This week has been anticipated for half the summer.  So much planning and organizing goes into the first week of school.  Books are ordered, school room is set up, copies are made, pencils sharpened.  It’s a lot to get ready for–and then the rubber meets the road and the bell rings and you have to be ready for the swing of things again.
I think I got a little overwhelmed over the weekend before school started.  I was ready, it wasn’t that.  I was just overwhelmed with it all.  I have a toddler that is into or climbing on everything in sight, I have multiple grade levels to teach, and still the tasks of running a home; keeping it clean, orderly, and making 21 meals per week.  Also, I was flooded with the memory of last school year, which feels like yesterday, that began the great mouse infestation of 2013 and some of my darkest days thus far.  All those memories still feel so raw–so many hurts, beyond the mice, that we’ve had to work through over the last 18 months, we finally feel like we’re in a better place emotionally, but still the memories haven’t faded all that much and sadly, they’re all still tied to something and this time it was the first day of school–I was overwhelmed.
I’ve realized something with fear and being overwhelmed with life–the longer you sit on it and think on it, the bigger it becomes.  You just have to take a step forward.  Even a small step is still a step.  I didn’t feel ready to start school on Monday.  Yes, all the stuff was ready, but emotionally, I just felt like something was going to backfire–like all the preparation was going to be for naught.  But I took a step anyway…just one tiny step into Monday.

I’m not going to say it’s easy–then again is anything in the role of being a mom easy–but we did it.  We survived our first week of school.  There were hiccups, yes, but we did it.  In our sloppy, sometimes scattered, noisy way, we did it.  Vera tore into everything (still looking for that perfect-legal cage for babies) but we laughed and dealt with it and got our work done anyway.

I want to do so much.  I want to take my kids on amazing field trips where they are anxiously journaling in their field trip journals (which we do not have).  I want to complete math and language arts by 9am and check their perfectly handwritten assignments and return them all with gold stars.  I want to spend hours a day reading great historical literature on our current subject and finish it off with a great project everyday.  I want all this plus my laundry folded and put away in neat stacks so I can plod over shiny floors in my kitchen to get a delicious roast beef on the table by 5:30pm for dinner.

This list is not humanly possible.  Life with kids–and kids that are at home all the time–is messy and noisy and crazy and busy.  I take a step back from the never-ending list of expectations and cut that list in half–or maybe just choose a quarter of it.  We will have school, some days will be great, some days will be not-so-great.  My feet will stick to the floor while I make a quick dinner that’s halfway healthy, I’ll fold the clothes in 20 minutes and go to bed tired.  Even still, it is worth it.  This life is worth it.

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P.E. with dad on his day off is worth it.  Four-square has become a staple in our neighborhood.  I had no clue what this game was until we moved here.  They love it.  It’s simple.  P.E. Done.
Seeing her cartwheel from square to square is worth it.  She’s never been able to do things the easy way, she always takes the road less traveled.  I love that about her.  I love that I get to see that everyday.  I don’t want to miss a single cartwheel.  Worth it.


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Human number lines to learn addition is worth it.  Sometimes we have to get creative.  Sometimes we struggle through a lesson.  Still, it’s worth it.


Seeing them work together and share these experiences–so worth it.  They know each other.  They are friends.  Yes, they argue and it drives me crazy, but sometimes they don’t.  Sometimes I catch them being extra sweet or extra protective or extra helpful.  And those things? Yes, those things make it all worth it.  I wouldn’t trade this life.


We are one week through–33 weeks to go.  Tipping my hat to those of you that have finished the first week or two as well.  Well done, mamas.  Enjoy your breaks this weekend.  Rest up, because we’re gonna do it all again next week! 🙂


  1. wow … i fell out of blog land for a while and i lost your blog, but today i found your website and realised that Vera was just a baby when i left and wow she is 1 1/2 now and soooo cute! happy to be back 🙂

  2. Yes and yes to everything you said. This crazy, exhausting, patience-trying, life is always worth it. Because in the end, there are WAY MORE blessings than discouragements.

    Your school pictures turned out adorable! We took some on the first day too!

    Happy planning for an awesome SECOND week!

    Love you!

  3. So glad you had a good first week. We're a couple in, and things are going pretty well. Like you, I can only go one step at a time. If I let things get big, I get overwhelmed. Two in high school this year. Gulp. Here's to the next 8 months!


  4. It sure is magical and such a privilege to home school. You are doing an excellent job and your best is always good enough. Your kids are happy and that's the main thing. Keep it up, you are amazing!

  5. loved your post! even though I don't home school I relate so much to what you're going through. you are always able to put into words the thoughts and feelings that go through my mind <3

  6. Alicia,

    You are amazing. I really look forward to your blog posts. I have referred a couple people to your blog for homeschooling ideas. I love how honest you are and find that refreshing.

    Keep up the good work,

  7. i think it's the finishing one week only to start another that has been overwhelming for me. but all the more reason to soak up the weekend even more! : ) you prod me on in this journey. thank you.

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