The Lord replied, "I will personally go with you...and I will give you rest--everything will be fine for you." Exodus 33:14

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First Day

Awake at five...too excited to go back to sleep!  ALL the kids were up and spinning with excitement by seven.  The Firstborn all dolled up and ready to see her friends, the other two chomping at the bit to check out what we'd done to the school room.

I let them go look while I drank my coffee.

Three subjects done and muffins made by eleven.  Next on the agenda was the annual back-to-school celebration (which usually takes place when shopping for school supplies)--ice cream at the Marble Slab.  The excursion was all the sweeter shared with good friends who also homeschool and had just returned yesterday from being overseas for five months.

As we whipped through WalMart, grabbing a few things on our way home, we shared a good laugh over the fact that our kids in no way fit the stereotype of perfectly behaved little homeschool children.  All four were dangling off the cart, flailing about and laughing.  We had so much to catch up on that the kids didn't get the scolding they might have.  Grandmothers did a double-take.

Happy healthy children who just won't fit into a box.

No jean skirts or birkenstocks.

Two good friends who've shared a lot of laughter and tears over the years.

We'll be there for each other on the days that aren't quite so much fun.  Today was for celebrating.

At the end of the day, my son gave me a huge bear hug and said, "I love homeschooling, Mom!  Thank you."

That'll keep me going for a few days.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

'Twas the Night Before Homeschooling...

It was the night before homeschooling...and the end of one of my worst mothering days of the summer.  Patience ran out.  And I'm supposed to patiently teach these two all winter?

I had to say I was sorry for losing my temper.

Big blue eyes looked up and asked, "Can we do it?"  Was she wondering that about the same things as I?  So we reminded each other that we can do all things with His strength.  We forgave each other and hugged each other and I had my hope renewed.

My courage was also revived through a wonderful friend!

I'm not an elementary school teacher.  I'm confident that I could teach you how to write an essay, but I know I'm not the best at creating a "fun" learning environment.

Enter my lovely friend Rose!  Rose is a grade three teacher who's taking a break to raise two great little guys.  She went through her stuff and brought me a bundle.  She gave all kinds of suggestions on how to arrange things (on funky angles rather than the dull 90 degrees I would have!).  Her enthusiasm was contagious.  She brightened my day and my learning space and reminded me that I don't have to do this alone!

Brian hung white boards.

I arranged a cozy reading space.

And we're ready to go!

I am humbled by today's failures and lifted up by grace.  

Tomorrow morning I will put my firstborn on the bus with a hug and a prayer.  Then with hugs and prayers I'll embark on this new adventure with the other two.

Be strong and courageous!
Do not be afraid or discouraged.
For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Feeling Like a Yo-yo

In my private confessions with close friends I've frequently found myself saying, "I'm feeling like such a yo-yo."  It feels like something I don't want to admit publicly.  (You know, like on a blog.)  After all, there are those who are eager to point out all the obvious reasons why homeschooling is a crazy idea.

All the stacks of shiny new books fill me with excitement and I can hardly wait to get started!

The kids are bickering.  Again.  I take deep breaths.

We do a trial run of an online Spanish lesson and for the rest of the day the kids repeat the ten words they learned.  They're such little sponges--they're fun to teach!

By the time supper is over I'm spent.  And they still need to be put to bed.  My son reminds me that, "You can't rush prayers."  I take deep breaths.

This morning my friend tells me, "Yo-yos are fun!"  (You can see why she's one of my favorite people.)

I find myself pondering.  

A yo-yo is sent out, but always remains anchored.  In the hands of a master it can do amazing things.  When it reaches the end of it's rope, it bounces back to the hand that sent it...most of the time. Sometimes it just dangles, hanging helplessly without enough momentum to return.  Then the Master gently rewinds it. He may send it out again with fresh momentum...or tuck it in His pocket for a bit.

Sometimes I feel like a yo-yo.  And it's okay.

"...Your life is safe in the care of the Lord your God,
secure in his treasure pouch."
(1 Samuel 25:29b)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Beginning

We're going to homeschool two-thirds of our children.

For some of you that's explanation enough for the title of this blog. Me too.

You see, I love my kids AND my solitude. I love teaching my kids AND teaching the adults I work with. I love the school my kids have attended.

For me this is a step of wild obedience. To some that may sound like a wild overstatement. It's not.

Sometimes the obedience required of us is huge but happens quietly and goes unnoticed except by the angels. Some obedience is public and risks censure.

The reaction to this news has been quite varied: incredulous, angry, curious, skeptical, respectful, laughing, defensive, wondering...all from people I care about and whom I truly believe care about me.

Those who have walked closest to my heart through my parenting journey have responded very quietly, often with tears, but always along the lines of, "Wow." To know us well is to know that we wouldn't make this decision lightly. It is to know that we recognize the cost, but trust the One who is calling.

My nutshell philosophy on choosing a method of education is this: Our children are all unique. The plan for their lives is unique. Only God knows their future and specifically what is required to prepare them for that future. As parents, our job is to seek His leading (He wants to lead us!) and obey. Whatever choice we make, it feels like a risk and requires trust. I'm so thankful to live in a country where that freedom is recognized and supported by our government.

We do not believe that God says everyone should be homeschooled. We are not homeschooling because we want to keep our children "safe from the world". We're simply being wildly obedient.

If you choose to follow this blog, I hope you'll be encouraged--whether in your own homeschooling journey or in some other wild obedience. Hopefully, we'll laugh and cry together. And pray for each other. As one very dear elderly man said, "I'll pray for you. As you teach the children, God will be teaching you." I couldn't ask for a better blessing.