Saturday, September 13, 2008

Welcome to our classroom...

So, it's official. We're homeschoolers. I know it's been official for a little while now, but it surprises me still.

We just finished our second week of school, and are finally starting to figure things out. We're settling into more of a schedule, and have only faced a couple of problems. One problem we've faced is that sort of disciplinary stuff that comes along when things change -- that pushing the boundaries sort-of behavior, trying to figure out exactly where they are.

The other problem comes along when my kids finish a day's worth of work far too quickly and I find myself having to stretch the school day out on the fly. For example, I used the plans in First Language Lessons for poem memorization, and scheduled practice for several days in a row. About two days after I introduced the poem, we were in the car when Gracie asked, "Hey mom, wanna hear that poem?" She could rattle it off completely, as could Bub, so now I have to figure out something new to fill that slot and to find some longer poems! We've experienced similar speediness in Math, leading me to believe it's time to bring in those extra subjects and to move more quickly onto more challenging work.

I am quite fortunate that my kids really seem to love homeschooling. They're very responsive to me teaching them, and I love those ah-ha moments. I'm so excited that I get to be there when something clicks. However, I do find that I lack quite a bit of self-confidence. I often find myself struggling to believe I'm their best teacher, though I know rationally I truly am. It's all a painful mind game, one which I hope to win.

I've always found that motherhood for me is a sort of magnifying glass, making obvious all those character defects I'd love to keep hidden and not deal with. In all honesty, before homeschooling, I think I'd gotten to the point where I was okay place -- observing my faults, owning them, making amends for them, allowing them to be changed. Then James agreed that I could homeschool, and out came a bigger magnifying glass making more obvious even bigger shortcomings. I seriously told my mom the other day that I hope my kids make it to adulthood without needing intensive therapy.

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness.'
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ's power may rest on me."

-- 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV


  • Tricia

    I can remember telling a non homeschooling friend once that if the kids need to know something and I don't know it, I tell them and we go look it up.

    She seemed quite surprised that I'd tell my kids 'I don't know'.

    I think this gives such freedom to kids. That is the beauty of home education. It's about everyone learning.

    Ignorance on a subject is not wrong. It's a place to start! I really want my kids to know that.

    I'm sure you are doing a great job, don't let those feelings of insecurity get to you. Not even teachers of the paid variety know it all.

  • Happy Mommy

    God gave those children to you not anyone else in the world, you have been teaching them since the moment you became their mother! You will do a great job as teacher!
    homeschooling is such a privilege I love being my childrens teacher!

  • Amy

    Sounds like you are doing great!!!

  • Randi

    I think that's a hope that we all face - that our kids won't spend long hours lying on a therapist's couch because of all we've done. You really are their best teacher and God will refine you all through this year. I understand entirely ... last year I had homeschooling days that I would gladly erase from our memories but I do see that God refined me in the process. Wishing you a great year!

  • Elizabeth

    Girl, I'm so proud of you! Sounds like everything is going well. Wish you could have heard Pastor Kevin's recent sermon on parenting. He talked about how God uses our kids to show us our weaknesses and areas of sin, so He can refine us. Good stuff. You can do it!!!

  • amy

    I know that you'll do wonderfully homeschooling. Some of the things that your kids will benefit from the most is your honesty & openness and your desire to see them succeed. I cannot think of a better role model. You acknowledge your faults & hardships, yet you continue to seek hard after God - isn't that the best life lesson they can learn? And who better to learn it from than YOU - their mom!

  • taralynn819

    What a great experience for all of you! I actually earned an elementary education degree in college, but don't quite desire to "go there". Maybe some subbing...maybe.

    I hear you on the confidence thing. I teach junior church every few weeks and most always stress out over the lesson to make sure there are enough visuals, stories, activities, application - all of it. And that's just one lesson!

    Then my college roommate spent the weekend with us over a Sunday it was my week to teach junior church (who is into her 5th year of teaching) and offered one little comment that changed my whole perspective: "They're only 3 and 4 years old!"

    Though I realize there's probably a lot more pressure when you teach your own children, but it always seems like, in the end, we're far more equipped than we give ourselves credit for.

    I can't wait to see you post in June after all you've accomplished!

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