The 2016 – 2017 school year has been another stellar year of learning, for all of us. I honestly still don’t know who learns more – my children or myself. Not all the learning we achieve is smooth, and gained through calm, happy, productive lessons. Most of mine comes from the mistakes and, sometimes, disasters that befall us. But we press on, dust ourselves off, and come out the wiser for it. As is so appropriate to do this time of year, I have been looking back on the growth we’ve achieved this year.
My oldest had a huge year. His ADHD diagnosis early in the year helped bring big changes this school year. For the first time, we had more of an understanding of the daily battle we had been fighting. While the diagnosis certainly wasn’t an instant cure, it helped put so many things into perspective. From there, we were able to find ways to do things that worked much better for him. When our math curriculum nearly broke us, we found one that worked for his needs. As he closes out this school year, I have more peace than any other year has brought. We’ve really accomplished something together.
My youngest was his jolly self this year. I’ll never know if it’s the youngest child syndrome, his personality, or the inseparable mix of the two, but he’s always so easy-going and ready to work and play. He and I learned a lot together this year too. He started learning multiplication and division, his reading blossomed, he opened the door to grammar and spelling, and he had so much fun with science. Snuggling up with him as we worked through the day was such a joy. I am looking forward to so many things with him in the coming years.
As for me, I learned quite a lot about myself this year. I learned to loosen my death grip on control, I learned how to take advantage of time instead of scheduling the day to maximum efficiency. I learned how to trust my instincts a bit more concerning how to teach my own children, instead of following curriculum to the letter because the curriculum was written by a professional. When things shifted, I wasn’t devastated to see my plans fall to the wayside, instead I adapted and ended up happier in the long run.
Now, I haven’t lost all my old tendencies. Making plans still soothes me like a warm blanket, and knowing what I’m doing still matters very much to me. Getting things ready, reading ahead, and making schedules are still my idea of a good time. However, I did learn a bit more balance this year. Oh, how I wish I had that when I started my journey. I think it’s safe to say I would have done many things differently.
As I start every year, I feel as if I’ve gotten things figured out (for the most part). But every year closes with me learning so much more than I thought I could learn. This year was certainly no exception. In fact, I think I learned more this year than some of my other years. The contentment and happiness I feel has been the reward from a lesson learned the hard way. I hope I can keep the perspective next time life rocks the boat again.