Thursday, September 29, 2011

Myths of the Homeschooled

I was going through some papers earlier today and happened across this list I entitled Myths of the Homeschooled (which I may or may not have posted here in the past).  Anyway, it made me laugh.  I am such the extreme people pleaser, and as such I have struggled all through our homeschooling years with trying to not place unfair (not to mention unrealistic) expectations upon myself and our boys.  Here are some of those expectations:

1.  As a Christian homeschooler, my children will always speak, act, and work with the same diligence, peace, and patience that Jesus did.
2.  My children will love every moment of their school lessons and always ask to do more,
3.  My children, after their schoolwork is completed, always are excited to get to their chores and do them in perfect harmony,
4.  My homeschooled children always get along, never argue or disagree and work together on everything without incident
5.  I am always energetic and excited for every day of school,
6.  My hair is always well groomed/perfect, makeup done and I'm dressed up every day,
7.  My house is always spotlessly clean, neat and tidy with everything in its place,
8.  My children always beg to be helpful, always want to spend time with our family and never desire to play with anyone else,
9.  I am always the joyful, patient Proverbs 31 woman God created me to be,
10.  My children are always well-behaved in public, never speak out of turn, and demonstrate their intelligence in every public outing...

Okay, well, let's get back to the real world here...  My children are just that... children.  And they will act like children.  My house is typically messy until Saturday (or for a few weeks after a week-long camping trip), and I sometimes love to just hang out in a baggy, worn out t-shirt & jeans.  (And yes, I throw my hair in a very unkempt ponytail and wear no makeup!)  Our boys argue frequently, and aren't afraid to just be themselves when in public (though I admit it would be nice if they'd just stand there and not move if I'm busy with something sometimes).  We all love homeschooling, however, we do get tired and worn out and all have days when we'd love to be doing just about anything other than another math lesson.  Over the years, the Lord has grown me through many of those expectations (though He's still working on some), and I've learned to let go of it all and rely upon Him to guard my heart and guide my days...    

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


One of the things that is most frustrating to me as a parent is the lack of self-generated initiative in my children... I mean really, that shoe you just tripped over?  Yes, that one- PICK IT UP!  It really struck me a couple of weeks ago when I was frantically trying to get the house in some semblance of order before our camping trip just how far down the wrong path I'd gone. 

My dh was in the livingroom working on some things for our trip as I came in and began picking up the boys' legos and various other toys laying all over the floor.  "Why are you the one picking up their things?" he asked ever so gently, yet with a slight air of reproof.  "Because it's just easier and much faster if I do it myself.  Because if I tell them to come and do it, they're going to freak out... so I'm just going to do it to get it done!"  

Seriously??!?!?!?!  I think I was the victim of Invasion of the Body Snatchers!  I would never say something so ridiculous in all my life!  I've never been the person to take the easy road, or to go out of my way to make sure I am comfortable- in fact, I tend to go out of my way to keep things just a little bit difficult.  I'd become my own worst nightmare!  Something MUST be done about this treachery!  Here's where we are currently:

Every year we pray through and come up w/ annual goals for our boys (and me too) and just how we're going to shepherd them in those areas.  Guess where we're starting?   Responsibility!  I broke it down into four areas I want the boys to work on (and me too):

1.  Responsbility to our Lord (which covers pretty much everything else)
2.  Responsibility to our Family (chores)
3.  Responsibility to their Work (school)
4  Responsibility to their Self (hygiene & possessions)

I'm still in the phase of seeking out Scripture applicable (there are a lot of Scriptures on diligence v. laziness) to the situation and our point/reward system.  (Another area I said I'd never explore, but the Lord rewards us for our obedience, so we're going with that.)  My prayer through it all is that new and good habits will be formed in my children (and me too), that their hearts and minds would be touched and inspired...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

When paper towels are a luxury...

I was looking around our blessed home the other day... at all the wonderful blessings the Lord has provided.  What caught my attention was our role of paper towels, which I had just told one of the boys to grab one to clean up a spill.  It occurred to me that not too many years ago paper towels, paper plates, paper napkins, facial tissue, plastic baggies and the like were all luxury items in this blessed household.  I reminisced about that era when my husband had lost his job and was working at whatever odd job he could find to provide for his family.  We had $35 per week for groceries- and that included diapers, baby food, etc.  All through that season, God proved faithful to provide for our needs- food, shelter, clothing, heat, and our faith in Him and who He is grew by leaps and bounds.  I wouldn't trade that season of life for anything, although it was so difficult at times.  Well, as time passed, my husband was found a job that has provided everything we 'need' and many things we 'want' as well... I still remember that first shopping trip when I felt the freedom to purchase a roll of paper towels just because it would be handy to have them.  I'm sure that other shoppers thought I was weird as I pulled them off the shelf with a goofy grin on my face (I mean, really, they were $0.75).  It has been a few years since that day, and we are still so very blessed at the Lord's provision of our want's as well as our needs, but as I look around it is always the paper towels that give me the most satisfaction and remembrance of God's mighty blessing...

Praise the LORD.

I will extol the LORD with all my heart
in the council of the upright and in the assembly.
2 Great are the works of the LORD;
they are pondered by all who delight in them.
3 Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
the LORD is gracious and compassionate.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
giving them the lands of other nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
8 They are established for ever and ever,
enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He provided redemption for his people;
he ordained his covenant forever—
holy and awesome is his name.
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.
~  Psalm 111