What Gives: Part One - SLO Classical Academy
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San Luis Obispo Classical Academy San Luis Obispo Classical Academy

Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

Semper discentes—always learning together.
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What Gives: Part One

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Feeling not so much like supermom these days? (Or superdad…) You are in good company! We all wear many hats – spouse, parent, home manager, home educator, friend, employer, employee, and who knows what else! Balancing so many tasks is tricky, and no one does it all perfectly. Sometimes we need to hear that others aren’t dong it all well either! We want to be a community that supports and encourages one another, so today a few SLOCA parents are going to share about the things that they just don’t get to, or don’t try to do. Some of these responses indicate a temporary state of affairs (like when school gets really busy), others have found freedom (and sanity!) in giving up certain expectations. We hope you will be reassured and uplifted by these heartfelt acknowledgements, and reminded that what we ARE doing is so much more important than what we aren’t doing:

Here's a temporary what gives.  My gym time is 5:00 in the morning.  The other morning I got myself up (exhausted), got my work out clothes on, and drove to the gym.  I parked in the front row and sat in my car watching everyone inside working so hard.  I watched and I watched.  I turned my car back on and drove home and went back to bed.  I said “I give!”  Sometimes my workouts have to give.

   -Amy Calloway

What gives for me is email and phone calls. I resort to being an “email skimmer” and a “texter” and doing my best to prioritize the “next thing”. Not a good thing because inevitably I miss something or feel bad for not communicating in a timely manner. On particularly busy weeks I resort to picking up dinner (pretty hard for me to do), but it makes a huge difference with time and clean up.

   -Deborah Keck

There are a lot of things I've not been able to make time for since homeschooling… But I guess one of the biggest things I miss is scrapbooking. At the end of a busy day, I do not have the energy to face a messy craft room and clean it up so that I can then spend more time trying to be creative. I have resigned myself to spending time on my scrapbooks every few months or so, rather than regularly in the evenings. Though I do feel guilty at times for not spending more time on the books (for example, out of four children, only two exist in books… Oops), I do keep taking lots of photos. I realize that someday I will have the time to spend putting scrapbooks of memories together, but I will never be able to re-capture events as they are happening now. So my iPhoto library is full, even as my scrapbooks are not. And that's OK. 

   -Penny Malley

As parents, and particularly parents who homeschool, we all sacrifice a LOT for our kids. I am always evaluating my life and trying to trim unnecessary things from my schedule. But as my kids have gotten older and more self-sufficient, I've become mindful of not sacrificing too much. I want my boys to see that parents are people too, with interests and needs and limitations. I may not have time for a huge vegetable garden, or the ability to stick to a rigid exercise routine, but there are little ways that I can take care of myself. And that's important for me, obviously, but also important for my kids to recognize. 

Because time to myself is extremely limited, and I'm an introvert, I choose to indulge in small things like breakfast in bed. No kids allowed! I do this every day. Sure, I could be teaching my kids how to make omelets or taking the dog for a walk or getting a head start on the history reading, but I don't. It's the one place in my house without visible reminders of the things I need to accomplish, and it's the most centering and peaceful ritual. My kids get me at lunch and at dinner and for many hours in between. Breakfast is mine. I believe this truly allows me to be more present for them later in the day.

When I'm feeling overwhelmed with the pace of our life, I let a lot of things go. And I'm lucky to have a husband who doesn't question this at all. Sometimes we eat sandwiches for dinner. (As in, make yourselves a sandwich, I'm not cooking.) Sometimes we don't get through the grid. Sometimes (ahem, more like all the time) my house isn't perfectly tidy. But this is not only okay, it's a good thing. Kids need to see that parents aren't perfect and life's not easy, and the important thing is that we persevere and support each other and just do what we can to enjoy it, chaos and all. This attitude has been freeing for me, and I find that I actually get more done when I give myself permission to relax a little bit.

   -Emily Ferrarini

If you can relate to these moms or have something to share that works for you regarding a similar situation, please post a comment below and let’s get some good ideas flowing! 

What gives in your life when there’s too much going on? Email [email protected] and share your response. If there's enough interest, we'd love to write another installment of this series.

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