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  • Writer's pictureJulie Branstetter

Long Days, Long Season

I feel light!

We are reaching a point in our year that I love, slightly earlier than usual. Much of the curriculum, that I spend the summers planning for my three, is tapering out!

I have to decide on the best 8 subjects in high school, 8 in middle school, and 8 in early elementary for my children, who are nothing alike in the way they learn or even in what they are learning. After putting together a daily schedule for each of them that allows me to teach what they need and allow them to work independently while I am all hands on with the youngest, it is nice to see subjects falling off that schedule with complete checks beside them. By the time I reach the month of March we are usually down to 3-4 subjects per child, and my youngest would be finished if I didn't need to have him finish working within the 9 months required by the state. I also feel that it is good for him to spend the next 2 months reinforcing what he has learned in a variety of ways so that means I go into a new planning mode with him, but I actually enjoy the planning and doing new things with him that don't require new concepts being taught. He is in his fine tuning stage of the year so, that is a happy time. My older children just enjoy finishing some of their books. It's like a deep breath and some rest comes along and they can stay up a little later, sleep in a little more and summer starts creeping in a bit at a time. That is a happy time for them. and for me, because I am grading less and less so, I too, am gaining back time while the days stay light longer. This gardening mama, loves that! In the past February has been the month I enjoy the least in homeschooling, because we've been working hard at home most of the year and the month is cold and gray and wet and ugly and day after day inside doing that is rough. This February was a blessing because it was mild and warm and sunny a lot of the time. We got out of the house more, took more walks, and played more outside and being outdoorsy types, that is like taking deep breaths under water safely. Ahhhh, refreshing and perfectly in step with our schedules. Even the learning has come along easier because of the rest that came with a beautiful February this year. I can't tell you how many times I have thanked God for that relief this year.

When the days are long and dreary and tough, my go to has always been to cut corners where we can and add comfort wherever possible. Even though we home school, I require my kids to get up at the right time, brush their teeth and put on their clothes for the day. We don't home school in funk. lol But, when the days get hard, we make exceptions by sleeping in a little, or even wearing pj's for a day here and there. We snuggle up in a different place and surround ourselves with music and warm drinks and snacks, and spend more time discussing even if that slows us down a little. I make sure our schedules are not over packed with things to do and places to go so that we can make our days easier. Anyone else who home schools will tell you, you don't wait for the day to tell you how it is going to be, you get ahead of it and you set it up. Your foresee, with the knowledge God has given you up to this point, what may lie ahead and prep for it. For me, that means cleaning up before bed so the morning doesn't look like chaos. If chaos comes, it comes to a day that was ready for it, not a drowning mama of despair. I have been that mama, that is how I learned. Nothing ever goes exactly as planned, but you can plan for that too. And all in all, by the time the calendar rolls around, you are right where you are supposed to be, and things fall into place, not because of me or because of the perfect curriculum, but because everyday is covered in a prayer of faith, that if God has brought me to this day, it is one I can handle and have victory in.

Everyday does not feel like a victory, yet it can still end victorious. Have faith in God, do what you can, and trust in what He will do. God didn't bring you this far to let you down. He is our promise keeper, and our ever present help in times of need, whether that is the wintry "February" of your discontent or otherwise. God is faithful!!

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