The nutshell version, Homeschool is out. Traditional school in.
|Hayden at the Apple Orchard|
I thought what would be best for us this year, was to simply be together. In July, we decided to go for it, to homeschool. We were 2 months into our new adjustment with Lucy. Things were going super duper well. Matt was home full time (being a teacher, we enjoyed the luxury of a summer home this year, instead of his usual picking up a summer job). We got to know Lucy, and she got to know us.
What we didn't realize, was the impact of Daddy-o going back to work full time, and back to school himself (as a student) two nights per week would have on us. We dove into homeschool. Matt started back at work. It seemed good. THEN, Lucy began to get a little "high maintenance". Demanding my attention every moment she was awake. Shreiking and screaming at me, literally, if she didn't have it. Homeschool + shrieking baby= unproductive education. This past week, it all really caught up with me. It was already a challenge to get Hayden to want to "do school" with me. He really just didn't understand that learning sometimes takes priority over bike riding or lego building. So, when I finally could pull him in for some learning time, Lucy, would instantly start DEMANDING my attention. I'd go to change her or put her down for a nap, and I'd end up with butt cracks drawn on my garage door in sidewalk chalk. It seems this mama can't meet all the demands of homeschooling a kindergartener and preschooler, and a *needy-recently internationally adopted-turned her life upside down 14 month old.
After a melt down Tuesday and some heart to hearts with some wise folks in our life, we prayed about what we needed to do. I began to think back, when did Lucy become so needy and demanding? Why do I feel like she's changed? Oh, right. She had two full time parents for the first 3 months home. We pretty much had one parent on baby duty, and one parent on big boy duty all summer. She had constant attention of one adult. I began to realize that it's ok for me to not homeschool. That maybe being together every waking moment isn't what we need. Maybe we all need some breaks and changes of scenery. Maybe it's okay to let Lucy have high priority attention right now. She's still figuring out how to be a part of a family, even though she's done incredibly well adjusting. It's not done. And, it's ok. And, Jack, former baby of the family, just might benefit from some one on one time with mommy while Lucy naps, and Hayden is at school.
So, today, I enrolled Hayden at the neighborhood school. I met his awesome teacher. I am SO excited for him to GET to go to school, I know he's going to love the stimulation there, that I just can't give focus on right now. He starts Monday. He doesn't know it yet, but I know he's going to be thrilled.
Turns out, the best plan is to be okay with the plan changing. (You would think that I'd already learned that lesson this year, international adoption and all). To do your best to parent your kids, and when you realize it's not working, be willing to adapt. Be ok with admitting you don't have it all figured out and nailed down...heck, even that you made a bad call. I hope my kids will learn that it's okay to be wrong and mess up, as long as you are willing to try and make it right.
|Lucy girl at the pumpkin patch|
I forget sometimes, that this time of pouring our attention into her, is healing her wounds. Her need to be the focus of our attention is her way of making sure we're not going away, not leaving her behind. It's so easy to loose sight of how many scars her tiny heart has. How every day of her hollering at me, is her asking me to love away her hurts. It's so easy to just want to move on to "normal" and forget the major losses of her life. That those months of a mother naturally focusing 24-7 on her newborn baby and being totally attached...didn't exist for her? She's still trying to catch up, sweet girl.
Wow. I haven't really pondered that in a while. Still brings tears to my eyes when I do.
Lord, give me your grace. Give me patience. Give me unending amounts of unconditional love to fill up this little wounded heart. Let your love, through us, heal her scars. Let me see what you see. Let me hear those demands for what they are...
Lord, let us find the balance. Let us continue to build a safe home and confidence in all of our children. Help us find ways to nourish each of our kids hearts with the kind of love they each need. Give us wisdom to know when were screwing it up and to try something new. Thanks for blessing us with these 3 amazing little humans as our children.
|Jack with his pumpkin|