Friday, August 29, 2008


My fantasy of home-schooling is sunlight filtering in on bent heads at the kitchen table, fresh flowers beside, tidy piles of great literature, Mozart in the background, “bouquets of sharpened pencils.” I dream of a one piece life, where learning to read and making cookies and solving math problems and helping Papa and Daddy roof the house all blend seamlessly, weaving a tapestry of love of learning with threads of grace, strengthened by family relationships, and sewn with fine character. I dream of this still and long for this fabric to be sturdy and beautiful.

However, I am not a seamstress (straight lines by hand or machine are near impossible for me), and I wonder at this task before me. My life seems more filled with chaos than peace, and I realize how much of self must die daily for me to fulfill this calling. I don’t teach at home because I love giving a spelling lesson while washing dishes or fishing manipulatives out of little sister’s mouth during big brother’s math lesson. I don’t feel waves of patience while big brother reads haltingly through a phonics lesson and little brother roars through the house on his self-propelled Radio Flyer. I just feel tired.

And then…there are moments like these.

While brother cheerfully and diligently solves math codes (thanks, Auntie Susan), little brother and sister share laughter and books in the other room. Sunlight filters, fresh flowers adorn, and I feel…peace, remembering my dream of giving my kids a life that is woven of the strongest materials.


It's Absolutely Us. said...

Your pictures always have such a calming feeling to them. Great as always!

And in response to your comment to me... Jude is doing well. We still have our bad moments but I can finally say (with all praise to GOD!) that our good moments finally out number the bad ones! He is a happy, giggly little boy who finally allows me to scoop him up and kiss on him without squirming to get down.

OH, and I want to see pictures from the wedding you photograph!

smurfs said...

couldn't have said it better... amen!

Kristen said...

Boy, I always seem to get teary when I read your blogs, Ri. Beautiful. I can bring myself into the rooms you describe. See, smell, feel, have a way with words that only few are gifted with. Thank you for sharing it with us.
I love you all and miss you! Hugs and kisses to all.
Auntie K

mom said...

you are a wonderful teacher, mama, wife, friend, daughter. hangeth in there. mom

Sarah said...

What a beautiful picture Ri, I read this and while reading i had to fish out a manipulative from iZee's mouth too. I guess that these toddler days will go too quickly though....
I agree with Kristens comment, you have a way with words that only few are gifted with.
I love walking with you, despite the long physical distance between out paths. Sometimes I feel we live so close and sometimes the distance is more than I can bear.
Love you all.

Diana said...

I feel peaceful just read this. Your writing is so calming. Happy Schooling! And chasing, and...and... :-)

Ann said...

I decided three days before school started that I was going to homeschool Vu. And then, I decided if I was going to hs Vu I may as well hs Patrick and then . . . I decided two was enough!

It's going to be quite a year! I love your description of how you long for your life and hs to be. That is exactly why I decided to do it!

Thanks for some wonderful inspiration!

Joel and Shannon said...

I don't think I could explain the homeschool journey any better! Thanks for the encouragement that "I'm not so crazy" afterall in realizing just how much I have to die to myself every single day!
Love to you guys!
PS Joel's been offered an incredible job in Seattle!! We need such wisdom right now...