Tuesday, January 4

Just like jogging

Day two of the new year and school is going great.  Of course, I've set my standards so low for this week that it would be impossible to fail.  Yesterday, my big goal for the day was to teach geography.  It took about an hour. We reached our goal.  Everyone felt pretty good about that.  We did bible studies and Latin, but geography was pretty much all we focused on.  Today, we set the goal to work on anatomy and spelling.  We spent two hours on each!  And it was fun.  We reached our goal and it felt great.

I know it's cheating, but I had things I wanted to wrap up and be certain we were finished with before moving on.  We have no choice but to take a break next week, so I didn't see much point in jumping into the next semester full blast.  At the beginning of the year, we started with around 15 classes and struggled to finish.  It felt like constant failure.  I refuse to go there this year.  We will set goals, reach them, and stretch and grow in the process.

And this is where homeschooling is like jogging.  The first day I jogged, I made it one block before getting shin splints and an asthma attack that took me down for an hour.  The next day, I made it a few houses farther.  The next day, I made it a block farther. (further? farther? I have no business teaching, do I?)  Eventually, I made it a mile.  It was a constant improvement.  I grew.  I stretched.  Even when I only ran what I'd run the day before, I still ran. When I pile on the schoolwork, knowing there is no way to finish it, we all walk away feeling defeated.

Of course, if I didn't set any goals, there would be no stretching and no improvement.   Again, just like jogging.  When I reached my goal of one mile, I refused to set any other goals.  I was content with my mile.  I have never improved on this goal.

With this in mind, we are starting this pre-semester introduction with focused work on few subjects and adding in slowly.  I am realizing that 15 subjects (while fine and even necessary) are not going to happen daily.  Some things will wait for once a week.  Some even less.

I'm attempting to keep my personal goals as focused and practical.  I have a gazillion things I'd like to do.  But if I plan for a gazillion and get overwhelmed, I often end up doing nothing.  'Some' is better than 'none'.  I'm focusing on a few now and some will be added later, after I master the essentials.  A more focused quiet time with God in the mornings? Top priority.  Making my bed first thing in the morning? High priority.  Teaching the kids with zeal? Top priority.  Writing, Reading, and Knitting are each getting their 15 minutes of fame daily. That's the best I've got for now and I'm feeling pretty good about it.


Andrea said...

15 subjects a day? What do you teach, Girl??

p.s. I finished book #1! (Started last night, finished tonight!)

Nezzy said...

Breathe baby...breathe!!!

I prescribe some of my 'special' stress pills that'll make everything fall into place.

Ahhhh...better already, huh?

Have a fantastic day Hon! :o)

Jenn said...

Breathing great, mom! No worries! I'm loving this. But I will never turn down your brand of stress pills. ;-)

Andrea, any of those 15 are 15 minute-type lessons: Art Appreciation, Music Appreciation, Poetry, Literary Analysis, Latin, Grammar, Creative Writing, Nature...you know, those little things that add up. Well, not that we're only spending 15 minutes on Grammar, but you know what I mean.

That is awesome about the book!!!!!

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