.  I think that is why God gives me big tasks sometimes-to keep me completely dependant on Him.  My school prep begins in the book of Proverbs this year.  Seeking the wisdom of God and an understanding that only He can give. 
Proverbs 1:2-7
2 for gaining wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight;
3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to those who are simple,[a]
knowledge and discretion to the young—
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.[b]
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools[c] despise wisdom and instruction


  1. I have been there! I'm on the other side now with no toddlers anymore, but I remember those days of trying to balance the little ones and teaching the older ones how to read. It all works out. None of children failed because I was sitting in the floor playing blocks with a teachers manual in my lap doing grammar drills with my 5th grader. Do the hard things when the little ones are taking a nap and remember it's ok to teach while playing.