continuing from the last post…
Great work. Important work. Home work on family and self.
I took that one step further, I homeschool our three kids. God planned these posts.
I am struggling with this important work. God knew I needed these artworks.
Homeschooling my two daughters is easy peasy lemon squeezy. They are born students. They enjoy learning, do not mind doing the paperwork (too much), and catch onto concepts very easily. My son is not the same.
He brought a brown paper lunch bag to class the other morning. He says, “This is our panic bag. wWhen I get frustrated with you mom, I can breathe in this.” Funny, but so true.
My panic bag moment: I actually went to the pubic elementary to talk to the principal this week. She is a wonderful woman who I respect greatly. Her background in alternative education actually makes her a proponent of homeschooling. She gets it. And she is an invaluable resource to me. She helped me feel more comfortable again about Tanner’s learning. And feel more convicted that I am doing important work with him and we are progressing just fine, thank you.
You see Tanner, as she reminded me, is a normal first grade boy with little interest or focus on learning. That is what I needed to hear. Schoolwork is going to be different for him since he is a boy. I have to remember he is still a first grader. He is a kinesthetic and auditory learner: he can spit back information he hears me teaching the girls and he can recite anything put to motions and song. He HATES to put anything on paper. It is torture for BOTH of us. He needs lots of breaks for snacks, play, or to just run around the outside of the house four times. Not kidding.
When I want to just get him to do his work, just read the words on the page (not the story he made up from looking out the window), or just finish a project without telling me four jokes–when I am frustrated with him beyond belief–when the girls are ready to throw their books at him–we have to remember. He is HIM. He is important. And just learning the rote of sitting, writing, focusing is HARD for Tanner. Just this is IMPORTANT GREAT WORK.
Every time I see that panic bag sitting on his desk it reminds me: we are doing okay, we don’t have to get frustrated, we can take our time, he will get it. It reminds me of all the great ideas my mom (a special education teacher by trade and theater extraordinaire) gave me of how we can make learning more kinesthic and fun. It reminds me to put away the workbook and get out the playdoh for him and then make his own books.
We both breathe easier just seeing that reminder. He is one smart kid. He made it funny.
He played his first flag football game last night. I was so proud of him: not for athletic prowess, but because he got IT. He listened to his coaches, he was the first one in his correct spot, he followed the directions, he played fair, he was kind to his teammates, he was cracking jokes (of course). I saw the important work we have been doing out there on the field. He may not know all of his sight words and he might write every number backwards, but what I really NEED him to learn is happening. He is a good kid who will be just fine out in the big world.
THAT my friends is important. THAT is the greatest work I will ever do.
Ya’ll made me cry this morning. Thanks for letting me share with you.