When I started homeschooling last year, my heart was not into it. We decided to do it because of the move. It was supposed to be a “until we get settled, find a good school”… thing. Over the summer the Lord really worked on my heart and my attitude towards homeschooling.
The reality is that I do have 3 Things running around. All between the ages of 6 and 1 1/2. I am a planner. That gift alone has helped (saved my sanity) me maneuver through my school day with more ease. We start our morning with chores. Our chore list teaches the Things team building and responsibility. After trying a few different lists, they now have a firm set of chores that they know they need to get done as soon as breakfast is over. We are upstairs at our desks by 9am to begin our day. Thing 1 starts our school day with prayer and the pledge and then we get going. Thing 3 is usually busy from the moment he steps into the playroom until about an hour into playing. After about an hour he usually needs a snack and some attention. I try really hard to tackle the tough subjects during this time, math and writing. I like to save seatwork for when Thing 3 is napping so that I can help or take off to do my chores. If Thing 3 needs a lot of one on one time, then we save the tough subjects for Thing 3’s nap time. Our schedule is pretty flexible. Thing 1 knows what she needs to accomplish each day and understands my lesson planner so oftentimes if I am tied up with Thing 2 and 3, she runs off and starts her lessons by herself.
I started seeing that my “previous work life” before being a SAHM helped prepare me for this season in our lives. Using the gifts God has given me, I have transformed our negative experience last year into a more positive one this year. I love it. I really really do. I am not one of those homeschoolers who believes that every child needs/should be homeschooled. We homeschool because we feel that this is what God wants for our family at this time. If we were still in Texas, our child would still be going to our church’s school. We are living under different circumstances right now and firmly believe that this is God’s will for our family at this moment. He has changed me, humbled me and trained me for this role in this season and I am embracing it and doing it to my best ability. I have grown so much as a parent because of this experience.
Those who know me, know that I can be shy. I do not have the gift that Thing 2 has and am not a social butterfly. So when I started seeing that my Things needed to see other kids their age who were homeschooled I put on my big girl pants, said a few prayers and received a few for confidence and took my Things to a co-op. I faked the excitement (I was SO nervous) because I needed the Things to be excited. I had a nervous stomach as we pulled up to about 20+ kids and 10+ moms. I took my three and we engaged. My Things made friends. Look at the smile on Thing 2’s face!
They even gave a semi-mpromptu speech for show and tell in front of 10 kids that they had JUST met.
This is them waiting on their turn.
They learned all sorts of neat things through show and tell. Here they are checking out another child’s telescope.
Thing 2 finally got it right.
Then it was their turn to do show and tell. Thing 2 was second in the whole group. This Thing LOVES an audience.
Thing 1’s turn. I was sure she was last but it turned out that the sweet girl who was sitting next to her was just as shy as her and didn’t raise her hand when asked who had not had a turn. So Thing 1 was next to last. Still, she did great!
Even Thing 3 tried something new that day. He went down a slide for the first time!
All in all, the experience was a great experience for us and we are planning to attend some more meetings. It was good for all of us to get out and meet other families like ours. One thing that I am learning this year as I keep applying my verse for this school year to everything I do, I am reminded to, “Train up a child in the way he SHOULD go” (Proverbs 22:6). This means not just the way that is most comfortable for me.