Friday, October 12, 2012

Not Fitting the Mold

I haven't shied away from the fact that homeschooling has been incredibly challenging for me.  I knew at the end of last year that going by the book for one of my kiddos wasn't going to work and I knew that the curriculum I was using was far to overwhelming for him.  I don't know why I didn't remember this when we bought the curriculum for this year! 

Fast forward to yesterday.  I felt so defeated.  He wasn't understanding the material.  I kept plugging away.  Trying to present the information in every way imaginable, maybe if I tried while doing a head stand?  Most days we would both end up frustrated and on the brink of tears.  I craved a conversation over a chilly fall morning with my fellow homeschooling momma and friend while our boys ran about.  I needed back up.  I needed encouragement.  I needed to be told that I wasn't a failure.  So, even though miles separate us...I sent off a quick frantic message of my failures.

Then I started listing all the positives about my kiddo.  You see, he isn't 'traditional'.  The kid would give you the clothes he is wearing, even if it was all he had, if you needed it.  A friend of ours is taking care of children in another country as a missionary and she was looking for chicken to fill her coop.  We sat down to dinner and I told them that we could name one and purchase it for the coop.  My son, went to get his wallet and took out his birthday money and bought another chicken.  Without a second thought.  Without a question.  That is his heart.  His heart is tremendous.  He is passionate.  When he is in, he is all in.  He is protective.  If you mess with his family he will let you know.

It was all these qualities that I want to enhance in our homeschooling day.  As of yesterday, I was squashing everything in him. I took a step back and looked at our day.  I looked how I wanted to school him at home (the downfall of being a trained teacher, living with a trained teacher).  I sought advise from the experts who have been at this homeschooling thing longer than I have and I was encouraged to stop pressuring him to fit the mold that I felt like he should fall in.  When I would push, he would push back.  There was no rising to the challenge, it was all just shutting down for him.  The beauty of homeschooling is helping him individually.  Not pounding with all I have to make him fit into a perfect little school student mold. 

So we are backing off and trying a different routine to our day.  I am not going to push him and make him finish everything that our extremely traditional curriculum says.  I am going to focus on loving him and challenging him without discouraging him.  He is one awesome kid, and I am going to soak up every moment I can with him before he grows into a young man and spreads his wings! :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Grip So Tight

I stop and just watch the children around our table.  School books are open and minds are absorbing and processing information.  I just have to stop and look a each one, to soak in who they are.  Today.  Today will go quickly and this day I won't get back.  I need to remind myself over and over again that these precious little ones are just on loan from God.  I want to claim them as mine, hold on so tight and never let them go.  In the process of seizing every moment with them, I find myself slipping into despair.  I want to be selfish and keep them under my wing forever.  The thought of them, the very thought, leaving our home and venturing out into the world makes me sick to my stomach.  I know that they will eventually leave and spread their own wings, I know this.  But some days I just like to pretend that the reality was just a dream.

The weight I feel raising children to love the Lord is overwhelming.  It is when I want to do it on my own and when I want to be selfish and to hold on so tight that I find myself slipping into despair.  Or depression. 

And then I am reminded that they aren't mine.  They are God's and the love he has for my children is far more than I could ever offer.  It drops me to my knees.  I keep a sticky note in the front of my bible of a quote from John MacArthur that I once heard on one of his radio programs.  It says,

"Godly mothering focuses on the adulthood from the start. Focuses on the long term objective which is mature godly sons and daughters who will bring honor and glory to God."

So when these days of housework, homeschooling lessons, refereeing fights, making 3 meals a day, etc. seem long and I crash in bed at night... and I find myself slipping into the throws of depression that I am not seizing the day enough ... I am reminded that my long term objective is mature godly children who will bring glory to God!  And the love that God has for my little babies is far more than I could even fathom.  That is where I take great comfort in these long days of many parenting failures and a few triumphs.