As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Family Schedule

Managing exra curriculars can be a tricky thing, especially when you homeschool.  Whereas working outside the home makes it necessary to pare down outside activities, homeschooling (at least for me) often gives the impression that we have more time than we have.  Not to mention the added pressure of "socializing" the children (so at least when well-meaning people raise concerns, we can indeed mention that our children do interact with the outside world on a regular basis).  It wasn't too bad when the kids were really young.  We enrolled the oldest two in Beavers a couple of years ago, which was one night a week.  No big deal.  Then when the third boy became involved, I started searching for something for our girl to do, because I felt bad.  Ballet was offered at our community school on another night of the week, and last year I enrolled her.  That meant we were now committed to two nights out a week.  Add to that our piano lessons which, though during the day, still fell on a different day (and required a stop by the babysitter's, making an extra-hectic outing day) and a gym class we attend at a Catholic school in town on a different day, and all of it together made for a crazy week around our house.  Fun, certainly.  Wonderful opportunities for our kids?  You bet.  But exhausting.

This summer I took a hard look at the things I wanted to do with the kids.  I was thinking of checking out the orchestra programs in the school system, but alas we just did not have any extra time to devote.  I decided in the end to buy violins and books, and see what I could teach them on my own.  Homeschooling is so empowering that way, in that it encourages you to just give it a try.  So far, things are going pretty well.  And I'm happy I was able to find a way to encourage them in a new instrument, in a way that doesn't take away our precious (and rare) family downtime.
Well look at that - we can have violin lessons at home!

I was less than thrilled when I received notice that our girl's ballet program wasn't being offered in our neighboorhood this year due to lack of enrollment.  My husband and I were pleased with the classes she took last year and she loved it, so we began the search for a new ballet school.  Turns out there was one just as close (albeit across the river) that was offered on the same day as piano.  Could we do it?  Could we cram one more thing into the craziest day of the week?  Here's what happened - if we could pull it off, it would free up the ballet night.  It would be busy, but we'd still manage to be home by supper.  I decided to give it a shot.  I am also forgoing the sitter this year (since we have a third boy in lessons and I now have time to drop them off and come home for a bit before I need to pick them up again).  I end up having an hour with the littles at home to get supper ready and tidy up, so that when I get home after ballet all I have to do is put supper in the oven.  I have to say, two weeks into the new schedule, I am happy that things ended up working out this way.

First piano lesson of the year - so happy to be back at it!
Somehow, completely by accident, we happened upon a schedule that allows us to do everything we did before and only be committed to one night out a week.  Which is good, because the school of community group that was meeting at our place is going to be moving in town, and to a weeknight.  My first heavy objection to this was that I couldn't go, followed by the sad realization that if my husband were to attend (and he would) it would mean another night away, which at the time meant three nights we would be apart.  I am so happy that the Lord made room in our lives to accomodate this.  More on how it came about in another post perhaps, but suffice it to say that I felt from the very beginning that this was something the Lord is asking of me, and while I was doing my best to lay it down, it was with a certain amount of begrudging. And yet, even when I am sulky, He is forever faithful to the desires of my heart.

Thanks be to God who cares so intimately for our every need.  May I be open to the things you are calling my husband and I to do, trusting that if you lead us on a certain path, you will give us what we need to walk it.

My little ballerina

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