When we were growing up my sister had an Appaloosa mare named "Irish"–(whose birthday falls on this day.) But the one thing I remember about her, besides the time she decided to roll in the stream while my sister was in the saddle–was the way she behaved every time you began to tack her up for a ride. Her head would droop, her eye lids would get heavy, she’d sigh big heavy sighs.
And this morning, as the girls and I sat at the kitchen table to do a few simple school lessons, I thought of Irish as I watched Emma. She got all droopy, put her head down on the table, flipped her pencil around carelessly. Perhaps, once again, I should have backtracked and made her a piece of peanut butter toast or some fruit and cheese, but I tried to see it through to the end. And the end came quickly.
I know that homeschooling is definitely the right decision for our family, right now. But man oh man, can it get frustrating some times. I waffle between unschooling, homeschooling, classical….I fall somewhere in the middle of all of those philosophies, if that is possible. I was an elementary school teacher before I stayed home with my children, so I feel like I have some experience to draw from, and I see growth and learning happening every day (sometimes more with Mary than with Emma), so I know things are working. But some days, when she gets what I’m now referring to as "Irish-syndrome", I start to question everything. Is it the fact that I should have given her a snack? Did she not get enough sleep last night? Am I boring her? Is it simply the fact that I’m her mother?
But the beauty of schooling her at home is that I can say, "alright, that’s enough for now. We’ll try again later. Here’s a sandwich and some grapes. Call me when you’re feeling better." And I remind myself that last week, just last week, she told me how much she loved school and loved what we were doing. And I remind myself that every homeschooling mother has these moments. And I take a breath. And I start again.
**this last picture is for my husband. Mary spelled Case IH for you–all by herself.**