Sunday, April 21, 2013

E is for Elbow

It's been forever since I wrote a Blogging through the Alphabet post. Marcy started back at the beginning again, so I'm going to try to fill in the letters I've missed . . . which is most of them. Remember my issue with that from the beginning? Oh well, I guess that fits perfectly with this week's post.

I can remember driving with my parents when I was a little girl. As I sat in the backseat, I noticed my dad's arm resting casually at his side. I was intrigued by his elbow.

"Why do you have so much extra skin here?" I asked as I squished it between my fingers.

My father's answer was a simple one. He explained that in order to bend, to move, to be functional, you needed that extra skin. If your elbow were taut and rigid, you wouldn't have that flexibility.

Of course, to an adult mind the concept is obvious, but that lesson has stuck with me all these years. I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. Self-examining. Reflecting. Analyzing. I've realized how much our schooling has changed over the last three years. How much I've changed. What worked for us then, doesn't really work for us now. What worked last week might not work this week.

Why is that? 

Simply put, things change. People, needs, responsibilities, likes, moods.

I had to learn that even though I may want the day to follow a particular schedule, sometimes it's best to ignore it. And other times, I have no control over it at all.

Sometimes school gets set on the back burner; sometimes it gets taken completely off the stove. 

It may be because spring has finally come after a long winter and we take advantage of the warm weather or because the Crabby Monster has visited our house and we need to do something to make him leave or because the baby is in the hospital for nearly 2 weeks or because we're running him to doctor's appointments or because we spend the day baking to be a blessing to others. Or just because we want to. We can do school in the morning before we start the day or wait until evening when our fun is all done.

We can be flexible, like an elbow.

To me, homeschooling is not just about learning the 3 Rs; it's a way of life. That's why we school year-round. I want my children to constantly grow and learn. I want to give them many rich experiences and intrigue their minds. I want them to desire to gain knowledge about so much more than just facts for a test. I want them to learn valuable life skills.

Homeschooling is not just schooling at home. Homeschooling is applying a learning attitude in everyday situations.

If we miss a day here or there or don't get everything on my list accomplished, that's ok. I know that my kids are soaking up information all the time. I know that we're not taking 3 months off from that thinking during the summer months either. Sure, our days may look a little different then - a little less book work and a whole lot more real-life, hands-on learning. 

I've realized that if our days aren't always the way I'd like, it's ok. We don't have to be rigid. 

It's much more fun to bend and move and be flexible. Like an elbow.

* If this is not your style, then that's fine too. One of the great things about homeschooling is discovering what works for you.

Blogging Through the Alphabet

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  1. I love this!
    And your kids are beautiful! :)

  2. Great post - pretty much exactly how we have done school this year, and how we will continue to do school. It works so well for our family to have the flexibility!

  3. Oh my goodness, what a beautifully put analogy! I love it. And, your kids are gorgeous in that photo. Sweet.

  4. Great post and beautiful picture!

  5. This was a wonderful post! I love the analogy as well. I must say when I clicked on E is for Elbow - I was expecting a different science lesson. Instead . . . I received a message that was even better than I expected. Thank you for sharing this with us all. We also school year round and love the flexibility. I hope your baby is feeling better now. Stop by to say hello if you have time Have a blessed day!

    1. Ha, it was an odd word to choose. :)Thank you for your kind words.