Homeschooling,  Messy Faith

Beauty in the {Homeschooling} Mess: A Mini-Blog

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I was sitting down to type this out as a status, but realized it would be extremely long. So I decided to come here and sweep away the cobwebs and write for a few seconds.

Homeschooling is going well. A much longer post is coming. But with everything else on my plate (a part-time job and college), some weeks are hard. Some days we only do one or two subjects. Some days we just read library books. Some days we have a little (or a lot of) extra screen time.

The boys are WILD with extra needs and at an age where they are constantly distracting each other. One minute we are sitting there trying to do something educational, and the next moment they are running through the house screeching and laughing while they play “tickle-tag.” This happens not just during school, but at meal times, before shower time, before bed…ugh. The struggle is real.

One thing I’ve been doing these last two weeks (when the end of the semester is upon me and all of those projects I was supposed to be working on all semester but didn’t are upon me…and we got a new client at work) is to make curated YouTube playlists on whatever topics we are studying each week in our different subjects.

YouTube is a place of extreme evil and danger for kids…but I try to scroll through the videos and make sure they are coming from good sources. I also use an iPad with an Adblock browser and play the playlists through the browser rather than the YouTube app so that no ads play between the videos. Then, I turn the playlists on when they are sitting at the table eating breakfast, lunch, or snacks.

It’s probably not the best or healthiest habit; but it keeps them in their seats, eating, instead of running through the house playing “tickle-tag” and getting yelled at 50 times to SIT DOWN AND EAT YOUR FOOD.

The busyness and my totally-over-extendedness of these last few weeks has meant that all those wonderful lessons plans geared toward 5 lessons per week per subject are completely out-of-whack. I’m learning there’s grace for that. That’s where this story comes in.

We hadn’t done our Bible curriculum for about three weeks and we were behind in science. Behind in language arts. Into our 6th week of studying New York. (Ahead in math and penmanship – go figure!)

Last week we did 3 out of 4 Bible lessons. Our curriculum has a key truth (about God) and a character trait (for the child) to study. Our character trait was perseverance. We have been reading a lot of books about perseverance, not giving up, “growth mindset,” and patience (for Little Brother who thinks everything “will be too long to wait”).

Tonight, they were sitting there eating their seconds (of Cheerios and milk) to their firsts (hotdogs and ice cream) (yeah…it’s been that kind of a day), watching videos about the life cycle of plants, seeds, etc., because we are FINALLY on the 3rd day of Creation.

When I make playlists for the boys, I try to mix preschool songs, rhymes, and cartoons on the subject with 3rd-grade level stuff, to keep them both engaged and entertained.

One of these videos happened to be a Peep and Chirp video called “Peep Plants a Seed,” about Peep who has to wait a LONG TIME after planting a seed for it to grow.

Ezra looked at me and exclaimed,  “MOM! This is a story about seeds AND perseverance!”

Oh how I love how this new lifestyle of ours allows him to make connections like this, totally on his own – in the midst of a sticky kitchen table at 7PM on a Sunday night when I’m wondering how I am going to get through the week ahead.

Here’s the thing: this happens ALL THE TIME. 

Something we read about or study or watch in one subject will “just happen” to mesh with something we are studying in another.

It doesn’t matter that my homeschool lesson plans are like a jigsaw puzzle missing half the pieces. God picks up two of them and makes them fit perfectly…then another…then another. The picture ends up looking nothing like *I* planned.

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