Friday, August 15, 2014

Homeschool Diaries: An Honest Start

This week we started back to school.

How in the world is it already August? I'm not sure.

And while the summer raced by only leaving a blur in my mind, I was eager to begin.

You see, I am finally feeling comfortable in this homeschooling skin (it's only taken a few years). And it feels like home now. Those days of worrying about what people will think when I say, "we homeschool" are no longer present. I am confident that homeschooling my three kids is a wonderful thing, something I don't need to defend or make conditions for or have proof of my children's intelligence because of that decision.

Okay, so the last one is still a work in progress.

You see, Hannah really doesn't like to read. I know, I'm a homeschooling mom who should have my children begging for a book to read at all times. But I'd be lying to you if I said that was the case. And I've done all the "right" things like GAZILLIONS of read alouds, multiple trips to the library, book prizes, etc. But, it ain't happenin', at least not now.

And that's okay.

And I say this OVER AND OVER again because

I've played that comparison game too long and too much to the detriment of my kids and the peace in my home. But it continues to creep up...

And while the love of reading is important, it's not what's most important. And that's where the Lord is working on me. 

Yes, me. Because homeschooling, I'm realizing, is as much about me learning as it is my kids.

He's working right there where I want to homeschool my kids to the glory of myself and for the praise of others.  And it's crippling to be here, for me and my kids.

And on Day One of homeschooling this year, the Lord reminded me He would not leave me here as the day began with Grant rushing off to his room when he couldn't tell me what he wanted to be when he grew up. You see, I pushed too hard for him to "come up with something" for that all trendy "first day of school" photo so I too could share my beautiful children with the world along with their high aspirations.

"How can he not have ANY CLUE of what he wants to be?" I think.

"What does this say about my child?" I ponder.

"Where have I gone wrong?!"

And the Lord, in a gentle way, reminds me that he's only six.

And so, I walk upstairs, crawl in bed with his frustrated self, and tell him it's fine he doesn't know what he wants to be. And he beams at the thought that his picture could include his new stuffed bear and could forego a career path decision.

Day Two, Hannah underwent a crying fit, after I told her she would begin a chapter book. It took an hour for her to calm down and a short nap for me to escape the sudden onslaught of interpretations regarding her behavior. She finally read the chapter.

Day Three, the Lord reminded me yet again He would not leave me in this "spot" as Hannah stumbled to remember part of the chapter she read. My mouth was about to open with critical comments as to how she couldn't remember, only to be sweetly reminded by the Lord to meet her where she is at. And by His grace, I did. This was a sweet victory.

You see, the end of last year was a bit tumultuous for Hannah and myself. It stemmed from sin in my heart. And I am stubborn. And I was hopeful this new year, all would be magically "better." But, the Lord knows what I need. He clearly is not done with my heart in this area and He won't leave me there. No, He continues to refine my heart to make me more like Him.


It's not about boasting in my kids. It's not about "looking good." It's not about raising highly intelligent kids. It's about Him and becoming more like Him through these every day fires. And it's about telling my kids about Him....during picture time, during a difficult math lesson, at lunch, reading aloud, when I screw up, again.

So this year, with the accountability of a dear friend, and the power of the Holy Spirit, I want to meet my kids where they're at. Not where I think they should be or where onlookers think they should be, but right where the Lord has them, reading-haters and all (yes both Hannah and Grant said they HATE to read and were aghast when they asked me if I liked to read and I said yes). There's freedom in that. There's joy in that. Great conversations happen there, not critical comments of how they "should be." And the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful children who love to talk and ask questions. May I be thankful for that and start there.

I am so grateful to have this time with them, may I be a wise steward of their lives and this precious time given to us.


Here's to another year of learning...for me and them!


Jeannie said...

This made me cry as I read this. I think all Moms homeschooling or not have a hard time letting their children be who God made them to be. I know I sure did. I wanted my boys to excel in everything. You have such a gift with your words and how God is leading you. You are such a blessing to me and to many others. My Grandchildren may not love to read yet but they sure have a wonderful Mother who loves them more than anything. That will get them so far in life. The will grow up secure in the love you and John provide for them. God bless you this year as he leads you day by day.

Mary said...

Amen, sister. It's a work in progress, always, for us and for them. Grace, grace. Love you!

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