This has been one of those weeks that has had a whole feast of emotions and rollercoaster moments but the one moment that still makes my heart beat fast and makes me smile was when I had set Bob his grammer work while I nursed Kanga. This day’s lesson required Bob do do some copy work of two simple sentences to show the difference between common and proper nouns. It was the first time he would be doing any intentional free hand copy work using lined paper. Based on any previous experience with birthday cards and thank you cards the idea of these two whole sentences being copied caused an inital guilty moment as I was concerned at how many pieces of paper it would take to write two sentences. To my utter joy and pride Bob completeted this task using simply two lines on the A4 page and while space between words may not have been generous one could clearly read his writing and he had formed his letters evenely and within the lines which I had not required of him as I simply wanted him to get used to the idea of writing and not feel constrained.
The second high came today with reading as I moved Bob up a level with his reading and he protested saying he could not do it and I said that that was fine as I knew we were going up a level but we could do it together. Well aside from one or two new words it turns out he could do it by himself which gave him a massive boost of confidence. While I have been confident of teaching our children most subjects the very basic skills of mastering reading and writing have been the two that have caused me most fear and concern. Veteran homeschoolers have assured me that they will work it out when they are ready and it will come but I still had my doubts. So this week has provided both Bob and myself with extra confidence and hope for the journey. This has been doubly important to me as someone with dyslexia and so I have struggled to find resources to help me teach him these basic skills. We do not know if Bob also has dyslexia but I can already see in his learning style many of the same hurdles and obstacles that I faced and still battle with and I want to provide him with a framework that will serve him well throughout life whatever path he chooses.
After the bumps of last week and talking with another friend and remembering the wise words of another homeschooling mom; who once took a week off from ‘lessons’ as such and spent a week focusing on her children’s characters as those needed attention; I took Monday as a day off from the usual maths, writing, and reading and Bob and I made an emotions chart. This has been a great tool in our family this week and a served as a great springboard for conversations and a way of talking through situations without complete fall out happening at times. In the mornings we all clip our peg onto an emotion and as the day progresses we can move our peg around, sometimes talking about how some situations can leave us feeling a number of different ways all at once. It has been good for Bob and Zog to identify feelings and to see that Mummy and Daddy have them too, and how we can all feel different ways in the same sitaution depending on what is happening. It has been humbling to find oneself in God’s classroom right within your own home on how well one respond or rather how badly one responds to emotions. I have always had plenty of emotions but have never really paid attention to my emotions and my reactions in a constructive healthy way. This was not the place or way I would have imagined if I ever plucked up the courage to deal with my emotions but God has a way of providing a better way and while I have had to face some hard truths about myself and in turn regrets about reactions in the past I am thankful for the humbling journey of parenting an intelligent child with a deep sense of justice and another bright child who is very open about how he is feeling to make me face up to my own emotions and responses. I have been thankful for this article online this week in light of this learning curve I have found myself in. http://www.feminagirls.com/2014/09/16/funner-part-3-emotional-control/#more-6476
Again we have come to the end of another week of learning in the big and small moments of the day. We have adapted the times we do lessons to fit around appointments and time with friends. We have allowed the schedule to be our friend rather than our slave. It has been there quietly in the background to provide a framework but within which we have been able to move the pieces around. It has been a week when we have seen God bless our faithfulness when we had nothing left to offer the week but still stepped into it somehow. We spent time with friends practising our Egyptian writing. Its been a week when we have lived deeply within Ancient Egypt and grappled with Egyptian names and learnt more then a mother needs to know and simply scrapped the tip of the tip of the iceberg of the joy and inquistivness of a 5 year old boy of the process of mummification.
And I am rediscovering a love for colouring in, it offers for Bob and myself and more often than not Zog, times of real connectedness and a space for conversation while everyone is working on their piece of art work. Sometimes they request we colour and other times when I know we need to reconnect or need to create a safe space or a place of peacemaking I get out the colours and and colouring pages and start colouring and soon I have companions at work alongside me talking about the deep things of life and faith, the funny moments and everything in between. So may I encourage you this week if you are looking for new ways to connect why not try getting out some colouring pages and colours and draw up a seat and see who joins you at the table.