Tag Archives: grace

5 Things I learned in my First Year of Homeschooling.

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Our first year of homeschooling will be over in a couple months and I’ve found myself reminiscing ( and yes I’m using the correct word here) about all the worries and anxieties I had leading up to the beginning of the school year.  Here are 5 things I’ve learned about myself and homeschooling.

1.I AM NOT A TOTAL REJECT!! 

To explain, I have never been very confident in my ability to make friends with women as an adult woman. Now to keep me from sounding like a recluse I will add that I have a lot of women friends but the difference is that I made these friends when I was just a girl. When we were just girls. I still have friends that I’ve had since elementary school, those are some of my closest friends. I have friends that I made when I was in a youth/college group at church and a very good friend that I made at my first ever job, Hobby Lobby. But the entire realm of women makes me shutter. Now as a homeschooler, you might not think I meet very many grown ups or see anyone at all ever that is over 4 feet tall but in all actuality I do and it was one of my biggest fears going into this. The kind of homeschooler I wanted to be was not the one that came natural for me. (Hey look, I have social anxiety and I was public schooled… more info on this in # 4.) We got out of the house, we joined a co-op where we knew practically no one going into it. We have play dates consistently and guess what… I am surviving. I sweat a lot but not as much as I did those first couple months of Thursdays, meeting people and trying to get to know all the different mothers.

I like the word mothers better, makes me sweat less than the word women, lots of different women. Eek. And I really can’t explain the fear because I am one.

2.HOMESCHOOLING CAN GET REALLY EXPENSIVE!! 

I didn’t really realize this until I started searching around for next years curriculum. We are doing My Father’s World 1st grade curriculum right now (which was not so cheap itself) and looking at future purchases with them would be going into a lot of several hundreds of dollars, not just several. I’ve realized through blogs and blogging myself that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to teach your child. You don’t have to get one big curriculum package. You can buy used, which is what I’m looking into for this next fall. Going cheaper does not mean you will lose any of the quality that you are wanting. My son is only 5 and we are doing 1st grade this year. He is amazing and a super fast learner, I don’t know if all my children will learn at this rate but if so I shouldn’t have to spend much on anything else right? :/

All that being said, we do absolutely love My Father’s World so may still get the bulk of it through them.

3.IT’S NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL!!

Going into this I really didn’t know what to expect but I had a feeling, after hours of searching for curriculums and subjects and grade levels that I was in for quite a ride. And it really is hit or miss. Some things that we have loved this year and last (preschool) others have not so much. For instance we absolutely loved almost everything about Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, my child really took to it and the only thing I had a real problem with was the stories got kind of repetitive. My son got a little bored with it so we skipped a few here and there. He picked it up quickly though. Now once I started talking to other mom’s in our co-op I learned that some of them didn’t care for it because it didn’t click for their kid and they found something else that did. I think I will find this happens a lot more as we go along and my own children have a different way of learning.

4.MY CHILD IS STILL NORMAL AND I BELIEVE HE WILL CONTINUE TO BE!!

I’m not gonna lie and say this wasn’t a huge worry I had, probably because it’s one of the most common misconceptions people have about homeschooled children. They will be socially awkward or they seem just a little different. Honestly it’s really funny now that I think about it. I went to public school and I was a a little weird and awkward so if my kids ends up like that it’s most likely genetic. Here is a great post about this very topic. It’s Because They’re Homeschooled: No, Actually It’s Not. I know several homeschooled children and several public schooled children and you know what… I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Some kids are shy, some are not, some are very active, some are not.

Personality, Personality, Personality!!!!

5.IT’S A LOT HARDER AND A LOT MORE REWARDING THAN I EXPECTED!!

Don’t get me wrong, I had a feeling it would be hard but it’s a different kind of hard once you are deep in the thick of it. Before we started I was worried about all of the above, about curriculum choices and normal kids and me being the biggest, nerdiest mom ever. But now those have pretty much faded away, every once in awhile they will pop up again but it’s nothing I can’t handle. What was unexpectedly hard is realizing that there are some days when neither of us want to do school. Somedays my temper is a little shorter than I would like. Some days showing grace doesn’t seem like much of an option. While we make school as yell free and stress free as possible that doesn’t mean that some days aren’t harder than others. There is a fine balance in being the mom and the teacher of your children. I don’t think I have quite gotten it down yet but I’m working on it. Another hard thing is just wanting them to succeed, wanting to do the best thing for my child and when they are struggling with something or not figuring it out the thought pops into my head, “Maybe I’m not good enough to do this job.” and then that’s about the time the rewarding part comes in. I have found that about the time when I am starting to second guess our decision to homeschool there is a grace that blankets our house and it’s definitely not from me. Whether it’s just peace that washes over me or me seeing my son figure something out that he’s been struggling with. I’m reminded that I didn’t go into this decision lightly. Lots of prayer and thought and discussion went into this and I know that at this time in our lives this is what we should be doing and God never fails to remind me of that when I am starting to get a little stressed out.

I really was not expecting or planning on writing down all of my thoughts that I have been having this last month or so about schooling but I’m so glad I did. It was a great way to reflect and see that the prayers and worries I had earlier on were answered in one way or the other, which then gives me hope and faith that the worries and struggles that come along now and in the future will not overtake me.

