Rosh Hashanah and looking to Yom Kippur…

Perhaps not the title you would expect to find on an ‘On the Old Path’ post, but stay with me.

This school year may be categorized as the year we find ourselves.  I have not written a ton about Homeschooling for many reasons.  Frankly, there are some parts of our lives I seem to leave out entirely.  As a Homeschooler I have been at it for several years, I have looked at unschooling, classical, Charlotte Mason, Waldorf etc.  I have tried very structured curriculums, and the fly by the seat of your pants and figure it out as you go approach.  At times I can be a people pleaser to a fault, if I am going to embrace a teaching method I have felt on occasion that I need to go 100% or not at all.

The thing is many Charlotte Mason homeschoolers are diehards, Waldorf homeschoolers perhaps even more so than Mason.  What I am finding is there are bits and pieces of each that we love and other parts that just are not who we are.  I have several kids with dyslexia, and one with severe learning disabilities, which has sent us on a very different journey than I ever expected I would take.

I can still remember going to my first homeschool meeting before Elijah was even ready for Kindergarten.  I thought he would ever so easily pick up reading and we would have this picturesque adventure in learning together.  It has been anything but easy at times, I wouldn’t trade it for the world though.

Once it became clear that Joel was not going to learn like the ‘average’ child we began searching for something that might help him.  I am still looking, but we have a few things that seem to fit his style of learning.  This year Joel is learning about the Jewish culture,  we are looking at many Old Testament stories as well as the different festivals and customs of the Jewish people.  So as a family, in our own little way, we celebrated Rosh Hashanah.Apples and honey

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish new year.  I love new beginnings, new years, new school years, a fresh journal, a fresh canvas.  As we welcomed the Jewish New Year we looked forward to what the next 12 months might just hold for us.  We thanked God for the past 12 months, and the multitude of blessings He has already gifted us.

A common practice is to wish folks a sweet new year, and apples and honey are often used as an outward visible sign of this wish.  We enjoyed some very sweet Honey-crisp-apples (that I thought were sweet enough all on their own) with Honey!  The kids loved the honey part.

We also made Challah bread.  I tried doing a roundish loaf I saw on Pinterest, mine however did not turn out quite the same, but was tasty just the same.  We enjoyed this with some pomegranates.  We read that one might wish another as many blessings as there are seeds in a pomegranate. (That is a lot of blessings).Challah

Yom Kippur begins this Friday evening.  I still have not decided how closely our family will follow the tradition of fasting that accompanies this reflective time.  Yom Kippur is, The Day of Atonement. Obviously, as a Christian family this day will look different for us.  However, I think it is still a good practice to spend some time looking at our lives, praying, and considering what areas God might just be calling on us to change.

I am hoping to share more of our ‘Homeschooling Journey’ as we come into our own.  We are setting our own traditions. I am finally shedding the books and ideas that just don’t work for us.  I am leaving guilt and judgement behind, and finally spreading our wings and letting us all learn in ways that work for us even if it does not fit with the norm.

Back in the Swing of Things

Ah September, oh how I love you and the new beginnings you bring.  I am rather shocked that I have blogged so few times this year.  It also makes it hard to know where to begin again.  There are so many things I want to share here.  The kids are all growing and changing.  The garden has had its ups, and downs.  We loaded our freezer with our first try at raising and butchering our own meat chickens.

Dave has mentioned he would like to write a few posts together with me to keep a good record of how the Homestead is slowly growing.

There are a few things from the summer that I hope to write about in the near future, but for now I thought I would just pick up with where I am today.

Our first few weeks of umm, school are done.first day

Our first day back at the books…

School started for most in this area on the 2nd of September, we had planned a Homeschool Picnic for that Tuesday, but the weather was calling for rain so we postponed until Wednesday.  It didn’t rain on Tuesday after all , but Wednesday was a beautiful day.  It was nice to see all the Moms that I had not seen since the spring.

To be frank we have been easing our way back into school.  I am sure I have shared before that several of my children struggle with dyslexia.  I have lost many nights of sleep worrying about this, praying, handing over my fears, taking them back, and giving them yet again back to God.  Something very interesting has happened in the last few months, a new love of reading.  Do they still struggle, yes, but there is a desire there to read that was not there.  I no longer feel like I am doling out a punishment when I say it is time to go read.  Praise God.  I really think this is a piece to something bigger that I am not yet ready to share here. (But for those of you who still read here regularly, tuck that in the back of your mind, and just pray for God’s will to be worked out in our lives and I hope in the near future to share that chapter here.)

Joel struggles academically but I am very hopeful that we will see some major gains this year.  ‘Cautiously hopeful’ but hopeful nonetheless.  He was right-handed before his brain surgery and has had to learn to use his left as his dominant hand.  He has begun to draw some pictures and print some letters.  I am proud of his effort.first hike

First ‘Nature Walk’ of the new school year.

We have been able to get out on the trails and explore a little. I am hoping to do some more before the weather turns too cold. wild grapes

 

Sampling some wild grapes, yummy yet sour.

We are also in the midst of celebrating Rosh Hashanah, we are studying the Jewish culture amongst many other things this year.  I hope to share in more details about that in a few days.

I hope none of you were worried that we fell off the face of the earth.  Love to hear from y’all!!

Joel

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Joel 9

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