Jack has chosen home school. Hannah is an amazing teacher for him and the curriculum we chose is user friendly. She lists out what he can begin working on and then she teaches him the new stuff after breakfast. By eleven o’ clock every day they have finished school. That doesn’t mean Jack is finished learning. He has a voracious appetite to do, to try, to go, and to absorb. It’s a challenge keeping him fed with learning opportunities, but that’s a challenge I whole heartedly embrace with great enthusiasm. By the second day of school, they were finished with the whole first week’s program. The plan is to get ahead so when we want to take a trip, he is free.
When Jack finishes a book, he read two this week, he makes video book reports on the computer. He had a bake sale in the neighborhood on Monday and sold chocolate chip cookies to the kids who got out of school and earned about 40 dollars to go towards his fund to educate children in Uganda. We went to the stables a few times, signed up for swim, tennis, resumed piano, and we are looking for a karate studio. Like I said, his appetite for learning is voracious.
I love having him home. There’s something inside me that is breathing more completely because I get to manage the pace of his learning. I love to see him baking in the kitchen, stretched out on the floor drawing something he likes, and flopped over the arm of the sofa deep into a novel.
I also like it that he has a teacher, Hannah, and he is respectful learning from her. I know if it were me we would have major head to head battles and arguments. I might be breaking home school structure rules, but I can’t imagine being both mom and teacher. It is hard enough to be mom.
Kira has her toy computer and her desk in the school room and she keeps herself very busy doing school too. These days she’s bottomless hopping around our home like a little chocolate bunny often finding herself on her little potty concentrating hard. Any day now her big girl bed is going to arrive and she’s going to be moved up. She really likes to climb inside Kevin’s bed and pretend to go to sleep there. She also pretends to put Jack to bed, tucking in his blanket, reading him a story, kissing him and saying prayers with him. Adorable doesn’t even begin to describe this little mama. We are all having so much fun with her now that she’s communicating clearly, and beginning to understand consequences. All the spankings I had to give her in Uganda have prevented her from earning more now. I can see her thinking about her choice with that stormy look in her eyes until she gives up her stand, makes the right choice, and gets praise for it.
Jordan is working on improving his ACT score, and he is soliciting every food service place for a job so he can keep his early release status at school. He likes his classes and teachers, but he really likes being a senior. On the first day of school he applied to a college. He is going to cast a wide net and continue to seek God’s design for him and his path as he tries to understand what he is meant to study, and where he is meant to go. He heaved a big sigh in the car last night, and I asked him, “what’s on your mind?” He said, “there’s so much pressure right now.” Yes that’s it. I reminded him of the big fat lie I think every high school kid is taught: you must know what you are going “to be” by now. I urged him not to be ashamed that he doesn’t know what he wants to study. He is so smart, and he can have many good options. It’s ok to go slowly and think carefully about career paths. He would like to be a missionary! He would even like to finish the work with Kirabo Seeds that Craig and I have started. (Isn’t that a gift from God.) But this means he has to discover what skills God wants him to learn to be equipped to do that work. Like he said himself, the pressure is great, but the reward is worth it. Having a senior in the house is something we have experienced once before, we are gearing ourselves up for the bumpy ride. I think Craig and I are meant to be the shock absorbers for him. Might I point out that’s a lot of concussion. Where’s my helmet?
And our steady, sweet Kevin has started high school this week. His freshman class has seven hundred kids. He’s playing tennis with the junior varsity team and he is loving all of it except the shocking locker room experiences. I don’t want to know. He’s disappointed that he didn’t get a theater class or a journalism class. He really misses being in a play. I assured him next year he can do it. All of his friends from his middle school went to the other high school in our area, so he has to make friends all over again. But he will do it, the same as he’ll get lost once, and learn for the next time. His first week report is that he loves high school, but it is exhausting. (Anything so new is always tiring.)
Craig was in California for part of the week because the company he works for just bought a refinery so they went to introduce themselves to their new employees. He’s busy but he loves his new job more every day. That’s good for me to know. Every Friday he and I have our date night and the boys order pizza, drink soda, and take care of Kira until she is put to bed and they can watch a movie together. I love date night because that’s when we catch up, connect, and laugh and laugh about our crazy life.
With all this going on is it any wonder I have to step away and have some time alone with my horse? It doesn’t make logical sense because she’s a big time commitment. But when I am with her, I remember who Tonya is, and I give myself challenges and goals to meet. As she and I become more and more bonded, understanding each other and working better together I can chart personal achievement. I’ve been riding for a year, and I’ve only just chipped the surface with what I can learn to do with her. I am not just crazy about her, I’m deeply in love with her. We know each other now. She is affectionate with me and trusts me to understand her. She is my therapy, my exercise, and my friend. After I’ve spent time grooming her, riding, and hosing her down I feel as though I can take anything that my life throws at me…
Even the hardships I haven’t mentioned that are breaking my heart in Uganda this week. I’ll blog in Mzungu Mama tomorrow and share some of those challenges. But now… I need to go to the stables.