It's the end of the first full week of school. I don't know if my girls have learned anything, but I have learned a lot. Here's just a few things I've learned this week.
1. 5:30 is really early, but it's worth it to get up and have an hour to myself before anyone else gets up. I won't make it through the weeks ahead without starting my day with a little quiet time with God. Those silent, stolen moments with Him are the thing that help me hold onto my patience and frustration during a day gone bad. Those stolen moments of solitude are what keep me going when all I want to do is take a nap. I am, however, considering taking up coffee-drinking.
2. If you're home all day, every day, the dog will follow you around and nap wherever you are. And he snores.
3. I didn't know nearly as much about my younger daughter's learning style as I thought I did. A week of being her only teacher has me scrambling to truly understand the unique way my daughter learns. Getting a better understanding of how God made her has been a blessing of this first week but has left me redoing lesson plans left and right.
4. Getting back into the school and sports schedule is hard. I miss my summertime nights where the family sat down to dinner together almost every night, followed by games of horse or some shared TV time. The school year has its own rhythm, but we haven't found it yet.
5. Sending my older daughter to camp this summer was the best decision we ever made. She came back more confident in who she is and who God is. She's probably the best equipped she's ever been to handle the social challenges that come with school. We've been back to school for more than a week, and we haven't shed a single tear over school, yet.
6. I still don't like to cook dinner.
7. Lists and schedules can help order the day. I still hate making lists, but I've found that for this week, at least, they're the only thing making sure I don't forget something.
8. Not every day is going to be great -- some days don't even break the good mark -- but God is there even in the midst of the bad days.
9. Sometimes you just need to take a break. The back porch is my new refuge. Fifteen minutes with a book, a game on my phone, or in prayer in the middle of the day is enough to get me through the afternoon.
10. Some weeks your house is just going to be messy. Figuring out the work, school and sports schedules this week has been hard enough. Trying to add housecleaning to the mix would have sent me over the edge. I've done the bare minimum, but this weekend we'll be having a house-cleaning party. I know my kids will love it.
The first week of school has brought a lot of learning to our home, but I think I've learned the most. Here's hoping that next week, I can learn some more.