To say that it’s been grueling, that I’ve been stretched to the pique of my limit, would barely do justice to what the past two days have been. Bouncing between three kids, two of which take a great deal of effort suddenly, while keeping dishes out of the sink, laundry at bay, meals on the table and sometimes very challenging experiences FUN -- whoo! NOT EASY. That being said, I’ve learned more about Mary in these past two days than I could have done in six months‘ time.
Part of what’s made this a challenge is caring so painstakingly much about her success in every area - from character development to spelling. She’s learned to stop asking me why doing an assignment or learning a subject is EVEN important because I’ll never just assume it’s a rhetorical question. We got sidetracked for fifteen minutes, just covering the importance of handwriting yesterday because she made the mistake of insisting that it would never matter. In two days time we’ve virtually wiped out the immediate “I can’t, I won’t” response that she almost instinctually jumps to even outside of schoolwork. And she’s already completed a few assignments she was positive to the point of even shedding a few tears, were impossible. Which is to say that I’ve definitely had to throw down the hammer a time or two, just to show that I’m not backing down from anything she thinks she has to throw at me, but it’s paid off ten-fold. Within minutes of crossing a hurtle or giving something new a chance (because I won’t get off her back until she does) she totally flips from having an utterly defeatist attitude, to dancing like a goof around the room because she DID IT! And taking on the next assignment with totally unshakable confidence. I. LOVE. IT.
This is the breakdown of her classes (a few of which she only has once, twice, or three times a week): speed typing, cursive handwriting, vocabulary, grammar, writing, editing, spelling, math, mechanics, history/geography, logic, and electives like art, phys. ed., and health. Beside those, we’re taking time everyday to focus on stress-reducing exercises, discovering what faith means to her, and character development. (No more snappy, condescending attitudes!) She’s also excited (legitimately excited!) to become a part of the girl scouts AND 4H this year! Spencer and I are both extremely proud of her enthusiasm.
Yesterday was fantastic, all things considered. One of the neater parts of the day was taking a trip to Glassgow Park for Physical Education and a lesson in mechanical science. She filled out a graph on all the different types of simple machines that could be found on the playground equipment, and then got to use my camera to photograph Matthew playing on sixteen different types. We had a total blast!
At the end of the day, we had our first club meeting for homeschoolers - where the both of us were totally blown away by just how HUGE the home schooling community in our area really is! Since Spencer decided to join us, the whole family stopped for ice cream on the way home and Spencer regaled us all with tales of learning how to shoot and care for animals in 4H when he was young. (And how, one of the best parts was all the cute girls! Which of course piqued Mary’s interest because it hinted to the fact that MAYBE there would be a few cute boys… Hmmm…)
Overall, it’s given us the opportunity to have many long overdue conversations, covering every topic from civil responsibility to abiogenesis to the latest gossip about her favorite band. This is certainly not the most well-constructed post I’ve ever thrown together, but getting the experience of these past few days on record is important to me. Our family dynamic has changed a great deal in a very short amount of time, and I know that writing on here will be scant at best until we find out niche. So until I get the chance to update you again - just know that I’m exhausted beyond anything I could have imagined a month ago, and that I’ve never been more excited.