Prequel to our first day

This year Ella is in eighth grade, Isaac is in sixth grade, Isaias is in fifth, and the girls are both in first grade.  The little girls are doing Ambleside Year 1, Isaias is doing Ambleside Year 4, and the older two are doing Ambleside Year 7.  

That's a whole lot of kids and a whole lot of lesson plans, and it was enough to make me feel pretty overwhelmed (read: lots of tears) when I told Mark two nights ago: "I don't even know how I'm going do this...") 

Because, I just know how this goes.  I know that when we start school, my plate goes from very full to HEAPING.  Everyone needs something from me at the exact same time (or just two seconds later), and on it goes all.day.long and it can just feel like too much.  And then I still sort of need to be mommy and get meals on the table and the laundry done and the house relatively clean and it's just a lot.

Going into this year, I fear that my older kids' books are too challenging, and that they won't enjoy their reading.  I worry that I will not be able to keep up with all the reading and all the narrations and the correcting.  I fear that I'll be stressed and overwhelmed and tired.  Oh, wait.  I will.  ;)

Mark listened and prayed for me.  I got some sleep, woke up the next morning and prayed and journalled.  I really just needed to talk to God about it all, and then I felt so much better.  I told Him that my desire is that we would learn in an environment of togetherness and interest and pleasure in whatever we're reading and learning; that there would be joy as we *get* to learn about other people and places and times and concepts.  I asked Him to teach me how to be a better teacher this year, and to be a better learner myself.  I asked Him to give me a spirit of joy, and that it would be contagious to the kids.  I asked him to help me to keep up with their readings and to ask good narration questions. I asked for wisdom with what direction I should take with the girls (individual time with each of them or together?  What to use for phonics/reading?  What time of day?)  I asked Him to cause all the pieces to fall into place and I asked for peace to reign in our home.  I asked Him to help me to use my time wisely (less Facebook, less computer time altogether, less shows that we watch too late when we should be sleeping).  I asked Him to help me not to live in a state of exasperation/stress, but to slow me down, give me a restful spirit and a joyful one, and to give me a "let's tackle this together" approach.  I asked Him to create discussions and connections.  Ultimately, I asked Him to lead us, because He knows us and He knows which books we will sink into and learn well from.  He knows our frames, our needs, our lives and interactions and challenges.  And after I'd unloaded all of that, I wasn't an emotional wreck anymore.  I trust Him to lead us faithfully as He always has.  And I'm truly looking forward to it all. 

Later that morning I stumbled upon a blog post that brought encouragement to my heart-- just that reminder that no matter what I've planned, if it's too much, we can pare it down until we get to a place of peace.  And that it's not about checking off the boxes and doing a certain number of books but about choosing a few, and doing them well

4 comments:

  1. Dear Stacy,
    What a sweet blog you have! Knowing that you were encouraged by something God had me write warms my heart. You are a wise young woman to pray the prayer in that long paragraph above. After 20 years, I still pray a variation of it...every day. I trust you will, too.
    May all your goings be graces,
    Nancy

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, dear Nancy! Heading over to comment on your blog now....

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