Trust The Children

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Rain. Thirty-five straight days. People think it always rains in the Northwest. Of course, that is something we tell people so they don't move here. But this winter, it has been different. And not drizzle or fog. Rain every day. And it gets to you. With this much rain, nearly everything is soggy. The grass, the gardens, and everything.

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, the boys and I have been building a workshop to construct piper cub airplane. Building in the rain is a true test of how bad they really want it. And I am pleased to say, they are passing the test. Even in the rain, they have built trusses, dug post holes, set uprights, installed trusses, cut truss ends to even them up and intalled facia boards. Yesterday, the first day it only rained part of the time, we put the roof panels in place as well as finished the eaves on either end.

Our feet are always muddy, the ground around the project is soggy and wet, and our hands get cold. Even so, it is pretty satisfying. I asked Sam what he has enjoyed about building the shop so far. He said, "I have learned so much. I had no idea there were so many small steps, so many details. But I have really come to appreciate the saying,'Measure twice, cut once.' If you don't to that, as time goes on , all kinds of things wouldn't fit." Ben said the same thing. So of all that we have done together, the one lesson that sticks out is "Measure Twice, Cut once."

Cyndy suggested this topic for a January entry. She says that in January it can be hard to get momentum, hard to get started. Hard to build momentum. Part of it is wintertime, Part of it is the darkness of it all. And even when the sky is blue, which it is right now, it is cold outside. Just not an inviting time to 'venture out'. More of an attitude thing than anything else. So "Meaure twice, cut once."

If you feel a bit depressed and are are a few ideas.

1) Cyndy has to be reminded WHY we did this in the first place. She has written down her feelings during the good times, the inspiring times, she has older children who have proven inspirational AND she has her husband who is kind of like the Vince Lomardi of home schooling. You know, Lombardi said, "Winning isn't everything, it is the ONLY thing." So Coach Mark says, "Cyndy, suck it up. Get tough, Homeschooling isn't everything, its......" you get the idea. In our family, Cyndy is such a superstar, that these rare moments of "dampened enthusiasm" are the only ones where I even think about shining.

2) If you don't already have a support group of other home schoolers, now is the time to reach out, join one, make one, or conventions or symposiums, and draw on their energy for a few weeks. It really helps when you have others in the group, experienced players, who have been through their share of soggy Januarys before. In fact, if the truth were known, them helping you through this is one, way they make it through themselves.

3) Which leads me to the next idea. No matter how damp you feel, someone else is drenched. Find someone you can help. Find someone you can lift up. Find someone you can do some empathy with. As the good book says, "Lose yourself in the service of others and you can find yourself."

4) Gut it out. The sun is going to rise sooner or later. When it does, walk outside and enjoy it and forget homeschooling for a few hours or days. Dry out. It isn't a pattern at this point, if you are needing your batteries charged for a bit. Just much needed maintenance, which everyone needs from time to time. Cut yourself some slack. In a little while you will feel better, see the world clearer, and feel energy levels on the rise again. "Fortunately the sun has a wonderfully glorious habit of rising every morning." (Jean George) Or as Anne of Green Gables said, "Every day begins with no mistakes in it."

If you are really in bind, send us an email. We don't charge much for online therapy. About as much as others have charged us over the years.

The most important thing is to stay in the game. Your kids are the big winners here in a couple of ways. You are still offering them the best educational opporunity public funds can't buy and while you are fretting, they are probably outside already, stomping in mud puddles, without galoshes, getting soaked, top to bottom and loving every minute of their home school freedom. Right???? Of course right.


  • Great post Dad. It's fun to hear about the work in the rain. When I was younger, we were camping (it was some kind of family reunion) and it was raining hard, and everything was flooding. I was just old enough to carry a shovel so you and I, and a bunch of the other Dads went around digging ditches to channel the water away and keep the living areas from flooding so much. It is one of my favorite family reunion memories to this day. Working in the rain. Silly right? Never underestimate the effects of lousy weather. There's something wonderful about going through it all, together.

    By Blogger David Weiss, at 9:29 PM, January 22, 2006  

  • David-

    I noticed you family pictures of you all hiking Snoqualmie Falls in the rain. I agree, somehow experiences in inclimate weather can stand out more in our mind than constant sunshine. If it were always easy, we wouldn't grow and isn't that what learning is all about?

    By Blogger Tamarah Bartmess, at 12:29 PM, January 25, 2006  

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