Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Why we Survive Homeschooling

We're studying maps.  Why?  Because it is something my fireball is interested in and will sit still for a very long time.  Praise the Lord, Halleluiah, and so on and so forth!  I don't say this sarcastically, I really mean it. 

No it was not picture perfect today.  Some people cut their maps into little tiny itty bitty bits, hardly recognizable.  Some took a long long long long time to color.  One of us tried to glue the light switch down to the wall because yesterday they had tried to tape it with no avail.  Aside from the point, yet somehow relevant in someone's mind. 

Did I mention we survived this morning with enough happiness left to take some pictures?  It was great... all the while trying to switch loads of laundry, put a turkey in the oven to roast, and lay the baby down for his nap. 

This is so much fun when I can laugh, love and enjoy the busyness of the moment.  When I choose to worry, fret, and be negative; I stress out. 

When you begin to notice interests forming in your children; strike while the iron is hot!  It's not so much the material that you use when they are young (although important), it is giving them a love, joy, and desire for learning that will go the distance.  Why would you NOT homeschool?  It's such a strong bond that you're making and memories that last for along time. 

Does fear hold us back?  We have a lot of that simply because we're human, but does it have to be? 

I think not.  Fears are usually generated by the sparks of misguided opinions.  Study the facts.  They're out there.  Look at the outcome of the way of people's lives (experience) the Bible tells us.  It's a great way to know whether or not you want to walk down that same road.  Home schooling looks different in everyone's life depending on what you put into it or the excuses you make for yourselves or your children.  It's like anything else you choose in life.

Talk with your children.  Walk with your children.  Share what you are learning and listen to what they are learning.  Read the Bible and pray together.  Relate what is happening in real life to the Lord Jesus Christ's teachings.

Lest you think I'm sharing amiss, I now have 3 teenagers in my home that are all different personalities, all love to learn, embrace reading, actually enjoy math and rarely display bad attitudes. Can you tell we're having a triumphant day? 

What if you're reading this and are having a lousy day of disappointments, strife, and despair....such as I quit, I can't do this anymore?  That could've been me yesterday or last week, I don't remember that was a long time ago. BUT......

Welcome to the ranks!  It's the exact place that God likes to have you arrive.... but not for long.  Call out to Him for strength and place your hope in His goodness.  He's got you covered.  Covered in His grace and His mercy for the moments that do contain tears and frustration, but this is life.... it will be there regardless of what you choose.

Yes, it's a joy to home school and an adventure in familyhood.  Yes I'm tooting my own horn.  How can I help it?  The music is loud and wonderful and clear and worth celebrating.  Yes, you can homeschool amidst great difficulty.  You'll make it through with lots of prayer, laughter, smiles, tears, hard work, and learning from others mistakes and triumphs.  Just read some of my old blog posts... we've gone through too many moves to count, remodeling homes, new babies, sickness, surgeries and the like but education doesn't stop. 

For those of you wanting a 10-step plan on how to survive homeschooling, sorry, it doesn't exist.  What does exist is a tool box of sorts, found in God's word.  Some tools work better than others at different seasons and different times. 

I'm an encourager, not a teacher.  It took me a long time to figure that out.  I don't even really like teaching, but I find myself doing it out of necessity.  Good thing, since we educate our children at home. 

What I really enjoy doing is inspiring my children to:   team work, good attitudes, being creative, to serve one another in love, read good books, learn new things, practice worthy academic pursuits... if you want to call that teaching, fine, but I call it provoking to good works. 

I'm excited when I see them wanting to learn because THEY want to, not because someone told them they had to.  Do you teach your babies to walk and talk or do you simply encourage and clap when they discover it?  DON"T STOP doing this for your kids no matter what the age.  So the clapping might not fit.... but you get the idea.

All this, from a map coloring, cutting and pasting activity... WOW.... and you thought we were simply learning the names of our 50 states..... God had other plans.

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