Friday, March 19, 2010

A fine day indeed

For the past ten months Sean has been working a second job. He's been contributing to the publication of a math textbook for Pearson Publishing that will be released for the 2010-2011 school year. This book is like nothing authored as of yet. It actually interacts with the students' Texas Instrument calculator which will contain practice exercises and problems that have been downloaded. This calculator is actually a hand held computer that does some pretty cool stuff. Sean's been programming and developing this calculator piece. It's been an amazing opportunity for him professionally and rewarding to know that it will be used to further math education for thousands for many years to come.

He's worked SO hard spending almost all of his evenings on this project. He goes to school at six in the morning and doesn't often go to bed until midnight. It's involved many conference calls, meetings and travel. As of yesterday, it is officially complete. Done. Finished. No more.

There was a collective cheer yesterday when I announced it to the kids. I'm so thankful that he's been able to work from home, but we've missed him nonetheless. We can't wait for evening basketball, Saturday night dates, projects around the house, spontaneous trips to the park.... Everyone agrees that life is much more fun with Dad around.

Yesterday, I picked Sean up from school and we went out for a celebration dinner, just the two of us. I nearly cried while sitting there. I'm incredibly blessed to be married to this man who has given so much of himself to provide for us. I'm incredibly thankful that God opened up this door to meet our financial needs. And I'm incredibly excited to turn the page and start the next chapter in the life of our family.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Getting Real

I read these two posts today and sat crying at my computer. Moved. Convicted. Amazed. Both are stories of real life and real hope. I hope you are able to read through them.

Enjoying the Small Things

We Are That Family

Friday, March 5, 2010

One of those moments....

Today we were sitting on the couch working together on Language Arts. Specifically, we were learning about adverbs.

I asked, "Looking at the word 'adverb', what do you think it is going to modify?"

The answers came tumbling out. "An adjective?" "A noun?" "The subject?" "A pronoun?" With each answer came more uncertainty and the tears began to flow.

"What is there to cry about? I'm asking a simple question. This isn't hard. What word do you see here?" I spoke back while underlining the word two times. (Obviously, I'm not a trained educator.)

"I just don't know what you want?! What are you asking me?!"

I had to stop and take a very deep breath. Taking off my glasses and rubbing my head I was stuck between feeling defensive and utterly defeated.

What have I done? What do I lack? How can I communicate any better? Why am I homeschooling? It's obvious that I'm not teaching her anything. I'm just frustrating her.
I'm not good enough.

We directly closed that book and moved on to science. I was reading about the inner planets with a quivering voice. She quickly caught on (as did everyone else in the room) and there were many red faces and sniffles as I expounded on the clouds on Venus and the temperature on Mars.

"Mom, it's not that your a bad teacher. I'm just a bad learner."

That was like a knife in my heart. There were many hugs and soft whispers as I tried to reassure her that she is in fact amazing. She is gifted in so many ways and specifically made by God Himself to be unique.

As the tension lifted there was soon a giggle from across the room. Then a chuckle escaped from person hiding behind their book. Next the laughter finally broke through the tears for us all. We all agreed that there is certainly nothing to cry about when it comes to the planets.

Today I believe the was lesson for me, the teacher. More than anything, I was reminded that I daily need the Lord's help in shaping these young hearts and minds. I get so busy and caught up in getting it done that I forget to even ask for God's guidance. Homeschooling isn't about my capabilities. It's not about whether or not my kid "gets it" the first time around (or the second or the third). In the end, it's really has nothing to do with academic achievement.

It's all about a mind willing to learn, a heart ready to serve and a life that responds to the Truth. There's a lot more than Language Arts that goes into that sort of education- for the teacher and the student.

Tonight as I tucked her into bed we talked again about what transpired today. Her heart is still tender and the emotions raw. She is struggling to find her place, to know her strengths. I get that. I'm praying for the insight and sensitivity to steer her through these tough times as her teacher and her mom.

When I came downstairs to my bed I found a note on my pillow. It read, "I love you mom. You are a good teacher. A+."

I'm humbled by that sentiment knowing that I fall far short, yet, I'm thankful to know the greatest Teacher of all.