Monday, August 19, 2013

Our first of day of school!

            When I was a kid, I used to start anticipating the first day of school a few weeks before it was actually upon me.   My anticipation was not full of joy or excitement but instead, dread and anxiety.  I remember quite clearly, the butterflies that filled my stomach and the “what ifs?” that filled my mind as the day drew nearer and nearer.  What if I don’t like my new teacher?  What if I don’t have any friends in my class?  What if I can’t to rise to the standards of a new grade with greater expectations and a more difficult workload than ever before?
            I always did well in school.  I got good grades and I got along with all my teachers.   My fears were proven irrational and remained unsubstantiated year after year.  Yet, each new year, I fretted all over again. 

Following my graduation from high school, I thought that my first day anxieties were finally behind me forever.   And until this year, that has been true. 

I’ve home schooled my children fairly successfully for eight years now.  And like in my youth, I’ve anticipated the beginning of every year starting a few weeks before the first day was actually upon us.  Thankfully, I have anticipated each home school year with optimism and excitement.  Until now….

This year is the first year I have felt reminiscent of my old attitude towards the first day of school.  This year I have been nervous and worried about home schooling.  I have worried I could not rise to challenge again.  I have worried that my lingering feelings of burn out from last year would prevent me from being patient and motivated.  I have worried I just don’t have it in me to face third grade again, and fifth grade again, and seventh grade again, and pre-school (at home with me) and high school for the first time.

Today the first day is upon us though!  For weeks, I have been praying and praying and praying for this school year to be successful and peaceful.

In the past, like for New Year’s Day, I have made resolutions for the beginning of the school year.  This year, instead of resolutions, I am focusing on one word as a theme for our new school year.  My word for this school year is “balance.”  I will pray for and seek a balance

  • between structure –and- flexibility,
  • between projects and activities that are enjoyable and uncomplicated –and- hard work that challenges and stretches us,
  • between time devoted to and focused completely on educating my children –and- time for myself, to catch my breath, to sit in silence before the Lord and allow my soul to be fed, to do the things I enjoy (like blogging!). 

So far, so good!  Our first day went well.  We achieved our goals for the day and found the balance we needed today.   We'll tackle tomorrow when it comes.  :)  

             My plan is to take things one day at a time and to continue to rely more on prayer this year.  I’m very hopeful that, like in my youth, my anxiety for the past few weeks will prove completely unfounded and my worry-filled “what ifs” will never materialize.


  1. Kari,

    I like your plan to take one day at a time! It sounds like you had a good day.

    How do your children feel about the first day of school? Do they get anxious like you? Maybe they are looking forward to a new year of challenges!

    Praying your year gets off to a good start.

    God bless!

    1. Sue--

      Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your comments. My children do not feel any anxiety about school beginning. They enjoy learning- for the most part. Thankfully, we are now in our second week and my anxiety HAS proven unfounded. Things are going well! :)

      God Bless, Kari

  2. I agree with Sue day at a time.

    Let's pray for each others, shall we???!!! I too need balance. One of the reasons, besides just wanting to be at home with my kids, that I quit teaching was that I was unable to balance. I was a work-aholic. I just couldn't figure out how other teachers could walk out the door at 3:30 and I stayed until 5 PM every night...and then on the weekends. One thing that is so different this year is that I no longer have just one child at home, needing me, but three. And two are school-agers with extracurriculars. No, we aren't crazy overscheduled or anything like that, but having the after-school commitments actually helps me to balance and better organize my days and time. I don't have the luxury to waste time or focus on unnecessary details...I think I might actually be becoming a better teacher b/c of my own kids and their need for a balanced parent. Am I making any sense here...or just rambling! LOL Hugs, Friend!

    1. Val--

      I hope your school year is going well and that you are finding your perfect balance. It can be so hard to prioritize when everything seems so important. And I TOTALLY understand how being a good teacher can make you a better mother. I feel the same way about my writing. It has taught me so much and has fed my soul in ways that make me so much more available to my family- in a healthier and more balanced way!

      God is good to give us all we need to serve Him!

      Many blessings, Kari



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