Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Becoming New Again

Homeschooling has lost it's luster. It's become work now. Oh how I remember the days of joyfully reading all the different style of home educating and thinking about the wonderful ways we would love learning. LOL!!! It's embarassing to recall just how unrealistic I was in my early days as a new mom.

I learned about how wonderful homeschooling could be when my oldest daughter (now 10 yod) was only about 3 months old. I was sitting with a friend of mine and her mom at a Chili's (in fact, its now the Chili's of our hometown.) My friend was expecting her first baby any day at that point. I do not remember all the details that she shared in her excitement. The only thing I remember specifically was rushing home to tell Underdog all that she had told me. How wrong I had been. I was a public school teacher just 3 months before this time. I would NEVER homeschool my children, so I said. Never says never.

After telling Underdog about all the wonderful things I learned he actually bought me a book called "The Homeschool Journey" by Susan and Micheal Card. As I recall the whole idea it was simply God already at work. Most husband cringe when their wives bring up the idea. He HELPED me become obsessed. LOL!!! I loved the book. It was simply a book that described the Crd's literal journey as homeschoolers. I believe they follow more Charlotte Mason ideas. What I remember telling Underdog most as I read the book is that the way people homeschool is way I WANTED to teach in my classroom. My desires to be different in my classroom weren't wrong they were focused in the wrong direction and at the wrong people. My former students unfortunately were no different than me at that time. They had been conditioned to hate learning. Even things that made it fun weren't fun and information didn't seem any more interesting. What would happen if you took a child from a wee one and gave them a love of learning? My eyes were set on the prize in 1999.

Here I am, one decade later, tired. I dread looking for curriculum. It all starts to look the same to me and they all make the same great claims (though I never see the results. HA!!!) Last year was the first year I finished a curricu. . .oh, no, we didn't even finish despite being part of a co-op. I forgot. We're supposed to start up in 2 1/2 weeks and I am simply not ready. It almost seems as if the air had slowly leaked out of my tires and now it's drained.

Many might say just throw in the towel and give my children to the public schools to educate. Oh no. The point of this post has yet to made. You see, God makes all things new. "And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." (Rev 21: 5 ESV) (Click here for a great song about that.) I just love the thought of being made new. My homeschooling hasn't ended. It's only just beginning. Despite having lost the original vision for my homeschool I have gained so much more.

I recognize now that I wasn't wise and built up very unrealistic expectations of our homeschool. What I had seen as perfection in so many seasoned homeschoolers was simply years of trial and error, failure, and eventually God making them new again as well. That is really what I mean by saying I am being made new again. The vision is deeper. The vision is clearer. The vision is stronger. It's not about having fun anymore. It's about winning the hearts of my children and turning them to the cross in the process. Their education is no longer about them learing to just write, add, subtraction, read, and speak. Those things are important. But those are the only goals the state really has for my children. I want more for them. I want them to know the God of the universe, their Creator. I want them to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. If that is all I give them then I hae educated them beyond anything the state could ever do.

I have no clue what school is going to look like this year. We are still using the same curriculum we had last year. I do have a new writing curriculum. I have a new student this year, although he's only 4 1/2. He just thinks he's a new student. :) We are learning Bible and ancient history this year. Appropriately so, we will also be learning about the mammels this year in science, which was created on the sixth day of creation. I have had trouble getting excited about this year. I think it's simply because I have been looking for the wrong things to happen. The new isn't always going to be around. After youve had new for so long, it's really time to start moving into the expected. The daily grind. The routine. Sure. Homeschooling is work. But if you are working at something that you truly love, the routine just becomes part of it. That is often when serving becomes hardest, when it SEEMS bland and boring. And this is the where the rubber meets the road and we learn what true commitment is.

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