I have been sick this past week. I thought I had a cold until it didn’t go away, and then I realized it was maybe the flu.
It’s not a big deal, except that I haven’t been able to get much done, including homeschooling.
And that drives me a little nuts.
I am not good at being sick for more than about two days. Two days are fine – I stay in bed and drink tea and binge-watch terrible television, but beyond that, I get sick of TV, I’ve finished whatever book I was reading, my bed feels weird and I just want to be able to run around again.
It’s not as hard being sick now as when my kids were tiny. That was rough stuff and I feel for you mamas of littles when you get sick. There’s nothing quite like trying to make a screaming child a grilled cheese sandwich when your head is so stuffy that you feel like a parade balloon.
But now my kids are more self-sufficient, which is good, but is also means that when Mom gets sick, we fall into a few days of endless screen time, and then I inevitably get The Homeschool Mom Guilts about that – “But … If they went to school the teacher would make them do real stuff.”
How quickly we forget about the reality of substitute teacher days in real school, and how often they used to include “filmstrip day,” which was just screen time back when the screen pulled down over the chalkboard.
And so by Friday, I was ready to stop beating myself up – (I found some Holt hidden on my Kindle) – and I started noticing the things my kids were talking about – a new found love of fractals, and The Maps.
The Maps are the Pin It Maps Sara, (owner and homeschooling mama!) sent us this week. Sara was generous enough to send us a few different Early America maps, because my daughter had been inquiring about the original 13 colonies and I thought this would be a fantastic hands-on way to learn more.
The Maps, as we’ve started calling them, have become something of an obsession here. We pull them out each day and add to them, planting flags like little explorers and I can see the connections being made – why parts of Canada speak French, how so many settlements were near water, and of course why the 13 colonies started on the East coast.
These maps are bringing history to life for my kids, and so naturally, instead of resting like a sane person, I got online to start reserving books on Native Americans, early settlements, early American history …
But then I couldn’t get to the library, so I worried. I fretted and stewed – this was the perfect homeschooling opportunity, and all I could see is that this amazing window of learning was going to close, and I would have missed this chance to fill my kids heads with dates, facts, and if there was time, historical fiction.
It took Cait to set me straight: “Let the maps be the foundation to build on later,” she said.
Right now, our maps, and my kids’ love for them, is MORE than enough.
In fact, our Pin It Maps maps are a wonderful, serendipitously well-timed homeschool jackpot all in themselves.
So often, I see my kids learning about something and I jump all over it. I feel like a countdown has begun, and I only have a short time before my kids move on again.
But experience has shown me that the stuff that is going to stick around is going to stick around whether I feed it like crazy, or whether I just let it be – let it belong to my kids.
And so, for now, enough is more than enough, and I’m going to get back to my December plan, this time with a bit extra history and geography in the form of maps and pins, flags and tape.
Our children really are natural learning machines, and sometimes the best thing we can do is to grab some rest, so we’re ready to truly embrace whatever they get excited about next.
This post contains affiliate links. I was also given maps for review purposes, but all opinions are my own.