Though a few areas currently in our homeschooling are needing a bit of refocus, different approaches and new life breathed in to them (as in Mom needs to get her own attitude adjusted!), as a whole things are progressing really well for us at this point.
Though my older two are mostly or significantly independent, I'm greatly enjoying the one-on-one stage of side by side work with my third grader (and LOVE teaching tot school to the 1 yr old and 2 yr old that I care for in the afternoons). I LOVE seeing the light bulb go on as actual learning takes place, not just mimicking back of facts. Third grade is an incredible year for that as concepts really transition from memory to LEARNING, especially in math and language. Most days my little guy is eager, mostly because he thrives on the attention. Some days, I want to pull my hair out because he is like a squirrel that is allover the place! :) He's actually very intelligent and a FAST learner, but he struggles greatly with focus and fine motor skills. Part of that is due to being left-handed, having visual issues, and just all in all----clumsy and lacking coordination like his Mom. Some of us were just never meant to be athletes! Ha! Part of the issue is well---he's just an energetic boy learning the ropes of putting that energy into the right places and needs LOTS of teaching on how to do that.
For him, one of our struggles is handwriting. We are making HUGE strides...HUGE....but it's slower than I expected. Though cursive writing is not being taught in many circles these days, I'm VERY much supportive of teaching it and wish perhaps I had taught it earlier on.
Teaching him is a joy. Teaching all of my children has been a blessing in countless ways.
Perhaps, though, without a doubt, it's what they teach me.
Parenting has a way of forcing you to face your own flaws HEAD ON and often. It has a way of making you see your weaknesses, brings attention quickly and often to your own sins, and forces you to walk in and offer grace.
Teaching at home also teaches me more than I think I teach them on countless days.
Today was one such day.
As we were working on that handwriting, little guy just wasn't quite "present" in the process. He was just not really interested, frustrated, and just wanted it over with. He didn't want to go through the learning process. He wanted the quick results. Thanks to an incredible teacher, my handwriting is often commented on as being beautiful---and he said he'd never write anything like me. While that might be true, I told him he still had to do the best for him and that when learning something new it takes time and practice.
Tracye, are you listening to yourself?
Clue the music. Turn on the lightbulb.
As soon as something like that comes out of a parent's mouth, you better believe there are going to be countless times practice what you preach.
My head immediately started spinning and my heart started stirring. Oh my. How I need my own advice!
As my guy started settling in and making progress, TRULY focusing and trying, he did write a word that looked nearly like mine. I looked down and pointed it out and told him that if I didn't know better, I would have thought I had written it.
He looked up at me with his chocolate brown eyes and said something that jolted my heart...
"So, I just need to learn to master the motion and not be so shaky?"
Granted, he was most definitely talking about the mechanics of cursive writing, but my heart heard an entirely different messages.
"Tracye, just learn to master the motion and stop being so shaky!"
"In other words, TRUST ME. Don't waver in faith. Don't go back and forth with sitting on the fence of things you know are FROM ME and OF ME. If I've shown you something in the light, don't doubt me in the dark. If a good day is followed by a bad day, it doesn't negate the good. It just means that we still have work to do together. Just like teaching your son to practice a new skill, you have to do the same. When you give something to ME, leave it there. Don't just keep picking it back up because it feels so hard to release it. Don't keep picking it back up because results aren't happening as quick as you think they should. Don't keep picking it back up because your emotions haven't caught up with the trust factor yet. Keep practicing. Don't be so shaky. Master the motion of TRUSTING in me. When you get that motion, you'll see the beautiful progress just like your son's progress today."
So---that may have not been an audible voice, but it's exactly what filled my innermost being.
Teaching and learning.
Sometimes, the lessons come from the youngest. Sometimes, we just have to be still and listen. Sometimes it's just about practicing and not giving up when something is too hard or takes more than one time to get it right!