We are in the home stretch of the school year over here. Can I get an “Amen” from my homeschool peeps on that? By this time each year, we are generally “done” and ready for summer. I’m not sure if it helped, or hurt, to throw our vacation in the middle of May either. It has been hard to come home and hit the books…again. Math is the “long pole in the tent”. Actually, Math is the bane of my existence. I discovered that teaching fractions makes me agitated. And then I look for chocolate. But I did have a brief reprieve with teaching time in the middle, which has been easy. But now we are heading into geometry to finish the year. Oh joy. I looked ahead at what we are in for, and my eyes glazed over somewhere between area and perimeter. Really, does a 3rd grader need to know this? I don’t remember doing this in the 3rd grade. I distinctly remember the cursive handwriting alphabet book I made in Miss Thatcher’s class. We worked on one letter at a time. On each page, I wrote a sentence in my very best cursive, and then created an illustration to go with it. My “A” page was about an alligator named Allie. She was beautiful; even had a hat and a purse, because in 3rd grade an alligator can be fashionable. How did we get from Allie to area and perimeter?
Please pray for me.
We are reading A Little Princess right now, which has been a delight by comparison. The book is about a precocious little girl named Sara with a big imagination. She attends a boarding with a stern schoolmaster, and befriends some of the other children. She has a kind heart toward the orphaned and underprivileged. She pretends to be one little girl’s mother, and later a princess. She shows unexpected kindness to a servant girl named Becky by taking her into her room to rest; where she feeds her cake, and tells her magical stories about mermaids. Sara promises to be in her room each day when Becky comes to clean, so she can continue telling her stories while the girl is working. Becky comments, “Then I wouldn’t mind how heavy the coal is… if – if I might have that to think of”.
Becky had shared with Sara that she once saw a real princess coming down the street of the city. The princess waved to the crowd and tossed gold coins out to the passerby. Sara decides then she will pretend she is a princess too. She determines to look for nice things she can do for people, little ways she can be kind and helpful to others. She decides scattering kindness is the same as scattering gold coins.
This is a good thought for everyday, but especially in these last days of school, when patience is thin, and the pool is now open. Scatter gold. Kindness counts. The work must get done, but surely it makes a difference in how we go about doing it. I am intentionally looking for ways to “be kind and compassionate to one another” (Ephesians 4:32), and lighten the workday load. Hopefully this will carry us gracefully into a glorious summer ahead. Not sure it will make Math more fun – that might be a stretch. Kindness counts, but it does not work miracles. It will be more like putting lipstick on a pig. But at least our pig will be fashionable.