Sitting with my boys around my Aunt and Uncle’s dining room table this week; trying to figure out a way to teach them writing (well, I need to teach them everything, actually, but in this moment I want to discuss writing). The first day of the week I had them start a story...a very rough, rough draft of a story totaling a mere 7 sentences. It’s not too much to ask, I mean we’re talking second and third grade here so “there was a dog and a cat” being the first line of our mini rough draft....I took a deep breath embracing the fact that it’ll get better.
However, with the beginning of a story in place we couldn’t decide where to go from there. Exactly my question. Where do I go? How do I take them? We’re facing the third rewrite and I’m pulling out a few hairs (mine, of course) How can I teach my littles to write if I know little to nothing about the anatomy of a good story not to mention keeping all the verbs, adjectives, prepositions, pronouns, and other fancy English words I should know, straight. Keep in mind, I’m NOT a writer (or a teacher for that matter). I’m an artist, decorator, traveler, encourager, among other things, but a writer....not so much.
Truth be told, I have no recollection of ever taking a single English class (I’m certain I did). In fact most of my past (including 92% of my schooling) is a black hole of lost memories which are only retrieved by photographs or a kind friend reminding me I was actually the Maid of Honor IN her wedding as I apologized for not attending.....oops. (And to top it off I needed photos to prove it). But with regards to school, I remember getting straight A’s for some odd reason. How the heck?! It’s beyond me. Now here I am having to learn everything, I mean everything, all over again.
Welcome to my new Live Decorated episode aptly named “Learning Life”.
Back to the lesson at hand:
Dressing up a story. How can I put it in terms they’ll understand? Holy Spirit help.
An analogy, that’s what I need .... birth ... suddenly, I’m flailing about making every effort to teach this mysterious subject while the kids stare at me like a cow looking at a new gate. Ahh, but it flowed from my mouth so perfectly as I acted out a little baby being scrawny and weak, needing nourishment and food. While physically acting out this growth process (you can imagine) the birth conversation quickly turned into a discussion on the blossoming of a flower. How? I know not. “We must water and feed the story with words making the plot stronger and more interesting so the branches can bud and blossom.” I explain.
It felt good...real good....to be eloquently describing what it’s like to write, edit, spruce up, edit, edit then rewrite and share what you’ve written. It wasn’t until day 3 that I realized I was falling on my face with this lesson....no one was getting it. They thought I was telling them their stories were terrible.
Deep breath! Not the case, misters. Back to birth...follow me boys, bouncing back and forth between analogies (like following a ping pong game on ice). At birth the baby makes noise but doesn’t make sense. Here we are. The second draft is the toddler stage where the message becomes more clear while remaining elementary. Come on guys. Then the kid phase of the rewrite emerges and sentences become a bit more colorful. We haven’t even touched on the puberty stage, let alone college and moving out.
Getting a little carried away at this point, but you get it.
LHello.....the more descriptive we get the brighter and fuller the story becomes, right!?”
(I could use a lesson or two here.)
Is no one listening to this profound wisdom?
Honestly, I’m treading water in the schooling pool swirling with confusion and frustration.
Wearing a “teacher hat” was the last hat I ever thought I’d wear but am now forced to
(by making the decision to travel).
God has a sense of humor in case you didn’t know.
I’m walking out this road school thing with leniency and grace...spelling, math, reading, writing...it’s all part of the plan and we’re all blossoming into new creatures as we journey through this traveling life together. No one said it would be easy. “The first year is the hardest” or so I’ve heard. What if this is my only year? I can’t ruin them too badly in one year. Then again. I can’t imagine sending them off to 8 hours of school a day with homework in the evening to top it off. Torture. The question arises....what would I do if when we find a place to live? Would I choose public school, private or home?
Do you homeschool? Unschool? Public? Private? Boarding school? (A secret dream of mine from time to time). Am I crazy? Am I geared for this? Or wired? Or whatever?
I assure you I’m praying!
Prayer and faith WILL get my through this, I have no doubt.
What’s your take on all this? Don’t get all religious on me telling me if I was listening to God I wouldn’t be having a rough time of it. That’s BS if I ever heard it. Get off your high horse and answer me this. Are you more of a hands on approach kinda parent or are you a drop the kids at the door, pray for the best kind or somewhere in between? I’ve always been a drop at the bus stop kinda mom but this roadschool business is teaching me a lot. I like knowing where their heads are at. What they’re listening to. The manners and life lessons they’re learning. The nature element of this travel life is beyond words.
Listen, I realize I’m still failing at this but I’m getting better and Lord knows I’m tryin’.
So no judge, just love, ok? I realize I may look like an idiot; in my defense I’ve fractured my head open twice with a total of 11 head injuries and I’m humbly requesting a bit of leeway.
You be you, I be me and hopefully this “me” will change and morph (sooner than later please, Lord) into a mighty woman of faith and love growing in deeper knowledge and understanding.
So let me encourage you to step out of your silly zone of comfort and jump headfirst into the realm of faith. If you miss it (like I have) get up, shake it off and get back in there. Leap into the great unknown; He will lead and guide your every move, just like He’s doing with me over here. Learning Life on our yearlong travel adventure (finding our next home).
My vivid imagination takes a glorious detour.... decorating....how would it feel to have a home to decorate again? What’s my style? Has it evolved? Surely! I’ve changed so much in the last 4 months of this wild journey. I don’t have the answers, that’s why I’m here. Traveling, road schooling, and sacrificing in hopes of finding our next home and following God’s perfect plan ... even though I can’t see what’s around the bend.
I do know this:
You’re meant to rise, expand, and embrace the twists, turns and all the lessons this life holds.
No more, no less.
I’m standing on the scripture, for all of us parents, from Isaiah “all your children shall be taught by the Lord and great shall be the peace of your children.” Selah!
I have so far to go and I know I WILL get there....by golly.
Ciao for now and thanks for your powerful prayers,
By the way, we just booked our next home....January 27th the gulf shores of Alabama is our next destination ... the beach is already calling me.