Wednesday, March 1

March is Most Welcome

Oh, February. 

The month when all homeschooling parents simultaneously let out a giant, collective sigh.

Short dreary days, restless children cooped up in the house, mud stains all over the floor.  Discarded gloves, hats, and coats by wet boots on the porch.  We're lethargic and sluggish, somewhat suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, and craving some sunlight on our skin.

Trudging through math lessons and flashcards, wondering if we'll see the light at the end of the tunnel soon.  Are we halfway through with the book yet?

We're craving something delightful, but even tea and poetry doesn't feel the same when it's raining outside.

Catalogs of new materials promising a better school year and happy students start arriving in the mail.  I can't look at these yet as we still have three solid months left of this school year.

Three. Solid. Months.

By the end of February, I'm feeling a little hopeful.  The sun is out more frequently now, and the coats are stuffed back into the closet.  While I'm dreading allergy season, it's a welcome relief to see eager leaf buds, azaleas in bloom, and tiny lettuces popping up through the dirt in my garden.  There are even some fragrant orange blossoms on the tree that lived through the freeze.

We've past the halfway mark of the math book.  We have only 12 history lessons left!

I find relief in a new mug filled with hot tea and a good book that promises peace in my heart by trusting in God's plan for our family.  The day stays busy and loud but we take time to pray and eat, gather and separate, work and play.

Lent is beginning only today, but is welcome because we must fast before we can feast.

February is the Lent of my school year.  It's the fast, the dark night when I'm blinded to the progress of my students.  We're naturally all a little more solemn, a little less celebratory.  Some days we trudge along to the routine, happy to have something to cling to when otherwise we might just stay in bed all day.  But we are learning; there is inner growth.

I've learned that February comes, but it also goes.  Knowing that certain phases in life are just that- a phase- can sometimes be the only consolation during those dark nights.  Sometimes there's no lesson other than just to be still and wait.

They're doing their lessons, practicing their piano, and reading their books.  They can't see the little bits of growth that happen every day, but I pray they will recognize it in May.  When they check 8 month's worth of progress pages of their handwriting books, or when they go back into their drawing notebooks and laugh at how they drew a knight last summer.  When they see a workbook filled with completed math tests, or a notebook with sketches and writings about their favorite saints.

Or when he can read an entire book outloud to me.

As much as I pray to enjoy the moments placed before me every day, in February I look ahead.  I practice patience and contentment and beg God to get me through.

Welcome, March 1.  You're so very welcomed in my home!

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