Friday, October 22, 2010

Week 7 in Review

My kindergarten teacher used to say every day at the lunch table "meats before sweets!" I think that phrase impacted my life far more than it should have...you'll understand why by the end of this post.

I must go through this cycle every year.  We have the week like I wrote about last time where everything kind of caves in, then make a course correction and find our groove again.  Except this week I made a couple simple changes that I have been wanting to make all along but for some reason, never have.  The first is that I got up two hours before the kids almost every day and spent a good hour in my own quiet time.  It made such a difference! The other change was that I decided to start every day by reading a book on a topic that we're studying, taking the Charlotte Mason approach.  I always try to read on topic as we go, but have never made it the priority, first thing in the morning after devotions.  Every morning this week, we all stayed parked on the sofa reading books after devotions,  and lo and behold...it was the best week we've had so far!  There was something about starting the morning with the calm, cozy blankets and warm snuggles, focusing on the beautiful illustrations in the books and talking about what we were learning, that made for a better start to the day.

I would like to think that I'm an effective educator--the math and writing and memory work goals are nearly always met each week, but I've always operated from a "save the best for last," or a "meats before sweets" mentality.  The stuff that we consider "fun" (i.e. history and science) gets done, but it always seems to be last on the list.  It is as if I am so concerned that the math and writing (meat) won't get done that everything else gets sacrificed (sorry, no time for dessert).  Looking back, this is such an upside-down, type-A personality way of thinking.  What is not "meat" about science and history?  And anyone who has seen the movie Chocolat can tell you that meats and sweets can certainly be served together!  The truth be known, as much math and spelling and writing got done this week as any other week, and all the fun stuff worked in as well!  The simple shift of having that time together served to bring everyone to a wonderful, calm and focused place where they were much more effective at getting the essentials done.  This week, the best got done first, and the other stuff got done as well! 

I am so thankful for the insight that I gained this week.  It is an answer to the cry of my heart that God would give us wisdom as to how we should best teach our children.  

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
            Psalm 90:12

ETA:  I just watched this trailer and realized that perhaps I need watch Chocolat again...this preview may remind you to let go and taste the sweetness of life and forget about all the "shoulds."  

6 comments:

  1. My goodness, I could have written this post myself the past couple of weeks. LOL Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes seeing someone else type it out makes all the difference. :)

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  2. That alone time in the morning certainly makes a huge difference in my day!

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  3. I get up a half hour before my highschoolers stumble downstairs. If I didn't have that time, I would not be an effective mother/teacher/spouse!

    I've been placing a priority on science and history for dd10. If the only writing she gets done is that associated with those two subjects, then that is just fine. Anything else is sweet ;)

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  4. What an inspiring post. That quiet time, alone before the day gets into full swing, makes a huge difference. I've often though of starting the day with a poem.

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  5. I keep saying I need to get myself up before the kids, but it hasn't happened in a while. I'm going to set my alarm this week and actually do it. Thanks for the encouragement to do some fun stuff first also.

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  6. Yay for a good week! I enjoyed watching the Chocolat trailer...maybe dh can be convinced it's a movie worth watching.
    Lee

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