Thursday, March 25, 2010

Organized Chaos Baby

This morning I have come to realize that homeschooling is organized chaos. We have our lesson plans, our long term goals, our workboxes filled and our educational philosophy all figured out. Our homeschool is organized, but yet chaos reigns despite our efforts. Clutter piles up, laundry piles up, someone is crying during a lesson, and the younger ones have dumped all the toys out while you were schooling the oldest. That is just a sampling, I have not even mention what chaos happens when your child takes 3XS the amount of time to complete a schooling task on a day started with striping both of the boys wet beds followed up by afternoon of taxiing to art class and left no mental energy to even think about dinner, much less make it.

It reminds me of the flight deck of an air craft carrier, without the peril of death, less sweat and a tad less noisy. Working on the flight deck is exciting and heroic, but the reality of actually doing it, day after day, is less glorious. It is dirty, hot, hard, very dangerous work that most of the time goes unappreciated by your fellow countrymen.

Homeschooling moms may seem heroic to other moms, who tell themselves that they would never have the patience to homeschool. On lookers at church see a line of well behaved children. Old School House Magazine makes homeschooling look like an adventure. However, the realities of the day to day homeschooling make that image so far removed it will make you want to pull the covers over you head. Most of the time, it certainly seems like your children do not appreciate your efforts.

For a mom that likes her ducks in a row (i.e. control), this out of control chaos is very stressful. However, under pressure we learn so much more about God because pressure drives us to Him. To survive we must prayerfully consider what part of God is lacking in our lives or what God wants us to learn from this trial. Is He teaching us kindness? Patience?

While organization, planning and hired help can go a very long way, homeschooling will always be organized chaos. Over time with God's help we will learn how to handle things better when they fall apart. Learning to have a gentle spirit when things do not go our way is a valuable lesson to our children.


  1. Good post! I'm sure "Organized Chaos" will be my theme in the Fall when I start Kindergarten with Rachel while taking care of a 2 year old and a newborn. Fun times! LOL :)

  2. They will be fun times. Don't put too much pressure on yourself. I was in the same position once upon a time, except Ed just had his strokes and all 3 of my kids were in diapers - so you may also want to add in the visits to Children's Hospital too. Oh, and JP only cat napped his 1st year (20 min. at a time). Yikes, that looks crazy in black and white print.

    Even with all of that, Kindergarten was so much fun to teach. I schooled with the baby awake, so let me know if you need any ideas. I think packing your workboxes the night before would really help cut down on the chaos. There are a lot of things you can do to minimize the chaos.

    Lately I have learned to accept the chaos, give the control to the Lord, pray for a peaceful/gentle spirit, petition the Lord for any possible solutions. It has really helped, and I see the difference in my children.