Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The goings on
As I look at my sleeping children at the end of another busy day, so many things run through my mind. Our life is full to the bursting these days. Every day (especially towards bed time) feels like a marathon. There is always more to do and try than could comfortable fit into one 24 hour period:) My head is full of thoughts and ideas but many a time I am just too exhausted to write anything by the time I have a break from some of my mothering duties:) I look at the sweet sleeping faces, the fluffy cheeks, their relaxed features. I fix a blanket here and plant a caress there. This one had a hard day. And this one had a better than usual day. How does this one have so much energy to keep on going even after so much activity and after all the others have long since fallen asleep? Will this problem get better? Is there a way to make things simpler right now? I there a way to bring more order and more calm into our often hectic lives? It's so easy to lose sight of the big picture, when one is so overwhelmed with seemingly endless details of normal living and yet when one gets hold of this bigger picture, it makes things so much more manageable. Every day I learn something new about the nature of educating one's children. Every day brings its' own gifts and pieces of wisdom. The lessons have been going well for most part but I thing we need to readjust some things. We decided that some subjects we should do together and some separately. I think we should institute more reading aloud to the older set. This past week we have been somewhat bogged down with getting some of the basics done. But they are doing well and progressing and I am getting a better idea of what each one needs to work on. We finished with the long division so now we can move on to other things finally. I need to find more geography material for them, which they like so much. The boys are really enjoying their Tae Kwan Do lessons. And since I have unearthed a lot of our art supplies recently, the girls have been doing a lot of cutting and pasting and coloring and painting and other crafting with all the things that I generally leave out for them to use when and how the mood strikes them. I've been doing a lot of reading and discovering lots of interesting educational things (hopefully I'll post some of the links sooner rather than later). I guess this is one CM principle I really stick to consistently - the parents should continue to educate themselves:) I have lots of ideas for Rosh Hashana projects, mostly inspired by other non-Rosh Hashana art projects I've seen on my favorite crafting websites. I am trying to keep disciplining issues and power struggles out of our lessons, because the whole point is to get the kids to love and appreciate learning. I am trying to align our lessons with general CM ideas- short lessons, high standards, lots of living books and experiences. I think it just works better for us this way and we do get to cover many things, though never as much as I'd ideally like:) So we are mostly sticking to the basics- math, copywork, reading, writing, geography. And when I get uptight about getting more things in, I remind myself, that there are many ways to acquire a particular skill, so if they are memorizing their Chumash and Mishnayos but poetry isn't quite their thing yet, we are still getting the benefits of memorization. And so it goes. I love watching them swing in the hammock or ride their bikes or sit quetly with a book. I love watching the two youngest dance to the music on the CD player with great happiness and abandon or lie outside watching the clouds and talking to the birds. I love it when I see my 5 year old take her abacus to bed with her or paint beautiful magical watercolors. And this kind of moments give me the confidence that we are in fact doing something right even as things are quite imperfect. And so I try to get a quiet moment to collect my thoughts and my lists of project ideas and living books to investigate grows longer and longer and I don't know if and when I'll get to the things I so much would like to do. And so ends another beautiful, difficult, imperfect, full to the bursting day.