A great quote, one I had been practicing backward for a long time – I had been working on my attitude instead of changing what was not working. That all changed last spring when I finally spoke up and told my husband, “this needs to either change or you need to take over all the responsibility.”

I had tried all I could to adjust my attitude, work within the boundaries given, look on the bright side of things, communicated needs, gone to meetings, etc. It was time for change. Over due really.

The result of that conversation, and subsequent ones, is that we now homeschool both of our kids. For different reasons. In slightly different ways.

We are still using Ambleside Online, following Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education, yet have added in two out-of-home classes and a tutor (for a specific subject for one kid who received instructions better from someone who isn’t a parent when it comes to this topic). Things are going better. Not perfect, but better than it had been previously.

One of the mindsets which has helped me not only keep my sanity but also see the successes we have had, is to remember – do not judge yourself, or your kids, according to public school standards. This has never been a personal issue of mine, though it is often how others judge us.  We may not be covering the same period in history or topic in math or have spelling tests but we do read Shakespeare’s plays, weave home ec and shop into our day (while the schools are taking it out), work on morals and helping others, and have hours long P.E./recess.

Lest you begin to think I have it altogether, by the end of September I was feeling like my organization skills had gone down the drain. The house was beginning to look messier, I couldn’t figure out a day to do the grocery shopping, and the small projects around the house were not getting done. “Surely adding in an extra kid wouldn’t be makings things this much harder. Would it?”

I was right, it was not solely adding an extra kid. It was mostly adding in 6 out of home activities to our week, a kid who was not used to going grocery shopping, and having two brothers who live to distract one another.  I had been adjusting my attitude (again) when in reality I needed to change some things, though nothing major this time.  Some of the chores have been redeligated, utilizing grocery pick up some weeks while working on appropriate shopping etiquette other weeks, and adjusting who does what when have helped things begin to go down the right path.

I feel more optimistic about the changes we have instituted in our lives and outlook for the next few months. Things are not always roses, or as beautiful looking as the daylilies in the vase in the living room, but they are better.