Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Back in the School Saddle


With all that has changed, I'm thankful some things can stay the same.

Before we got back into the routine of school in this house, we spent some time talking on Sunday night.

"I'm kind of afraid.  I haven't taught you on my own for a year and a half.  I'm out of practice.  I'm a little nervous it's going to be difficult to get back in the groove of doing school here.  I'm a lot nervous that Hudson is going to set the house on fire or try to flush all our laundry down the toilet while I'm teaching you.  More than anything, I want you to look back at this time with fond memories of learning and getting along with each other and with me.   That's what I want, but that's not always what we get.  I'm already nervous about all the ways I'm going to blow it."

The hardest part of homeschooling is never the spelling, multiplication tables, or reading assignments.

The hardest part of homeschooling is the fact that four wonky children and one sinful mother must somehow manage to learn to relate well with each other.  All day.  Every day.

There's no hiding our flaws from one another.  Here they sit.  Right here.  Mooning us.  Our impatience, insecurities, quirks, bad attitudes, strife between certain sets of siblings, children who butt heads with their mother...all of it just as much a part of our day as what's written on the chalk board.

That's the part that makes my stomach ache.

Relationships.  They are arduous and lovely.

However your family chooses to smart-up your kids, we're hoping your semester is starting off well.  In carpool lines, around kitchen tables, on soccer field side-lines, or in fast food drive-throughs memories are bound to be made over the next few months.  Some will be beautiful moments of growth and deeper connection.  Others will give us a wide open view of our obvious depravity.  Either way, I'm praying love is the loudest lesson we learn this semester even if it's learned through words like, "I'm sorry."


Erin Kay said...

Oh Heather, it's become infamous amongst my friend, "have I told you the Abacus story?" In a nutshell last semester I threw an abacus across the room as hard as I could and screamed at the top of my lungs in frustration shattering my daughter's heart. It was awful. We didn't do math again for at least a week. God taught me a lot in that week about myself...but mostly this: When we went back to math, I told Hannah, "Today you're going to work on math and MOMMY is going to work on loving you well." Math has never been the same since. I learned that it's okay to put a lesson aside without finishing it when my temper starts to rise and that coming back to it later is NOT FAILURE. My expectations for myself are FAR higher than they are for my children. I'll stop....I need a blog to respond to your blog. :) Love...it's the point. It's the WHOLE point.

Small Town Joy: said...

You can do it. We're all cheering you on! Just remember to PRAY before you begin your day. It works so much better than any other plan.

mbs said...

All those fears are why I teach other people's kids and let someone else teach mine. Too many stubborn personalities around one table. UhOH.

Blessings Heather. It's like riding a bike. You're going to get right back in the rhythm. (my DD looking over my shoulder said "They homeschool??!! LUCKY!!"

Sunny Rising Leather said...

"Here they sit. Right here. Mooning us."

You are such a brilliant writer: I am a lurker no more, I had to finally comment.

Your challenges and bravery are amazing, I just admire your family so much!


Anonymous said...

I had to take my 3 children out of public school recently and I do not have the skill, patience, whathaveyou to teach them. We enrolled them in Oregon Connections Academy and have discovered that it is a robust, public funded online school. Our kids like it. A. Lot. It has been so successful in our state that it competes with state funding and the local regular public schools are always petitioning the governor to shut it down. (Because parents are taking their kids out of the bullying, failing environment of public school in droves and seeking other options, like Connections Academy)

Look into your Texas Connections Academy. There are a *lot* of kids in the Texas program, from every town in the state. All you need is internet access and the Academy can help you with the rest.

This is a fully accredited school. Students must achieve the same transcript goals as every other High School Graduate. Their teachers are available by phone, webmail, and also have live lessons that students attend. There are school activities to get students together and field trips for more education. Clubs for like-minded readers, builders, drama. We absolutely feel it is the best education out there for us in Oregon.


Kristy B.

Diabra said...

Go Heather! We homeschool and have done for 7 years. I always think it is a good day if we have food on the table, clean clothes and Zeke(1yo) has survived. Everything else is just sugar :)

CarpioFamily said...

Is ashton eating smacks? Love.it. Also when did they get so big? Glad to hear you settling into a schooling.

Diana said...

Ohhh, good luck! We are just getting back into the swing of things after a break of almost a month and a half. Mine are a lot younger, though, I'm doing a six year old and a four year old with a three year old listening in. I am so glad to hear that it's not just me alone with my frustrations! I'll be praying for all of you!

Stephanie said...

I see a lot of familiar CC stuff on your table! We are having a rough time getting back in the groove...today we did math & geography and then went to the park. ;) I've been praying for your family...and look forward to your posts.

Sheree said...

Amen, sister! You are writing my heart (even tho I'm only schooling 2)!! Think I might read it out loud to the kids (is that too mommy mushy??) And yes, starting with prayer, each morning, absolutely!!!
P.S. You CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Denise said...

I completely agree! Whenever I tell people we homeschool, the most common responses are "I would kill my kids" and " how do you keep up with the work?". I guess depending on how you "do school", the work could be an issue, but usually the real question is "how would I get along with them all day, every day AND be their teacher..." I have long ago discovered that homeschooling is really about God growing me up more than it is about teaching my children their ABC's. The relational part is HARD, but so worth it!

La Dolce Vita: The Sweet Life said...

I connect with this in a big way, and I am just doing homeschool pre schooling! God is working on my heart, and showing me so much ugliness in me. A stretch for sure. I love it though. Love the sweet times, the huge growth I see, and the days when we just play with intention and call it school!

Jami Lynn said...

I'm not a mom and, thus, obviously, I don't homeschool. My mom has homeschooled all of her 6 kids at one point or another so I'm sure you two could talk for hours.
I just wanted to say that only the cool moms have their kids read Shel Silverstein, so you're off to a fantastic start. I plan to fill my kids heads with all sorts of Shel's brilliance and silliness. :)
Thanks for writing. I am so blessed and challenged by the things God leads you to write.

Our Family said...

You are so right...it is easy to let the most important stuff slip in homeschooling. Thanks for the reminder!

Cherry Tree Lane said...

I am dealing with the same fears as I embark on homeschooling.
My daughter is 4 and we made the choice to homeschool and I am at a loss on where to begin. I have all the guidance in the world from friends and family but what I am most worried about is ME.
ME and my attitude.

Thank you for this post!