Education is Life

A long time ago, parents spent a lot of time with their kids. Many times, in the case of most of the American Indians and early American settlers, the kids were with mom and dad everyday until 16, or younger, when they were fully matured and went off to start families of their own. The world tells us that in order to have strong independent kids we need to send them here or there, yet most are not even mature when they go off to college at 18. I have been to many college parties and my husband was in a fraternity and college kids are not what I would call mature enough to be starting families. The old way of doing things produces the results I would love to see, so I am going to take a cue from the Indians and other who would be called “attachment parents” today.

This is squiggles. He's my little buddy.

This is squiggles. He’s my little buddy.

Charlotte Mason states education is life. And a part of a child’s life consists of mixing with different kinds of people or experiencing different situations. Sometimes I feel worn out. I haven’t been feeling well and there are many days when I can only get up for a little bit. Most days I only feel good for the first few hours after taking my medicine and then the rest of the day is a struggle to move. I swear I am wearing a 600 lb. invisible coat and it’s especially heavy on my lungs. Yesterday I was about two minutes from calling 911 because I couldn’t breathe after attempting to sit outside with the kids, but laying back down on the couch really helped and I was able to finally get the air I needed. I have a CT scan on Tuesday and from there I begin scheduling surgeries.I was going to write about homeschooling, but honestly I need to get personal today first. I am feeling scared and alone. I have a lot of love and don’t feel like I have a lack of people. I just feel alone in being 32 and feeling so sick all the time. I have several things going on in my body right now that I don’t want to get into, yet. Maybe I will one day. I am tired mentally and physically. I am scared because I can’t control what happens. I am at the mercy of my physical body and the fate laid out before me. I feel like I am 80 years old. Yesterday I had my first really good cry in a long time. I was too tired to take a shower, but I did because it was Valentine’s Day and I wanted to be clean when my husband came home from work. The whole time I had to focus in order to make sure I was getting enough breathe. I hate to complain because I do have a lot of love surrounding me. I am thankful for my kids and our little pets. You know all about my boys so I want to introduce you to our other family members. Squiggles is a guinea pig and K-Squiggs is my sons young cat. Although, he has taken to me so my boy shares him with me. I love both my little bundles of love and they are bright spots in my day and night when I am confined to the couch.

This is kitty, a.k.a. Kiki; a.k.a. K-Squiggs.

This is kitty, a.k.a. Kiki; a.k.a. K-Squiggs.

I have been trying to blog about homeschooling and parenting because it’s what makes me feel good. I take pictures and I leave upbeat comments on facebook, but those are usually the worst days. What am I trying to hide? Why do I pretend to feel like I did a year ago. Or even six months ago, but I don’t. If my health doesn’t get better, I don’t really want to go on. I love my kids and want to be with them, but I don’t want to be the mom who can’t do anything. As I write this I see that the Lord has a plan even in illness.

Since being sick, the kids have really had to take on more responsibility around the house. Dad has been wonderful in encouraging the kids in things like keeping the floors from getting too dirty. We don’t require them to keep their rooms clean as they are in charge of their own domain, but they have started keeping them relatively neat anyway. I never thought I would see the day. When I told them they didn’t have to clean their rooms, only keep food out of the rooms so we don’t get bugs, they went nuts and the rooms were like war zones. Like I was told, they took full advantage. These days the appeal of a destroyed room is gone and the rooms aren’t so bad. My little one keeps his room practically spotless.

The home of our future baseball field. We have some work to do!

The home of our future baseball field. We have some work to do!

Big Bird doesn’t know this, but for his birthday we got him fencing lessons, which he LOVES. In addition he asked for a stack of books. On his own. I encouraged him to go through the magazines and create a wish list, and all his picks were books. Then on our way to the library we passed an old baseball field that hadn’t been used in years and had a forest growing on it. He mentioned restoring the field and playing baseball on it. So the grandparents are getting him everything he needs to build a field in our backyard. Our small farm animals are going to have to wait. We are keeping the veggie garden, but are going to let him use the other side as a baseball/kickball field. If I felt good for a day, I would totally kick their butts in a game of kick ball! They are going to have a blast and I didn’t have to force anything on them. They are having life experiences based on their interests and all I need to do is 1)accept them for who they are, 2) not push my desires on them, and 3)help them gather what they need to accomplish their goals.

I thought that being more tired and breathless than I used to be I might hinder them. Would I need to hire a mommy’s helper? It turns out I don’t. All they need from me is support. They have their Dad to show them the hard stuff that I can’t do. They like when I give them a map for the week and then they can go from there. The main advantage to our homeschool isn’t the top-notch education they are receiving, although it’s high on the list, but rather real life experience with their family. They are not being told what to do, but living a real life with their family and friend, who they choose. They don’t have to wait in line in order to go eat lunch because they eat when they are hungry for lunch. They don’t have to work on getting on a teacher’s good side, because they are already on mine. Let’s face it, we are people and there are personalities we don’t click with. Teachers are not aliens, they have those same feelings to deal with. I know many teachers and they have confided that sometimes it takes work to look past a kid’s rebellion or bad attitude in order to treat them the same way they would any other student.

Homeschooling is not about “school”, but living life from the beginning. Instead of waiting to do it later, in college, or after high school. They experience making their own choices and following their interests on their own time schedule. They are free to explore who God is to them in their lives in a school where God is not forced to wait at the door. The Lord is literally, by law, not allowed in school. Many Christian kids are forced to chuck the Lord at the door for 5 hours, by law. We get to actually include the Lord in our lessons if it applies. How awesome is that (as a Christian)?

Have a good day guys. I know I was all over the place today, but my overall lack of health is starting to get me down and I just had to share. I hide the pain and sadness with blogs and posts about other things and even try to be funny, but the truth is I feel like I am dying inside. And fast. I need to be more honest about what’s going on and how I feel because hiding it behind homeschooling just makes me feel more alone than ever. I am going to share more about how I feel and how it fits into our homeschool, our lives.

Have a good one,

love,

Jackie

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