So I’m going to spend a little bit of time talking today about motivation (or lack there of, depending on if you’re a glass half-full or half-empty-kind-of-person).  What inspires this topic today is this little girl right here.


Most days, she is like this. Ready to embrace the day, the first words out of her mouth usually consisting of some sort of request to play the latest game she has invented before the hubs and I are even setting our feet on the floor for the first time, let alone consumed the required amount of coffee to keep up the Sweetness.
(We have a hard time keeping our breath trying to keep up with this one, much like my run-on sentence above).

But some mornings, it’s more like this.

This morning was one of those mornings where we were five minutes (if that) into a lesson, and she was ‘exhausted.’ Bless it.

To hold back my laughter, I quickly picked up my coffee cup and took a big gulp. And prayed. Because this is where our morning comes to an intersection sometimes.

I can choose to go left, lose my patience, start the usual speech about ‘cutting it out’ as if she knows what that means, and insisting she get going on my time table. (Just keeping it real, folks) OR some mornings, when Jesus is apparently directing my heart and focus, reminding me of the real reasons we’re doing this thing called homeschool, I can choose to go right, take a breath, see the levity in the situation, and choose in that moment to hold back what so often comes out in a rushed default.

So this morning, I tried to put myself in her shoes. We’ve had a long, full summer – a great one, but still pretty long and full. We have not had a regular schedule of lessons, and therefore what momentum we had gained over the past spring has long gone out the window. And so we’re needing to start new, make new habits and exercise our muscles again. And it’s gonna be a little painful. And rightly so, we shouldn’t rush back in full-force without fear of straining something. In this case, something more precious to me than sore arms or legs – my precious relationship with this little girl.

So thankfully grace was apparently this morning, and I was able to let her take a little ‘break’ and redirect her focus back to the fun thing ahead of us that morning in the More Literacy book. One of the many great things about this curriculum is that it is really visually appealing. There are great graphics that always seem to catch Natalie’s (and Peter’s) attention, and we’re able to talk about something related to the picture or story or lesson that we’ve discussed already, so that it seems to bring in more fun to the process of tracing out some sight words.

I was surprised to find out that she recognized one of the sight words, “little,” all on her own as we were tracing. She apparently had run across a fun exercise on starfall, a website that her previous 3K teacher had recommended to us as we were transitioning her home full-time. And so it was fun to see how so many of the activities that we do outside of Mother Goose Time were fitting hand-in-hand with MGT’s lessons. This really encourages me as we will be staring a new curriculum with Natalie for Kindergarten this month, as well as continuing on with Mother Goose Time as a joint-lesson time with Peter. I can already see how it’s going to complement each other really well.

And because we’re ‘special’ and still working on May’s Growing Garden Edition of the More Literacy workbook, it was a great review to see what information she is retaining. Like I mentioned above, this morning was not full of motivation, and so she was not eager to sound out the sight words to discover what they were. And honestly, I wasn’t in for the struggle that morning, either. There will be other times for that. So I just asked her some questions about animals we had discussed that lived in gardens and gave a few hints for each one. “What is small, brown, has a great sense of smell and not great eye-sight.” “Mole!”

So the rest of the morning went fairly smooth, thanks to the Lord’s help in preventing me from falling into old, unproductive habits. We pulled out the More Math workbook, which is always a win for Natalie because she loves numbers and patterns.

This specific exercise had Nat completing each pattern line, circling the correction answer for the remaining object. At the very bottom, it had blank spaces for her to create her own.

As you can see, she jumped right on the tasks, even providing two possible options for the last choice and circling the correct one.

The next page asked Natalie to measure each animal and write the measurement in the space provided. You can see the little ruler that was provided at the bottom of the page that we cut out.

I just love this ‘contemplative’ expression. And a little known fact is that the girl hums or makes little clicking noises when she is thinking. It’s absolutely adorable. Love her.
Natalie decided to use the millimeter side of the ruler, and so we soon discovered we needed a decimal point in order to record the measurements accurately. She caught on to the concept pretty quickly.

We wrapped up the lesson with an ABC book, and ran across quite a few new vocabulary words.

Although she was familiar with marmalade because we had just watched the newest Paddington movie. A few others were more challenging to guess, like ‘egg cup.’

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