Thursday, January 24, 2013

Well hello there.

Has it really been over 6 months?  I'd like to suggest that I haven't been inspired to write, but that wouldn't be true. There are likely several blog posts all bottled up in my head dying to come out, but, I've been keeping a lid on it largely due impart to the fact that we are now homeschooling 2 children full time this year.  Finding time or inspiration to put coherent words together just hasn't been happenin'. 

 I do realize there are numerous reactions that follow such a statement...

Some of you might look at me like I've got 5 heads.  With much dramatic effect you might say to yourself, "Oh, they're "hooomeschooooolerrrrrs"."

Some of you probably think we hate the public school system, or that we think it's not "good" enough for our children.

Some of you probably think we're doing our children a disservice because they aren't getting the "school experience", or that they aren't going to acquire any "social skills." (This one specifically is my favorite:)

Or, less of you may be thinking, "Wow, I totally get where they're coming from."

I originally started this blog,  once we moved away from the majority of our friends and family over 5 years ago, to try and keep everyone in the loop .  The blog then turned into a way to keep up with Nolan and his developmental challenges, surgeries, and our heartbreak.  And now, here we are, raising kids.  


Not babies.

It's a phase I'd really always looked forward to as we began our family.

Will the sleepless nights ever end?

Will they ever be all potty trained?  

Will we ever be able to stay out later than 7pm because a little one needs to go to bed?

So here we are, 8, 6, and almost (gasp) 5. 
Faced with what to do about their education.    What is best for them, Aubrey and Adelynne (Nolan's education is a whole other very large sticky ball of wax that needs it's own blog post or 2)?

In all honesty, someone's reaction to our decision to home school is not really a concern of mine.  However, it is now such a big part of our lives, I would be completely remiss if I didn't describe what God is doing and maybe some of the reasons we came to this decision.

Most of you know, Brandon is a public school teacher, in a GREAT school system.  He loves his job, his administrators, co-workers, and what he does.  He counts it a real blessing to be able to do something he's passionate about every day.  Some often ask when I mention we home school, "Oh, you must live in a bad school district?"  Actually, no, we live in a great school district.  Plainfield Schools are top notch, and the kiddos would receive a great education there.  

But, when it came to education for our kids, it wasn't just about e.d.u.c.a.t.i.o.n.  For Brandon and I, outside influences and exposures are very important.  We do not want to "shelter" our kids necessarily  but, we would like to delay exposure to some things.  For us, especially when we think about our girls, protecting their innocence is important to us.  Kids grow up too fast, and are exposed to things so quickly, and we expect them to deal with adult issues at such a young age.  We're trying to protect that.  For how long you ask?  I don't know the answer to that. For now, I'm teaching 2nd grade and kindergarten. 

When children enter kindergarten, they enter the school where their primary influence 8 hours a day, 5 days a week are those of their teachers and peers. For us, we wanted to be those influences.

Proverbs 22:6 
 "Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it."

This is all we are trying to do.  

I must digress for a moment and state that I know and understand that all family dynamics are different. What is right for our family is not necessarily right for another.  I am in no way trying to impose our decision on anyone else or thinking for a moment that we are right and others are wrong.  I have wonderful godly friends who home school, choose private school, and who choose public school.  I love that we are able to choose how we want to educate our kids. 

  Truly, my purpose is to just share what's God's laid on our hearts.

Someone asked me today, "So, do you see any benefits of homeschooling?"  

Well, since he asked, I'll share them with you.

I'm able to, currently, start each day with both girls in God's word.  Could we do that before or after school?  Sure.  But, we don't have to rush, we can talk freely, and we can pray together without time limits or time restraints.

I get to be a part of their learning! Watching Adelynne learn to read and remembering that God has allowed me this experience, wow!  I know that when I'm chasing my grand kids someday, I'll always remember.

Each time there is conflict, I get to resolve it with them...nurturing and teaching them about what God's word says about love, respect, being a peacemaker, putting others first...I mean, the list goes on and on.

Bottom line, I get to be front and center to their learning, as in education, and learning as in learning about life.  Amazing!

This truly is just the tip of the iceberg.  I could write a book about the changes we've seen in Aubrey (8).

Yes, there are benefits to homeschooling.

I won't lie, some days, most actually, that I'm just really tired.

Some days, I battle Aubrey's will...ALL DAY!

Some days, once Nolan is home from preschool, I have to let him make big messes so that I can work with the girls.

Some days I feel like there is not enough of me to go around.

Some days I feel like I can't do another day.

But then God gives moments of complete and utter clarity where I.KNOW.I.AM.IN.THE.EXACT.RIGHT.PLACE.AT.THE.EXACT.RIGHT.TIME.

I love it when the Lord affirms a decision.  

I should also mention...

Most days, my house is a mess.

Most days, the laundry is never done.

Most days, I take a power nap.

Most days, I couldn't tell you the last time I've mopped the kitchen floor.

Most days are pretty full.

But, most days, I feel compelled to say, "If I can do it, anyone can."

The last 6 months I've been trapped in a sea of papers, 2nd grade math, and kindergarten phonics, and I can honestly say, there's no place I'd rather be.