Lessons from the Twelfth Week

We are 1/3 of the way through the school year. Just like that. I am excited about the progress we are making. Also, I am happy with the changes we have made so far to our schedule.

Last week included two days away from home: one preparing for Science Olympiad with two different coaches in Knoxville, and one hiking with our Wild and Free Great Smoky Mountains homeschooling friends.

Seven Islands Hike Board

My kids on one of the hikes at Seven Islands

As such, I had to do some more adjustment in my head about book learning. In the end, I know we will finish our goals for the year. It’s just that I have to allow for weeks like this one to happen. In conclusion, I find it gets easier over time.

Peaceful Pond

Peaceful Pond

That is to say, flexibility matters. Life requires bending of all of us, in relationships, in schedule, in standards, in anything. Homeschooling has stretched me in ways I did not know I could bend.


Lesson #2

Another lesson from last week is that we have limits to our social and physical energy. The hiking we did at Seven Islands State Birding Park was a bit more strenuous than on other days. After 2 1/2 hours of hiking, we went back to the parking lot, where we could have lunch.

Woman hiking in cold weather

37F means I wear a hat. No vanity here.

The kids and I tailgated for a bit. At some point, my son ran back where the other kids were, with the remainder of his lunch. A few minutes later, my daughter left, too. She had finished her lunch and wanted to play with her friends.

I stayed by the car, slowly enjoying my lunch and the silence. There is freedom in recognizing you have limitations. To clarify, this group is very understanding and respectful of others’ needs. Nobody came to ask me why I was sitting by myself. They gave me my space.

As we left, my son got into this quiet mood. He asked to be left alone in the car. Again, we respected that. After three hours of overstimulating sights and sounds, we all needed peace and quiet. Thus, we learned to respect each other’s limits.

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