Monday, September 12, 2016

The Start of School

Homeschool is weird (I know, you're shocked) because everything is, for want of a better word, fluid. You can legally begin your year on July 1st (like all good homeschoolers and end on June 30th or whenever you get around to chalking up your 180 days (which is another arbitrary number to discuss at a later juncture).

So today, on day 42, we find ourselves on Day 1. Yes, that's right. Even though they're homeschool academies, they begin online classes in mid-September...just like "regular" school.

I kind of chuckled to myself thinking about how #2 is going to be mighty annoyed when we're "officially out" of classes but he still has another month to go online. Such is life when mama doesn't have the skill or interest to teach Latin or writing. Subcontracting has its drawbacks.

This week also starts Step Up at St. Vincent College. It's a bear of a drive (especially the trip back to Monroeville at 5 PM for dance at 7) but it's Friday and I get not only 90 minutes of prep time but also Mass every week with tiny man. This semester holds a lot of promising art/geography courses along with science, history and sign language. The first grader gets to play games and write stories for three hours. Tough gig. Lucky she's only in first grade!

When we started five years ago, I was sure we would have already bid our homeschool days goodbye for #1. We were at a cross country meet today watching friends compete and part of me wished some of mine could be running along with the others. Instead of cheering on a sibling, they stood and cheered on all the kids as they ran up the hill. Tomorrow, some of us will go out and run/walk/talk together before school begins. That is the blessing I have as a homeschooler. There are times when I worry about how they will fare without friends, then I see them being supportive of friend and stranger like today, or we receive an unexpected visit and I remember it's all OK.

There are enough "friend" moments to allow them to appreciate the love Our Father extends us by putting people in our path, for a short time or for life. Not too much, though, to forget our ultimate purpose.

The Gospel reading at Mass this morning was Luke 7:1-10; the centurion's faith. I love that reading so much because this man acknowledges the greatness of Jesus, even as someone who has a high standing in the world. This centurion neither "forgets the little guy" nor believes himself to be equal to the Savior. What an important (and at times quite difficult) road to walk. God should be always foremost and first (this is why the whole, "Jesus is your buddy" thing troubles me) and we should treat others as He, in His Infinite Mercy, treats us. Always a good reminder for a mom who teaches her little ones. Remembering that all I have and do is a gift from Him who loves me.

So, now we begin our scheduled routine...there is also Catechesis, Tae Kwan Do, evening enrichment classes, Adoration, Mass, Blue Knights/Little Flowers/Ladies of Hospitality . Lots and lots of good things. Not nearly all the good things that are offered...many things were turned down (looking at that list, I probably should have said "no" more).

My current salve against the monster of over-commitment is taking faith time for myself. It's been wonderful to sit in Adoration and read 1 Corinthians during the few hours I've subbed this month. It is a joy to fight traffic (because one of the two bridges into the city is closed!) for 30 minutes to take the little ones in to visit the Blessed Sacrament for 15 minutes each Monday because I know that the routine has caught on enough that it's expected and anticipated by everyone involved (no, I don't take the 4-year-old). I can see the fruit it bears in my outlook and patience. It is so needed...even more than the runs or the date nights. They are also good but I must turn always first to Him. He will, aided by His mother, guide me along the right path and fill me with the grace I need to continue the journey.

So, I'm off to Adoration for the second time today but, gratefully, alone and for an entire hour! We also have family Mass day on Monday morning, as often as possible. I told DH today that I think it's good to front-load the grace, to get at least partly through the week (holding on until Mass again on Thursday or Friday). It's not some superhuman commitment. There are plenty of people who attend Mass daily. For me, it's not the time. Perhaps there will be that time one day. For now, I'm taking it when I can get it and giving all thanks to God for His continuous opportunities to say "yes" to Him (if you missed it, that's from two posts ago).

We are blessed.

1 comment:

  1. We just read Ecclesiastes 3 in school yesterday for Character (self-discipline)... and listened to the Byrds because... we're homeschoolers, and we can!

    Thanks for the important reminders.

    Love hearing about you and your days... Xo.