Friday, September 10, 2010

Looking Ahead

What ... oh what?! ... have we done?

This morning as I sat on the couch with a two year old flickering the lights, a three year old crying about how little attention she receives, and a five year old pinching a seven year old, I wondered if a) I could possibly retreat to the bathroom with a bottle of wine unnoticed and b) whatever in God's name possessed me to try homeschooling in the first place?

Months ago I began this journey to figuring out what being a homemaker meant for me. I hesistate to write about it often because it is really a rather personal journey and because it seems to take me much too long to figure out what the next step on this journey even is.

In June Mike attended a seminar on safety. I had been under the assumption it was on officer safety with regards not only to the violence toward officers in our area but all over the country. I was wrong. It focused mostly on terrorism and what he could do to better protect himself, his family, and his community. During one of the breaks Mike called me and said, "Gen...I'm so weirded out by all this information I don't even want to put L on the school bus tomorrow."

It didn't bother me that Mike was having a momentary lapse in his normally very tough exterior, which, usually sends me into an immediate freak out mode. My reply, which surprised even me, was, "Isn't it interesting that you would say something like that to me during this time when I am so open to what being a homemaker means for me and for our family?"

There it was, so simple and obvious ... my next step.

And thus began our journey into homeschooling.

For a few weeks I prayed that if homeschooling was what was right for our family that God Himself would shout it from Heaven. Something like, "Hey! Idiot! Homeschool your kids!" Week after week there would be no shout, but my curiosity had begun to grow and mature into interest, and I soon found that my interest had blossomed into full blown passion. Perhaps the shout I was waiting for came to me in a way I should have been expecting from the beginning ... a simple whisper.

The choices available to homeschooling families are so vast I have found myself drowning in them so although I now know homeschooling is the right decision, I don't know much else. I feel behind and inadequate. The only routine I have successfully established is sitting the children down and reading a story from the Children's Bible and then we all head to the table and draw a picture of what we read. And even that (please see first paragraph) seems to be a challenge.

J's picture of the story of Cain and Abel. Pretty sure this would get me called into the principal's office.
And what more? Above and beyond Bible studies, which are so very important to us and our faith, what am I going to do with these four children? How am I going to make sure they are not only adequately educated but also adequately prepared for the real world? And above and beyond that, when am I going to find time to spend alone with my husband? That man who still makes my heart do little flip flops when he walks in the door? (Oh Lord may that never stop!) For crying out loud, not even four months ago we were in the middle of our five year "We just have to get the baby to school so we can finally be alone again" plan. Why are deviating from that?

Of course, along with my worries, I see my second grader who has difficulty doing simple single digit addition, even though we were told by his first grade teacher he was doing fine in that area. I see my Kindergartner who couldn't even make it through his first reading lesson with his own mother without his Blankie and Puppy nestled neatly around him. I see my children, no longer fighting and instead laughing with their best friends, play mates ... school mates.

So I am at a cross roads; somewhere between Teacher of the Year and Boozehound hiding in the Bathroom.

The Lord is going to help me figure it all out. That's what this blog is all about after all; His gentle leading of those with young. And I remember what was written millenia ago, although I feel it may have been written specifically for me.
Psalm 105:4 "Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always."
1 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us over to a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
And I can say with (a little) confidence ... I think I'm ready for tomorrow.


Momma Fargo said...

Way cool post! Love it! And I am still laughing over the Cain and Abel pic and where the principal would have you seated. Kids are cute.

And I have faith you will be great...

Yellow said...

I hate to spam with links and such. But I was given this when I started to homeschool the girls. IT WAS GREAT! I did it, and the kids loved it! I still have it if you would like it. Look it over and email me I would be happy to send it to you. All I really have to send is the work book, you would need the bible, cd, and such but they are flexable you dont need the one that came with it, and if nothing else the book will give you an EASY place to start, and its easy to add other stuff to it.

Okay yeah I got long there...

On another note, I LOVE THE PICTURE!!!! That is the reason we did homeschooling! LOL.

Katie said...

I love your post and I am proud of you for attempting homeschooling. I know it's a difficult road to lead, as a teacher I really understand the value of educating the WHOLE child and seeing them for the individuals that God created them to be. My "teacher" advice to you is this: Please, please, PLEASE socialize them with groups and play dates. I know that homeschooling is a challenge and is right for your family, but sometimes, and I'm being super honest here, it hinders their social growth. I'm not saying your children specifically, but just homeschooling in general. I know that there are some support groups within school districts in our local area and I would encourage you to seek them out as a resource. Also, please feel free to call me any time. I have oodles and bundles of resources and would love to help you in any way that I can.

xo xo xo KT

CM said...

I think I know exactly what class your husband went to...was it Ltn Grossman's class? If so, it kinda made me a bit fearful too!

Hang in there, follow your heart and will get better!

Momma Hen said...

Momma Fargo - Thank you for the vote of confidence!!
Yellow - I'll definitely email you. Thank you!
Katie - I appreciate your concern! We've got lots of stuff lined up and lots of opportunities for the kids. As much as I love the idea of homeschool, I do not love the idea of staying at home everyday!
CM - Yup...same class. We (mostly me!) had to take a deep breath and separate the fear from our decision. It would make staying home with them WAY harder!!