She was taking her short post-test at the end of the Explode the Code book she was working on. Struggling to pronounce the words in the second to last question, I was getting frustrated. She knew these words. She had worked hard all year long, this one who reading and forming her letters correctly has been such a struggle. And now, down to the last couple of questions, I snapped at her.
"If you just answer these last two questions, you are done!"
There were tears. There was a deep sigh on my part. It wasn't her, it was me. I was looking at the check box I wanted to mark off. This book is DONE. We can move on to the next thing. Instead, I should have been looking at a little girl that has worked so very hard this year, and just needed a little encouragement to get to the end, instead of me fussing with her.
This was this past Friday.
As a admitted list maker and box checker it is way to easy for to chart our homeschool progress by what I can see that we've done. However, as evidenced above, it is obviously far to easy for me to look to the written proof of what we have accomplished instead of the what I have built relationally with my girls. Have I modeled for them patience? Have I showed kindness to them when they needed a little extra attention? Have I shown them how much I love learning alongside them and modeled for them my excitement at getting to learn with them each and every day? Some days, the answer is a most-definite "no."
I've been enjoying getting to know Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things and I have really enjoyed her recent series on teaching from a state of rest. Teaching out of a place of dependence on the Lord, instead of focusing on check lists and pushing through in my own strength. Sarah is a mom of six - three that she is schooling and three that are two and under. She says:
We homeschooling mothers are quite adept at spinning our wheels, working dawn till dusk to make sure our children have everything they need. We toil tirelessly to create lesson plans and assemble curriculum that will ensure our children know everything they need to know before they fly our coop.If you are coming to the end of your school year tired and in need of some encouragement and refreshment, I would love to invite you to check out Sarah's ebook. She's taken her blog series, fleshed it out and added some new content, and published it as a PDF and on Kindle. As an addition to the ebook, there are a couple of other goodies that you can check out. First, there is a companion journal where you can flesh out some of your own thoughts on teaching from rest and make some notes on what that might look like for you and your family. Second, Sarah has put together four audio recordings with well-known educators: Andrew Kern, Dr. Christopher Perrin, Cindy Rollins, and Brandy Vencel. I'm looking forward to some time on the treadmill (or if I'm lucky a walk around the block in the sunshine) and taking in these conversations.
We worry. We fret. We know, deep down in the core of our being, that we are not enough. That what we offer is a pittance compared to the task before us. We feel small and insignificant because we are small and insignificant.
In the midst of all the doing, we forget the needful thing. We may sit as His feet, we may begin our day with prayer, Bible reading and supplication- but is our teaching and mothering transformed by it? Do we really trust Him? Do we live each day from a state of rest?
You can find details on Sarah's ebook, journal and audio files on her blog here. She has an introductory special right now that will last until June 2nd.
I was given a copy of the ebook and companion materials free of charge. All opinions are absolutely my own. The link to purchase is an affiliate link, thanks to Sarah's generosity.