The Bookshelf is a tall, wooden shelf that houses the majority of our "school books", and each year at this time, I tackle the task of sorting through the old to make room for the new. I happily moved many textbooks and workbooks to the "done with that" shelf, and pulled and moved other books to the "using right now" shelf. We school year round, and it is with much happiness that I put those textbooks and workbooks away(except for a few that we hope to finish up quickly) to make room for what I jokingly refer to as "Funner School", not "Summer School"! "Funner School" takes place amidst all the normal summer activities, and is just the name I have applied to the fact that we continue to learn ~ away from the drudgery of the textbooks and workbooks we use during the "regular" school year. Keeping them busy with mostly unit study activities actually makes for a happier summer, much less "I'm bo-o-ored!", plus doing a little Math and Language Arts each week keeps it fresh and eliminates much review time in the fall......and gives us a little more freedom the rest of the year to take days off when needed. =)
But, back to the bookshelf...........
As I pulled not only books I intend to use this summer, I also pulled books we no longer need. These are the books that make me wistful, reminders of some of the most enjoyable years we've had in our homeschooling journey. My babies aren't babies anymore, and much of the very hands-on, fun-filled learning curriculum and games have had to be passed over for those textbooks and workbooks that get the job done in the midst of the crazy/busy/hectic/growing-up/Mom's-working-a-lot-more-now/we-have-more-obligations-now life we lead. The middle-schooler's subjects are harder and take longer to complete and there's only so much time in every day to get everything done.
Our season has changed.
It is a little sad. I miss the freedom we had in the younger years. I miss the time we had to do the things we wanted to do just because we could (not that we don't now ~ there's just less of it).
But while it is sad on one hand, on the other it is good. All seasons are good if you choose to see them that way. Different, but still good.
My children are more independent now, but they still need me......and still want me. Right there. With them, learning with them, and growing with them. ♥ It's the way of our lives, this homeschooling life ~ and no matter the season, no matter the busy-ness, no matter the fatigue, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Because one day, a day that will come sooner than I expect, they won't need me anymore....not the way that they do now. So I will cherish this Season as I cherished the ones past......and do my best to prepare my heart and theirs for the ones to come.
I've done a lot of trial-and-error the past couple of years ~ and a lot of thinking, pondering and praying about how to balance all that God has given me in this Season. I think I'm starting to see some small fruit develop in my determination to follow my 1st calling, while I step out in faith, making time for the things that will continue to allow me to do so. Finding time to do it all can be quite the challenge.....how good to know that He gives the manna I need. That it's not up to me and that as long as my heart and works are set on Him, His blessings and provision will follow. Those days when I feel I can't do it all and sometimes am sure that I have failed at everything (silly me!), He promises to make something meaningful and fruitful of what I see as a mess.
How appropriate that I came across Faith Barista's blog recently, and today I think she wrote an entry for me without knowing it. ; )
Just as I have given him the Seasons of the past, I give Him the Season of today, and give Him the Season of tomorrow. For now, for this summer......I will sew, I will teach, we will learn for fun, we will work, we will worship, and we will PLAY. In different ways than the sweet "little" years gone by.......but in ways sure and certain to be just as beautiful. Because they are His, and anything that is His can be nothing but.