Eight months into our school year, I am so thankful for all God is revealing to me as a wife, mother, and as my children's teacher. I have found a renewed sense of joy, pride, passion, for this calling on my life as a mama. I was telling a friend the other day, that the more I embrace what I am doing the more change the Lord is doing in me. What a great first school year so far.
It is my desire for my little ones to love to learn. I love to read, and learn they should too not only because its fun, but because knowledge is power! We are making daily changes to really focus on what is truly important to us according to what the Lord has put on our hearts. Most recently we cut TV waaaaay back! We actually cut our cable bill to almost nothing just getting basic, soon we will cancel and go with a converter box or plain antenna. TV to us now should be a treat same with wii. I want them to be outside as much as possible exploring, using their imagination, hands on learning is important. I find that a lot of what they watch goes against the grain of what I am trying to teach them anyway. As we continue to make new friends in the homeschooling world I am challenged to not only think outside of the box but to change what 'I know' to be the only way.
We are working on Graysen's ability to read everyday. He has really flourished and amazes me with his ability. We read the bob books, Biscuit series(he love dogs so its great), we reading aloud from a chapter book-currently its The Indian in The Cupboard(Graysen is loving it!), we continue the 100 easy lessons to teach your child to read, read aloud some more, library is a great reading resource, so is half priced books and Goodwill! I have learned since starting not to pressure him, and not to expect so much. Learning is different for everyone, and my little guy was barely 5 when we started with K curriculum. I have really cut some slack since January, he won't develop any love for learning with me getting frustrated with him. This first year has been such a refining in ME.. I think I am a Kindergartner, well I guess I am as a homeschooling mama.
I read back on a journal I started at the beginning of the year which I am thankful my friend Amanda suggest I do, its evidence of where my mindset was then and the expansion of knowledge and mindset now. I do not have to have a structured learning system where my son spends his time learning sitting at a table. I can meet his needs schooling him while sitting comfortably on the couch where he is snuggled up to me as we read together. I have started teaching them basic Spanish and both can count to 10, and they understand some basic commands all taught by singing it to them in a silly voice. Growing a garden, and watching the beauty of God's creation flourish before our eyes is apart of our learning too. During our circle time when we sing the alphabet, I also do the sign language to get them familiar and introduced to that as well. We can continue learning math with pattern blocks, as we make milkshakes, muffins, cookies, and making his favorite -quiche using measuring cups. My kids have learned months of the year, days of the week through songs we sing during breakfast. This year we are learning how to read his address, and calling 911which we have literally acted out so it sticks to his brain if something were to go wrong. We pray every night before bed, and that in itself has been a blessing. Reading a devotional, doing a prayer list, and praying for each person on it is a great way for each of my children to understand what prayer is. When we take a family a meal, its teaching them to serve others in love. If we need to focus on a specific issue like lying, disobedience, we do. Continuing to disciple them is my job as their teacher, and nurturing his(Gwyneth too) specific learning style is my desire. We do use some book work for writing, reading, phonics, and computer time as well. I am fine tuning a balance for all of it.
I say these things because I am proud and amazed at the work of my saviors hand in me and through me. Anyone can teach their children whether working parents, or stay at home parents. I choose to share about it not to say I am better than anyone or judging anyone who does not homeschool. I choose to share about what my God is doing in my life as a wife, and mother. I was not taught how to be a wife, or mother by my parents. It is through God's provision, and my desire to seek him I am where I am now. My past does not define me in fact it gives me strength to break chains in my family history. I have allowed the Lord to bring beauty to what the enemy wanted for my demise. So please hear my heart when I say these are praises I share about this new journey and I thank God for this calling on my life. Sure, I have things to work on. I can get wrapped up in thinking about what I am not doing well enough, but I do not, I humbly want to do all things to glorify the Lord, remain teachable, sensitive to Holy Spirit, and I know I will in time continue to get better at time management, consistencey, organizing, priorities etc. Like I said before, I am truly embracing one day at a time, and in that there's freedom for me.
A few weeks ago at a park day I was chatting with a new friend, about curriculum choices etc. and she shared that she will be doing year around schooling. It was like a light bulb turned on, Fantastic I thought, why stop for a "summer break"? Justin and I both want to enrich our children's lives with a constant learning environment. China schools year around, why doesn't America adopt that way too?! So we are prayfully considering the same. I really like the Charlotte mason, classical learning styles and find myself wanting to mix both. I am going to read a few books on each while praying about wisdom relating to this option. There are some new possibilities arising for our family that may even change the way we school altogether and is depending on the next few month to help decipher final decisions. I would love to share but have chosen to keep it quiet for the time being. I will definitely share if there are radical changes.
The Lord is faithful. Stepping in the role and true calling on my life as a teacher, I am blessed. I didn't know back in August 2010 starting to homeschool would bring such a fulfillment to my life. Now we are apart of two homeschooling groups which I cannot express enough how much we enjoy them, the friends we have met, meetups, field trips, curriculm nights, their constant desire to enrich our minds as mothers, its just incredible. I am thankful for the friend who encouraged/inspired me in stepping in this calling(Amanda), and the other helping friend (Carrie) who also gave me great encouragement, after all these two ladies where the ones I called on often before joining these groups.
God is good, for he does what he says he will do..we have to do our part too. Looking forward to even more growth as we continue to homeschool!
Seek his kingdom first, and all these things will be added Matthew 6:33,
Romans 8:28 (Amplified Bible)
28We are assured and know that [[a]God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.