True or False: Skipping exercise and doubling up on coffee in the solitary morning hours can result in great ideas for the homeschool.*
Most mornings after breakfast and chores, we gather up for prayers, which also include some sort of reading and discussion. But we are no idyllic, maternal Cassatt scene. We’re more like a Rockwell painting with one kid crawling over the back of the couch with a full diaper, another covertly fingering a Hot Wheels car within his folded hands, and another speeding through prayer words as fast a possible. Was that even English? It must be. We’re not exactly classical Latin homeschoolers. I often practice Bradley breathing techniques to keep my blood pressure down. We offer our prayers for “The Fourteen P’s” ~ a list of requests that, over the years, we’ve managed to finagle all beginning with “P” (pope, priest, papa, president, etc.). Then I read something. It could be children’s apologetics or a liturgically-themed periodical. It could be Mass readings or cool Old Testament books like Judith or Tobit. Proverbs are always popular here, what with all the lessons involving insects, dog vomit, and wayward women. When I’m at a loss for something new or I’m too tired or grumpy, we simply sit quietly (and I use that word very loosely), give God our small sacrifice of Time, and recite prayers.
But then one morning after too many, too tired prayer times, I skipped exercise and doubled up on coffee. Wowee. I had a new idea:
I would read to everyone the First Communion prep books that my seven year old was working through. Very simple. Very basic. Amazingly, the children that had already gone through all this had the most insightful comments and thoughtful questions. It was very good to be reminded of such things as ~
God made me because He loves me.
The love of Jesus is like a fire in His Heart.
Sin is disobedience to God’s laws.
Grace makes the soul holy and pleasing to God.
After Holy Communion, I should tell Jesus how much I love Him.
I fell in love with our Holy Faith all over again and I believe my older children were re-animated with affection. I plan to do this in the beginning of each year. I also plan to skip exercising and double my morning coffee intake much more often. As as Act of Love, of course.
O my God, because You are all-good, I love You with my whole heart and soul. Amen.
Allison is a 40-something mother of seven, living in Alaska, accepted into the Church (together with her husband, thank God) in 2004. She spends her days homeschooling and packaging meat that her menfolk hunt and bring home. She cannot garden to save her life but picks wild blueberries like a champ. She has been published in an edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul and keeps a blog at www.northerncffamily.blogspot.com, writing about living out the Faith with children with cystic fibrosis.