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I am an Air Force wife and mother of three precious gifts from God. I enjoy learning at home with my children, and the many adventures this life sends our way. So stop by often to visit, and check out what the Five Nomads are up to.

Monday, September 6, 2010

1st Day of School: Traditions

The General was starting 4th grade, and Princess was a sweet little kindergarten student.
This is The General and Princess on the first day of school, back in 2005. They were helping make Sticky Buns. Sticky Buns have been a tradition of our first day of school. A fun way to start the day, and when they were younger it was a great math lesson.
In working on this post, I've had to face some hard realities. First of all, I have only 3 pictures in the past 6 years of our first day of school. (This is actually our 7th year of homeschooling, but the first year we were kind of thrown in at the last minute. So we started "traditional" school that year.) In the beginning it was all fresh and new, and I had my camera out to capture the moment. As the years progressed, no pictures. :(

Unfortunately, another not so nice tradition has crept in. That is my overwhelming feelings of doubt and guilt on the first day of school. My feeling like I'm not a good homeschooling momma. Since we used to be year round schoolers, (It is too hard to make my children school in WA during the summer. When the sun finally shines, I feel like we need to soak every last moment of it in.) we generally do not have "new" stuff in the fall. I buy supplies as we need them. So when the "official" first day rolls around, I feel all sorts of angst and inadequacy at my lack of cool first day experiences. When I give in to this, it just kind of steam rolls into an "I suck" mentality. You can imagine that really isn't healthy. Or true.
When I was blubbering about this to Mr. Nomad, he listened kindly. Gave me my moment of feeling sorry for myself, and then said, "so a field trip to Las Vegas, that wasn't cool enough?" Hmmmm. . . . . I think he has a point.
I'm guilty of the ugly comparisons. I look around and see the cool stuff everyone else is doing, but do not take the time to give myself credit for the great things I do. It reminds me of that Attitude quote I have in my side bar. Life is what I choose to make it. I can line myself up with our Lord, and have peace. (Not saying there aren't going to be challenges.) Or, I can get caught up in feeling sorry for myself.
So today on my third day of homeschooling, in this our 7th season, I will celebrate. I am celebrating the fact that at 13, my son is turning into a young man with great character. I am celebrating the fact that my daughter has a wonderful spirit, and loves to serve. I am celebrating the fact that my children love to go to Mass, and when it comes to the Eucharist, THEY GET IT!
Now Bubby, we're still working on it. He's having a hard time lately, which is probably why I let myself get a bit blue. (Consistently molding a 4 year old really wears on you after awhile.) But, my little man does get Confession. He hasn't officially received this sacrament, but he gets it. Whenever he does something wrong, you can see him cross himself, then mutter a little prayer asking Jesus to forgive him.
This experience has reminded me to zoom out, and look at the big picture. No, I'm not always good at the big splash days. But I am good at the every day. Not so much me, but God working through me. If I keep Christ at my center, and my heart open to the Holy Spirit, the fruits will continue to multiply.


  1. Very sweet that Bubby does that. I am slacking. My 4 year old "man-in-formation" doesn't have such a sweet habit, but hopefully he will soon!

  2. You are a good mom and a smart woman!!

  3. I'm so opposite that I should just not even comment. We do share that "beating ourself up" trait. I totally lack the discipline it would take to home school my kids. I've always been in awe of home schoolers. Like, I wish I could send my kid to them instead of the school.

  4. Oh Brenda, if that were an option, I'd be packing my kiddos out the door. ;)

    When I began homeschooling, I remember whining to my mother-in-law, "Why can't somebody do this better than me? Anybody, but me?"
    God made it very clear that I was the gal for the job. When I finally surrendered to this vocation, He blessed me with such a wonderful peace.

  5. Hey, I think a field trip to Vegas sounds fantastic! Who cares about the first day of school? Now the last day is something to celebrate.

  6. Oh Tami! You struck a chord with me. God called me to homeschool my 4 and I went kicking and screaming and feeling totally inadequate. Sometimes I did well and sometimes felt like an utter failure. Now a few years out of it, I still get hit with guilt that I didn't do a good job, BUT my kids tell me they are happy they were homeschooled. I think of the big chunk of time the school would have had them and that I would have missed out on watching them learn and grow and just plain enjoy their lives and then I am happy I obeyed the Lord. Hang in there!

  7. Mary,
    You're right. I'm crazy sometimes. I'll try to remember the last day thing, and have a big party then.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! It is nice to hear from those that have been down this road. I'm hanging. :)

  8. If what we saw of your slack days was any indication of what a nose to the grind stone day looks like I am totally impressed and so want to learn the stuff your teaching!