Friday, February 10, 2012

Telling It Right

Just outside our property line and about a stone's throw from our driveway is this divine treasure.  We can hear it with the windows open; its rhythm rush is crystal clear the moment we step outside our door.

Tackling has been a word used in many facets this week within our family, so it seems only fitting that the boys and I did just this.  We tackled the stalks and stumps, the pricketty thorns and mud mines too.  We made our way out; we made our way over.

Layers of gushy growth and what seemed like magic rested under the running ripples.
And, this is the part I don't want to mess up.  I want to invade time's space for just a bit only to muster every  real, honest moment into type.  I do not want to forget.

I want to remember that we homeschool.  

And, there are days gloriously full of flavor where the learning is rich like the watery greens above.

And, there are days that suck.  Days when I wonder why on Earth have we chosen this?  Yes, days when my mind longingly wishes I was sporting the khaki-navy blue uniform of this establishment for a breezy 8 hour shift rather than be confined to teaching our children in our home.

This day was a muddled mix of both.  Don't you know how eagerly I want to share a dreamy picture?  I do.  But, what I want more is to learn; to listen; to live honestly and find my dreams there.

So the story goes, 

Homeschooling a 1st grader and a kindergartner doesn't seem too complicated, does it?  

It is and it isn't.

I have a master's degree in education with 7 years of multiage and looping methods of instruction under my belt.  I have never been a textbook teacher.  In all of my W-2 years of teaching, I only used the state standards and textbooks as guidelines or sounding boards for the content and skills needed to be covered.    I enjoy being creative.  Energy and movement excite me.  And, I am a sucker for the fine arts.  I have always loved learning when it was applicable and life driven.  Additionally, I have always set high expectations for my students and myself.  

Kenny and I decided to homeschool because we wanted to soak up and soak in every bit of Eli & Casey possible.  We wanted them to love one another as brothers more than anything else in the world.  We wanted life's pace to be fluid and deep for them.  One where play and work mingle and minds move without even noticing.  We wanted life where worksheets, basal readers, 15 minute recesses and 20 minute lunches did not exist by and large.

And, on this day, the teacher in me was SCREAMING for a worksheet.

Grumbling, the 3 of us made our way over to the neighboring creek.  I had been so looking forward to this journal time.

And, it seems as if the majority of our day was spent searching for the rhythm the 3 of us had misplaced.

That happens more often than you think with homeschooling.  

With my camera jostling to and fro around my neck as my words of inspiration and melodious hen pecking left my mouth, we journeyed through the briars and brambles drawing nearer to our writing space.

Griping and moaning was a rampant spirit in our camp.

So, I stopped.  Mentally, I turned the teacher in me off.  I shut my mouth.  I decided the push was not worth the pull, do you know what I mean?

Casey, a self starter, immediately surveyed the creekside.  He ooo-ed and awww-ed over the rolling sounds.  He lapped the water with his tongue.  He picked up and rolled over 3 big rocks.  Then, he quickly began unpacking his supplies to begin.
He sloped the creek perfectly.  I love that he chose gray, brown, and moss green for the water color.  


Eli, the grumpiest of bears that day, sidled off to himself.  He was quiet and still for a long time.  I wondered just exactly what he was thinking about.  I noticed how securely he has my father's figure.  I felt distant from him, and so longingly wanted to pry.
I remained silent.
After a little while, he commissioned the binoculars for a closer looksee.  He studied for many consecutive minutes the water's ways and what might just lie underneath its thin surface.
A color pencil man through & through, he opted for marker.  It spoke volumes to his offset-ness in demeanor and rapport.
As if taking the lead from his little brother, he began to sketch.  They worked in silence. Water moving, I watched on.  Slowly, the time became sweet.  It was that chance I got.  To watch discord reconcile even if for just a brief moment.  
The recommendation was made by Eli to finish their journals in the house.  Casey obliged.  I simply followed.
Yet, Casey being ever-prepared and quite the popular one, had to stop to take a quick phone call on Mom's cell phone, without a battery, circa 2005.  It was a private call, you see.  Eli and I had to move on ahead as Casey confirmed he would catch up with us when he was done "taking the call".
Eli griped incessantly about these sticky burr bushes.  I personally loved their texture.
Casey caught up with us just in time to take note of this barren tree yet not lacking in massively dagger-like thorns.
Our day moved inside where writing time finished.  Math too.

And, 2 hours later, I was holding the face of my sweet 6 year old as the stomach bug won victory in the war that was raging all day.

In the middle of the madness of involuntary regurgitation, Eli gazed up me with watery eyes deep red with strain and said, "Mom, I'm so sorry for this."


No, sweet boy.  
I am.

And, this is the part I don't want to mess up.  I want to invade time's space for just a bit only to muster every  real, honest moment into type.  I do not want to forget.

  • Life isn't a worksheet to complete.  
  • No, the khaki-navy uniform isn't breezy if you ask the one who actually wears it.
  • Rhythm's rush is crystal clear the moment we all step outside our door.
  • Guess what? It's even within our walls.
  • Massively dagger-like thorns are waiting for us all.
  • There are times more often than not, when the push isn't worth the pull.
  • Discord can reconcile even if for just a brief moment.  
  • We all want to share the dreamy picture.
  • Sometimes you have to tackle the stalks and stumps; the pricketty thorns and mud mines too.  
  • What one sees as burrs another finds as beauty.
  • Perhaps we all should carry a cell phone without a battery from 2005 from time to time.  
  • The water's hue is made up of many colors: not just one.
  • When you longingly want to pry, sometimes you learn more if you're just silent.
  • You have to make your way out to make your way over.
  • We should want more to learn; to listen; to live honestly and find our dreams there.
  • There's so much of us all that might just lie underneath the thin surface.
  • Life is a muddled mix of both.
On this day, I reminded that life's rhythm is tackling the tough, timing your story and telling it right.

I do not want to forget.

.mac 

3 comments:

Sarah said...

oh my, just love the peak into your day and the honesty. And I teared up thinking of sweet Eli saying he was sorry....oh the days I have pushed and scolded Garyn to only find out he was sick later. You are doing a great thing with those boys! Only wish I had the knowledge and drive sometimes to do it myself.

Sarah said...

*peek* that is

The Wood Family said...

I love every word. So true! I can completely relate. What a balance we strike. I admit I, too, have fantasies of my kids at school for eight hours each day when I could rest and rejuvenate and run errands and exercise and get groceries by myself. But then I see the selfishness in that and realize that time is fleeting and I must take advantage and embrace every day. They'll be all grown up too soon.

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