Finding The Rhythm

     We are, bit by bit, day by day, beginning to find the rhythm to our re-worked days.  I think, for a time, I expected for us to pick up our old rhythm, despite the changes made.  Ah, but the rhythm the Lord is giving us is so much sweeter and fits us so much better.  And isn’t that always the way when we remember to yield our plans, made in earnest but held loosely, to His?  Oh, my, but I know it’s true!  It’s been slow, learning to dance to this new rhythm.  The busy parts of our days are at different times, and the slow and steady pace He’s set for our homeschooling this year is bearing much fruit.  The housekeeping, for a time, suffered; but I am beginning to learn the steps of this new dance.

     It feels strange to me, still, to have most of the day’s housekeeping tasks completed before we sit down together in the schoolroom.  Yet, it is such a blessing to look at the clock in the middle of the afternoon, knowing that we can continue to read from our read aloud for a bit longer because nothing else is calling for our time.  Some things, of course, lend themselves best to afternoon accomplishment; but for the most part, homemaking tasks are behind us early in the day.

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     For all of the changes we’ve made, some things have not changed.  My boys still read and do school work all over the house as well as outside.  Algebra, comfortably seated on the living room couch, looks good to me.  I see no reason to require my boys to remain in one fixed position all day.  It’s not part of their nature as hunters and conquerors.  So, I allow them to conquer their school work wherever suits them.  I’m not at all worried that this will hinder them in the future.

     We still enjoy our read aloud times, and they are happening more consistently these days.  We are all enjoying the final chapters of Boyhood and Beyond , which I would recommend as a read aloud to all boys.  Today’s chapter on worship was wonderful in explaining God’s desire for our obedience over sacrifice, and for us to live our lives for Him daily, not just on Sunday.  Excellent!  (I would also recommend Made for Work, by the same author, and, based on my friends’ recommendations, his Practical Happiness too.) 

     Will and I finished Freddy Goes to Florida yesterday.  We were enthralled by the adventures of a group of “migrating” farm animals and their wondrous adventures.  I know we aren’t the only ones because my friend, Rebecca, and her girls are enjoying this book as well.  I even asked Rebecca to share her Mrs. Wiggins voice with me before lunch on a recent Sunday.  Apparently, Mrs. Wiggins elicits a rather flowery, matronly voice in us all!    There were times when I was reading from Freddy that I had to stop because I was laughing too hard to go on!!  We started The Great Brain today, and we’ve already enjoyed a few chuckles there, as well.  I am enjoying these times of lighthearted reading with my youngest boy!     

     Our afternoon tea time read aloud is beginning to grab us, too.  It was a bit slow, at first, with quite a bit of sailing terminology weighing us down, but now that the story line has really kicked into gear, we are having great fun.  So far, we are contenting ourselves with a single chapter a day.  I know, though, that as the weather grows cooler, my boys will want to linger indoors and they will renew the familiar chant of “one more chapter, one more chapter”.  Bliss!!

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     There have been plenty of changes, though.  You know, the Lord is so good to show me what it is that will be best for my boys.  It’s quite humbling, too, when what I discover is God’s best for them educationally is not what I would choose for them.  Those that know me best know that I would educate my children wholly with living books, using a literature approach for most everything, adding only mathematics and some daily writing.  That hasn’t changed much, but what William needed, and what he is absolutely loving and thriving on, is having a bit more in the way of guided activities, written assignments and the like. 

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     We are still (thank you, Lord!) using literature/living books for the majority of our studies, but Will has some worksheets and/or written assignments each day, too.  I bought him a binder and some dividers and he takes great pride in keeping his notebook sections (California history, science, writing, geography, fine arts, word-a-day (hat tip to my friend, Dana), etc.) neat and tidy as he completes and adds assignments each day.

     Furniture has been moved around a bit, too.  My mom’s antique is now in our school room.  It has been in my parlor for years, but I rarely used it.  At the same time, I longed for desk space of my own in the school room.  A week or so ago, the light bulb went on in my brain and Aaron carried the desk to the school room for me.  It sits in one of the windows of the school room., where it receives lots of great natural light.  The windows are northern exposures so the sun is never too bright just there.  There is also a large Sycamore tree right outside this window so, even in the morning, the sunlight is filtered through the leaves of the tree.  Come winter, when the tree is bare, that early morning sunlight will be delightful.

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     I’ve been working on setting my desk up with just the things that I need and want here.  Gone are the tiny china clock and old family photos that graced the desk in the parlor.  Gone is the silk rose that occupied one of the cubbies and the bits of lace tucked here and there.  In their place are my scrapbook journal, my Bible and study materials, and note cards.  On top of the desk I have displayed a few cards and notes that I’ve recently received from real life friends and blogging friends, as well as a small stack of books that I want to review for you.  That small stack of books is graced with a small lamp, a gift with purchase at a local store this week.  One of the larger cubbies holds the books and notes for our fine arts study.  The drawers are filled with extra note cards, greeting cards and book marks. 

