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  • The Sharp Spot

Eat the fruit that is in season...

One of my favorite songs is Living my Best Life by Ben Rector. I honestly have no idea who he is but I studied the cover of his album before writing this and there is a weird red character on the front which makes me think he is some kind of children’s singer. 

Great. I’m an adult listening to children's music. And now I’m writing about it. 

Either way, I was listening to the song while driving and one of the lyrics really stuck with me. 

“…I’m learning how to eat the fruit that is in season…” 

It jumped out at me because this idea of seasons has been on my mind a lot lately. It comes up during my women’s bible group, when talking with other moms, the books I read about homeschooling, and now lyrics in this song.

I have been reflecting on our first full year of homeschool and looking over how it changed, like seasons change I suppose. It was not the same all the time. There were some consistencies throughout all months and times but I can identify these things about it:

  • August-October-ish: lots of outdoor play, sports focus for boys of football, soccer, running, basketball - VB coach for me. Felt new and energy was abundant to do daily work and lots of fun field trips. Everything is new and exciting again. We are able to be outside and we begin our learning again.  

  • Nov-Dec: lack of table work but lots of family time, slowing down, hunkering into the cold, board games and hot chocolate mornings, crafts, video games. We prepare for the Christmas season and with that comes crafts, gifts, and lots of slow things: movies, hot tub mornings, 

  • Jan-Mar: academics hit a stride and good schedule. This was the most consistent weekly schedule of library, YMCA, Skyzone times. Lots of indoor time but the previous year was lots of skiing and sledding but there was not enough snow this year - basketball almost every day for someone: Josh, Brayden, Dax, or Zander! 

  • April- Academics began slowing, outdoor time increasing with friends. We did weekly field trips to other spots in North Dakota with our homeschool group

  • May: kept going with academics as long as we could - made it about three weeks in- business picks up and academics are paused 

  • June: a new schedule must be decided with the family as camping begins which means a more unstructured season. We figure out summer expectations, so I do not go crazy!

Life all ties together so when I look at my business seasons, it follows a similar pattern and feeling. There is a steady current from September to November. It slows and goes a bit dormant (just like we do) from December to early March. As the temperature starts to warm up, our season reaches full bloom from April to August just as our lives are reaching their peak too. We come alive in the warm weather! It seems we begin to reap the blessings we have been preparing and waiting for. 

Each season is full of life in a different way. It’s been important for me to see this so I can stop comparing how “good” we were doing at one time or another. I still find myself judging our success on academics even though I KNOW this is not the ultimate measure. 

My children are going to be the product of our journey. Not the work they did. Not the projects, worksheets, or field trips. All of those things will go into building and understanding life: responsibility, hard work, fun, curiosity, teamwork, identity, citizenship. It’s all there in our day to day living. Sometimes I think because I have worked so much on myself and continue to strive to impart all the good that is in me to them, they will be good humans just by being around me. (Sounds arrogant, but I certainly do not mean it that way.) They will be better than me. And that’s what homeschool is really about: being together and producing better humans for the next generation.

It’s summer season now. We are into June. This season looks different than past ones and I again must stop myself when I hear the judgement in my head: we should be camping already, we should have already taken them tubing, we are missing out. My weird crazy thoughts are founded in fear and really it takes just a minute to silence them and say: but the boys chose to do baseball...but they are going to the pool every day...but we are in the middle of remodeling our house, so this has to be a priority instead.

Our June will look nothing like past ones (hopefully future ones too!) and I’m trying to keep my positive-attitude hat on. We are moving out of our Bismarck house. It’s the rental we have called home for a year and a half. This is a place we never thought we would be, but this home has loved us well. It’s all a little overwhelming but I have not taken much time to sit with it. It’s like a tornado coming through to move us onto a new path in a fast and furious way. Maybe we were warned of it but we’re not quite ready. 

Bismarck will no longer be our home; Washburn will be. We will detour our month to our camper which is raising its own challenges (our water pump went out on its first trip, and this is vital to our camper living!) We are seeing this part of our life as an adventure! The kids seem to be on board for the most part. One of their biggest concerns is technology as we have a hard and fast rule about no tech while camping (blessing in disguise?)

We are excited and naturally nervous. It seems like we have been holding our breath since the fire and we are now ready to release the air into the direction we are moving. We were stuck for so long in a place of indecision and now that we are moving forward, it feels like we can breathe again. We can move forward without the heaviness of our lungs so full of trauma. We can let it go. 

Right now, we are planting new seeds so there isn’t any fruit. We are hopefully planting and tending to them in a way that will yield fruit in later seasons. So, I’ll continue to listen to my childish music and enjoy the season I'm in.

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