Well, I thought I would blog a lot about our progress in our very first year of homeschooling. That obviously didn’t happen! Ok, was I busy homeschooling? I guess you could say that. It’s been a very interesting year that was exactly like I thought it would be and nothing like I thought it would be all at the same time.
Let me first of all say, without the Lord’s calling, my husband’s help and support and my friend’s and family’s encouragement, I could not do this. This is not easy. It is a HIGH calling. But I have realized it’s a high calling be cause it is WORTH MUCH. I have been in tears some days over not being able to handle all ‘life’ has for me to deal with- including bad health, school work and bad attitudes- only to find myself in tears later over how blessed I am to have three healthy, intelligent children that the Lord has given to me to train up in the way they should go.
I would like to give you a few peeks into some ‘real’ days we had…
This was Brock on an ‘off’ day. He was practicing piano with his bed comforter over his head. I took a picture to remember it. Jake still in his jammies and I am quite sure it was the afternoon.
Then on this day, while Brock and I worked on something and Cole napped, Jake appeared in my room with about 20 stuffed animals stuffed into this dinosaur suit. We spent about 20 mins laughing so hard at him! He walked like an “umpa-lumpa” and Brock was rolling him around the room and trying to stuff more things in the suit. This day was pretty real.
I’ll never forget the day Jake asked, “what happens to poop?” We spent the afternoon on the computer looking up poo-farm information and found a hilarious yet educational video put out by the city of San Diego. Let’s just say it involved the whole poo process. The boys learned many real things that day.
We all have certainly bonded very deeply, more than ever before. We are with each other enough so that if there are any sin issues to be dealt with (such as obedience or mean spirited-ness) it’s staring you in the face all day. It’s kept me on my toes with them and on my knees with the Almighty God!
I don’t think a week went by this year that I didn’t think, “what have I gotten myself into?” Only to say by the end of the week, “this is the best thing in the world, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing.”
Sure some days I’d like to sling the kids on the yellow school bus, or at daycare and go off and save the world, make some extra money, or have a career (that I really worked hard for!) or just go shopping without someone screaming or running away. But you know, that’s just part of it. I realize they’ll be grown in a blink, and right around the corner, in my next season of life, I’ll be longing for the days of pull-ups and sippy cups. (pottys and elmo, soccer and shin guards, kiddie pools and wet towels on the floor, lunch boxes and string cheese… ) Sniff… I’m going to miss these days.
After prayerful consideration, we have decided to continue our homeschooling journey next year. (yay!) I asked Brock very neutrally his opinion about the matter of his choice of schooling, and he responded with a very enthusiastic thumbs up for another year (or two) of staying home! He said he really has liked the time he has gotten to spend with friends and family. He’s gotten more free time since he can finish his work significantly faster than a classroom pace, and he thinks it’s fun. The field trips, not the work!
I am very pleased with this, because I feel like only in the last month have we really started to feel the benefits of staying home. We need another year and I’d love to have more if that is the Lord’s will for us. The term “de-school” is very true. Brock has been used to someone telling him what to do from 8:15am- 2pm every half hour or so for the last 7 years of his life every school day. He didn’t get that here. It was a real struggle for him to focus on,” Brock, when you finish your math, start on spelling so you can be done.” He really needed someone to hold his hand and I refused to do it most days. Lately things have started to click with him and he has gotten in gear. We’re in the the home stretch! Yep! We have 30 wks of school so that means at the end of April we are done for a break! I have the whole month of May off to do some fun stuff.
Speaking of fun stuff, me and the kids are really excited about our new pets! We are raising Painted Lady caterpillars to become butterflies! They will make chrysalids, then hatch and we will release them when they are ready. I will update when there is more caterpillar news.
I have been doing some digging and research as far as curriculum goes to try and figure out the best way to challenge my advanced child, but not to bore him to death with ‘work’. I want the learning to be fun and me to enjoy teaching it at the same time. The choices for this year worked great for us, but we gotta step it up next year.
I’ve also got two other very important tasks at hand, a gifted pre-k child; and a sweet, contented 2 -year-old. My mind has constantly been churning about doing the best thing in all three areas of my calling as a mother. I worry that I won’t do the best job, but then I have to sit back and be willing to what God asks…my best job. Sweet Cole needs lots of playtime and lots of snuggle time with his mama, and Jake needs constant activity (but is getting better at entertaining himself!)
I am very excited about homeschooling Jake in the next few years. He loves learning and loves reading and loves most anything that is interesting. He has a library book addiction… had to explain that to the librarian today. That’s for another blog post though.
I’m going to take this opportunity to wrap it up and talk a little about our accomplishments this year. This really helps when you have days where you feel like not much got done… but we have done SO much!
Above is Brock’s homeschool science fair project. He was a pro at putting together a project, but he actually enjoyed the process a little more this year I think.
We participated in Kids Day at the Capitol since it was just a nice little drive downtown.
We saw three Young Actor’s Theatre’s plays:
“The Wizard of OZ”
” The Diary of Anne Frank”
and ” Charolette’s Web”
Brock went to Joe Budd fish camp and caught about 16 or so catfish. Got to keep 2 to eat!
Brock participated in Homeschool soccer on Thursdays
And Last but not Least, Bible time.
The most important part to our whole time together, is how we’ve grown spiritually together. It has been slow and steady, but over all, we have studied several character traits and memorized several verses of scripture together. We’ve prayed together and held each other accountable for our actions (like don’t fight with your brother today, and keep the house clean). This has been by far the most beneficial and rewarding part of our whole time. One thing we do is sing our songs and read our verses through the day and it helps us remember the things we are working on!
Character Traits: Obedience, Orderliness, Diligence, Self- control, Attentiveness
All (even Cole a little bit) Memorized these Bible Verses (thanks in part to Seeds of Worship!)
John 8 :12,
1 Peter 1 :24-25,
That’s amazing to me!
I know that the Lord rewards persistence. I had a grumpy participant in Brock for most Bible times this year, but this morning I asked him to read the character story to his brothers while I finished getting ready, and not only did he read it with kindness to them, he asked them to say their verses and prayed with them too! I was holding back the tears!
Thanks for everyone who has been supportive, and don’t stop, I’ll need more next year and will start to be able to encourage others at the same time because of you.