Thursday, August 6, 2015

Anchor - Morning Time

See the first post in the anchor series here.

If I've done anything right this year, it's securing the anchor of Morning Time in our homeschool day.  This practice has drawn our family together and made it possible for actual learning to happen even when the rest of the day is spent helping everyone learn not to be selfish little heathens.

(See Cindy Rollins's blog Morning Time Moms for more details than you could ever want about Morning Time.)

Morning Time.  In short: we all pile onto the couches and read, practice poetry, pray, write in our gratitude journals, and whatever else I have planned or am inspired to do at the last minute.  This year, we will add in our Latin memory work since all four kids will be in Classical Conversations, each at their own level.  One thing I do not do is our fiction read aloud; I save that for later in the day.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

On being a mother who writes

I tell myself, it's just a free write. Set the timer, just write. No pressure, just write. I even scroll up and type "fureeeee wruhiiiite" in the title. A free write is a writing that's free of purpose and confining structure, right? So then why it is it so difficult? Forcing the cursor across the screen for 10 minutes just to combat the freeze that's been going on in my writing life these many months; trying to keep the keys clicking softly so I don't analyze my ridiculous sentences, and so that creeping inertia doesn't get me. What are the semi-colon rules again? Whatever you do, self, don't stop to reread or do editing of any kind in a free write. Or would that be free-write?

"Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere."
Anne Lamott, Bird By Bird

I've often blamed my lack of writing on my children.  It feels like there are so many of them and their needs are even more numerous than their toys, and how could a homeschooling mother find any time to write anyway, now that she has four children filling up her heart and mind and time?  

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Summer Survival at Our House

I usually take June completely off from scheduled school work. We all neeeeed the break by that point. We also have multiple birthdays, our anniversary, and an annual camping trip in the Oregon high desert mid-month. June ends up being plenty busy even without school work.  However, for my sanity and theirs, I still require a few things and I heavily limit media time.  For those of you who like details about other people's schedules (I sure do!), this post is for you!

Apparently the kids were so moved by their poetry recitation that they had to do back-bends.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Sort-of End of Another Homeschool Year

As you know, we are officially on our summer break. This year we have been trying out a Sabbath-type schedule where we go roughly six weeks on, one week off, with longer breaks around Christmas and summer. The last week of May would have been our sixth week before a longer break. However. When I found myself hiding in my room by ten on a Monday morning - after breaking up approximately twenty major emotional dramas  - I realized the second to last week of May would work just as well. And so we were done. I am strongly reminded of this post from a few years ago about ending the school year without any fanfare, particularly this quote:

I like to remind myself that a commitment to lifelong learning frees us from the need to start and end at certain times.
Dropping It All, Rene Tougas

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

We just might make it. . .

We are officially on our summer break, so I'm hoping to get above my posting average of zero posts per month.

This year has peeled away another layer of selfishness, perfectionism, and pride that definitely needed to go, but oh my has it been painful. And it's difficult to figure out how to write about it in such a public space. How can I be both authentic and encouraging about this year full of trial, struggle, beauty and strength, depression, anxiety, blow ups and melt downs, and even laughter and triumph? How can I write with honesty about the hard spaces, knowing that all of the children will likely find this blog sooner or later?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday Morning Musings: Early Morning Comfort

I value authenticity in a writer.  I bring as much of it to this blog as I can.  But, as others have said, our lives intersect with many others and often the deep, core things in our lives should not be shared publicly out of respect for the other people involved.
And yet there is this longing to share and connect, especially in the bleary hours of the night, when circumstances and fears press us from sleep and we abandon our beds in search of, if not comfort, at least distraction.
I rose around four yesterday morning, after hours of pretending sleep was just about to descend on me - like that sneeze that you feel coming but hasn't quite burst out yet.  I was worn and distinctly un-hopeful.  As I realized defeated was my main emotion, I started asking myself, but. . . am I?
Because the truth is that a daughter of the King does not live in defeat, that defeat can only be real if there remains no hope.  But. I. have. hope.  Often we believe the lie that we are defeated, when Jesus reminds us we are more than conquerors.  More than conquerors!

Monday, March 30, 2015

lent as an anchor

Lent.  A period of repentance and renewal.  A time of anchoring ourselves in our faith - in the age-old pattern of emptying ourselves of, well. . . ourselves, and filling back up with Jesus.  By choosing to take a new expectation upon ourselves (either by giving up, or adding in), we place Someone else higher than ourselves.  We remember that we are dust, and to dust we shall return.

Lent isn’t about forfeiting as much as it’s about formation.
We renounce to be reborn; we let go to become ‘little Christs’. It’s about this: We break away to become.”
For Lent this year, I've (tried) to give up scrolling aimlessly through Facebook and Pinterest.  In it's place, I took on a challenge to read with my family through the Gospels in 40 days.  With Easter right around the corner, we are now about halfway through Luke, so we will likely not finish until late April.  But that's just fine.  This time of focus has been lovely for drawing my family in together and, for myself, clarifying what was missing from last year. . . an anchor of any kind.


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