4.20.2013

Blogging: The Annual Checkup

Okay, so my lack of posts isn't so bad as the title makes it out to be, but it certainly feels that way. I hadn't posted in such a long time before this last year, and lately all my posts have been months apart.

Hello readers, it's me, Penelope. 

Are you out there?

I wouldn't blame you for leaving. This relationship probably hasn't been a very beneficial one for you. But let me try to make it up to you with an update on...well, us.

Penelope
I'm doing photography again! There was a while there, where I honestly thought I would never pick up a camera again. And I didn't mind at all. I hated even knowing that the camera was sitting on a shelf in the same room with me. In a strange, needing-something-to-blame sort of way, I think I blamed Mason's cancer trials on my obsession with photography during the year leading up to it all. I took pictures of his treatments to document it all, but that's where it ended. And as soon as the future wasn't looking so grim, I stopped taking pictures at all. This is evidenced by a clear lack of pictures of Mason (or myself, or anyone else) from the middle of 2011, through the end of 2012.

It's only been the last few months that I've been taking pictures again. One actual photo session was all it took to remind me how much I love photography. I'm picking up where I left off, and re-starting my business. Life is good!

Mason
Mason has grown into the smartest, most funny, young boy! He is still obsessed with trains, but has also developed a love for horses. He's currently reading all he can about how to take care of horses, because he plans to buy one--with money he's saving.

On the health front, he is just thriving! It's amazing how one's perception of normal can fluctuate. I had gotten used to the cautious boy his treatments brought out, who was content to spend his days without sports, the outdoors (sometimes), or daring tricks. It took this entire year after treatments, but his body has finally returned muscle, coordination, and stamina. Now the daredevil of days past is back, and with his new-found coordination, Mason has turned into a force to be reckoned with.

Homeschooling
I don't know why this is getting its own large, bold, title--I guess because it feels like an official part of our family, now. It's probably also because I've been wanting to write a homeschooling update for a while, and never got to it.

Whatever the reason, progress in school is great! This first year has been a big huge experiment for the both of us. I'm not only learning how Mason best retains new information, but I'm also learning what my own limitations are. I'm impatient and lazy, and prefer the easiest path possible in any area of life. I've learned that if I make things too hard on Mason or myself (i.e. anything scheduled that isn't flexible), then I run the risk of days at a time being deemed a "vacation," while we both recover from the overload. I don't need to compete with the homeschool blogging superstars out there (who I totally wish I could be). I just need to teach Mason so that he understands. I'm realizing more and more, that life itself is a school, and that just doing our everyday activities, and turning them into teaching moments, is learning at its greatest. Plus, you know, reading is everything. ;)

The biggest thing I learned this year, though, is that the Lord has a plan for both of us.

For a little while, I began having doubts about homeschooling. Mason was asking why he couldn't go to public school, and those closest to me were making comments (that I'm sure they thought were harmless) about him needing to go to public school--or at least a charter school. I was having the hardest time getting him to read (in the time-frame I had neatly scheduled for it to happen in, of course), and so I thought I was the worst for teacher on Earth.

I prayed again to know if I was reaaaaaally supposed to homeschool (because, you know, I may have read the fifty other signs I was sent completely wrong), and what I should teach Mason.

My answer this time: yes--here's how.... 

It seems silly now, but it never crossed my mind that when I was told by the Lord to homeschool, that He would also tell me how to do it. I just needed to ask. But I can see now that at every dead end, and every crossroads, He has shown me what to do. He has told me what to teach, when to teach it, and helped me to understand why I need to teach it. We are so blessed! I am really looking forward to this next school year--potential mistakes, and all.


Catch you at the next annual checkup! ;)

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