Friday, April 17, 2009

Encouragement

I thoroughly enjoying the homeschool convention in Cincinnati this weekend while Sean is occupied with his own Texas Instrument's conference. It really is quite an experience to be in a huge room with other like minded families. We may choose different curriculum, having varying expectations or hold to distinct convictions, but we all share a like desire. We strive to follow the Lord's lead to keep our children home for now and educate them to the best of our abilities.

So many days homeschooling seems like such an island. We get up every morning. We go through the daily routines and lessons trying to come out the other side of the day having learned a bit more about the world and God. There is the constant interplay of relationships within the family, the responsibilities at home and the complete uniqueness of each child to consider. No one but us truly knows what happens in a school day. The accountability is ours one to another. One hundred and eighty days of us. I wouldn't trade these days for anything.

This by far has been our best year of schooling and yet in some ways the most complicated for me. The children are growing in new ways now. Their personalities are emerging. Their preferences are strong. Their weaknesses are evident, even to themselves. This equates to constant flexibility on my part, as well as the integrity to require the hard things of them to keep them moving forward. It's a balancing act like none other. I question myself often and lean hard on the Lord for direction. Truly it is He that holds us together.

I've heard some thought provoking words this weekend. I hope they challenge you, too, in the raising of your children. I know that some of these words may seem quite stereotypical or harsh being plucked out of an hour long lecture. But taken in context, they are words to consider.

Regarding reading....."When character is low, comprehension is low."

"The Word of God is what changes our lives. Satan wants to occupy our time and mind with images, not Words."

Regarding purity....."Dads need to point out to their daughters what is modest."

"Cell phones and texting take away the 'blush factor'."

"Parental supervision is the difference between a child succeeding and failing morally. Why place your child in a situation that invites failure?"

Regarding God given passion... "The 'thing' that makes your child smile to accomplish is his passion. That passion is the joy of the Lord shining through them. Use your childrens' passion in schooling whenever you can."

Regarding kinesthetic learners and boys under eight in general... "They have to experience it before having it explained. They grasp the big picture before the details. They leave things everywhere. Feeling words often fail them. They repeat behaviors just for the feel of it."

Regarding anger in boys... "When a boy is habitually angry you must ask, 'How is his relationship to his father? And how does his father handle anger? Don't react. Start there."

On my reading list:

The Courage to Flee

Families where Grace is in Place

If I Perish

Do the Hard Things

The Disappearance of Childhood

Talent is Never Enough


That Printer of Udell (Ronald Reagan said this is the book that most impacted his faith and prepared him the be President.)

Wide Wide World

5 comments:

Angie said...

Monica - I admire you so much. Teaching a room full of someone else's kids and all their diversities is taxing enough for me, but to add in to that the emotional aspects of them being your own flesh and blood...that's just beyond me! You are one special gal, that's for sure! Praying for you as you finish this year and plan for the next!

Anonymous said...

Monica I enjoy hearing from you as we start our homeschooling journey. Our children are ages 6 and under. I wonder how you did it with babies coming along. I have a morning helper (nanny) and still our time alone for "learning" is short and precious. We are doing it though, and I love it. Great to hear your thoughts and I love how you look well to the ways of your household on a budget. Mary Brooke

mindi said...

I work with a guy who homeschools (well, his wife does) and he is incensed at the way others treat them. I tell him not to worry about what others think, he's doing the right thing for his family and that's what counts. You are very strong to be able to homeschool, I don't think I'd have the patience even if I had the chance :)

Mary@notbefore7 said...

So glad you enjoyed the conference! Thanks for sharing some tidbits - definitely thoughts to ponder.

Hope your year ends well.

Sniz said...

I love this list and am so glad you posted it.