reflections on our home learning weeks 34 & 35

The rain is falling softly and steadily this evening and in many ways that sums up our learning journey over the past two weeks. Lessons, life and even some glimpses of sleep have been happening. As I have been pondering what to reflect on over these past two weeks it is that life and learning have been simply and gently rolling through each day and at times nights in more hands on ways than I would choose. Each day has looked quiet different and so there has been a tension especially for Bob and myself in the uncertainty of each day which we are having to navigate through. I have been a less than helpful companion for him this week with that as I am still playing catch up (if one ever can) on a complete lack of sleep for two weeks as Zog recovered from surgery. On that front thanks to our wonderful osteopath we are turning a corner there.

It has made me more aware of the unsettledness I am feeling as we live in this season of asking ‘ what/where is next?’ Bob keeps asking where are moving to and what we could do in our new garden, he is keen to create a wildlife haven, while Zog is consistent in his desire to move to Africa so he can see a buffalo. I am also longing to know where we are going to be so as to know what we can be involved in within the home education community and to plan how our days will look. Yes I am still wanting to plan and create a routine to our days though I know only too well that life brings with it plenty of invitations for different ways days can unfold. That said I still hold to the idea of having a plan in place which can be flexible rather than just winging it which does not work well for us.

All of these ponderings have had the question of what I would also do with my days thrown into the frame. We met with a couple who are walking this season with us and I was asked the question of whether I felt fulfilled. This question has got in under my skin and has continued to make me feel uncomfortable. For as long as I remember all I wanted to be was to be a wife and mum. And so right now I feel a tension within myself because I do not feel fulfilled. There is a sense of betrayal to my long held dreams come true and yet I also feel that in having children there is a laying down of many of my dreams even if just for a season and for us home education means a prolonged laying down of dream, for to do it well it takes time, my time, in preparation. I would not do it differently as it is right for our children in this season. I think my regrets go further back as I reflect on the choices made since finishing school. I have wandered for 20 years and my hope for our children is that while they do not need to know at 16 what they want to do with the rest of their lives that they will be more aware of their options out there and be confident to be more creative with the paths they follow. To not do the assumed right thing but to seek God’s will, considering all that God has given them and the way He has created and wired them to be. God has worked all things for good for me but that still leaves room for me to which things had been different. The question now for me as they watch and learn from me not only the ‘school’ lessons, is how do they see me live out a life in Christ, being all that I am made to be in Him and to show them that it is never to late to step into all that God has for us to be and the difference between a life lived out on the wings of the Spirit and one that talks the talk but is still grounded in the nest. (yes Bob and I have been hooked on springwatch for science the past three weeks and have watched many birds’ nests.) I have two different trains of thought going on as to what I would love to be doing.

Back to actually what Bob is covering, history has now brought us to Ancient Rome which he is very excited about and has many building/craft projects planned. Maths continue to be an area he is not patient enough to work out the right answers and writing is less than loved. Reading is going really well and so history and science are favourites as there is much reading to be done around topics of interest. Despite heading into the summer and Bob doing well with reading I have introduced a new reading programme into our days this week. We had been using one but the way it was structured did not work for my with my dyslexia, so Mark had to do it and finding time was hard and Bob was bored by it but I do think it gave him a great initial spring-board and because he has an incredible photographic memory he is able to learn many words by sight. So wh introduce a new programme at this point in the year?  I was looking for a good spelling programme for next year and came across All About Spelling and its companion All About Reading which because of their multi-sensory styles of learning work to the strengths of the dyslexic with others I know giving it great reviews I decided to start on level 1 of the reading which feels somewhat redundant but I was aware that Bob was reading based on sight recognition of his words and not through sounding out words. This is just like myself and means it is very easy early on to make amazing strides with ones reading only to hit a massive wall further down the road and so to try to help avoid that hurdle which I have never got over, we have gone back to level 1 to learn sounds and lots of basic skills. I suspect we will be ready for level 2 early on next year and he is really enjoying the activities each day that the lessons include.

So yes, like the rain softly and steadily falling learning is going on, questions from all of us are being asked and God is sowing seeds deep within all of us for a new work that He is preparing us for.

(computer is still being unhelpful hiding photos so once again there are no pictures)


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