I'm about a week behind the rest of the world in turning my attention to school; at least that's how it feels right now. Rationally I know I'm already in decent shape - especially considering the freedom and flexibility attached to the homeschooling environment. Still, I'm a planner at heart. I operate best with my ducks in a row; if my ducks include an ordered back porch and streamlined coat closet, all the better.
And so, between now and Labor Day my margins are dedicated to creating both vision and order for the coming year. Our classroom will include a second grader and a two year-old. At first (and second, and even third) glance, these two stages seem to lack cohesion. In some ways they do which is why we'll continue to do much of our academic work in the afternoons while the two year-old retires to her crib.
Still, I'm equally inclined to begin integrating the girls in this context - understanding that Play dough and Bach, natural trails and botany, picture books and reading aloud all have the capacity to enrich two little lives at once. This will take patience and grace and flexibility to pull off (if only I could pick these up in capsule form at Whole Foods).
In his book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years Donald Miller explores the idea of living your best story - how life provides us this opportunity if we so choose. I suppose that teaching my girls from home is part of my story - theirs too, really. As I stare at my overflowing inbox and blank lesson planner today, I couldn't help but remember this quote.
"Here's the truth about telling stories with your life. It's going to sound like a great idea, and you are going to get excited about it, and then when it comes time to do the work, you're not going to want to do it. It's like that with writing books, and it's like that with life. People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. But joy costs pain."