Tuesday, September 1, 2015

School Among The Chaos

Tomorrow Clarkson Academy will be officially starting our next year.   My children are ready and excited.  We have some traditions that have become a part of launching our home school year.  We will get up early and dress a bit better than we usually do.  We will make signs to represent their hopes for the upcoming year and we will take pictures. We will have donuts for breakfast, because even though I swore our tradition was to have oatmeal, they assure me it was donuts. ;)

I have said before and it remains true, September feels more like the start of a New Year to me than January 1st.  There is something so energizing about the start of a new school year.  For me there is a great thrill in new curriculum, fresh routines and rebooted attitudes towards learning.  There are also the brand new pencils, notebooks, folders, crayons, legal pads and planners.  I do so love office supplies!

My children have prepared themselves by carefully choosing new shoes and a few new clothes.  Some got haircuts, others choose not to.  They helped to plan their year by selecting subjects they are interested in and projects they want to try.  They are excited about some study aids that we have collected to help address our need to fidget and move while we work.  They are also excited about hand gel, for some reason. 

Each September as the new year begins I make resolutions for myself and for my family. Many of my resolutions are the same each year; I will plan meals and be a more organized cook, I will schedule our household cleaning so it isn’t overwhelming, I will spend more time preparing lessons, I will do more art projects and incorporate more music, we will argue less, I will go to bed early so each day I wake up early to get ready for our day.  Each year I have some new, specific resolutions that are personal to each of my children and their educational goals or personal growth.  I tackle these resolutions with the best of intentions and after much researching.  I make a lot of lists.   

Each year I want to start the year organized.  I want to have all of their supplies organized on their shelves, with their names printed on them as if we had more than one 5th grader in the house.  I want to have their workspaces clean and peaceful so that they are motivated to work.  I want to have all of our supplies prepared, materials gathered and schedules perfectly timed out.  I want my day to look like the pictures I see on Pintrest!

This year is starting differently.  As I type this, the pieces of the planner that the kids will use are in a pile next to me.  I do not have them neatly assembled and ready for use. In all fairness, it is a neat pile.  This is an example of the new attitude I am working to have as we approach this year.  An attitude of acceptance. 

The truth is, life is not neat and simple in a house with 7 children.  We can plan meals, but things will come up and we will end up eating cereal or picking up Little Caesars pizza sometimes because we took extra time to explore a topic in school or go on an unexpected field trip.  Sometimes the house work and the laundry will get away from us and we will probably take a day off of school to get caught up again but we will also spend a Saturday at the museum or a Sunday learning all about a period in history.  Sometimes art and music will have to wait because our focus will have to be on math facts.  Arguments will happen because kids don’t always want to do what they are told and everyone has bad days.  Some nights I will choose to stay awake and spend time with my husband or do something for myself.  Lots of mornings I will be slow getting started because mornings are hard. 

The truth is that most days are not perfect.  We do school among the chaos and we do it well.

1 comment:

  1. That's a good realization to have come to. It's all about grace and acceptance when it comes down to it, isn't it? Hope you have a great year!