Thursday, October 2, 2008

How it all started

*Originally Posted on Tuesday, October 02, 2007

My First Post

After 6 unbelievable weeks of homeschooling... I decided the best way to keep track of all the wonderful things that have happened, was to start a blog to journal about it. Here's my story:

To catch you up to date (hopefully it's not boring, but I have to start somewhere): My daughters have both been in private school their whole life (not that they're that old to sound like "their whole life" is a long time) My eldest, Caroline, started in Montessori and progressed very quickly with the "montessori way" of teaching. Reading well at 3 years of age, memorizing all the states and capitals at 4 years old, being able to spell words backwards (elephant, xylophone & eight were her favorite "party tricks"... lol) showed how much Caroline loved school and had a desire to learn. The school ended up advancing her into Kindergarten when she was 4 years old, in hopes to keep her challenged academically. Soon afterwards, our youngest daughter, Ava was born and Erich encouraged me to become a stay-at-home-mom... little did I know what a huge blessing that would be! :)

When Caroline was 6 years old, we moved her to a Christian Private School for 2nd grade. Being that she was now in a classroom environment, and had to do things at the class's pace, was a little difficult for her to stay challenged academically. But, we LOVED the fact that she was in a Christian school not only getting chapel, biblical teachings, scripture memory, etc... but also the love of the teachers who could pray with her, and teach her using Christian curriculum from a creationism standpoint were some of the main reasons we loved her at the school. (was that a run-on sentence or what?) So, we stayed there 3 years and even started our youngest, Ava, in their 2 day Preschool program.

But, "something" was still nagging at me that we hadn't "arrived" at what God's Will was for our family...

Starting Spring of 2007, God put a few families in my life that He used to show me that homeschooling is not as I had thought it to be in the past. Then came the "challenge" from my husband... "how about we pray about it?" That led me to searching the bible for God's will for our family... and Duet. 6:6-9 was constantly standing out to me: how can I teach my daughters the ways of God ALL THE TIME when they are away from me MOST OF THE DAY? I know some people do it just fine... their children are in school during the day, and they make sure they don't overbook their schedules with "extra stuff" so that they have plenty of family time, family devotions, service projects, bible reading, scripture memorizing, etc. and raise up their children with the focus of glorifying God and advancing His Kingdom while balancing having them in school 8:00am-3:00pm. But, that way was not what we were feeling called to do with our kids... it seemed very evident through prayer, searching God's word and seeking wise counsel... that God's will for our family was to homeschool.

But, just as God starts "speaking" to you, Satan "whispers" doubt and fear into your ear to try to throw you off course. My fears were: How am I going to keep Caroline challenged academically? How do I teach Ava how to read better? How am I going to have the patience to train their hearts to be Virtuous "little" Women? How am I going to teach 2 girls at different age levels? What are my friends and family going to think? (and being the big "people-pleaser" that I am... this really mattered to me) I thought homeschooling was for kids that couldn't "hack" school... How do they stay "socialized"? The list went on and on...

Every time I would talk with Erich about it or pray about it... I felt SUCH PEACE in our decision. Researching homeschool curriculum was very exciting and I spent many hours every day reading about different methods in order to pick the best one for us. Erich is such a supportive and encouraging husband, and he continued to help me battle Satan's attacks of doubt and kept me focused on the most important goal: "To train up our children in the way they should go". He kept on asking me to figure out what matters ETERNALLY... to have the star athlete... the brain surgeon child... (all the things the world says are most important and I was mislead into thinking) OR to have a child after God's heart... to raise them to be Kingdom minded... to be Christ-like to others... to love God and serve Him... all the TRULY good stuff. How wonderful it would be to teach them throughout the day with that focus in mind! Erich kept on telling me that all that "other stuff" academically, socially, athletically was just icing on the cake. But I had to start out my cake with biblical foundations and that would mean more time with the kids... teaching more of God's word... holding them accountable when they slip-up... and teaching them about God's world and their purpose in it. "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God... and all these things will be added unto you..." With that focus in mind... the doubt was lessened and I started on my new journey of not just daughter of God, wife and mom but now... teacher to Caroline and Ava! WOW!!! :)

I hope this blog serves not only as an opportunity for me to journal what God is teaching me through this journey... but also an opportunity to encourage others. Most importantly, I pray this blog is glorifying to God... for it is to HIM that I give all my praise to for making homeschooling possible and for being my strength through this all!

Next entry will go into more detail of how we've "done school" the past 6 weeks and all the wonderful things God is doing in it... Have a blessed day!

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