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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Struggling to figure out what happened this year and what to do next year

Oh, it is that time of the homeschool year, isn't it.  We look back and think, "What happened to my carefully crafted plans?",  and "Well, ok, it wasn't quite what I'd planned, but did something good come out of it?" (And if we believe in God's power to work in our weaknesses, of which we homeschoolers have many, we can be sure something did.)  Slowly, from those thoughts we begin to try determine, "What does all this mean for next year?"

And, sigh, that is where I am.

A very dear friend, and fellow homeschooler to three truly delightful daughters, gave me great encouragement when I was gently lamenting this year's disorganization and slack schooling, but trying mightily to see the positive (which I do see!).  She said, "Well, it sounds like you've been unschooling!"  (Really?!  OK!)  She went on to encourage me when I was talking about how this year was a bit of an exhale after 3 years of lots of change and high-level stress in our family (all good, but still stressful) with an international adoption and a new home by saying, "It seems that this year was exactly what you needed!"  The Lord provides!  Even when I didn't pray for a "year of relaxed learning", the Lord provided it.  I need only accept as a blessing. (And I'm reminded of another friend's story about two monks growing trees: one prayed for every need, and had those prayers answered exactly as requested.  Sadly this monk didn't know the trees real needs and it died.  The other monk prayed, "Lord provide for my tree," and it flourished.)

Of course, we do have some catching up to do.

And so I'm focusing my thoughts with articles like these:

 -- How to Teach an Idea

-- Martha, Martha

-- How to Destroy a Love of Literature

And the more nitty-gritty:

-- Organizing Mom's Homeschool Notebook (or re-organizing in my case.  I've kept a couple notebooks like these for years and they are a bit outdated and messy now.)

And reminding myself why we homeschool:

-- Changing Education Paradigms (Sir Ken Robinson) (ok, this has to be taken with a grain of salt...and recognizing that this is a persuasive piece not a strictly factual one, but it is good.)

Friday, April 1, 2011

{this moment} -- April 1st, April Fool's Day

{this moment}

 A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment to savor and remember.
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