Picturing the Ideal

ideal

Lately I’ve been feeling pulled in too many directions and generally overwhelmed.  I took on another writing column (this one on green living, a subject I really love yapping about!) and have been juggling…

  • Homeschooling four ages
  • Housework
  • Two blogs
  • Three daily columns
  • Cooking mostly from scratch and now having to also provide vegan meals (Anna’s gone vegan!)
  • The garden
  • Time with each child (and we have two VERY difficult ages going at once!)
  • Volunteering
  • Exercise with the kids
  • Fun time for me

I’m pretty much failing at most of that.  😉  Or at least walking around feeling as if any moment my head might implode.

What I realized today is that I needed to figure out my ideal schedule.  I can’t try to adopt that if I don’t really know what it is.

The same principle is true of homeschooling or homemaking.

I can’t properly get my house in order if I haven’t taken the time to visualize what the house would look like in my perfect world.  Once I have an ideal in my head, I can start implementing all the little parts of it I am imagining.

Once I see my own vision clearly for what the dining room will look like, I can take small steps like paint the window seat the right color or look for the drapes I envision.  Before I know what the plan is, I can’t really ever get any closer to it.

The same goes for homeschooling.  I need to think about what our perfect homeschool day (or year) would entail.  How much of the kids’ schoolwork will be self directed?  Will we do “schooly” things together for part of the time?  At a certain time of day?  What will the routine be like?  What subjects will we cover?  What sort of things will they do on the computer?  What sort of art projects?

It’s also true of parenting, of course.  So many times we as parents get caught up in the daily management of our kids and don’t take the time to figure out what we want for them long term.  If we want them to be independent, self assured leaders, for instance, teaching them to mindlessly obey is not going to work out so well.

So my assignment for myself today is to daydream.  I am going to just take time to visualize… My perfect daily schedule (do I want to continue to write my columns in the morning or should I switch to a circle time in the morning and write during naps and evenings?), my ideal living room, a perfect homeschool for our family…

I am not foolish enough to think that we will ever achieve any kind of “ideal” here.  I don’t think perfection exists outside of nature (babies, flowers, oceans… plenty of things there are pretty close to perfect!).  I don’t want perfection.  But I do want to know my own ideals so I can at least know what I’m aiming for.  🙂

What about you?  What are your ideals?  What’s your fantasy homeschool day, homemaking routine or personal schedule?  Do you know it yet?

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7 thoughts on “Picturing the Ideal

  1. I can really relate to what you wrote! I daydream about the ideal a lot, but it’s usually unrealistic, we’d need 60 hours a day to live it! Still need to clarify those pictures of what we’re aiming for … it’s good to stop and look ahead sometimes.

    I wrote a timetable last week, just to help me mostly, even if we don’t stick to it much. I tend to fluctuate between having abundant energy whizzing about in ten directions, or total collapse!

    Keeping a diary as we go (I jot things in it many times a day, otherwise I’d forget) helps me feel like a more successful home school mum, because it shows the otherwise ‘invisible’ natural learning. Even if “I” have a slow day, the children are still learning through play, books, conversation, self-directed learning etc.

    My kids have just turned 5 and 6. I’ve scheduled 3 more structured days with the 3 R’s, topics etc (3 hrs max. with long breaks) and ample time for life, natural learning and play. 2 days are for our co-op, kids gym, library, social days, play dates and excursions … or freestyle art, science, cooking etc. if we decide to stay home.

    Better go! I enjoyed your post, thanks!
    🙂 Vanessa
    .-= Vanessa´s last blog ..Warning =-.

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  2. I am sorry that you are feeling down a bit. But here is some wisdom from btdt experience….Pls feel free to trash it as you please!

    Have ideals, and goals as much as it helps you feel renewed. Aspire for perfection, but don’t beat yourself up for it. And remember that once you achieve everything there is, there is no meaning in living…And the living is entire life that we span in this lifetime. In essence, we are living the entire span to reach our ideals (which would change, morph, differ at different times etc etc), so why have this artificial painful deadlines to reach the same? Should that not be in little steps?

    So, why not take small steps everyday, enjoy what life throws at us amidst the ideals that we failed, and renew ourselves with changes needed for another attempt..And as you attempt each day, you also see an entirely different perspective with respect to the ideals you once put forth for yourself. You will see the littlest enjoyment you have learned to have everyday builds up within you, and will even give you a much clearer picture of what is really a worthy ideal to aspire for?

    Reg to homeschooling, relax a bit; take a break from it. Find alternate ways to let them learn it for a while by delightful and meaningful learning without you being actively involved. It might help you and the kids to have such a small break!

    With difficult age and kids…mine turned 12 just a week ago, but has all the teen head and more. I know this shall pass too!

    But for now live for the moment, and definitely daydream , visualize, do something that gives you a happy feeling! Don’t resist the present, Alicia…if that makes sense…

    Subadra
    who so much relates to your recent posts:))
    .-= Subadra´s last blog ..BEAUTIFUL BLOGGER AWARD =-.

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  3. Vanessa, I used to love to keep logs when my kids were that age too! I loved to plan and make lists back then too, but I especially loved to go back after every so often and make up long lists of all the fabulous things the kids learned when it seemed we weren’t doing much. They were always such long and impressive lists! 🙂

    Subadra, thank you so much for the award! Thanks for your kind words too. Your advice to do less homeschooling made me laugh though. We are doing no formal HS at all right now! Any less and I’d have to suck the knowledge out of them! They are, of course, still learning, as always. To everything there is a season, and summer is not a season for intensive “schooly” HS here.

    I am finally getting out of my recent blues. I think writing all my thoughts here helped (and time and ice cream!).

    It’s also nice to have another mother of a 12 y/o to commiserate with!

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  4. Alicia,
    my previous post pre-pizza time. Now post pizza, full tummy 🙂 is telling you that you have come up with the best idea of all! Ice cream, and yes no schooly is VERY good!

    I would not know what is intense schooly or formal schooly means Alicia, as I have not done one so far…we just seem to live life, excited about somethings, and seem to be managing learning in the process…seriously it works!!!

    Enjoy your ice cream…I have caramel delight nutty some vanilla mixed ice cream here…drooling already..What’s your flavor?

    —Subadra
    .-= Subadra´s last blog ..BEAUTIFUL BLOGGER AWARD =-.

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  5. Always seeking that perfect day too 🙂 And does anyone else have an almost 8yo who wants to talk nonstop? LOL…some days I’m tempted to get earplugs but love the tyke so much I can’t bear to hurt his feelings.

    Your home life Alicia is something I actually aspire to achieve…just thought it might help for you to know that 🙂 You write so well, and are such an inspirational mom and science idea source! You have so much to celebrate…wish I could achieve half of what you have!

    And word verification for this comment is “friends”. How appropriate 🙂 You’re an inspirational friend.
    .-= Suji´s last blog ..Poetry for Children =-.

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  6. Great post. I, too, need to do a bunch of this. Working full time and homeschooling this next year is going to be quite the juggle (I really look forward to the future when I am home or only work a few hours a week.)

    I wish I could have a month just to get everything sorted out without any other distractions. Ha!
    .-= Kat´s last blog ..Mini Vacation =-.

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