We are nearing the finish line of a great year of school. Because of that we are unnaturally busy, which is why I’m even more devoted to protecting our ‘white space.’ Have you heard that term used? I can’t remember where I first heard it but I LOVE the concept. Basically, think of the white space on a piece of notebook paper. You write on the lines but leave the margins alone. It helps the eye travel over the important stuff that you’ve written without getting overwhelmed by a chaotic page. White space is also great for times when you’ve written all you can on the lines but at the last minute remember one last fact that you need to jot down. When you have white space available, you have room to jot it down! If you began writing at the top left corner of the page and wrote on ever single square inch of paper, there would be no room for that last minute fact you remembered.
White space in life is like that. I intentionally plan my life on the lines. In the past 18 months I’ve removed excess actives, even though they were great activities… activities I highly encourage others to participate in (soccer, PWOC, fancy co-ops). My white space allowed me to go to coffee this week with a bright young woman who wanted to ask questions about life from my perspective. It allowed me to have friends over last night while the dads got together to farewell a good friend. I think of the white space as the place for bonus or surprise activities in life that, were I “too busy,” I’d either have to turn down or feel stressed or guilty while participating in.
I haven’t mastered keeping the white space free, but I can say that I’ve definitely learned how valuable it is to me. I’ve learned how valuable the word “no” is and how often it’s ME telling MYSELF no to great opportunities that would overwhelm my paper and flood the white space.
I just mentioned two things I wrote on the white space of my paper this week: a coffee date and having friends over for brownies and ice cream. I had plenty of activities on my must-do list.
On last week’s must-do list, Hayden tested for and received his driver license! I simply can’t believe we’re at that stage! Texas does not make it easy by any stretch of the imagination and we persevered. (We… yes. I said “we.” The facilities were all booked weeks out so Matt and I took Hayden to a different town to test… the town that had the first available appointment.) The van, which he had been driving for a year, was in these shop the day he tested, so he had to test in the Jeep. Apparently he got enough practice in and he passed the driving test in 12 minutes and on the first try!
Last week, M-W, our kids participated in end of grade testing. We met with our Co-Op and I proctored the 3rd-8th graders. With Bailey’s official 504 I was able to proctor his test at home giving him a few accommodations so that we should have a better idea of where he is than the test last year provided. He took the test without accommodations last year just a few months before he was identified and I look forward to comparing the two tests results.
Testing wore this little beauty out. She fell asleep on the way home and was total mush on the way to her bed.
This upcoming week is filled with last minute math lessons so they can put this year in the books. We watched a funny homeschooling video this week and at one point the “student” realizes he’s skipped way too many days of school during the year. I may have a few who are regretting putting math off. (They need to do 3 lessons a day this week to finish by the time they leave for camp!)