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In this season of my life as I am about to embark on a new journey of homeschooling, I feel like there is a whole bunch of stuff that has been brought to my attention. I realize how much of a passive parent I have been. It is so easy to just send your child off to school and think well they are being taught. Not to say I never did anything with my kids. We did fun stuff, and we did plenty of homework. I always asked them about their day. But beyond homework I really didn’t know a lot of what they were doing. I mean they did well in school, when I asked what they did and how their day was, they would always say something like “I don’t remember”, or give me just a few little things. But because they did well in school I didn’t worry and I didn’t prod. It was much easier that way. I also liked the excuse of well I have four kids and I am just busy, so its ok.
Now that I am going to be teaching them I find myself so much more concerned with what they have learned, so I know where to start. That is hard and somewhat scary as I have 3 grades. I feel like my youngest in homeschool is fine as he is basically starting off with me in 1st grade, I am thankful that he did go to kindergarten and he has his basics down. But I feel major guilt over the older two. I really wish, now that I have researched homeschooling, that I had started at the beginning with them.
Now please know that I am not a person that thinks homeschooling is the only way a child should be taught. So many people have so many different situations. I think there are a lot of good schools out there and I loved the school my kids went to and I think they had great teachers. What I write only applies to me , I do not want to offend those out there who send their kids to school.
But I really think I was very selfish. It was so much easier to just send the kids off to school, its not like I was having the time of my life while they were gone, I did housework and stuff like that, but it was nice to have the free time. But now looking to homeschooling I realize the sacrifice it is going to be and how much I didn’t do when they were in school. We will be together most all the time. Will that always be easy? No, I don’t think so. But I am so thankful to be a part of my child’s life. To see them learn and be a part of that. To actually engage in my children’s life. It is a worthwhile sacrifice to know they are learning and to help them in that process, as well as influence them and do the job I was supposed to do. When my kids were in school they would come home and watch tv for 30 min to relax and unwind. Then they did their homework which if they needed help I helped. I would then send them outside to play, and then it was dinnertime, showers, and bed. There was not a lot of time that we actually spent together there. It was easy. But I don’t think it was right.
God blessed me with these four beautiful children! I think that I need to play more of a part than be a passive parent. So I am thankful God has put it in my heart to homeschool. I know that He did as I have always said “I will NEVER homeschool”. Now I am full of excitement to do it and regret that I didn’t do this sooner. I am so thankful He opened my eyes to see my wrong and how passive a parent I really was. And I am thankful He has given me an opportunity to correct it before they grew up!
It seems I have noticed of late a lot of unrest in “my magic Kingdom” I think it is called sibling rivalry. It has gotten way out of hand. I feel instead of little people, they tend to be a little pack of wolves, ready to pounce on whatever weakness they see out of the others. They love to aggravate to the point of tears, they love to swipe toys from one another and the list goes on. Yes this is normal behavior for kids. But the amount of arguing and crying and screaming has been too much of late to handle.
So today I sat them down and talked to them about loving each other and doing kind things for one another. I explained to them I don’t expect them to be successful in this all the time. I explained that we all aggravate each other from time to time, that it was bound to happen when you live in the same house with another human being. I told them this loving each other and doing kind things for each other is impossible without Jesus and his help. I tried to show I am weak in this area and point out specific times.
I am thinking we might even learn and memorize Eph 4:32
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."
My husband told me about a story a Pastor taught at a conference about how his father had taught he and his brothers and sister that scripture and would have them quote it when there was upheaval in the siblings. And though they may not have liked it so much when they were young and in the moment, it did stick with him all his life.
So far it has been a better day. Do I expect tomorrow to be this good, no not necessarily, I realize we are never fixed, we will always struggle, but I am hoping I have started on a path along with my children that we will seek out to remind each other to be kind and loving (not in a lawful/elder brother way) and we will seek goodness and kindness and ask Jesus to help us every day because we can’t do it without Him. I also realize, I will miss the mark some days and I might lose my temper. But I am praying Jesus does this work in all of us and helps us as a family to be kind to one another and softens our hearts ultimately for Him and His glory as well as for each other.
Since I posted last my hubby has gotten a job and we have bought a house. A lot can happen in a short amount of time. Its like we have been swept away in a whirlwind the last couple of months. In May we had no plans on moving to the city, homeschooling our kids, or buying a house. But we have done all three. God graciously blessed my husband with a really great job here in Montgomery, soon after we found a beautiful house that we really love and got prequalified and through a somewhat arduous process we finally closed, it was later not sooner that we got in which is fine because Gods timing is always perfect. Because of this move our kids would no longer be in the little town we lived in schools so we decided we might try out homeschooling this year and see how it goes.
All three things are true miracles in our lives. My husband searched for over a year for a job, the fact that we pre-qualified to buy a house was amazing I never in a million years would have that we could buy a house right now. And the fact that I am excited about homeschooling is a super miraculous miracle! I have always been one of those people who said I would never EVER in a million years homeschool my children. Not that I have anything against homeschooling but more that I felt I would do horribly at it and my kids would come out way behind, and that the kids and I might not survive being together all the time. But my heart has been changed, I realize its not about me and my ability as a teacher but its all about God. He will help these children to learn he will give them the aibilities he so desires them to have. I just have to be the willing servant and say yes to what he is pricking my heart to do.
So life is exciting, it never is very dull around here. I should always be thankful for the boring moments. I am excited and scared to death at the same time, but more excited than scared. Thankfully I have some good friends who already homeschool and they have been a great help to me already.
I am so very excited to see what the future holds!
Queen of beasts 2011
Pencil on paper
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