Thursday, October 10, 2019

Homeschooling Again

I haven't blogged for so long. After my eye surgeries, I have a hard time seeing a computer. It is just the wrong distance away and with my bifocals, it gives me a neck ache to be on here much. I miss it though.

I have had many people ask me why I am homeschooling again. The answer is simple and complicated. The simple part is that my three bottom children out of my six (two are graduated and my eldest daughter, Jessica, has no wish to be homeschooled) asked me if I would homeschool them. I had been homeschooling their elder brother, Andrew for two years because he just didn't fit in the school system and was having trouble socially. We brought him home and this country boy thrived as he had time now to pursue his interests in farming, welding, wood work, mechanics and food preservation and cooking. Jacob was a sixth grader last year and started having some trouble socially too. He was getting sick of it and asked if he could come home. I agreed and we started homeschooling a month and a half before school got out for the summer. It was great! After Jacob came home, Lily wanted too as well. This surprised me because she loved everything about school. She is a social butterfly and was having no problems at all. I really warred with myself on this one.

After much prayer, I realized my kids were wanting a good thing. I was just not confident enough to think I could do this. I had also had quite a bit more freedom while they were in school. It was going to be a huge sacrifice. I kept going back to my list of pros and cons. The pros far outweighed the cons. My children would get a good education based on the truth that I see in the Word of God. Evolution and many other things would be presented as THEORIES and not as fact. Good science is observable.

I am also concerned with the amount of politics of the nation that are being reflected in the public school system. It can't be helped. It is just how it is now. There is no turning this train around. So I am hopping off. I honestly don't know how I can screw this up. We are getting so much done and we are having FUN doing it!

I have decided to do unit studies with my younger ones. For my 5th grader we are doing a unit study called Prairie Primer that is based on the Little House on the Prairie Series. There is so much packed in this study that we can't possible cover it all. Lily is eating it up! Jacob, my 7th Grader is doing a unit study on America the Beautiful. It is a fascinating study on America history. From the earliest record of Native Americans, to the study of our national landmarks, biographies of famous Americans, every era and every war that we have been in as a nation is covered in this study. It also includes, maps, timelines, Bible, vocab, and creative writing. For math we are doing Teaching Textbooks online and it has been amazing. I rarely have to help my kids with math.

I homeschooled for nine years, starting with Josh was a kindergartner. I always had a baby and a toddler and was teaching at least one child to read. I had more energy back then and more zeal and passion. Now that I am 44, I have less zeal, less passion and have mellowed out considerably. My energy level is definitely not the same as it was when I homeschooled the first time around. But I have wisdom on my side now. I can chill out knowing that they will have gaps, but they would if they were in public school, too. I am ok with that. I am going to do my very best to maintain a schedule, accountability and discipline when I need to. Character comes before academics in my classroom. This is hard for them because I am "Mom", they are always trying to push or get around things. I have to stay strong under the constant pressure of them wanting to do less work than I require of them.

The other thing I am doing differently this time around is not threatening to send them back to public school. I am not willing to do that at this point, so there is no sense in even going there. I want them to know that I want and desire for them to be home with me. I want them to know that we can overcome any obstacle even though it is hard.

To be honest, I am NOT enjoying every minute of homeschooling. We have had terrible days filled with discipline and tears as we work on not arguing with the "teacher". I have never looked forward to weekends as much as I have this time around. I love teaching! It totally energizes me, but the disciplining drains me fast.

 Andrew is in high school now and all this counts now. I want to give him a true and honest transcript that reflects a well-rounded, well-educated young man. I want him to have a diploma that I know he earned. I want to do this well!

I have bad days too, hormonally speaking. My patience level is at an all time low certain days of the month. I am cranky, and snappish towards my children. I have much to confess to the Lord in my journalling and quiet time.

I take walks, exercise and try to give my children a break from me. I am asking my husband to take the kids on a monthly weekend trip to visit family once a month or to send me away to be with family so we can have some mental breaks from each other. It is good for all of us.

I am thankful that I have this opportunity. Not everyone has the ability or the time to homeschool. My husband works hard so that I can be home to do this. I am so grateful to him for supporting me and doing what it takes to make sure his children get a good education. God has lined this up. I grieved having to stop homeschooling for six years. I quietly accepted that those days were over. God has slowly given me my dream back. Two year ago, Andrew came home and then last year, Marcus decided to do his senior year online from home. Now Jacob and Lily are back. It is so good to be focusing my energy on educating my children. But in order to do this, God had a lot of work to do on me. He enabled me to start using the word "No" a LOT! I had such a hard time with this. I have taken almost everything out of my life that doesn't HAVE to be there. It is a sacrifice I am willing to make.

Grateful for Grace,
Stacie

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