Consistent Misread

Whether it’s my knitting or my homeschooling or my housework, I can’t find a balance between my plans and reality.  I used to be fairly good at gauging our lives.  The Family Accessories Project (in which I knit mittens and hats for all of us by Halloween and cowls by Christmas) looks to be more daunting than I’d originally anticipated.  The “Am I Crazy?” email I sent a friend about my plans is being answered by the Mistress of Real Life and she’s telling me that I am crazy.  I’ve got a hat knit (oh, so gorgeous) and about half a mitten to go with it for Sandra, and about 1/4 of a hat for Rainer.  But it’s not easy to knit things secretly around here. While it would be easier on me to not be trying to keep things a surprise, somehow that’s part of the happiness.  So when everyone is present I keep working on Rainer’s magnificently striped sweater there in the photo.

Austermann Murano

And homeschooling…I just can’t seem to get a grasp on it.  I’m sure that part of it is that neither kid is strong enough at reading to do things independently, but hoo-ee! I can’t seem to get us through the (utterly reasonable) amount of work I’ve got planned.  Luckily I don’t have it planned out in writing for weeks – I learned very early that that’s just begging to rewrite and rewrite and then rewrite while banging my head on the desk.  It’s still a balance, though, trying to move through the day in a way that honours them and builds on our relationship and also teaches them the skills they need to do grunt work on.

At least I’m consistent, though.  I consistently overshoot which is far better than the opposite alternative.  And speaking of bold and brash ambitions, I’ve got an update on my 101 Things in 1001 Days list coming soon.  And guess what…I’m consistent.  Ambitious and inspired by goals and…consistent.

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For those of you wanting the peppermint cookie recipe, I’ll see if I can dig it up over the weekend, but whether or not I’m doing a good job of estimating my availible time is questionable.

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6 thoughts on “Consistent Misread

  1. V says:

    Sarah, I can’t remember this, but did you ever pursue vision therapy with a Developmental Optometrist for your kids? I only ask because I know first hand how exhausting it is to be educating kids whose academics are far ahead of their reading ability. We have had good luck with vision therapy, so I’m always recommending that, although I suppose there must be people who don’t have luck with it.

    I totally understand about wanting to do all sorts of things and then finding there isn’t time to do it all, not even by half.

    Thanks for this blog of yours, and allowing this little window into you and your life. I enjoy it very much, feel fond of your sweet family. love, Val

  2. Kitchen Mama says:

    I am new to your blog but have really enjoyed it since I stumbled upon it. What I particularly like about it is the graceful and generous way in which you write about your life.

    I homeschool my seven and nine year old and have had an entire autumn similar to what you have said today. If I get too caught up in the details of what I want to accomplish each day I find I am setting myself up for feeling discouraged because life as homeschoolers just doesn’t always work out according to my ideal schedule. It’s on days like today (a tough one for us, too), which start out completely topsy-turvy (to put it mildly), that I find stepping back, going for a bike ride together or a long visit to the library, these things remind me of the beauty of the homeschooling endeavor (and the baking, cooking, knitting, etc.) and to appreciate each day, for all the ups and downs.

    Thank you for your wonderful, thoughtful posts, and I wish you good luck in striving for balance.

    A.

  3. Julie says:

    Wow! You sound just like the Yarn Harlot over here Christmas knitting!! I guess you are in good company there!

    I think the ebb and flow is one of the wonderful things about homeschooling. Just when you think you are on top of it – wham! It goes off kilter and causes you to reassess. Even if the reassessment is that you need to grind your teeth and put up with things for a while!!

    Keep plugging away!

  4. Patricia says:

    (Sorry for submitting twice. Sometimes I forget that WordPress automatically logs me in to the wrong account for leaving comments. You can delete this part if you post it.)

    Hey, you just wrote the story of my life! I’m constantly frustrated by the difference between what I want to do, and what I actually get done, in relation to homeschooling, knitting, writing, cooking, crafting… Sometimes blogs don’t help–I see what others are doing and think, why can’t I do that? So I especially appreciate blog posts about how life doesn’t always measure up to our expectations.

    On the other hand, I’ve come to understand that having too many plans, and not being able to meet them is the byproduct of being a curious, optimistic person. And that’s a good thing!

    Just the other night, when I went to bed feeling frustrated, I told myself it might be good to write down all the things I wanted to do that I *had* been able to get to that day. Help myself focus on the positive rather than the negative. Cause I’ll never get to everything I plan!

    Best of luck to you, Prairie! I find that frustrating days are almost always followed by better ones.

  5. tbird says:

    Well, I only have ONE pre-literate child so it’s a bit easier here but yes, it’s not quite how I planned it round here either!

    I love the idea of knitting mittens in plenty of time for winter etc, maybe one year I’ll be that organised? But then, where would be the fun in having things ready when I can frantically crochet into teh wee small hours in order to salve my concience when I have a small child with small, cold hands!

  6. ChristineMM says:

    I have the same issue here. I always think I can do more than I actually accomplish.

    Yesterday my kids had a playdate at a friend’s house. I was going to have 3.5 hours totally alone. I had a mental list, a huge list of all I thought I could do. THe phone rang, a problem that I had to deal with. I then chose to do some correcting of homeschool papers instead of something that was more suitable to me doing when alone (continuing to work on moving books and getting rid of books) or starting those pajamas for my son that I am going to sew, or the Halloween costume I need to sew.

    I also have a hard time finding balance between what must be done (eating, meal prep and homeschooling) and what would be good to get done right now verusus what can wait versus what is done for relaxation and enjoyment. I have only been making art or knitting in ‘in between times’ not just having a block of making art ‘for play and fun’. I have a very skewed sense of what I’d like to do or get done versus how long that takes to actually do.

    I am trying to lower expectations and be more reasonable but it is like my mind is somehow set on a different perception level, it is not easy to ‘reset’.

    I also try to squash my inner voice that tells me that because I can’t do all that I’d like to do that I am failing and ‘not good’ or ‘not good enough’ or ‘am incompetent’. I sometimes fall into that kind of self-talk despite my friends and family saying, “You did that? And that? And baked that? And went there? How do you get it all done?” but the funny thing is all I see is what was NOT done and think I’m falling down on the job.

    I just dropped a Wed morning appointment (all morning thing) so now we have another morning to sleep in, do different types of homeschooling. I think I will do the three days of ‘regular lessons’ and then use Wed morning for homeschool art, physics with experiments, history poetry reading and some composer study–because those are the things falling off the regular homeschooling lesson radar for us on the other 3 days that we are home.

    Don’t be hard on yourself about what you are not able to do. I can tell you that while still having a hard time doing that for myself.

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