Sunday, April 21, 2013

Paradigm Shifts, Finding Balance

As I sat down to write this morning I thought, "It's been a few weeks..." I didn't realize it had been more than two months since I last blogged. Partly it has been due to the Accidental CrossFitter and the more frequent posts there, but it is more than just the blog. CrossFit certainly has cut into my free time, and I am gone from the house for approximately 6 hours per week to sustain this habit. This has been a huge paradigm shift for me emotionally and physically. For years I have been hearing the advice that we need to let some things go in order to achieve balance, but  I don't know that I have ever really been able to achieve that. My own maxim to myself is, "You cannot do two things well." I suppose this is my own version of letting something go.

This year CrossFit has been the thing that we have done really well. Cleaning, getting the laundry done, having lessons planned well each week--not so much. Even so, every member of the family has benefitted from the impact CF has had on our life. But in order to get the stuff of daily life done, I am having to learn how to train my children to do jobs and then actually delegate work to them, I am having to learn how to accept a dirtier kitchen floor than I am comfortable with, I am having to consider year round lessons to allow for the fluctuations in our life that seem to be inevitable. However, in the process of learning how to let things go a bit, I have learned that fitness and health is a top priority in my life, and one that needs to remain.

The flip side of this paradigm shift has been sorting out what is essential in our homeschool priorities. Somehow, despite my feelings of being scattered and disorganized this year (i.e. school did not fit into a tidy 9-3 timeframe), we are about to finish exactly what we have needed to complete this school year. Science is nearly finished, Matt finished his math curriculum and has started pre-algebra, Molly has somehow learned her addition and subtraction facts and has figured out how to regroup, tell time and count money, her reading level has improved, we have digested plenty of good literature, and learned about the first half of  the 20th century, which was my goal with Tapestry of Grace this year, and none of it has looked like I thought it would.

I suppose this is the journey. As our children change, are we ready to change, as well? My year has not looked the way I thought it would, but it has looked like this, and I am more than okay with that:

Molly reading to me on the deck on a beautiful spring day
an especially tough WOD that Matt crushed

working up to a 105# dead lift

Making friends at CF

prepping the garden for spring planting
learning how to make everything Paleo, like this...

and this...

and this...though I did already know how to roast a chicken I've
just been doing it more often and better than ever...
science activities...

and dissections with friends...

It has been a good year. Neat and tidy it has not been, which is why I have not been doing my usual weekly updates, but it has been productive, and it has been good. In the next month we will be wrapping up the traditional school year and will embark on our first time working through the summer on lessons. I hope to establish a simple routine that will keep us moving on math, grammar, writing and also get a jump start on the Tapestry of Grace, year 1, so that when we need breaks during the winter months, we can take them. 

I continue to learn as I go. Learning to let go of my own expectations is the hardest lesson of all...


  1. Thank you for sharing the changes in your life. I would be interested later to hear how you think the children feel about a more relaxed year-round schedule versus the former.

    1. Funny you should ask that...At first my son was in fits over it. He hated the idea and the words, "It's not fair!" may or may not have been uttered. :D Dad played "bad cop" and said that it was he that was making this decision (and actually it was--he was behind the idea from the beginning) and that helped, and then on another day when we let school slide to do something fun, I pointed out to my son that the reason we could do that was because if we do school year round the breaks are distributed throughout the school year. It took him actually benefitting from the concept to realize that it is a good idea. Now he is actually happy about it. I'm not sure if my daughter has an opinion--she hasn't said much, but then my son has been so opinionated about it she may have felt it best to just let him take the heat. ;-) Smart girl.

  2. Hi Kelly, I googled TOG vs CC and your blog came up (as in a WTM forum). our kids have been in a Classical Christian school for 5 yrs but have decided to homeschool our 4 kids next yr. I have been tempted with CC and TOG for yrs now and now I have to make a decision. I love CC for the community, the accountability for memory work, and TOG for the 4 yr cycle, whole family learning, etc. I wanted to ask some questions regarding starting a TOG community group...I wanted to see how yours works.
    We would meet twice a month to encourage everyone in their memory work, science projects, possible field trips and to PLAY!
    You can comment here or via my blog (which I just started a few weeks ago!)
    or email me!

    1. Hi Sally! Thanks for visiting the blog! I would really encourage you to start a community group with TOG, if that is what you choose in the end. I would not try to juggle the learning curve of the curriculum and a full co-op at the same time. I did that, and ended up kind of burning out. Meeting twice a month for accountability, lit discussions and science experiments has worked perfectly for us this year and has been the highlight of our school days. We have had some fabulous days together. We meet every other week, choose some of the "meatiest" books from the TOG curriculum to discuss, as well as do a science discussion and experiment. We did Apologia's Anatomy and Physiology this year which was a blast. We've done everything from making a digestive system model and poo to dissecting sheep hearts to growing bacteria in petri dishes. I would likely have never done all this on my own. The lit discussions have been fabulous and the science has been so interesting. We usually hang out and play for a while afterwards. We meet on Fridays, and it has the effect of rounding out the weeks and wrapping things up. It has been wonderful. HTH!


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