Thursday, September 11, 2008
Finding What Works
Blogger Friend School Assignment - Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz
Assignment: This would be a good week to tell about your worst struggles with a lifestyle of homeschooling. Tell about something you’ve struggled with and how God’s mercies gave us the strength to get past it. Also, share any curriculum/homeschool methods that have been a relief to you, i.e., a particular Teacher’s Manual or Homeschooling method that’s been easier for your family. Talk about how you felt when the burden was lifted and Oh, What a Relief it is!
This wasn't as easy of an assignment as the others for me. My mind went in so many different directions with this. First I have a constant struggle with keeping up with the laundry and household stuff, but I'd probably have that problem regardless of homeschooling. I'm not a neat freak and someone once told me that "crafty people" which I am are people who can work among chaos or clutter. Then a few years later, a very Godly woman, Tammis, told me that she has the same problem and now referrs to "clutter" as her "organization system".. This was a relief to me to know first that it could just be part of my crafty nature and second that other women struggle this way too.
I found in the beginning of homeschooling that I really didn't know what I was doing. I was so worried about academics, the kids falling behind, the pressure of having them keep up with public school mentality really clouded my approach and I wasn't very patient or understanding. I was so worried about those things that it never occurred to me that maybe my child really didn't understand something, maybe he or she was not trying to be obstinant on purpose. Again, some Godly women who had been homeschooling longer gave me some good advice on how to relax and enjoy the freedoms found in homeschooling. They shared with me how some kids don't grasp certain things until their brains are a little more mature. This was a huge sigh of relief for me.
When I had failed in these things I could pick up again the next day and start fresh. These two verses came to mind for this Lametations 2:22-23 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. And also, Psalm 46:5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
Since then a few curriculum choices have also added some relief. One of those is Teaching Textbooks. This is helping my oldest daughter with algebra because she is weak in math. The program provides a "tutor" for her with a phone number for additional help should she need it. We also just this year started using their 5th grade level also with Natania. It is helping to keep her interest because it is all done by a computer lesson and a workbook. Plus, it frees up my time to work with my younger two Micah and Annaliese.
In addition to this, we have been using Tapestry of Grace for 3 years now. It covers the grade range of K-12 plus mom. I'm finding that I don't have to juggle so many different time periods of history like I was doing in previous years. I was finding that I couldn't keep up with it all and facing burn out. They have a huge on-line support system that helps too.
We still have our struggles each year but now they are mostly with finding the time to fit everything into our daily schedule, figuring out how to juggle outside activities, and still trying to keep up with the never ending laundry pile that goes with a family of 7.