A Winter of Peace

The excitement of Christmas and the New Year is dwindling, but it left us with such grateful hearts. I was more than ready to get back to school after our longer than planned break due to getting sick. Something about those long breaks is just the opposite of peaceful- the kiddos get cantankerous let me tell ya!

Wooden gingerbread houses we made this year

I am trying to make our mornings more peaceful by starting school slowly in front of the fire all snuggled up. After our morning checklists which are some simple to-do’s for the Bigs, and my usual toddler care and breakfast prep, we start with the audio gospel from our trusty morning basket. That way I have time to run around doing a few quick chores such as baking bread or cleaning up breakfast, and usually squeezing in my spiritual reading and morning tea. See how it doesn’t seem all that peaceful? I’m working on slowing down, as my body is not appreciating it and I’m sure the kids don’t either.

My bestest bookends

Starting a fire in the morning has been incorporated for a few reasons; 1. I’m using it as a way to beat the winter blues, 2. C and A are learning how to build and start fires on their own, 3. C is learning how to chop wood, 4. The ash is beneficial for the chickens and the garden. It’s really nice to have C and A be old enough to take on more homesteading chores. C is just loving chopping wood for kindling daily! I was quite proud of them for helping me haul and stack 2 cords of wood. It was so fun and rewarding. These snuggly fires have been a game changer for all of us, we are all loving the routine and warmth.

C chopping kindling and A ready to stack

Part of making schooling more peaceful for us means making time for the fun stuff! The daily math, science, and language arts is so crucial to development, but so are our relationships and mental health. A great way for us to bond, relax, AND learn is by doing what I call “the fun stuff”; crafts, projects, child led discussions, etc.

Some of “the fun stuff” – A made this model of a WW1 trench all by herself

I am getting better at not sweating it when a concept is proving difficult for a child to grasp or when it seems like no one is remembering anything, but I have a long way to go. The pressure of homeschooling is very real. I am the bottom line for their education and while that is a great privilege, it also means I am responsible for preparing them for life. This is absolutely the most incredible, most worthwhile, yet hardest job on the planet. Usually, the best solution to a challenging school day for us is to walk it off. Literally. I will just announce that we are going for a walk and we hop on bikes or scooters and go. Sometimes it’s met with consternation but our daily walk (or bike ride or scooter ride) has become such a part of our routine that it’s usually a welcome respite that the kids will ask for to clear their heads.

New roller blades

Don’t I live a wonderful life? I am so grateful. Looking back at these pictures always reminds me of that. The days might not always be peaceful but they precious and man, they are going so fast. Maybe the biggest key to a peaceful day is that- remembering. Remembering that I only get to borrow these amazing and unique souls for such a little while. Remembering that I am so thankful for every snuggly, hectic, moment no matter what we are learning. I’ll bet if I can remember that, our minds and hearts will be just as peaceful as they come.

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