Sunday, October 14, 2012

Homeschool Advice From a Friend

The other day I received some wise advice from a friend. The interesting part of it is this is the third or fourth time in the last few months that I've received the same advice, from different friends. Often times I think we hear things over and over until we are ready to accept it as truth.

In May my middle son turned five years old, making him Kindergarten age as of this September. Since he turned five years old I have wanted to start school at home with him. My plan was to find a curriculum and start working on it as early as May/June of this year. However, May and June went by, then July, August, September.... and still no formal curriculum. Once September got here I really started to panic. Then I started to second guess myself and my abilities, and I started to look into putting him into a Christian School. I thought that he would get a better and more consistent education if he was taught by someone else. There are so many limitations to what I can do right now due to this chronic illness that I have come to the realization that I can't do everything I want to. Right now being a mom, a teacher, a cook, a house cleaner, along with all the myriad of chores is too much. Truth of the matter is it would be too much even if I didn't have a debilitating illness! Homeschooling is hard for all moms, I know this because I hear it so often from others that are struggling to keep up with it all.

The advice I was given was that at this age, a formal education isn't as important as we sometimes make it out to be (matter of fact there are those that argue you shouldn't teach children too early). Kids learn from their environment and if the home environment is an educational one (meaning learning games, activities, being read to, having a parent that uses teaching moments, etc) they will learn so much. Of course as a parent who cares about my children's education academically and spiritually I have not wanted to just do nothing.

But once again I am hearing that voice telling me "you can not do it all on your own". I'm starting to listen to it more and more. I can't do it all on my own. I need God! So in September in the midst of my 'panic' I really cried out to God. I asked Him for guidance, to help direct me in the way I should go with schooling my children. I asked Him to open the doors that needed to be opened and close the doors that needed to be closed. He did close the doors to putting Kaleb into a Christian school. We just could not afford it and we couldn't get enough financial assistance to make it work. So for the last 5-6 weeks I've just been 'waiting' on Him. I still didn't know how I was going to do it all, but I had prayed and laid it at His feet and now it was just time to wait. Two weeks ago a darling woman from my church called and asked if I would like any help with the kids, she said she would enjoy doing crafts with them. I told her that would be wonderful as its one of the areas I haven't done so well with. She is planning to come once a week for one hour to do crafts with me and the kids and one hour to help clean. Then a week later when I least expected it another sweet woman from my church came up and started telling me about how she is a certified teacher, although retired. She asked me if I would like help once a week with my kids, for 1-2 hours and that she would especially love to teach math! I took a deep breathe and said "YES!". Shortly after, another woman came up to me and asked if my children knew how to swim. I explained that they love the water, but I had not yet put them into swim lessons (that is one of the things on the huge to do list). She offered to take them to the YMCA sometimes to go swimming! Last Wednesday was their first opportunity to do this and they had so much fun!

I know that God answers prayers, but often times it takes my breathe away in the way that he does it! We have so many needs right now and these women are helping to fill some of those needs! What an amazing God we serve! One of the greatest things to remember is that its always in His time. God doesn't always answer us right when we want or expect Him to. But I truly believe that if we ask Him, believe Him, and trust Him that He will meet our needs!

I'd just like to encourage all of you out there, whether you are a mom or not, that whatever you are going through in life, trust God completely. He does care about us, our needs and our hearts desires!

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