Friday, July 19, 2013
We Finished Our Third Year of Home Schooling.
Once again it seems that I am writing this entry at the end of the summer instead of the beginning. It amazes me just how quickly time flies and that it is now time to get ready for reviews and some FUN practice activities. But the real purpose for writing today is just how much I learned this year.
My little man, who is now almost as tall as me, did very well and learned what we had set out for him to learn plus some. Yet, it always amazes me just how much I learn during the school year. I learned more grammar this year than I ever have. We both enjoyed Analytical Grammar Jr. A definite set of rules for how to diagram a sentence is awesome! This math mind loves to have a formula and this program fit that bill. We’ll be starting their Middle School program this year, and I can’t wait to see just how much we learn about the process of writing a good paper. I learned that we enjoy doing scripture for handwriting practice and that we both remember more scripture when we’ve written it.
I also learned that we are not ready for any type of block scheduling. We both feel less stress and remember more taking a little from each subject each day rather than trying to absorb a whole course in 9 to 18 weeks. I’m so thankful I decided up front to keep Bible, math, and English going year round. I’ve had to accept the fact that we need a definite start time each day. It’s amazing just how easy it is to put off getting started for what seems like good reasons. I found out that even with a special ball chair my little man will still find ways to fall and make noises that irritate me and the migraine (Yes, the public school teacher in me still feels like a chair needs to sit on all four legs, and that fiddling with stuff means that he’s not listening.) I feel like I have made some great strides in this area though as long as what he’s holding doesn’t make a noise and he can repeat back to me what I said I can handle him holding something in his hands and not making direct eye contact. I’ve also learned that if he’s moving when he’s learning facts and spelling words his memory is better. Yes, I know that this would not work in a classroom full of kids, but it is a benefit to schooling at home.
I think to some degree I’ve figured out how he thinks which is one of my favorite things about teaching. It’s so neat to watch him process information and then share his interpretation of the facts. I totally enjoyed history, science, and reading for this very reason. His point of view has had me looking at things in a new way and I love it!.
We set some spiritual and developmental goals for him this year as well. It has been a great joy to watch him grow in faith this year. He has become more helpful and will see a need and fill it without being asked. Those goals were more important than any academic goal we had set for him. I know now that his faith is strong and that hard headed, stubbornness that can drive me crazy will serve him well through this life. He’s also learned how to do laundry and some basic cooking. Both of these have been useful to the two of us, and little man has found joy in doing for himself.
So where do we go from here? Lord willing, we’ll start and finish another school year, we’ll both grow in faith as we study our Bible lessons this year, I’ll learn to let go more, and he will become more of an independent learner. Prayerfully, we start each day seeking how we can glorify the Father in all we say and do.
Once again, if you know me, the what I say part is the one I struggle with. I am not super mom or super teacher. I make many mistakes. There are days when all I hear is the pain and I have to work extra hard to really listen to little man, to be patient and kind. I’m praying that as he watches me struggle to live a life pleasing to God through the pain that he will also learn that no matter what adversity there is with God as our guide all things are possible.
It’s now time for me to finish packing up this years work and get the next year’s plan in ink. I know we will have good and bad days, and it’s my prayer that I’ll recognize the bad day and take the time to turn it around. Sometimes that just means leaving the room for a few minutes, sometimes it means loading up and going for a ride, or it may mean we put some of school in a bag and go to the park to work for a while.
Finally, sweet friends, I ask that you pray for us as we get ready to hit these tween years and Mama is both Mama and teacher. I’ll be praying for all of you too. Whether you school at home or if your children are in public or private school, may God give us the desire and strength to parent intentionally. To consciously make decisions and choices that will lead our children closer to the Father. May He use our mistakes to help us teach our children about grace and love, and may He allow them to see Him in us…and that we can see Him in them.