Thursday, September 30, 2010

Improvement Reading

Being a stay at home mom, books offer "a peace offering to a hungry mind." I need more than just laundry and wiping noses. Maybe that is why I like homeschooling, because I am using my brain and diving into great books with the kids. Not that there is anything wrong with wiping noises or washing clothes, I am happy to do it. What I am saying is that I personally need more then just those things.

The Well-Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer is a treasure trove for me. I actually found myself salivating over her book lists in the second part of her book. Looking forward to reading them, as well as, remembering those I have read. Sometimes we tell ourselves, that this is not our season for such things, but that is not really true. It is just like all the other things in our lives, we have to carve out the time to do it.

I have always struggled with the "nose wiper" job description, leaving my honors behind me. Would my professors be disappointed in me for choosing full time motherhood? It is not that I think it unimportant, but that I miss the intellectualism of a university and motherhood is not usually cast in that sort of light. I suppose that is why I found The Well-Educated Mind's theme of self-education so encouraging. Of course, always remembering that I serve God, not man, helps me to sustain my mom post too. In God's eye's, it is probably one of the best uses of my education and a good reason to continue it in self-study. My faith gives me liberty from the world's good opinion, and lets me focus on the parts of life that have eternal significance, like disciplining my children.

While my faith gives me great purpose in motherhood and homeschooling, I still have to fill that need for intellectualism. For one, finding like-minded moms has helped. In homeschooling circles, I do not have to look far to find another mom who is listening to A Tale of Two Cities while working around the house too. I can find the intellectualism I long for where I am now, if I look for it.

Besides all the "great" books that Bauer suggests, there is the greatest book of all times - the Bible. While wanting to read the works of Charles Dickens is great, studying my Bible must be a higher priority. If I have the yearning for well written works, then I need to seek out books that will increase my knowledge of God. There is such a desire to roll up my sleeves and deeply study His Word. I should remember to make time for it. It will not happen other wise.

Finding the Source of Burn Out

Lately, I have been feeling so burnt out. Perhaps it is being too busy, not having enough help, or unmet expectations. By removing certain possible stress sources, I could see if it made me feel better or worse. We took a week off of school, and that was not it. I took a brake from couponing, and had a week with fewer activities, but neither of those seemed to be the source.

I noticed that I felt better when I was out, but when I was home, I felt overwhelmed and stressed. From here I realized it was the messy build up in the house. There are piles and piles of items to go through, organize, and get rid of. While I am not a neat freak, bad messes bother me. Finding the cause of my burn out helps me figure out my priorities and helps me to focus on the issue.

Also, it helps to learn where I went wrong to get to this point. First, you need refreshment to keep from getting burnt out. Our summer was too busy and our vacation was not relaxing. Second, a homeschooling mother needs help, and I was too cheap to hire any during out summer brake. While I cannot do anything about the last vacation, we are planning our next vacation to be about relaxing and making memories. As far as help, I have decided to hire a sitter and part with my money. You can be too thrifty. What is the use of stockpiling money for our adoption if I have a nervous brake-down in the process. I feel hiring a sitter for 2 or 3 hours a week will give me time to tackle the out of control clutter. Having too much stuff is not apart of the simplistic lifestyle I want to live.

On the bright side, school is going well. Perhaps I will get around to posting about the changes I made this year that have really helped to make a productive and happy school day.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Here is some information about an adoption conference in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey. It is for everyone - those thinking of adopting, those who want to support adoption, those who want to or in the process of adopting foreign or domestic children, and those who have adopted. There is a link at the bottom from more information.

Adoption and Orphan Care Conference: Precious in His Sight
If you are interested in adoption, or in the process of adopting, come join us for a ONE DAY Conference to learn more about God's heart for orphans and how to actively be involved in the cause of orphans locally and internationally. Keynote speakers include: Chris and Sarah Padbury of Colorado's PROJECT 1:27 and over 15 different workshops provided by Bethany Christian Services and other adoption awareness agencies.

Date: October 2, 2010
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30p.m.
Location: Fellowship Baptist Church, Mount Laurel, New Jersey

For more information or to register, please visit PRECIOUS IN HIS SIGHT website

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Potty Training While Homeschooling

JP, in his potty training enthusiasm, flushed his cloth diaper inserts down the potty. Fortunately and unfortunately, I was able to pull them out. I knew I was in trouble when I heard the toilet flush and I was with all my potty trained children in the other room, schooling of course. Potty training while homeschooling is challenging. Today, we had to finish the other half of circle time in the bathroom.

I look on the bright side, that my son has finally agreed to sit on the potty without his pants on. We couldn't get very far because he insisted on keeping his pants ON when he sat on the potty. Also, this potty training season will pass and well worth my time since my son just turned 4. Our pre-school children, are a good interruption because they are a blessing to have in the family. It also teaches the older children to be patience and flexible. As mom, I will have to carve out some extra time to help JP train and expect lots of interruptions in our school day. We will get school done when we get it done.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Unexpected Adventures

Taking the path less traveled can lead you to many discoveries. Following our homeschooling path, I have gone on adventures we probably would have not gone on otherwise. Like the time we took my daughter's violin to be check for a homeschool co-op class. It turned out that the man who checks the violins also makes and repairs violins. We got to go to his workshop. See him fix up my daughter's violin, which we had bought used. The kids were aloud to touch horse hair and a whale bone. The man taught them different things about violins. And by homeschooling, we had the time to stop and listen, instead of dropping it off and coming back later.

The man that so happens builds violins, also planted a butterfly garden in his front yard. Seeing the butterfly garden, turns into a request for a butterfly identification book by one child and a desire to touch a butterfly by another. This will turn into a trip to the natural science museum, where my son can hold a dead butterfly without worrying about brushing off their scales. He will be able to get the close up look he wanted so much. Of course, we have already been to that science museum because I read about it in a homeschool e-mail. It is a great feeling to stop and smell the roses, to love to learn and to have adventures in God's world.