The first few weeks of our homeschool year (back in August 2011) was very trying on my part. Even as a teacher I felt so lost and very overwhelmed. I just didn't know what I was doing, at least it felt that way. I faced discouragement and feeling like a failure in the beginning. My girls were confused and fought all the time. I prayed "Lord, if you called me into this please show me how to be diligent and organized. Lead me to resources so I know it's been you all along." The next day I was led to Palaestra (homeschool co-op), a local Christian homeschool fellowship, and precious families. It just all gelled together in that aspect. After speaking with a few seasoned homeschool moms, my heart was full and I started feeling joy again. Did it get easier after that? Absolutely not! I was informed by a few of these seasoned homeschool moms that I would just have to really "get to know my kids first and myself even if it meant skipping academics for a few weeks." Well, if you know me you know I was very skeptical of this. No academics, what? Even though I did lay low a little bit it was true. I got to know myself better and even my children. We are still getting to know each other and learning how to get along and work together. I was told it could take from 1-4 years for this to happen, yikes! Thanks to chore charts etc., this is becoming a little easier.
Like I briefly mentioned earlier, the girls really had a hard time in the beginning being with each other all the time. This was our very first homeschool learning experience. Oh boy this mommy wanted to pull her hair out sometimes. Disciplining and educating was becoming a pain and something I almost felt was hopeless. I simply just had to give it all time. I mean, everything new involves adjustment periods right? Well, some days felt like weeks and some weeks felt like months, ugh it was taking a toll. I knew that the devil was attacking me as he did not want me being obedient to this call, obviously! I became crabby all the time and just didn't know who I was anymore. My husband basically just said "I want my wife back! If this is what it's going to do, just send them back to school." Tempted? Oh yes, a little. But I knew it's not something that I wanted to do but what God called me to do. My husband knew this too. Pushing through these hurdles I can honestly say, I/We made it! Thank you to my precious hubby for seeing us through and being my prayer support all the way.
The girls have come so far and have exceeded my expectations. Kelly is (9) is reading at the 6th grade level and doing very well in all her subjects. Lyssa (5.5) is doing first grade work and reading at the first grade, almost second grade level! I just gave her a first grade math assessment. Mind you this thing was 15 pages long and I feared she wouldn't be able to do it. I even broke it up into two days but she had so much fun she insisted on doing it all. She only got two wrong! YAY! Bethany (3) well she is most definitely ready for preschool. Now, if we can only get her potty trained 100%, haha!
I am so blessed and grateful to the Lord above for bringing us to where we are now. It's still a challenge some days but we most definitely have adjusted and are doing a schedule that we can live with. We enjoy the flexibility of homeschooling and being able to travel for field trips. We have enjoyed meeting new families and creating life-long friendships. God is so awesome! I have also expanded my writing business through it all and God in turn is blessing it more than I could have ever expected. Whoot! Thank you Jesus for bringing us through and showing yourself! With God, all things are possible!
I am looking forward to planning our next homeschool year. I will be doing enrichment over the summer (skill sharpeners) and starting something new in the fall. Kelly will be continuing with A Beka curriculum and I will be introducing Lyssa to First Grade A Beka. But, and this is a big BUT, We will be year round homeschoolers. I will be doing three weeks on one week off all year round. This should be interesting but something I am willing to try. I have met a few homeschoolers that are currently doing this and love it. I understand this might not be for us but hey, it's worth a shot! All homeschool families are unique and not one is the same. This I have learned very quickly!
If you are feeling the call toward homeschooling continue to seek the Lord on it. It was a full year until it became reality for me. The Lord will show you what he intends for your family if you diligently seek Him. It may even mean sacrificing a few things in your life to make this possible. Be encouraged and don't give up. God is on your side and will bless you and your children and your entire family. If you will be new homeschoolers this fall, I pray for peace, comfort, and joy as you start a new journey with your family. It will most definitely be quite a ride and guess what? You are not alone!
Blessed to be a wife and mom!