Some days start out rough but you manage, or by some grace they turn around. Some days the grace just gets buried in a whole lot of crankiness and who knows what that refuses to be turned. Today was the latter.
I haven't written much about our homeschooling so far, which is mostly due to a lack of time rather than desire. So here is the quick and way-too-simple version: it has had its ups and downs. Lately – over the past few weeks or so – there are two things that I would say about it. One being that it has been going fairly well over all. More so than I expected, given some rough parts at the start. The other being that I'm realizing I've got two boys with different learning styles. Which has led to some thinking (or wanting to be thinking) about new things to try – some alternatives to what we've been doing and what the original plan was. (Which is a whole other subject in itself!)
Today, as we started our lessons, G began complaining that “I don't like school.” <Insert dropping heart> None of my efforts to encourage him to tell me more about just what he doesn't like or why did anything other than entrench him farther into his stubborn crankiness. Sure, I have no doubt that some of his cranks came from the morning that had led up to starting lessons, but this is something that he's said more or less at other times, so I know that there is something there. For some reason today it just seemed to blow up a bit more.
What gets me the most is not knowing what to do. I feel like if he would tell me matter-of-factly “Mommy, I don't like school.” And then have some sort of conversation with me about what he doesn't like, or what he wished it would be more like, I could accept it a bit more, well, matter-of-factly, and I could have a better idea how to adjust things to better suit his style. He's the one that I've most been thinking about as needing some other way of learning, at least in part, so it's not so much of a surprise. But he just won't talk – at least to me.
It's hard to hear those words, because isn't that a big part of choosing this path, that they will love learning? I'm feeling inadequate – inept – in the face of them, today. I'm sure that will pass and I'll find some footing and a stronger heart. But today it's knocked me down, into that helpless place where something is needed of me that I am not providing and I don't even understand quite what it is or how to find and give it so it is seen. As I keep telling people when they ask how things are going: it will take a while to figure it all out. I'm not sure, on days like today, how much of the truth of and faith in that answer have made their way from my head to my heart. But then, I guess it wouldn't be faith if it was all clear to me.