Life is full of surprises. Just when you think you have your plans, something changes! I often think of the verse from Proverbs that says, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." That's why I am so thankful to have a loving heavenly Father that charts my course! (even if I think it is ME who is making the plans!)
One big surprise to me has been the discovery of how much I enjoy homeschooling my children. I know this has to be God working in my life. When I first considered the prospect of homeschooling several years ago, I knew it was something I should want to do, but I just wasn't sure I wanted to. Now, a few years later, I can honestly say that I look forward to those steps into my basement to start our homeschooling day each morning. Some days are not even close to fun. Some days feel incredibly unproductive. Some days are uneventful and routine. But, through it all, I feel like I am enjoying the process, and I know my children are learning and growing. I love my children, so it makes sense to me that I would love to spend time with them watching them learn and teaching them the things I want them to learn.
Other surprises to me have been the way Isaac's first grade year has morphed into something that works for us. For example:
(1) I don't use lesson plans anymore. I pretty much know what I want to accomplish in a day and in a week.
(2) I have stopped using workboxes for now, although I would like to get back to them sometime soon. We have spent lots of time on Isaac's core subjects, and I know by the time those subjects are done, his attention span has dwindled. In the future, I may use workboxes for afternoon work.
(3) I am spending more and more time in the mornings working with Graham. He has really come a long ways in the past few weeks and wakes up each morning and begs me to "do school" with him. Today he said, "Mom, you are the mom AND the teacher!" Yup! He gets it!
I have decided (I think) NOT to continue taking Graham to preschool next year. He has been more and more excited to work with me, has dreaded going to preschool every day, and we could use the extra money. Although I have loved having a mini-Graham vacation every Tuesday and Thursday, it just isn't worth it to me at this point to continue.
(4) we scrapped the four day school week almost right away last fall. I found I was getting more and more behind, and had more pressure to have school on the remaining four days (even if we were sick or had an appointment or something). Five days works just fine for us!