Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Homeschool Diaries: Thoughts

So, I think it's been awhile since I've written anything about homeschooling.

And I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat waiting for my thoughts!

We've taken the typical "Christmas Break" to enjoy the season and for me, to regroup.

It seems I'm learning a lot, and I'm hoping the kids are too. (ba, ba, bummm...)

People ask me how's homeschooling going...

and there is no "cookie cutter" answer to sum up how it's going.

It's hard, it's frustrating, it's exciting, it's rewarding, it's mundane, it's a priviledge, it's overwhelming, it's flexible, it's a pleasure...

And catch me on different days and you'll get different answers, but that's with anything, right?

For me, homeschooling is forcing me to face a lot of sin, whether it's people pleasing or control or impatience or pride. I've lost my cool with Hannah a few times lately out of frustration. And I realized a lot of that frustration stems from pride, the root of all sin, right? I want her to excel, and that's good. But I find myself wanting that in order to prove to others that homeschooling kids are successful and I AM doing a good job. And when we hit a bump in the road, my pride takes a dive. And that's just me being bluntly honest. And it's sin. And I've had to repent, a lot. I've had to again and again let go of worrying about what others think about our choice of education for our kids and the typical stereotype that gets applied to them.

And, I am. Step by step. I don't hesitate anymore when I tell people we homeschool or make comments like, "for now," or "we're trying it out," in hopes to ease the blow a bit. And it seems again the Lord has a sense of humor because, no lie, when we visit our neighborhood Publix, I have to remind the check out lady EVERY TIME, that we homeschool after she makes comments to my kids like, "why aren't you in school?" or "are you playing hookie?" or "do you go to school?" Nor do I feel the need to explain the flexibility that homeschooling provides, such as being able to hit the grocery store at 10:00 am while still having plenty of time for reading and math.

And, as silly as this sounds to most, it's a good way for me to let go of people pleasing, by telling people we homeschool. And I do pray the Lord will break me more and more of that ugly sin because honestly, if I feel uneasy sharing that we homeschool, how much more uneasy could I feel sharing that I am a follower of Jesus Christ? And I am guaranteed to be ridculed and denied for that. So, I see the Lord even using this facet of my life to reveal that sin and slowly break me of it and the need to win people's approval. And so I welcome it.

As for the kids, they are learning and I have to actually remind myself of that on days I feel frustrated. I'm still waiting for Hannah to L.O.V.E reading. She is reading and getting better and better every time she reads a new book. And that's just plain exciting. And I'm hoping soon she'll pick up a love for it. Right now she mainly just does it when I tell her too though she gets fired up when she can read signs and words on cereal boxes and juice boxes (and other things too). Her handwriting has improved tremendously over the year.

We've been doing The Writing Road to Reading and I'm still a fan. I'll admit, it's tedious and I had to buy the newest edition of the book because the older edition was a bit confusing. And, the newest one is still a bit too. I still like the system and am still committed to it, though as I read through the book I feel like I'm back in college reading one of my text books. Thankfully I enjoy learning about teaching and the whys behind the methods.

Hannah has learned all of the phongrams (I believe seventy or so) and we are soon starting a spelling notebook. I'm excited about that. Not so sure she is.

We are doing Saxon math. I like it. But it's here where my frustration came to a head. Subtraction, something I well remember not excelling at when I was little, has proven to be the same with my little Hannah. And trying to explain that 4-1 is three has created quite the dilemma in her little mind. Take any number away from a larger number leaves Hannah's mind in confusion and my emotions at a boil. Thanks to some good advice from friends, I revisited some earlier techniques and I think it's doing the job.

We've taken a two month break at Classical Conversations. We've done some reviewing, mainly of the timeline. The kids and I will both be happy to return to our community in a week or so.

And I could write more but I'm assuming I have already lost most readers who began reading hundreds of words ago but quickly became bored, so I'll stop for the one or two of you who made it this far, namely my mom and my mother in law. Mothers are always loyal.

I'll leave you with these three smiling faces, the reason why I'm at home and pouring into them as best I can and praying for the Lord's grace as I also take on the role as educator.


Courtney said...

I loved every word of your post (you didn't lose me, haha)! Praise the Lord for His refining grace in our lives. AND I LOVED the pics of the 3 kiddos together, they are awesome!! Savannah says she really likes them too :)

Jeannie said...

Jess, you are doing a wonderful job with the kids and I thank God for you always.

Mary said...

You didn't lose me either! I don't think it is silly at all, what you said about how God uses this to chip away at our people-pleasing. There are a lot of people who are not pleased with it, and it forces us to deal with them, it is good for us approval junkies! ( I'm saying that about me, not you!) As always, love the whole post!

THE PEELS said...

Didn't lose me either. We haven't formally started school with the kids at 3, 2, and 8 months, but we have started the structure of it. Already I have felt that pull to take credit for their success or feel overwhelmed by their failures as far as the call to homeschool goes. My hubs often will add that "for now" or "the schools are so bad" etc. when telling others about homeschooling choice - something I am trying to remind him is not entirely accurate. Thanks for the encouragement!