Friday, April 2, 2010

Life training

I believe my fellow homeschool moms will agree with me in saying that the actual "school" work that we do is really such a small part of the learning that goes on everyday. We can all agree that math, language, history, and science are important things that our children all need to learn. It is easy to get wrapped up in the academics and often overlook the true benefits of homeschooling; one of the main reasons many of us head out on the homeschool journey to begin with; We want to raise our children to become the type of adults that God would have them to be. I truly believe homeschooling is one vital component of achieving my goal. There are so many life lessons that our children would miss out on if they were stuck inside a classroom for the biggest part of their day and the biggest part of their childhood. So many skills that are being learned just by being with their parents everyday throughout all of the everyday life situations.
This year has not been ideal for us is the "school" part of homeschool. We started late, stopped for Kalysa's surgery, started again, had several distractions that knocked us even further off the proverbial track and have been playing catch up pretty much the entire year. I have had my share of breakdowns and feelings of inadequacy. Fears that my children are not really learning anything. Doubts that they are up to par according to standards that I don't know about made up by people that I've never met. I have wondered if I am really cut out to be a homeschool mom? Wondered if maybe my kids are just more unruly or less motivated than other homeschool kids?
While tripping over barbie dolls in the living room, making sure not to accidentally put the science experiment in the dishwasher and digging for clean socks in the clean laundry pile(not to be mistaken with the equally as large dirty laundry pile ) I come the the realization that I CAN'T DO IT! I can not homeschool my kids. I can not form them into the adults that God would have them to be. I can not make it 24 hours a day-day in and day out-with 3 children screaming "". Every time I reach the end of my rope and am convinced I will never make it, I am reminded-I do not have to do it! NONE of us can do it! I, alone, am not able but with the Lord all things are possible. Only the Lord can do it and when I let him work through me the results are always rewarding. It is during these times that the Lord reminds me of His promise in Joshua 1:5 "....I will not fail thee nor forsake thee." He is there for me and with me and He always will be. He never fails to show me a little glimpse of the results I am ultimately working towards and it is always the best encouragement a mom could get.
A few weeks ago Monty had to run to the store and he let Keslee ride along. While they were out, Monty decided to surprise us and they came home with lunch from Sonic. As Monty was handing out the meals he said...."Here Kenyon, Keslee said you would want the chicken sandwich. Mom, Keslee said you would want tator tots instead of french fries. Kalysa, Keslee got you and her both a kids meal with cheeseburgers and bananas." In the bottom of the bag was an extra french fry and I asked Monty if they gave us too many. He said "No, I thought the girls may really want fries instead of just a banana so I ordered an extra one just in case." Well guess what?! They did not want french fries. They both will always choose a banana over french fries and Keslee knew that. Now the point of this story is not that we eat at Sonic too often. We really only eat out anywhere about once or twice a month. The point is that because Keslee is with her family and not isolated from us for 6-8 hours every day, at 7 years old, she knows every one of us so well that she could order exactly what we each would have ordered ourselves if we had been there. A few days later I asked Monty if he would pick up some toilet paper. Now, I am kinda picky about my toilet paper and so I wrote down specifically what I wanted him to get. He again took Keslee along for the ride. When they arrived home with the exact toilet paper that I had requested, I went to thank my husband for being so attentive to the details of my note. It was then that he said "Don't thank me, Keslee got the toilet paper." I just had to ask my dear little keeper in training how is it that she can get the right food for everyone in the family and then also pick out just the right toilet paper. With a little shrug of her shoulders she simply replied "I just watch you."
Now, I could write a thousand blog posts based on that one little sentence and any good preacher could do a whole series of sermons, but what I really needed at that time was the confirmation that our homeschool year has not been a wasted effort. They are learning! The math and science and reading are all slowly getting done but there is still plenty of time to learn those things. My kids are learning life lessons that they would have missed out on without this homeschool year. Moments would have passed them by as they sat inside a classroom. Moments that we could have never gotten back. These two situations with my dear daughter reminded me that these small things are really so much bigger and worth so much more.

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