I spent a good part of the day, composing this post in my head. I was all ready to vent away about my awful homeschooling day. It was one of those days when I felt like I made no connection with my boys. I was frustrated by my oldest's social studies lesson. He was supposed to research the accomplishments of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and Frankin Roosevelt's New Deal, then create a new government program. This was a single day's lesson, mind you Excuse me! He's eight. I didn't comprehend the New Deal until I was in college, and I was a politcal science major. And I certainly didn't have to comprehend it in one day while simultaneously addressing the accomplishments of two of our most famous presidents.
All I could figure is that he was supposed to do some horribly superficial review of these three men's lives. If that was the case, the assignment was a waste of his time. The other option was that he had a task before him that could take weeks, not the one day that he was allotted.
While I'm trying to guide my son through the lesson from hell to see if we could derive something from it, my middle son wanted attention. His way of seeking it was to be totally distracted from his math if I moved an inch away from him. Add to this, a three-year-old who shouted my name every minute to come look at the latest tanagram piece he had correctly placed.
Oh yes, I was so ready to come here and vent tonight. Then a funny thing happened. I went to the gym, which is where I go to get some distance and perspective, and it worked.
It really wasn't the kids today or even the badly written assigment. It was me. I didn't get to bed till after midnight last night, and I felt it when I woke up. And when I opened those books, I wasn't clearly focused on the task before me. I wasn't totally present for the kids. I swear they sense that, and the day just goes downhill from there.
I am not a Buddhist, but some of their concepts intrigue me. Mindfullness is one. To the best of my understanding, it means being truly present and focused on what is occurring at the moment. When I'm really absorbed in teaching, things flow. It's not that the lesson would have been better written, but I would have seen a simple solution to the problem, rather than wasting energy being irked about it. Then, I could have focused more attention on the sons that were really just asking for my presence.
So, I'm toddling off to bed now. Let's see what lessons tomorrow will teach me.
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