If you are struggling with a decision about homeschooling, whether it be to try it out or not or just how in the world to start off, I’m always here. I definitely don’t have all the answers but sometimes it’s just nice to talk to someone who gets it. Support is a very necessary thing, whether you homeschool or not!!

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Is This Marriage On?

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Have you ever treated your marriage like a microphone that just isn’t carrying your voice. You aren’t sure if you are being heard, if your words are coming across clearly so you just keep tapping the microphone, tapping it until you hear that loud vibrating bomp it gives off when it’s working. Occasionally I feel like I’m just waiting to hear that bomp in my marriage. Just a sign that my husband sees me, a sign that we aren’t really roommates who’ve decided to have kids together for the increased tax return. I don’t think I’m alone in these thoughts. It’s not like they are all the time but all marriages do go through slumps. If someone tries to argue with me on this please look at divorce statistics first and if you can convince me that a divorce isn’t the worst kind of slump in a marriage than I might just have to give you a gold star. Yeah, you thought about it, I’m not giving out any gold stars today am I? Same with those marriages that last 50-60 years. You can’t be under the same roof with somebody that long without a few terrifying slumps!

Mr. Lane and I have had our share of slumps, sometimes it’s just getting into the routine of turning on the television right after the kids are down and not really interacting the rest of the night. Sometimes it’s not really seeing each other, not taking the time to show our love to one another. I’ve heard people say,

“Well, you shouldn’t have to see proof to know that your spouse loves you.”

Okay, I get what you’re saying, if you are really in love then they should just know how you feel and that be that. But then come those dreaded slumps, the microphone moments when you just don’t know if that marriage, that love is working anymore. Those slumps can easily turn into slopes if we let them. Mr. Lane and I have fallen into the snare of a downward slump/slope and it took one of us noticing, one of us saying, WOAH… wait a minute here this thing, this once wonderful and loving marriage is slowly dying. Thank the Lord that one of us has always shown the other love, put the other back on top of their list of priorities and trudged up out of that slump. It takes work, it takes determination and a little humbling of oneself to do it but it can be done.

John 13:34 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

So how has God loved us? How does God love us? Well, he shows me everyday by the blessings he has given me, my children, my marriage (slump or no slump), his forgiveness and grace that constantly overwhelms me because I know I don’t deserve it. When I feel like this marriage isn’t working, when it feels like there isn’t enough love to carry it, that’s when I think of all the ways God loves. Showing I love my husband can be as small as bringing home Mike and Ikes because that’s his favorite candy or as big as a scavenger hunt around the house, which I’ve done by the way and I think I had more fun with it than he did but it’s the thought that counts. I’m sure you can go bigger than that but remember I’m a stay at home mom;).

So when you are wishing your spouse would give a little and show some love first and then you can return it, remember there is no prize for the quietest mouse game. And if there is it’s not going to be much better than a little tootsie roll which doesn’t last long and hurts later. (I’m not the greatest at metaphors but after rereading that one I’ve decided to keep it because it gave me a little chuckle.)

I understand that all marriages have different struggles and hurts. Some have seen much better days and some have already seen their final days. I just write about what I’ve learned in my marriage and what has helped us get through some not so lovey dovey marriage moments and I’m sure there will be more to come but I also know that if we love like God loves than it’s easier to get through it, easier to love with your whole heart even when we don’t feel it in return. I always think about how sad it must make God to have so many not return his love but how he still loves us regardless. I sure am thankful for that.

Here’s to turning that marriage back on!

(I wrote this a couple years ago and came across while going through my past entries. I actually read it at the exact moment I needed it so thought I would repost)

Rise and Shine

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(Photo by Amber D. Duff Photography)

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

Today I woke up and actually felt myself giving glory to God. I will confess not all mornings are like that and sometimes I fail to give God the glory that he is due daily. Oh how I love those mornings that without even a thought I wake up thanking him.

I took a little peek into my daughter’s unusually quiet room and found her laying on her tummy playing so nicely with her Minnie Mouse dolls. I couldn’t stop myself, I got down on my tummy and wished her a good morning and wrapped her in my arms and thanked the Lord for this little blessing.

My oldest is hit or miss with the touchy feeling stuff but he asked me to hold him this morning and I squeezed with all my might with thanksgiving and love.

And my littlest, well he’s pretty much my little stress ball. He’s, round and squishy and loves those hugs and I try not to miss one second. Stressed out or not, he’s my little happy hugger.

This morning I woke with a kick in my step and joyfulness in my heart. I sang “Rise and Shine and give God the Glory Glory,” at the top of my lungs while making breakfast. I stopped when my oldest son started covering his ears with his hands. He’s very much a lover of singing but I suppose he too has his breaking point.

Days like these are reminders of how awesome God is, and yes I sometimes need a reminder because I get so caught up in the lists and the ins and outs of our day that I forget where the main focus of my day should be in the first place. The shining light that is the reason for the joy in my heart is just dying to shine through wherever it can. I can show God glory with my kindness, with how I treat my husband (even on days when I’d like to keep to myself), I can show it with the patience I show my kiddos (even during the most craziest of tantrums). I can show God’s glory with my compassion, forgiveness, love and grace towards people who I don’t understand or who have hurt me. Today reminded me of all the good that God created me with. I want to pass the goodness and love around, like he intended for me to do.

To wrap up, it was one great morning!

Here’s to rising and shining and giving it all to God!:)