Monday, May 24, 2010

Not the Standard End of Year Post

I had planned this to be our last week of school, which would mean that today was the last Monday of the 2009-2010 Davenport School year.  I must say that today, our last Monday of our last week of school, fell right in line with the way the entire year has gone.  Oh how I envy all the entries of fellow homeschool blogging mommas who write of all the joys and academic successes of their school year.  How I wish I could have a post like that.  I think that even if I would have had just one day of just half of the success of which they write I would post it and claim victory for the year.  But my year has not been like that.  After unpacking most of our boxes in Jan 09, Richard went TDY to Germany early Spring, returned for a week, give or take a few days, then deployed.  I had great plans of getting everything "in order" over the summer for our upcoming school year. I got a little distracted, though, as I was ambushed with countless options for homeschooling in this area.  Not a bad thing, but for me it was something that started out as a distraction and eventually caused me to deviate from my usual way of doing things.  Again, not a bad thing.  I did decide to enroll my older two girls in a one day a week school that followed the curriculum we already used very closely, and thought that while I was there were going to be some trade-offs to do this, overall it was nice to have a bit of a break over the summer and not have to "deal" with planning out the school year ... especially since I was still trying to settle into our new home and take care of all five girls without Richard, friends, family or the Army community.  But as most of you know, I spent most of the summer loading the girls up and driving to Alabama for several unexpected funerals and because of Momma's health and oh yeah on top of all of that, I found out at the end of July/early August that the school I had enrolled the older two in didn't have enough enrollment for the elementary grades, so I would be homeschooling them fully at home again.  So our year got off not only to a late start, but a hectic one and I was already s.o.e.x.h.a.u.s.t.e.d. before we even had the first day.  It was quite the challenge and while all was not lost ... I feel like such a failure because Patterson did not memorize 6 poems this year and didn't start a journal and Parker did not finish her cursive lessons or start latin and Hanson Ellis did not complete her English (even though it is a grade level higher than what she is in) ... etc. etc. Yes, I suppose it would be much easier for me to give a long list of all the things we didn't accomplish and thus claim complete failure in the Classical Curriculum World ... 

My oh my, I'm sure I'm causing gasps by many of you out there!  But there is nothing anyone could say to me that would convict me more than the daily, minute by minute, hour by hour thoughts that have been making my head feel like it is going to absolutely explode, over the past year.  No, overall I do not think my girls have "fallen behind" or that they have not learned or that the year has been a complete loss.  My mind tells me that.  And I am thankful for my mind, because my heart, oh my heart has ached for these girls this past year in a way that none of you out there could possibly understand.  

Patterson is our little Richard in female form.  Full of life, motivation, ENERGY and endless optimism.  If you knew my husband, you'd understand (and I'm sure if you know him, you are smiling reading this).  But also like Richard, she struggles and with processing the negative.  This was Patterson's first year of school.  Patterson is our Kindergartner.  I have worried so much for the lack of "fun" this little girl has had in her "introduction" to formal schooling this year.  Patterson is not very creative in any way.  She is our thinker and "question asker," so it was really just within the past few months that she has started sitting down and doodling.  Her drawings are simple and similar to many her age.  But they are so Patterson ... they are HAPPY.  Look at this one that I picked up off of their drawing table today.  It just oozes happiness.  Even the cloud has a smily face!

Richard says this is a "good sign."  It is also a good sign that she drew her sister Parker (see the red hair girl??) in a positive light.  Patterson threw away Parker's prized possession, a little stuffed beagle dog, when we moved to KS (Patterson was 4 and she used to play "hide and seek" with Parker's things and put "Pup Pup" in the trash) and Parker has never forgiven her!  It is terrible!!! So it does my heart good to see this little drawing.  Anyway, I picked this up and put it by the computer to put on the blog tonight. Then as I was tucking in Kate (again) after my end of the day run with Richard (so incredibly hard to do at the end of the day after all the girls have been read to ... while I love to run, and love to run with Richard at the end of the day my top choice is curling up next to him on the couch and watching dvr'd Glen Beck!!!) .. so back to Kate, as I tucked her sweet little footy jammy self back in bed, I sat on the floor and rubbed through her hair and talked to her about what she was going to dream about "Jesus" she said (good answer:)!!) and so I said what Bible stories do you like?  Do you like the story of Daniel and the Lion's Den?  And I talked her through that story and told her of how God is always there for us, even when "bad" things happen (like being thrown in the Lion's Den).  When I left her room I thought about David.  Richard loves the story of David and Goliath, and I must admit so do I! What an amazing story of confidence in God's strength and will.  Sitting down at the computer preparing to type this entry, I saw Patterson's picture and then thought about David and then remembered I had a picture that Parker drew of David and Goliath last year.  I decided to get it and keep it out as a reminder of this year. 

When we moved to GA, I was overwhelmed by all the Goliath-s that surrounded me ... the civilian world, our really nice mold-free house, five children (three to teach, one to potty train, one not even walking the first months we were here ... diapers to youth group H.E.L.P.), no husband, a sick momma, no friends, N.O.O.U.T.L.E.T.!  Yes I was surrounded, and I had my armor ... I guess I just forgot to put it on and keep it on and go forth in the confidence of the Lord.  Somewhere in the changing of diapers, putting people on the potty, laundry, dishes, sounding out words and grading papers I got tired and forgot that being on my knees isn't the worst place to be.  Being alone isn't the worst thing that could happen.  And not having the most fabulous homeschool year one could dream of might just possibly be the one we all learn the most from.  

I am so thankful for the faithful moms who invest so much in their children's lives.   So thankful for those of you out there who have a vision for Christ and live as intentionally as you can.  So thankful for those of you who document both the good and the bad for the benefit of those who read.  You inspire me.  You encourage me.  You comfort me.  

This year has been hard, and it's going to be a while before I can fully lay it at the cross.  But I am working on it and I look forward to next year and am excited about a new start and another year.  My girls are amazing (despite having me as their Momma) and I love them with all my heart. 


  1. Well, it sounds like you're a pretty brave, honest, and fantastic mom to me. I read a few other moms' blogs who homeschool and one is quick to point out that it's not all roses. Thanks for being real!

  2. We are our worst critics!! :)

  3. Just remember to not be too hard on yourself. If your little girl is dreaming of Jesus, something you have done this year is a huge success. Don't let the enemy convince you otherwise. Sounds like he's trying hard since he knows what a threat you are!