On Monday Steve was home and I decided to make our very first day back to (home) school a field trip. We had recently heard about a local historical area where remains of old mills were to be seen and we were both eager to check it out. We’ve been living here for two and a half years now and we honestly haven’t learned as much about the area as we would like. One of our personal goals this year is to remedy that.
An afternoon spent in and around the ruins and adjoining creek turned into not just a history lesson (as we had planned) but also a natural history and geology lesson as well. Elijah figures he could spend a year or so exploring that particular site before he got bored. Unfortunately we only had the afternoon. This time anyway.
Our first week back is going well, but I am busy all. the. time. This afternoon I told Steve that I really felt like I was doing well by them just now (she said a whooping half a week in). Sometimes I still feel like we are really just starting out on this whole homeschooling journey. Then I remind myself that this is our 9th year and that not one, but two of my children are much closer to the end then the beginning. And there are many things that I’ve learned in that time, but the very fact that I’m still learning so much, each and every year, if not each and every day, is exactly what makes me look over my shoulder when someone mentions the “veteran homeschooler in the room” before realizing…oh, right, yes, you mean me! got it. One thing I’ve learned for sure is that the first week is important. I’ve found it can set the tone for a whole season of learning. If everything goes wrong, yes, there is always tomorrow, and any mother or any sort will tell you that’s a motto to tie your heart strings to. But often times tomorrow will go a lot easier if you can just manage to get things right in this moment now, it’s a momentum sort of thing. As such I try to make our first week back a very enjoyable one while easing into new rhythms. I recently joked to a friend that I kind of sneak up on them with the work. I’ve recently started “naming the days” with Màiri, as I used to with Galen, and both of the last two days were some variation on “the day we had fun”, so I think it’s been something of a success.
Yesterday, after a morning of school work and chores, seeking balance, I took the children to the pond. Ombré blue sky with huge dollops of fluffy cartoon roving clouds, looking oh-so-close enough to touch. Splashing and laughter and sand. Baby sleeping by my side as I knit woolen tights and the breeze ruffles the leaves of the tree above our heads. I was thinking that there are times in life when you can look back and remember them as such a happy golden time. How much better still it is to be able to recognize them as they are happening. Back home after a hot shower, pajama clad, ringlets still damp, ukelele in hand, Galen sighed a deep sigh of contentment and said to me, “Mommy, hasn’t this just been the most wonderful day?”