Things I Learned this Term (or, Enjoying the Journey) pt. 1

I think most of my people who know me for real … my friends with skin on… would say that I am a fairly calm and balanced individual. I can make a task list and keep a calendar and knock out the work without being fractious and whiny. I can usually see a graceful way out of a situation for a friend who is asking advice. I can usually pull together a plan to get things done. I can usually see what to cut out. I can usually salvage my mood, feed the people, assign the chores, grade the math, edit the essay, translate the Latin exercises, learn the music and talk another mom out of her tree.

But this spring, not so much.

Along about the beginning of March, I drowned in my schedule. You see, this year, I signed up boys for group strings lessons thinking they were all on the same day in the same location back to back. But, that wasn’t how it worked out. We love music, but this schedule had us outside of our house before noon two days a week every week from mid-August to mid-May (except for Christmas). When you add in our community day, a class my husband was teaching that I needed to attend, classes I was teaching, drama practice and private music lessons and basketball… we had to be out of the house multiple times every single day of every single week. I held it together for a while. We all became decently skilled at doing math in the care, carrying around work and getting it done when we could, and in reading things on the go. But that isn’t the best way for us to work. We all like to stay home, though some of us need to stay home more than others.

It was insane. But we couldn’t stop things without letting other people down, and so we kept going.

I don’t know if I would make that choice again. Micah’s schoolwork suffered this last six weeks because he was doing twelve hours a week of music outside of his personal practice time (at least another seven hours a week, and more if he had a bunch of new stuff to learn). That didn’t leave him enough time for eight hours of class and twenty-four hours of schoolwork in a week. He isn’t finished with biology or Algebra 2, and he didn’t memorize his Latin vocabulary. He learned a lot about himself and how much he can handle. He stuck out his commitments, and he made a lot of musical progress. He did read a lot of British literature and Western cultural history and wrote about all of it and discussed it with his class.

Josiah and Gideon’s work suffered less because they had less to do. But I didn’t do a great job of keeping up with their writing assignments or grading their math. They did their work, but I didn’t get my job done because I was busy doing all the other jobs.

So, I really didn’t enjoy the journey at all this term, but I’ll have to tell you how I plan to enjoy the next one another day.


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