Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A New Year

Normally we celebrate the beginning of a new year on New Year's Day. In the world of education in North America, the new year begins in September. For teachers it begins in August.

For us as a family, the new year began yesterday. Mr. Beaver went back to school. I think it's been the hardest on little Lucy so far. At 18 months, she thinks 10 hours is forever. She cried when her daddy left in the car and at intervals during the day we could hear her say, "Daddy vroom-vroom. Daddy? Daaadddyyy! Daddy vroom-vroom." Needless to say, she was ecstatic to see her Daddy again when he came back home!

Since Mr. Beaver started back to school, I decided to begin our year of home schooling as well. Elnora is in Grade 5 and doing Core F with Sonlight. This year is different because both Bob and Bill are doing Sonlight K. We basically did school work all day long. Having had a number of years of experience, I had expected that. The first few days of school are always extra long because we are all trying to find our groove.

It may sound crazy that we did school all day and didn't the kids hate it? No! Since Sonlight is such a great combination of seatwork and snuggling on the couch reading great literature together, the kids are usually quite perturbed to stop 'doing school'.

"Just one more chapter, Mamma."

"Please read more!"

"Are we done already?"

"Can't we do more school?"

I don't mind those comments at all! I also enjoy learning new things with them and seeing their eyes light up when they understand a new concept for the first time.

If you throw an 18 month old into the mix, school has many interruptions.

I read about Martin Luther to the boys today and they listened very hard. The book isn't particularly exciting and it uses difficult vocabulary but the boys were enthralled and remembered to tell Daddy about him when he came home! Reading that story gave me the chance to remind the children that they are all on this earth for a special reason and that salvation is a gift and can't be earned. What a privilege!

In spite of one of the kids spilling my coffee which had to be mopped off brand new books, the day went well. (Note to self: no coffee cups on the school table)

What helped as well was the fact that for the last 3 weeks, Mr. Beaver and I worked into the night every week day just to purge junk from our house and create a good learning environment for our school room. I am so glad we spent all that time doing it. It has paid off! With the school room and our living room boasting new book cases from Ikea, the house is in ship shape order.

I hope and pray for a smooth school year for all us home school moms out there! It is definitely a full time job!

Monday, August 29, 2011

This Vale of Tears

I know, I know. It's been almost two months since my last post. Life has a way of becoming very busy. My family comes first and this blog has to play last fiddle in most instances. :-)

This summer has been a sobering one with Mr. Beaver's principal being diagnosed with ALS and, as a result, he is no longer his principal. This school year will be different for the entire school as they begin their search for a new principal and the VP's will have their hands full as they take on the additional workload required of them this year.

My mother has been diagnosed with polymyositis (sp?) which is an autoimmune disease. The medication hasn't been helping her too much yet. It is sobering to see my mother, so full of vitality, lose a lot of her independence over the summer. My mother has taken excellent care of 11 children, shown a continued interest in their lives and in the lives of her 40+ grandchildren. Now it is our privilege to care for her.

In both cases, we know that the Lord has been supreme in their lives and that they find their hope and comfort in Jesus Christ.

That doesn't take away all the sadness from us and we groan with them as we see them suffer. It is also a reminder of the brevity of life and how our health can change so quickly.

Thankfully, our hope is not pinned on this life but we know we have a brighter future to look forward to, one where there is no sickness, pain, or tears. May we all be found in Christ on the last day with our 'hope built on nothing less, than Jesus' blood and righteousness.'