I love sorting things.   You take a big pile of “stuff” and sort through, putting each into a neater, smaller, sub-divided pile.   I’m beginning to learn that I like my life more organized than I ever would have thought.  I like bringing order to the chaos!  Don’t get me wrong, I like chaos, but a little order never hurt. 😛

So, I was sorting through previous posts today.  Okay, it wasn’t really sorting so much as it was looking for Daniella’s weights so I could put them in her baby book.  Is that cheating?  I actually think the fact that I’m filling out the ninth baby’s book gets credit, doesn’t it?  At any rate, I realized I hadn’t told my secret.

So I re-purchased Tapestry of Grace.  And, might I add, let this be a lesson to all of you!   After selling the curriculum, I decided to start planning my own, like the good ‘ole days when Ana was a little girl.  I remember loving planning her curriculum.  And it took less than one week to remember why I stopped doing all the planning by myself.  It’s work!  It’s a lot of work.  And the idea of coordinating the littles to match Ana and Christian is overwhelming.  So, it took one week to admit it was a mistake, one week to decide whether I wanted print or digital, and another week to purchase.  That’s right, three weeks.  It took me three weeks to correct my mistake.

We did end up ordering the print with the digital option.  I have found out I am not a digital person, but I do like printing directly from my computer.  That said, I need to have the print copy in my hands.  Thank goodness for my husband who said I wouldn’t like just the digital version.  He was so right.  It’s nice having someone who “gets” me.  Better yet, it’s really nice to have someone who doesn’t say, “I told you so.”  LOL.

I have Marcia’s Writing Aids and I additionally purchased WWE and Meaningful Composition because I wanted to look at them.  I’m withholding reviews for right now, but after beginning to watch the IEW CDs, I honestly think I won’t be using either WWE or Meaningful Composition.  I AM keeping Writing Aids.  It’s an amazing resource.  Some day I’d like to meet Marcia Sommerville.  I’d like to thank the woman who put together Tapestry personally.   The deeper I dig, the more amazed I am at the amount of effort she poured into such a resource.

And for your morning dose of encouragment, the pep talk.

Good morning fellow homeschooling moms.  It is September.  It is the “official” month of homeschooling.  In this month you will begin to put to work all of that curriculum that looked so incredibly perfect in the catalog or online.  As you are *not* a perfect teacher and your children are less than perfect students, some of this curriculum is going to fall short of the intended purpose.  Also, you are going to doubt your sanity.  You are going to ask yourself, “What was I thinking?”  Often the question is, “Can I really do this?” or better worded, “Why did I think I could pull this off?”

Let me run you back through the last several years….  EVERY September, and several other months as well, you’ve asked yourself these questions.  You’ve probably been on a break recently.  And during that break you re-evaluated what you were using, what worked, what didn’t.  You sought other moms’ opinions on curriculum and probably did a little, or a lot, of research on your own.  During this break I’m certain you waxed philosophical about the finer points of educational method.  In your head or Excel, you created the perfect schedule.  You somehow saw your day moving so much smoother than it is in real life.

There is a reason for this.  It is because in your head the baby did not throw up, the two year old was potty trained, the three year old didn’t get diarrhea.  The five year old DID actually learn to sit still and the six year old was a compliant child who was happy all the time.  In your head, the eight year old was just as interested in history as arts and crafts time. 😛  The eleven year old never wanted to play video games in your daydreams.  Your fourteen year old certainly was not at odds with your literature suggestions and she didn’t come up with a “better suggestion” and request to study a different time period.  These things simply did not take place during your quiet time dreaming.

And, so, in response to this shocking little wake-up call, let us remember there was, usually, a great deal of thought poured into the curriculum you chose.  No, it is not perfect, but then again, neither is that “other” curriculum you’re eyeing right now.  Yes, I know!  It’s FUN to get new curriculum in the mail.  It’s a blast to open a box and smell the new book smell.  It won’t be any more enjoyable to implement the new curriculum either, lol.

I do not say this to discourage you from trying something new!  I only want to help you prevent the constant cycle of, “Buy it, Try it, Sell it, Seek Something New.”  There should be an acronym for that, right?

Let’s go over the golden rule of homeschooling:

There is no perfect curriculum.  There is only curriculum that will inspire and encourage you to use it consistently.

Almost anything will work to educate your children if you are willing to consistently apply effort to use it.  And no “perfect” curriculum under the sun will work, no matter how great it is, no matter how many awards it has won, if you never apply it in real life.   We cannot, and should not, live life in theory.  We must live life in practice.

And so, I tell you, enjoy September!  The best things in life are those we work hard for.  Often the enjoyment of something comes from the hard work and effort we’ve poured into it.  Just because something is hard does not make it not worthwhile… Often it is just the opposite.

Yes, you can do this.  No, you are not crazy.  Yes, the children are imperfect.  God created you for this.  He gave these specific children to you.  And He chose to give YOU to those children.  You are not a perfect wife, a perfect teacher, or a perfect mother.  But you were God’s choice for this particular family.  It is September.  You will have doubts.  Remind yourself of this for the next twenty-eight days and don’t lose your joy because you can do this!