Monday, February 14, 2011

A Different Spin on Consistency

My goal for this week was to figure out some easy ways to be more consistent in our home education.

So, of course, this is the week my husband comes down with viral meningitis. 

"Consistency-in-home-education week" has started out looking like my kids locked in the family room with the TV on almost all day. . . and all night as they are all sleeping down there - all this in an effort to keep the master bedroom as noise-free as possible.

My house-keeping isn't going much better, but that's another post. . .

I've been tempted several times in the last few days to get discouraged. . .  Okay, not discouraged; more like a mix of angry and depressed. . .  But, I'm choosing to take a different approach than I have been most of this horrible flu season we've gone through.

First, I'm seizing just a few of the opportunities available for small lessons throughout the day.  For instance, I've used some of the fights springing up amongst my tired, stir-crazy, irritable kids this Valentine's Day as opportunities to teach the Biblical principle of loving others.  I've also told the kids that, each day, when they go out to play or just take the dog out or run to the store for more meds for their daddy, to look for signs of spring - green leaves, flowers, robins. . .

Second, however, I'm refusing to seize every single opportunity to teach my kids something.  I've been tempted, don't get me wrong.  It would sound so good to say I've "seized every opportunity"; but the reality is that I'm slap exhausted from running up and down stairs and answering the cries of five instead of just four all day long.  If I seized every free moment I found, I'd collapse.  So, much of the time, I'm sitting down in five minute incriments to take a breather, close my eyes, pray, cry a bit. . . 

And, third, I'm constantly reminding myself not to feel guilty.  I'm making myself focus on the hour or two I locked my kids out back in the unusually nice weather this afternoon; the quick trip to the library with my two youngest that, granted, was filled with tired-4yo-tantrums, but was, nonetheless, "educational" to a degree; the flower seeds I gave the kids for Valentine's Day and all the garden planning we can do throughout the week. . .  I'm shifting my focus from what I'm not getting done, from the schedule I'm not keeping and the lists I'm not checking my way through; and I'm setting it on what I am getting done, however little that may be.

So, while I had plans to become more consistent in our schooling this week, maybe God just had other plans.  Or, maybe I am becoming more consistent - in His eyes:  consistently finding ways to teach small lessons, consistently taking a little extra care with myself, and consistently looking at the small successes instead of the small failures.

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