04 October 2011

Nose to the grindstone

Life. Is. Very. Very. Very. Busy.  I could search for a few more descriptive words if you insist, but I think you get the point.

Here's the breakdown:
  • 1 yo and 3 yo at home and into everything
  • 1st and 2nd graders attending the local elementary school
  • 7th, 8th and 10th graders attending a web academy, mostly from home
  • 12th grader attending community college and living with my brother and his family
Don't forget Boy Scouts, Venturing, music lessons, various appointments, enrichment classes, library visits, groceries, laundry, dates and everything else that goes into life.

We have made some radical changes to our lifestyle with the goal of a year (or so) of rest for the mama. So far, that ain't happening. I'm tellin' ya- the meaningless busywork is killing me.  We have "logs" for everything from read aloud minutes to PE to math practice minutes.  Add journals and projects and you get rebellion.  From Mommy. The kids are coping much better than I am!

Actually, the mental rebellion started with grammar. When a predicate nominative walked into my kitchen and started giving orders, I pitched a fit.  My child was truly trying to get this concept that had not been covered AT ALL in our previous grammar curricula.  But understanding was elusive, and she was in tears.   Grammar should be a four letter word.  Hmph.  Since I had never met a predicate nominative before this school year, I felt confidant in claiming that she still had a chance, albeit small, at a successful and meaningful life.  Of course, I added that grammar develops character, and we can all use help in that department.  I'm not sure she agrees.

Where was I?  Oh, yes.  The sheer busyness of it all. It is as if we are launched into flight from the deck of an aircraft carrier each morning. From dead sleep to all go in a few beeps of the alarm.  The metaphor continues to fit quite nicely in the evenings, as we hook the children back out of busyness and into their beds.  All go to all stop.  Except, children don't really work that way and bedtime is painfully prolonged each night.

While my body is keeping up, changing diapers, fishing pirates out of toilets, helping with schoolwork, my mind isn't.  I recently heard rush hour traffic described as "creep and lurch", a phrase that seems to perfectly describe my mental capacity these days.  I'm okay on the basics, but creative or critical thinking don't come as easily. Most days I creep along and occasionally there's a lurch of progress.

That schedule I've been working on?  We've been limping along with trial schedule #1. I'm still trying to understand what is keeping us from function.  (I suspect there are flaws in both the schedule and its maker.) Here's what it currently looks like:

The chalkboard on our school wall has this motto emblazoned across it:


That might be the real problem.  Not where the kids are being educated.  Not that our schedule needs a complete overhaul.  Not that I am living in a fog. We just aren't far enough into our "new normal" yet.  The only answer for right now is "Hang in there!"

Hmmm.  That's not entirely true...our favorite parenting adage also fits.  "Try something, if that doesn't work, try something else. Repeat as needed."

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