Settling in versus Routine
I've had a lot of questions lately about the fact how we are settling in. My answer to this question is that we are settling in very well. I have however been reflecting on this question with regard to our new life. We are settling in well BUT making new routines isn't quite as easy. Not in a bad way just different. Let me explain. For three years we have lived a very rigorous seminary bubble student life, where Albert would get up at 4.30am to study and come home at 5pm, have dinner and then go to bed around 8.30pm. Since Albert now has night meetings and the girls have a school routine, we have had to get used to a new routine. A change is not a bad thing, but it does take time. I think we now have the school routine down pat. Albert is getting into an excellent routine studying from home and attending various meetings.
Some reflections on School
I have made no secret of the fact that self discipline with regard to a homeschooling routine wasn't one of my strong points. I almost feel like a burden has been taken of my shoulders because I'm no longer responsible for the day to day academics. Of course Albert and I take our biblical responsibility to parent and educate them very seriously. At this stage in life we have just chosen to outsource the schooling part! The parenting part continues to be hard work (so it should be!!) especially as we are entering into a new phase in our life, the teenage years! I actually look forward to the teenage years. I still have to pinch myself that I have a daughter who goes to high school, it's plain weird! Albert has been able to be home for dinner every day and so this gives an excellent opportunity to interact on a more adult level with the girls! The girls (all of them in fact) have some excellent questions about all sorts of topics which we enjoy discussing at the dinner table. Of course school brings some questions (no schooling option is a perfect solution) which have been great to discuss.
A couple of weeks ago we had the privilege to be able to go to parent/teacher interviews. Although our girls didn't get reports we enjoyed meeting each girl's teacher (apart from some of Michaela's). It was my fear (and maybe other homeschoolers as well) whether or not we had done enough to enable the girls to slot back into the school system. I'm very pleased to report that our God is faithful in answering my prayer and that the girls, although they had some gaps, which was to be expected, all entered back into the school system with flying colors! No red flags!!!
We are thrilled for the girls to be able to go to an excellent school. I'm enjoying getting to know some of the Mums and taking part in some of the school activities. Albert has been volunteering his time in some one-on-one tutoring.
So what keeps me busy then in this new season of my life?
Well I know I tried to answer that last month but since now we are in a more regular routine, I'm able to give you an update. I try to attend the Junior school Assembly on Friday afternoons and attend the school's prayer meeting once a week. I also have joined a ladies bible study on Wednesday morning on Proverbs. It has been nice to get to know more ladies from both of the Reformed churches here in Hamilton. It feels such a privilege to be able to have free time to go. On my school taxi driving runs I've been trying to listen to a sermon or two. School is about a 20 min drive each direction so that's a fair amount of downtime. I haven't been able to do this for a long time as the girls were always home. I have joined the Masters Swimming club and I'm out two nights a week to swim with the club. The coach has been very helpful in refining my freestyle stroke!
We've also been trying to show plenty of hospitality. I know it is part of the 'job' as such but we have received SO much hospitality over the three years we were in the USA and Canada which we were unable to repay that I'm trying to extend that same hospitality that we received to our dinner guests! Not to pay back but to pay forward, hopefully people will be as blessed as we have been by YOUR generosity and hospitality. In saying that USA and Canadian friends, there is ALWAYS a place at our table for you! (and a bed!!).