Every once in a while, even if the day did not turn out to be perfect, even if it rained, and even if the kids got on my and each other's nerves, it is nice to reflect how much nachas (happiness) they bring.
1 yo walks around the house, singing "Hashem melech, Hashem malach". He loves to get the bentcher and give it out. He loves looking at it. He demands that I say "bracha" when he is eating. No, he is too young to understand, to repeat the words, but he knows that we do not just shovel in food, there is this other element surrounding it. He is thoroughly enjoying Kid K'nex, connecting the pieces on his level.
5 yo has been looking at books more and more on her own. She was reading "ir/ur" blends today, because they happened to be in the book that we were looking at. She is also reading the state magnets that we have on the fridge.
8 yo offers to return shopping carts every time we go to the store. He has been spontaneously spelling words (thank you, Minecraft homeschool). he reads the parsha every week in English, and knows it well. Moreover, he does not hesitate to crack the chumash and do research to answer a difficult question. His temper has mellowed out so much in the past six months, that he almost feels like a different kid. I shudder what would have happened if I did end up putting him into this local dayschool. I would miss all this growth and maturing.
10 yo has been scootering back after his mishna lessons.With the spate of articles about overreacting bystanders to kids being outside alone, I do worry, not for his safety, but for what would happen if someone decided that an almost 11 yo cannot ride his scooter on his own for less than a mile. He has been producing spontaneous creative drawings and projects. Yesterday, as we were walking, 5 yo decided to recite back to me my cell phone number (it took her one day of trying to memorize it). 10 yo went into calculations of how many combinations can one get for different phone numbers. He came up with 10^100 (and may those with better skill correct him).
When I step away and stop worrying about academics, about where the kids are compared to their grade level. when I step back far enough to see the big picture, I see that they are turning out just fine. They are learning, they are motivated to do their things, they do behave like menches (mostly), and, when asked, they much rather be homeschooled. As much as I beat myself up about messing them up, about not doing enough, about not providing the right environment for growth, about missed opportunities, they seem to be just fine.
I do not know how I will be feeling about homeschooling tomorrow. But today, I am enjoying the nachas.