Jitters

It happens every year… the nervousness. First it starts out as simple questions over my curriculum choices. But then, should I even be educating my children? What if I fail? What happens if they can’t pass those darned state tests? What if? What if? What if?

This is my fourth year of homeschooling. I haven’t failed yet. And I don’t think it’s because I’m awesome, I think it’s because this is what my family is supposed to do. God has so kindly directed us to this path and I see those kindnesses on such a regular basis, it’s foolish of me to feel these nerves pre-school starting. But I do. I’m human, so I worry and fret and fuss over things I cannot control, like people’s opinions of me.

We begin school on Monday morning. I have all the curriculum planned out, my closet organized… everything is ready. And yet, I still wonder if I am doing what I should. How much of it is my humanness and how much is my own pride? People will always criticize me. Over the years, I have been told I am “unapproachable”, “unteachable”, “stuck up” and “too perfect”. Well, guess what? I’m not perfect. I don’t mean to come across as unapproachable or stuck up. And I love to learn, so I’m not sure where the teaching isn’t working for me. But the point of this post is to share that I still struggle with worry over perfection.

I was homeschooled. I homeschool. Most of the time I feel fairly confident and “I’ve got this”. I know my children and their needs. I know how they learn best and what doesn’t work. I enjoy these moments with the kids and am well aware that before I know it, they will be off in the world and I won’t have these opportunities again.

What will happen if I fail? I’m not sure. I pray that God will show me when it is time to put them into a brick and mortar school. I pray that I won’t miss His guiding because I’m set in my ways. I think that’s the best I can do.

So as we spend this last weekend before school begins, I’m going to be focusing myself in prayer for the year. Not for anxiety, but for my pride. I need to learn to let go of the expectations I’ve absorbed over the years and just school my children. I know if I spend every day looking over my shoulder waiting for someone to criticize me, I’ll miss these moments that I cherish so much.

Here we go again

Yesterday it occurred to me that school begins in one week. ONE. WEEK. Remember the last time I wrote? In May.

Over the summer, I worked a lot. The kids swam a lot. ┬áBoth kids are getting good at doing chores without too much drama. I mean, there’s always drama, but it’s not as bad as it was the first time I handed out toilet brushes.

In July, we took off for Washington DC so we could participate in the 4th annual Play In for Climate Change. We went as a family for the first time and I tell you, showing my family what I get to do when I make my legislative visits. I got to share this city that I’ve grown to love so much with them. We were there for several days working and touring and experiencing things together. I got to introduce my family to my work family and to the friends I’ve made along the way, like Angela.

When we got home, we celebrated the one year anniversary of rescuing George. I haven’t talked about him much on this blog, but he is filling that empty spot we didn’t know we had in our lives. George is a rescued pug from right in our own county… neglected and abandoned, a sweet baby who was afraid to even sit near us now lives fully. He’s brought life back into Vito and loves us so much. Even now, as I sit typing, he is curled up with me, occasionally sighing as he snoozes. When I ask him if he’s ready for bed every night, he hops up and heads back to my room and settles in. He loves to play catch and eat snacks. He plays with the kids and enjoys every ride he gets in the car. Vito no longer can hear and every day, I see George doing something to help his older buddy either make it in the house or find a snack. He’s one of the best thing that could have ever happened to our family.

We got back from a family vacation with my in-laws on Sunday and I’ve realized that somehow, the summer passed by in a blink. Honestly, wasn’t it just June??

Today, I wrote out my notice of intent for the school district and got the last of my curriculum ordered. We are going to ease into the school year as gently as we can as I’m still traveling and things are crazy until the government’s budget is set. Thankfully, we continued with simple school days throughout the summer, so we are “ahead” for the calendar.

So here we go again. The summer is gone and school has returned. I’m not sad. I like my routine, and I’m tired of washing towels and bathing suits. I’m ready for sweaters and hot cocoa and fires. I’m so grateful for the changing seasons… life is never boring that way!