It’s taken some years, I’ll admit. I’m a pretty structured sort. I like organized. I like words like addendum and time log. My moleskin is one of my most coveted possessions. And seriously people, the containers with little paper clips and elastics at staples? Well, they make me swoon.
Let’s just say rolling with it doesn’t come instinctively.
But I married who I did and so words like spontaneous and “Let’s have them over for dinner. Like, right now! We’ll come up with something!” Came with the territory. I have to say, I fought it hard those first years but really, there was no point. Spontaneous wins over organized like fun wins over algebra every day of the week. And so it is.
Over the years I feel like God has stretched my character in this realm so much. I’ve learned to live in decently sized housed and teeny tiny spaces. I’ve learned (past tense) to adapt to life without an oven and now happily only embrace no microwave. We’ve survived big hearty incomes as well as the how-are-we-going-to-buy-groceries type. We’ve been a part of tiny churches, mega churches and almost everything in between. I like hymns and choruses. Coffee and tea. Richer and poorer. Better and worse.
God has taught me so much in all of these times. He’s taught me where joy comes from. (Him!) He’s taught me where stability is found. (Him!) He’s taught me that there are many ways it might look as long as the focus is right. (Him!)
So when it came to this new season of kids not going back to school (due to a teachers strike here in B.C.) I wasn’t overly phased. With all we’ve survived, school or no school didn’t seem like that big of a deal. (For the short term, that is. If it was long term – bigger deal but we’d figure that out too!)
Last night I sat in the middle of the floor with the only craft supplies I have. Paper. Scissors. Tape. Oh, and twine – the hipster craft supply necessity. As I sat I cut and wrote and came up with a bit of a plan. A loose schedule of sorts so that this morning, there would be school. Weird mom school that doesn’t get you any sort of credits, but school nonetheless.
We spent an hour and a half on bible. This is the good stuff people. When do we ever get that much time to spend in the word daily with our teens? I’m taking it and I’m running with it!
Then we went on a field trip. I proclaimed how amazing of a teacher I was for having a field trip planned on the first day of school. “Ever had THAT before?” I yelled out in my best self-congratulatory way. Of course a trip to the library was a necessity should we actually be trying to accomplish anything in this homeschool thing we’re doing. I take that back. Homeschooling is something professional moms who actually make their kids do math do. I am not that. This is more like Griswold’s School than Berenstain Bears. I apologize homeschool Moms. What I’m doing looks nothing like what you’re doing and I won’t pretend it does. You’re my hero!
I figured while we were out we might as well take a second field trip to the grocery store. We looked at prices before we threw what we needed into the basket. That has to count for something, right? I made the mistake of going to the store that has you bag your own groceries and while I thought we could handle it, hello – three large children in tow – it turns out that bagging groceries is a life skill that’s been missed in their 10 years of public education.
Of course I did what any good mom would do. I rearranged the curriculum to include bagging your groceries practice!
Yes. I did. My kids couldn’t believe it either.
(Note to their future wives: You’re welcome.)
I placed a bunch of groceries on the kitchen counter in front of each kid along with one grocery bag and told them to pack it properly. Points were given for speed, stability and unsmooshed produce.
Bananas on the bottom? No way, man. Try again! Oh I wish I had a gong….
We rounded out the day with some physical type activity they called Volleyball but I call painful and then went into more important things like baking cookies and brownies and practicing piano and wiping baseboards.
So I know my kids won’t earn a letter grade for what we did today. I know they couldn’t ever move on to the next grade for being the best grocery packer. I know that. But I think they’ll be better humans for it. Better boyfriends, husbands, sons. Because they can make brownies! And cookies! And know what a crappy job cleaning baseboards is!
We’re rolling with it, this no school thing. I know we’re far from nailing it but that’s not important to me. I may not be able to teach them tenth grade math or physics but I can teach them how to cook, bake, run a home, choose good books and fall more in love with their Jesus. So I’d say it was a pretty fantastic day!