Determining Priorities. Reflections, Week 45

Thank you to those that voted in the poll and commented on my last reflections post, T-Ball Mamma!  I gave serious weight to your votes, to my current situation (I’m facing separation and divorce), and my priorities.  I asked myself if attending the Zumba Fitness(TM) training would help me reach my goals to homeschool the kids in a single parent home.  Ultimately, I think I decided that it probably would not, it would conflict with important activities like sports and other groups that meet the socialization aspect needed in homeschooling.  But I also asked myself if it would enrich my life, and for that I can give a definite, “Yes!”

It was a really hard decision to make, since in my last venture into Zumba(TM) I broke even, but I eventually decided that the venture could eventually pay off, or do more than pay it’s self back and get me ahead.  What I’m most worried about is that my goal for next year is to homeschool Elizabeth, that is my goal for my life, to do all I can to homeschool her, but if the business venture requires a few years to take hold and make enough money to support us, how do we survive in that layover period?  I finally decided to ask my Dad if he would back me if I needed it, and since it’s what he has made so many sacrifices in his life to do, he agreed.  Really, where would I be without family?  Not just for the money, but for all the support, and the friendship, and the help, and the love?!  I often think that I could not fathom my life without my family close by while raising children.  There are moments that I wonder if Chepe and I could have/would have been able to work things out if we were not in New York, but usually, I remind myself that what-ifs don’t change anything, and also speculate that it probably would not have made much of a difference, except that I would have really been on my own.

So, in the end, I did decide to sign up for the training!  I am really looking forward to it!   Since I was an instructor in the past, I all ready have music, choreography, and the business necessities.  I am merely starting to practice some of the new songs that I will be adding to my new classes as I am planning on using some of the old stuff, and getting into better shape.  I even called a gym in the next town over that I attended a Zumba(TM) Gold class at to see if they would be interested in an instructor offering regular classes – and it turns out that the previous instructor has left to have a baby (the very same reason I gave it up before), and they may be interested in my offering both types of classes, as I am attending the Jump Start Gold training, and will be licensed to teach both kinds of classes.

If I am able to do numerous classes there, I have exquisite luck, don’t you think?  Nothing is set in stone yet, but I’m hoping they may be interested in my offering a few classes a week.  I am now left with a big decision: most classes will need to be offered in the evenings when participants are available, how many days do I commit to, as I just wrote about how much I love being available for t-ball.  But, in time, if I can get my classes packed, offering 5-6 classes a week could be enough income for us to live on, with a little bit of extra from my other business ventures/jobs (I am currently applying to two part-time jobs which I think I have good chances at, and have put money into two self-employment options, including Zumba(TM), which = 4 jobs!).  I do live very frugally, for those of you who have $200,000 incomes, but I don’t mind, money pays the bills, that’s all, it’s not happiness.

So, what I’m trying to get at is, do I commit to evening and weekend spots for the classes, which will conflict with sports?  The flip side of this, as it occurred to me, is that it may allow me to be home with the kids most of the day most days.  That is the important part.  If I can make most of my money is 5-6 hours a week, is that worth missing the games?  If I have to fill up the evenings when the good stuff is going on, is it compensated by being available the rest of the day to learn at our leisure, to stroll on nature walks, to go to museums or the park or the library?

School for me should a low-key and slow learning time.  I like how the Global Village School K curriculum guide sample puts it, “Drawing out the learning.” (Link to Global Village School page.)  That’s exactly how we go.  One day, while at the local restaurant in town, we were sitting near a woman and a boy of about 6 or 7 years of age, and they appeared to be doing homeschooling work – except that they were zipping through it.  I observed them making a book, but the pictures were all ready cut out, and the woman put the glue on the back, then pointed to where the boy should stick it on the page.  Five minutes later, after the book was finished, they moved onto the tablet, where the boy played something for another five minutes.  Then she put it away and they did something else for five minutes, before she gave him the tablet again for another five minute game.  Then they packed up and left.  Maybe they were in a hurry, but the boy seemed used to it.  If I tried to give Elizabeth the iPad for just five minutes, there’d be a tantrum involved.

I guess I’m saying that it takes more than five minutes to learn.  And kids want and need to draw out the learning to savor it and taste it and then figure it out themselves.  Drawing it out helps it stick and gives it an anchor with which to attach it’s self in their brains.  Hurrying things along just makes me stressed out, and I really think that it makes the content less learnable.

Anyway, I am worried about having enough time in the day to fit school in, particularly our way of savoring and drawn out learning.  I don’t want to be rushed, but alas, having to support us and be the teacher will bring along many changes, and not all of them I can predict.  Zumba(TM) may eventually allow me to be out of the house working less than if I was at another job.  The problem is the in-between time, before my classes are firmly established and my name well-known.  I don’t much want to commit to evening classes that are empty, thus having to miss things like t-ball, and having to also work during the day to pay the bills.  When would I see the kids?  When would we fit school in?  It is so complicated, and I am bitter that Chepe has laid this upon me, bitter as much as hopeful for the positive changes that it will make in my own life being liberated of him.

Overall, I am just determining my priorities here.  I had originally been totally against offering Tues/Thurs classes because that is when t-ball was, but if I could miss that but be available all the rest of the day for school and naps, isn’t that a worth-while trade-off?  I am still undecided as of yet.  What do you think?

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