I’m big on plans. I have more planners and checklists than I probably need. In the immortal words of Hannibal from The A-Team, “I love it when a plan comes together!” Plans I can do, adapting when everything goes sideways? Not as much…

I felt so optimistic about the start of this school year. I had stuff figured out, and this was going to be a great year. The new books were stacked neatly on the table, cupcakes baked and frosted, and everyone excited to get started. It was all going according to the plan. Until one of the kids turned an alarming shade of pale in the middle of our lessons and said, “Mom, I feel like I’m going to be sick…” A bit later, a second kid did the exact same thing. That was most certainly not in the lesson plan. I soldiered on with the other two, hoping that a bit of rest on the couch and saltines would do the trick with the two on the edge of illness.

I discovered that I have a child who is wonderful with numbers, but would rather have his teeth pulled then work on learning to read. Intellectually, I understand that not every 6-year-old is quite ready to be reading proficiently yet. The avid reader in my finds this frustrating though.

By afternoon, the two kids on the couch had more color and were feeling well enough to finish their lessons. And that’s when I discovered that copywork was going to take one of my kids a really long time. Not because he struggles with his handwriting. He has some of the nicest penmanship of any of us, myself included! Rather, he seems to have inherited my easily-distracted personality. The more simple and un-challenging the task, the more distractible I am. Sorry kiddo, didn’t mean to pass that particular thing on to any of you.

We did manage to get everything done that day that we needed to. Let’s not discuss what time it was when we finished. Today, we’ve managed to be done by about 2:30. (The kid are anyway. I still have to check math assignments for today. No, I’m definitely not procrastinating by blogging…)

We’re off to a rocky start, but it is a start. I keep looking at the verse I wrote on a post-it note and stuck to my monitor. The first line of 2 Corinthians 4:16 is going to be my motto: “Therefore we do not give up.”

Has our first week gone according to plan? Not even close. Have we accomplished the things we needed to? It may have taken a while, but yes. Have the kids learned things this week? Definitely.

OK then, we’re not giving up. As I tell my kids, probably more often than they’d like to hear, the best and most rewarding things I’ve done in life have been the hardest and required the most work. We’ll put in the work, say a prayer for strength (and sanity), and we’ll just keep going.

How has the beginning of the academic year gone for you? Let me know in the comments!

We did get to do a pretty cool experiment on day 1 that involved a 9v battery, copper wires, and a water/baking soda solution. It was interesting to watch and gave me an excuse to raid my IT staff’s tool box to borrow something to strip the shielding off the wire ends! (Note: If the science book tells you to use scissors to strip the shielding off wires, it’s WELL worth it to find someone you can borrow an actual wire stripping tool from.)

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