Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Where are the scissors?

"I want to do work!" She demands.
"I don't want to do this." He mumbles.
"You took my pencil!" Accuses the older one.
And I,  I am yelling loudly saying over all the rest of the noise, "Where are the scissors? We can't do this without scissors!" 
"I'm still hungry!"
"That's mine!"
"Do we have to listen to you reeead today?"
"Can we go outside?"

The workbook cover is falling off. We shove our dirty breakfast bowls to the side and don't mind the dollops of sticky oatmeal that are coving the table as we place our precious schoolwork right on top of them. 
I am sipping my tea in between quotes of directions from right off their page where they could read it themselves, and helping doing the preschool work myself.

Homeschool isn't pretty.

It can be amazing. Beautiful even. But never pretty. In fact it is downright messy.

There are those mornings when I think "everyone else is making this happen and here I am standing on onion skins that fell on the floor last night, stirring oatmeal in a pot that is too small while behind me a little hand keeps reaching up to steal the pieces of fruit (that I have laboriously chopped for everyone's hot cereal.) And I wish I was still in bed breathing in my own carbon dioxide with my head fixed tightly beneath the covers."

But honestly, I think if I weren't homeschooling, I would find life messy too. It just is. Even the most organized among us, in their most truthful moments will recognize that when you are living, you don't always have time to make it pretty. And the messy can be oh, so beautiful and perfectly right and alright. Right?

It is beautiful because they wanted to help make the dinner, and slice the onions and garlic and slowly sauté it until the caramel color rose around the edges.

They are learning how to wash the dishes. They are still dirty sometimes. But they persevere.

One wanted to learn how to carve with his pocket knife, and when he got his first finger cut, he held a brave face and announced that he knew what he did wrong and that he would do it differently next time.

She is learning to cut on the lines. She walks off with the scissors, but when I look down at her work amidst tiny pieces of white paper that are scattered and strewn from the bench to her room, I find a perfectly cut square fit right into place with glue.

He's been learning to manage his time. It's hard - even for an adult to learn. And he has had to pay the consequences. But then he spends his precious spare time finally crafting the perfect thing that will satisfy the demands.

And Little Boy, who has struggled so much to make the letters line up for him the way they do for everyone else,  is quietly and persistently plugging through a book that has lots of words. And big ones, too. He doesn't always want to continue, but then he comes to that part that makes him chuckle, or to the thing that makes him turn sad brown eyes to me and ask why that had to be. He is becoming emotionally invested.
And it has been a messy ride.
But these things, are beautiful.

So, I am saying to myself as we work in our routine, "Don't focus on the temporal. Keep your eyes on the eternal."

Winter is just a season. And the time that I school these chaotic kids will flash by like a twinkle in a star; but where I direct their hearts, like an arrow aimed on a bowstring, is what will last. 

It doesn't need to be pretty.
But it is definitely going to be amazingly beautiful.

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