I've been all over the map the past couple of weeks. Really, not just the past couple of weeks. Since we started homeschooling, I've been struggling with the feeling that it's not enough for Harris. Academically, I know his needs are met. I really enjoy watching them both learn and seeing them "get" something is rewarding. It's fun! My hang up is that I want Harris to have more friends. I don't have those concerns about Caroline because her greatest need right now is connecting with our family. Caroline's abundant (but understandable) emotional needs take a toll and it has been difficult to try to meet that for her as well as do the other things that everyone else needs.
I've researched every single school option under the sun.
I KNOW homeschooling was laid out for us this year because of the changes in our family. It just hasn't been clear to me what that should look like. Is this for all our kids, just some of them, or now that Caroline is academically caught up, do I send them both to school this very second??? There are certainly days when I would love to do that. Especially because the past couple of weeks everyone has had some form of a virus, so no one is their chipper self. Hayes even took a trip to the ER, but he's fine. Here's his before and after.
None of the other kids had it that bad but enough to make us all edgy. We were on a walk the other day and I greeted a neighbor I hadn't seen in months with the very uplifting, "How is it only 11 am!??!!?" She ran away from us, bless her heart. There have been several days of frustration lately and we need a change. We were holding it together but by a thread. Any stress on the situation and it falls apart and my first instinct is to abandon homeschooling completely. But we never felt totally right with any of the school options for the unique situation we are in right now.
I FINALLY feel like there is some sense to this. I was praying for some direction and specifically a friend for Harris. God showed me he has provided the most wonderful friend and community in our own home. Harris and Caroline have built in companionship and community in each other. I truly just didn't see it because that's not what friendships usually look like. I was thinking of play dates and class parties. God has something better. He desires to give both of them deep, lasting, sibling relationships that need time and nurture to grow. God is so good. I don't want any of us to miss His best for us by being satisfied with something less, just because it's familiar. Literally overnight, we adopted a 5 yr old. This just isn't a normal situation and sometimes our life will look different than what I see around us. I'm still coming to terms with that.
They have so much fun together. They encourage each other and are constantly coming up with new things to do. Caroline is learning how to throw a football and Harris has spent more time creating artwork in the past four months than his entire life combined. They do puzzles together, crack each other up with making silly faces, and get excited to see who predicts correctly when we're doing a science experiment. They do art and P.E classes with a group and they love that too. It's a good balance for us right now.
They just couldn't lay this groundwork for relationship if one of both were gone all day. So, I'm settled again. This is what we're doing (for this year, anyway) and I'm staying the course. Tom has sweetly ridden this emotional roller coaster with me. However, I'm sure he will be thrilled to know the ride seems to be over, for now. We go around the table at dinner and everyone says their favorite part of the day. Both of them regularly say their favorite part of the day is homeschool, even on days when they've participated in other things. That is a tremendous comfort to me. Coming to the realization that this isn't working as well as it could is also a huge comfort. We're getting some regular help to make things go more smoothly. That sentence doesn't adequately convey how thrilled and relieved I am to get some backup!!!
I'd like to see more picnics outside.
And less of this.
Honestly. Much less of this.
Walker isn't getting left out. :) He needs preschool for a variety of reasons. The 12 hours he spends there each week are invaluable to him. There's plenty of time leftover for him to hang.
One other thing that is changing my life right now is simple. It's as simple as rubbing Walker's feet. He's too wound up after school to take a nap but too tired to have any semblance of good behavior. If I massage his feet, his little eyes just roll back in his head and he's out. He is refreshed when he wakes up and we can all enjoy each others company instead of just trying to make it till bedtime. It doesn't sound like much but it has completely changed the dynamic in our house on those days. Who doesn't feel better when they're rested?? He is going to be outrageously spoiled with that but it's worth it. My apologies to his future wife.
Props to anyone who hung on to read this rambling post.
"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."