 

 

 

 

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     My laptop is also housed at the desk and……..I hear you all gasping now………I asked my husband to drill a single small hole in the back, right corner of the desk, just large enough for the end of the laptop’s power cord to poke through.  I know, I know, I know…….big no-no.  Here’s the deal.  The desk, though an antique, is not an extremely valuable piece of furniture.  The desk’s real value, to me, is in the fact that it belonged to my mom.  I would never knowingly alter a piece of great monetary value; but the desk was of very little tangible value to me as a show piece in my parlor.  It is, however, of great value to me now as a piece of furniture I use and enjoy daily!  The sentimentality is also enhanced because of the amount of time I spend working here – I’m typing this up at the desk even now!

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     We’ve had several days of rain lately.  I loved the stormy weather and we certainly needed the good soaking that the storms provided.  Today was cloudy and chilly, but yesterday dawned cool and mostly sunny.  Dani mentioned the possibility of biking to our polling place to cast our votes.  We’ve not ridden faithfully these last few weeks.  Again, we are working on finding the rhythm of our days and we’ve not quite found the time for regular rides.  Dani checked on-line and said that the ride was just 2.1 miles each way.  I jumped at the chance to make the ride.  Aaron joined us, and Copper and Will made the trek in our van.  There are some decent little hills along our normal routes, but there is a killer hill on the way to the fire station where we vote.  I pedaled and puffed.  I down-shifted and pedaled and puffed harder.  I down-shifted one last time, but it wasn’t to be.  Dani and Aaron rode to the top of the hill and waited patiently for me to walk my bike the last half of that hill!  I assure you, I savored every moment of coasting, very, very quickly, down that same hill on the way back home!!  Wheeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!  

     I appreciate, so very much, those of you who have written letting me know that my family and I are on your thoughts and in your prayers.  I owe a few of you return e-mails, too; and the answers will be coming soon.

     I’m hoping to share a few more of the changes we’ve made with you in the days to come.  Some have been hard and others have been fun.  I’m enjoying this season of being indoors more and nesting a bit.  Lovely things, gifted to me or inherited from my folks, are being pulled from strictly aesthetic roles to every day use.  Changes are being made in our marketing routines as well.  So much to share!

     For now, though, I will continue to enjoy the new rhythm of my days, learning the steps of this dance of life that best fit that new rhythm and keeping my eyes on Him.

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27
 

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8 comments to Finding The Rhythm

  • Hi Cheryl,

    I love when you post about this type of thing. I am such a nerd and want control. Routines that fit me, that stay the same. But I have a one year old, a three year old and a DH in law enforcement. That just isn’t going to happen. I love how you say it took you awhile to find your steps, thanks for admiting that. We are in a season of insane teething, yet I am very goal oriented. So it helps to realize that I will NEVER be on a true routine and I should just trust the Good Lord already:)

    By the way, I think your Mom would be so happy that you have made her piece your own and are really enjoying it, so much better than when people get things and never really use them.

    Many Blessings ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Ace

  • I felt your ryhthm I like all my housework done in the morning too, but Zach works best then. Still, it gets done as we go. I think Zach will need some workbook type assignments at some point too. We are almost done with the My Body project and I do have some Science paces from last year he was not able to do.

    I love what you did with your mothers desk. I can’t believe you rode your bike so far…I would have died!! I so enjoyed the pictures of the boys working so hard. What a blessing!!!

    Bren

  • @Ace – I understand the desire for routine, but these years with only little, little ones will pass so quickly.  Enjoy the days of their needing their mama for everything!!

    @The_Botzy_Blog –  

    @tjsNana –   Will’s assignments and written work are all based more on what he’s reading than being actual workbooks.  Lots of hands on activities based on what he’s read, plus a bit of research, dictionary work, etc. to help build his mental muscles.  You might look into Considering God’s Creation (check the homeschool area on my side bar).  Our version is years and years old.  I enhance each unit with tons of living books, and Will enjoys the activities from the book that enhance the study, plus anything additional that I can cook up for him to do. 

  •   It was so nice to get an update and walk through your day with you.

    Makes me miss the same style of “school” with Christopher.

    These days I’m just a sounding board as he talks about all his college classes and the way each professor gives too much homework.  Seems things haven’t changed since his sister was at college.  ๐Ÿ™‚

  • @BrendaKayN – I am savoring these days!  I know, from experience, that they won’t last forever.

  • It’s so good to hear from you and the changes you are learning. (I admit, I miss home even more after reading this post.)

     And I say good for you ~ drilling the hole in the desk to make it functional. I have a very old trunk from a botanist that I got from an auction. It’s worth a mint. But you know what’s in it? Blankets and a few movies. My kids love the blankets to wrap up in and they are in and out of it several times a day. What’s the point if I can’t enjoy it? It’s not going to heaven with me, I might as well make use of it here.

    Aloha to you friend!

    Dana ~ who has ditched the black and white for feminine florals.