Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Home School Days and Mondays

Every day for a home school mom is a new experience. She never knows what challenges will arise or what victories she will win. No matter how well she plans, no day is predictable. No day is the same. For me, Mondays are one of my most challenging days.

Every Monday seems to be my "catch up" day. The weekends are usually full except for school work. I very rarely give the kids homework over the weekend. That may change when the need arises, but for now, I know my kids enjoy the break. Twice a month, I have Bible studies I attend. One is for church and the other is my home school group's Bible study. Both of those studies are early mornings and I usually do not return home until late morning. My dear husband is so good to allow me to go. It is encouraging to be in the Word with other moms and to have a couple hours of break every few weeks. My husband, with the help of our 10 year old will make a nice breakfast and the other kids help by playing with the toddlers. To be sure, I usually come home to a mess, but at least, I know they have been fed and are getting some time with their Dad.

Other weeks, we'll all relax together as a family on Saturday mornings or we may go on a short day trip. Sundays are church days with the afternoons being devoted to naps and small projects or just downtime. On Sunday evenings, we usually plan a simple dinner and an activity for our weekly "Family Night". I find that comical anymore as really every night is family night here, but we began the tradition of Sunday nights being the one night a week that we do something special. It could be a movie, making cookies or popcorn, playing games, having company, going bowling, playing miniature golf or even taking a walk and catching lightening bugs on summer nights. Because of our Sundays being our days to relax and to just enjoy being together, I am usually not able to keep the house very tidy and ready for the school day when Monday comes. I would like to have all of the dishes done, the laundry washed, the living room straightened, the lesson plans organized all by Sunday night, but this doesn't happen often. So, when Monday rolls around, I almost always find myself in the kitchen cleaning up from the weekend, catching up on laundry, straightening and vacuuming the living room and scrambling to gather our books for the day. Inevitably, I find myself a bit tired from the weekend as well, so that lends to a little frustration as I try to accomplish what needs to be done. There have been many times, I felt that it just wasn't worth it to do school on Mondays.
I'm reminded of the old Karen Carpenter song, "Rainy Days and Mondays".
Talkin' to myself and feelin' old
Sometimes I'd like to quit
Nothing ever seems to fit
Hangin' around
Nothing to do but frown
Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.
As I ponder on my Mondays, I have realized that they are not a wasted day. So what if we don't get to school until very late or even not at all some days? No, I do not have a flippant attitude about teaching our children, but they are learning. So often, we home school moms put unnecessary demands on ourselves. We try to keep up with the school day that we were accustomed to as children. Sometimes, without even recognizing it, we try to model the very system we have been trying to avoid. We should be modeling Christ, not some worldly system. Why did we choose to keep our children at home? Did we simply want to give them an education at home or are we keeping them home, so that we can disciple them? The character of our children is more important than any book learning. Giving them the opportunity to learn life skills like caring for younger siblings, cleaning the house and managing the home are things they will use in this life. Learning to respect authority and how to relate compassionately to other kids of all ages will prepare them far more than getting their "school work" done. Does their mother need to be organized? Yes. Should we be covering our school subjects? Yes, but those things should never replace the most important task of following the Lord. And, lastly, should we give up and quit on the days that seem to be impossible? No. My prayer is that the Lord will give me the strength to seek His will daily, to be a good manager of my home and my time and to perservere. "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Gal.6:9 I am praying for a bountiful harvest for the Lord.