Sometimes I'm unsure what I need most. In this case, I'm not sure whether it would be best to look back on today and dispense some grace, justice or discipline to myself. Here's a snapshot of what my day looked like:
- Snooze the alarm at 6 AM instead of getting up to run (despite having a great run on Tuesday that left me longing to run outside again)
- Pack two school lunches, while simultaneously
- Making coffee
- Overseeing breakfast preparations for three daughters
- Drive B & K to school
- Come home to find that A has completed one page (of four) of her morning warm-up
- Fold clothes while A finishes her warm-up
- Skip math after A's "warm-up" takes nearly an hour to complete
- Discuss the Beatitudes with A
- Start grammar
- Stop grammar
- Play Bananagrams with A
- Finish grammar
- Eat lunch
- Play Scrambled States of America with A
- Spray paint a bookcase (unsuccessfully)
- Take a 20 minute nap
- Read Canterbury Tales aloud with A
- Pick up B & K from school
- Wait all day (still waiting) for a refrigerator to be delivered - they weren't kidding about the 8 AM to 9 PM window
You will, perhaps, notice not a lot of school work took place today. There are a few reasons for that: 1) I'm exhausted, 2) A was cranky - she greeted me at the door when I returned from school drop off with complaints about the content of her morning work, 3) I'm exhausted, 4) we were both a tad unmotivated. So do I extend grace to myself? Create a plan to be better prepared for days like this? Or berate myself that we're not even a month into home schooling and I'm an utter failure who can't make it through a Thursday?
Clearly, I've chosen the latter for the vast majority of the day. I keep hearing the "I Told You So's" echoing through my mind:
You're not a certified teacher, are you?I've heard all of this - and many variations on it - since we made the decision to home school. And I feel like there's a big fat I Told You So hanging over my head right now. If I'm this tired, this depleted, this mentally and physically exhausted a mere three weeks into home schooling, how am I going to make it through an entire year?
Is A really self-motivated enough to home school?
Won't you miss having time to yourself?
What makes you think you're qualified to teach her anything?
Won't she learn all of your weaknesses if you're her only teacher?
Will she fall behind her peers?
Will she turn out weird? Will she lose all social skills?
Can you do this without going crazy?
The worst part? I'm really enjoying teaching A. We're both learning a lot and this week discovered an audio book that's been fun and educational for the entire family. When I found myself listening to the details of the signing of the Magna Carta without any children in the car with me, I knew I was hooked. B listened to a portion and asked to bring the discs in to her room to keep listening.
A is enjoying herself, too. She complains a bit about being pushed - I think she's coasted quite a bit in school - but she is having the opportunity to read biographies of famous dancers, famous queens, famous artists. And she's loving that. She's willingly helping more around the house. She's talking to me and sharing detailsof her life far more than she has in the past. If she remains a bit unmoved in her distaste for math, I have hope that I'll find something in even that area to spark her interest. But only if I'm not laid out with exhaustion and/or a headache.
I've been doing what I can to combat the tiredness - trying to work out (even if it didn't happen this morning), allowing caffeine in limited amounts (two cups of half-caf coffee), going to bed early (I was asleep by 9:30 last night). So do I dispense more self discipline? Alter my diet, run four mornings each week, eliminate caffeine altogether. Or do I give myself a portion of grace and hope that tomorrow morning the run rises on a rested, rejuvenated mom and a daughter ready and willing to learn? For now, I'll aim for the latter, knowing that the former may be necessary. But reminding myself that the cold-hearted justice I've dispensed to myself today has really done no one any good at all.