I've been so caught up lately with school stuff in my head. Am I doing enough? Why can't my child learn the letter V? Should I actually have a more structured lesson for my kids a day? I mean yeah, we do a butt load of crafts, because well I like art. But I see something new and it makes me worry that I am not doing enough. It probably didn't help to add to the matter that my husband wanted me to give him a homeschooling budget. I mean I really can't blame him he was being super practical about it, and well that's just who he is. He loves his structure and his numbers and everything having a place. And I am thankful for him being so because our house would be a crap shoot without him. It's just that it started the worry process even more because it made me think, what should I do? Should I get this gadget or that, or should I get a boxed set, or should I enroll them in this or that? It really kind of spiraled out of control fast.
Today I asked for some sanity by venting to the lovely Jeanine, and well she gave it to me to me straight. She asked point blank, do you think there is something different you should be doing with them? And I said, probably not they are probably okay. She reminded me of Charlotte Mason and that really trying to teach my children to have good habits at this age is more important that shoving information into them. And so it should be.
It is hard sometimes to not let the super fast paced world get to you though. With the curriculum of first grade moved into kindergarten, why wouldn't someone panic that a nearly 4yo should know his alphabet, since they are expected to read at 5 in the traditional schooling atmosphere. And I'm not saying that it's bad to know how to read at an earlier age. It's just maybe not what should be my focus with my children.
I know when I look at what I want my children to become, I don't really care if they are a plumber or a rocket scientist or a pro-athlete or a priest. God knows what they are to be and he's got that covered. My job is to help them to love, to show compassion, to want to help others and to instill good habits that will actually help them to be able to learn what they need to learn to be well-functioning adults. And dangit, this is actually harder to me than learning the letter V, because the letter V will come, but those habits, those values, those are what stick.
I know I am not perfect at this at all. I sometimes really lack compassion or graciousness with my children, but today was a reminder that maybe, just maybe, I can do this. Because as I reflected in the shower, I remember my little ones, looking out of the McDonald's play land all wide eyed and wanting just that smile returned. Ben even came out multiple times just to give me a hug because he tells me continuously these days that he likes me and he just likes being near me. So maybe they are learning love. I sure hope I am offering my love in return.