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5 Things I Learned in April

1. I can hack grad work.

I finished (and passed!) my NSA grad class on the history of classical Christian education with Dr. Schlect! It was a great class. The main reason I took the class was so that I would finally read numerous books that I had owned for years and never picked up. Not only would I simply read them on my own, but I would also get to talk about them with people smarter and more well-read than I am. It was awesome.

A semester-long course spread over 2 semesters also made the class a great fit for my life.

I am not enrolled in their full grad program, nor do I intend to at this time. They opened this class up to those not in the program, and I am very grateful! I went in with some hypotheses about classical education that got blown out of the water by reading actual primary sources, so I got what I needed out of it – enough actual education to not embarrass myself with invalid opinions. Ha!

2. Mowing the lawn is a great way to get steps.

So, I’ve been taking morning walks with my husband for a few weeks now so that we both start the day with exercise. But then the grass started growing. My husband pointed out that our electric lawnmower is quiet enough to listen to an audiobook AND get steps WITH an upper-body workout AND also accomplish something visible at the same time – so he was pretty sure I’d love mowing the lawn.

Isn’t that why I have teenage sons, though? No one with teens should be mowing the lawn, it seemed to me. It’d be like someone with a four-year-old who puts away the silverware from the dishwasher. My motto has generally been that if you can delegate chores, you should.

But my husband told me I should try, and I reluctantly did. It took a few days, but I finally had to admit that I actually do like doing things that count triple, and this was one of those things. The teen boys have jobs at a better rate of pay than lawn-mowing, and my teen daughter who was interested in the cash-paying job is now giving me an hour a week of housecleaner-level cleaning. Turns out, I’d rather mow the lawn than clean the kitchen.

So I’m feeling a little silly, but taking on a couple hours a week of lawn mowing (we have an acre) as an activity that gets me great steps as well as some solitary listening time.

Every month I do a roundup of some of the things I learned as I moved through life during the month. Some are surprising, some good to know.

3. Taking time to think works wonders.

So multiple students had some math drama days this month. Not unusual.

One morning this month, after sending two students (against their will) to get some fresh air and exercise before saying another word about their math, I turned to my 8-year-old.

“Do you have any math drama?” I asked.

She replied: “Not today. Today my math is easy.”

Yes, true, it was the fact that the answers don’t always come easily that is the root of much of the math drama.

She continued: “I did have math drama one time, but it was because I wasn’t thinking about my math and I didn’t want to think about it and my conscience told me I shouldn’t have to think about it. Later, when I had to finish my math, I thought about it and then it wasn’t so hard.”

Ayup. Astute.

4. I love Calvin’s Institutes

My homeschool buddy and I finished Calvin’s Institutes with our high schoolers this month! We’ve spent the last two school years reading and discussing the entire thing, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

In fact, we decided to start it again in the fall with our 8th graders! We’ll take them through it over 3 years instead of 2. If we keep up that pace with each of our students, we’ll have been reading the Institutes continually for 11 years.

Homeschool mom perks. It’ll be awesome.

5. We aren’t the main character.

This month the monthly topic under discussion inside Convivial Circle has been story – that is, seeing life as a story.

When we do so, we tend to see ourselves as the main character, with everything that happens revolving around how it impacts us. Or, we see ourselves as the main character, as in, it is our story that is the main point.

While sometimes this can be a helpful exercise to help us see how to and then take responsibility, we also need to be able to step back and see ourselves as sidekicks and secondary stories.

This seemed to be a surprising and unexpected thought for many. I talked about that in this video:

Bonus: Books Finished in April

Traction: Get a Grip on Your BusinessWin at Work and Succeed at Life: 5 Principles to Free Yourself from the Cult of OverworkBusiness Made Simple: 60 Days to Master Leadership, Sales, Marketing, Execution, Management, Personal Productivity and MoreCalvin : Institutes of the Christian Religion in Two Volumes : [Vol. 1 : 0664220207] & [Vol. 2 : 0664220215]Beowulf: An Illustrated EditionLetters of Francis A. Schaeffer: Spiritual Reality in the Personal Christian Life

 

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