Surrender | September 2022

It feels strange saying goodbye to September today because there’s still a few more days left! But it’s the last Monday of the month and I’m joining Carolyn and my fellow bloggers in our monthly reflection on our One Little Word. Thank you, Carolyn, for being such a gracious and generous host!

September has felt like a month of survival. Looking back, I can recognize that I only survived because I managed to pivot and surrender to the changes the month brought. I’ve mentioned several times that the transition back into our full school curricula has been a challenge, mostly for me. The kids have been quite happily sinking into (most of) the new challenges. But me? The first week was full of rushing and trying to make everything fit into a certain window, resentment about losing “my” time, a sink constantly full of unwashed dishes, and baskets of wrinkly laundry. These things do not add up to a happy Katie.

In the second week, I allowed myself to surrender to the present. Instead of the internal struggle of trying to ensure that the day didn’t change too much, I threw myself into the full Torchlight curriculum. I embraced an afternoon session of school and filled it with what I’ve been wanting to do for the past two years: extra reading and more art (art history and creating it). I recognized that THIS is what I’d been envisioning for our homeschool all along: breaking up the day into two manageable parts instead of trying to cram everything into the morning and then getting tired and frustrated, lots of afternoon reading while letting our bellies settle from lunch, afternoon art projects, daily poetry tea time. There’s no rushing, more smiles, and lots of laughter at the table. There are the inevitable hiccups and frustrations (I’m definitely not trying to say that we’re picture perfect!), but we’re able to work through it all and accomplish what we set out to do.

When I surrendered my resistance to all of the changes and just observed, I recognized that this is what the last two years of patience and teaching has been for. We are all finally rowing in the same direction! And I was able to recognize what was missing for me: time in the afternoon to rest and regroup before Colton gets home and the activities of the evening begin (dinner, baths, bedtime routines, evening chores, etc). At that point it was pretty simple to implement an hour of quiet time before tea and our second foray of the day outside to play. I think the kids were just as tired as I was!

Our day will shift and morph in countless ways over the next year and that’s okay. I just hope I can recognize my need to observe and morph along with it as quickly as I was able to do this month. And maybe next September I’ll remember to expect these bumps in the road? Probably not. But this month I learned that when in doubt, surrender and PIVOT!

15 thoughts on “Surrender | September 2022

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  1. Congratulations on doing the hardest thing of all, Altering your Mindset. So glad things are happier for you all. From my school days I recall STEM subjects in the morning and nice things after lunch.

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    1. Thank you! My strategy is to ease in the day with reading, writing, and math to ensure that we get to those every day, even if we go totally off the rails. Afternoons are for the extras: history, science, arty stuff. It’s working so far!

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  2. Who knew that in surrender there was victory?! What incredible insights, Katie… And you are showing your children how to Alter Your Mindset (to borrow a phrase from Cathy!) which might be the most important lesson ever!

    Bravo for such a great month!

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  3. Sometimes the unexpected and unplanned creates a disruption that actually helps in the long run, and it sounds like that’s what’s happened for you. I am so thrilled to hear that you’re finally settling into a school rhythm that is working for all of you, and I hope it only gets better as you continue to make adjustments.

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  4. I’m so happy for your dexterity to pivot, Katie! That’s huge. I think it takes a lot of wisdom to do that, to pivot versus dig in the heels (I speak from my own sore heels….!)–and it sounds like wisdom is what you’re gaining from these last few years of experience.
    Your rhythm sounds lovely. Enjoy this season!

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  5. Your school day sounds balanced, Katie – I always want a short nap after lunch (mandatory quiet time!) and then I’m refreshed through the evening. Do the kids get tea-time, too? We finished up Marc’s frozen fruit stash with smoothies on Monday and I told the boys we’d start making cookies for after school snacks. I think there are wonderful science lessons in baking.

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    1. The kids love tea time! We’ve tried a few different teas but have settled on Earl Gray. Red Rose sells EG in bulk – it’s not as good as Twinings but I’m getting used to it 😉 And I usually raid the day old bakery section at the grocery store a couple of times a week to make sure we have some easy sweet things to accompany our pots of tea. I’d love to bake more but time is short lately! Perhaps when the weather turns awful our outside morning time can be turned towards baking time? I know a lot of families who use baking as math lessons one or two times a week – it’s good practice with fractions!

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  6. Surrender has been such a great word choice for you this year, it seems, Katie. I’m so glad you were able to use it to pivot your attitude.

    Also, your capitalization of PIVOT reminded me of the couch moving scene on Friends! Was that a nod to that show? Ha ha!

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