Yesterday we started out our day at home, like usual, but things didn’t go as planned. Against my better judgement, my teen had been out late three nights in a row, which meant he was exhausted. This led to an atypical morning and I accepted that he likely wouldn’t be getting any school work done before we had to run off to play practice at 11:30. When the time came to leave, I’d finished my first grader’s work but not yet main lesson for my fourth grader. I saw it was a gorgeous sunny day, so we packed up our things and took to the park.
We are in the middle of a Norse mythology block. Yesterday we discussed Loki’s story and painted from it.
This morning I managed to quietly get out of bed before the toddler and had the house to myself while I did a quick tabata. I took the trash out to the curb and got to see the full moon and the sunrise.
When I woke at 4 am this morning, I woke with a sudden word in my head: control. This is the problem for my teen. He feels like I’m trying to control him. We’ve been having huge struggles with him lately. I mean, to keep it in context, I know it isn’t that bad. He still wakes up every morning and comes to me for a hug; he’s not drinking or doing drugs; he’s not sneaking out at night, etc. But we’ve been having big struggles with finding balance between freedom and responsibility. He’s such a different person that I am, that I find it leads me to loose my patience with him and fall into old habits of exerting control, which in turn just make him buck more wildly.
So, back to this word that came to me. I realized suddenly that I need to stop trying to exert my force on him, because when he feels like he isn’t in control of his own life, it just makes things worse.
Parenting pushes and stretches me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I know people think I have it all together but I mess up so often. I suppose that’s all we can do. Mess up, dust off, make amends and go forward.
We are getting into our school rhythm more. Finished up week two today! following are some photos from grade 10 and 4. The tenth grader is doing a LA/history block called ‘The Word’ (on udemy) which is a history of the written language, more or less, with some ancient history mixed in. The fourth grader is doing a mapping/local geography block.
For a back to school present, I gave my 10 year old his own set of watercolors. He’s been doing a lot of painting on his own. I love his artwork so much, I had to share a bit of it.
Sometimes the path is hard. It feels hard to put one foot in front of the other. The bushes along the path scratch up your arms and legs. You stumble and trip on the rocks on the path. You fall down and cry. You sit in the middle of the path, sobbing.
You also know that you must go on. You know that the path won’t always be so difficult and you must put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward, even if you don’t progress for a while because you keep backtracking to see what exactly led you to this hard path. In the end, you’ll get there.
My planning is done. Everything is tidy. Our first day of school begins today. Grades 1, 4, and 10.
Last night was very hard. Parenting teenagers is not for the faint of heart. My first reaction is to cancel today and feel angry and sad about my plans being derailed. But I know my other children would be so upset to not begin, they are so looking forward to today. And I don’t want to wear the martyr hat. So, I remember I’m the captain of the boat and I put one foot in front of the other and navigate into unknown territory. I let go of expectations and just jump in and see where it goes.
I’m sure tonight I’ll post plenty of pretty pictures that will make some out there feel less-than or jealous that I have it all together. This is why I’m sharing this blog post. I think sharing our struggles, the truth behind the pretty pictures, is a gift to others. We are all human. We all have our struggles and fall down on our face sometimes. It’s easy to pretend it’s all roses with the internet. But the truth is: life is hard sometimes. Parenting is hard sometimes. Mothering can sometimes makes you feel like your heart has been ripped out. We must endure and push forward. Feel it all, give ourselves a hug and keep putting our feet down for the next step. That’s all there is to do.
I’m in the middle of planning three grades: first, fourth, and tenth. This will be my first time teaching three grades simultaneously and I know I’ll need to be in my game to make it happening. So, my planning needs to be tight!
The easiest grade to plan is first. It’s my second time teaching it and I saved most of my prop drawings from last time. I’ve decided to redo them, though, as the book they were in isn’t holding up very well and my skills have vastly improved. So, I’m doing lots of block crayon drawings at the moment!
I’m using Waldorf Essentials for grades 1 and 4. And their Planning for Peace journal/workbook is a must-have!
Here are the resources I’m using for grade 1, more or less. I’m about 75% done planning grade 1.
Grade 4 planning has a bit more to go still but I’m making good progress.
Those are some fourth grade weekly block plans. I still need to do our daily plans.
I am using these books as well, for both early grades.
High school planning is not as far ahead. I’m waiting for some books to arrive and I plan on diving in deep once I’ve finished planning grades 1 and 4. Tenth grade looks like it’ll be a great year. I’m going to be focusing on art and poetry, in addition to the sciences we are doing.
So far, these are my main books I have to plan tenth grade.
I am experimenting with this little book this year. It has some interesting handwork ideas.
As I work my way through planning, I’ll continue to blog about it. So stay tuned.