Friday, May 28, 2010

Why We Will Homeschool

This final week of school has been truly brutal for me as I am saying goodbye to so many good friends and a really great place that has been near and dear to my heart since I was my girls' ages.  I graduated from this school, had the same teachers my girls now have, played on the same playground, and cheered the same cheers.   This school is like my second home and it is hard to walk away.

It is so bittersweet...bitter because my flesh doesn't want to leave and sweet because my spirit is already gone.

Its tough so I just have to keep reminding myself of the simple truths that have been ringing in my head.  These truths are what I know God is placing on our hearts. Grab a cup of coffee because as you all know by now, I am nothing if not wordy.  But these things are so important to me.  They make so much sense to me.  They are why we will homeschool our girls.

There are not enough hours in the day for the requirements of this world.  I know that there are some people who can do it, gymnastics, dance, family devotions, homework, clean uniforms, healthy lunches, and extra credit turned in early all while still enjoying plenty of family time in the afternoons.  There are those folks, I know them, they are my friends.  But they are not me.  They are not us.  We struggle to get it all done and what is usually sacrificed is what matters the most. I am no longer willing to sacrifice family time in the evenings to write spelling words 5 times each that she already knows how to spell.  It is no longer acceptable to me to stop my girls from giggling in bed because it is after 8:00 and they have to wake up with the chickens the next morning.  I have come to the realization that some things in life are learned but not taught and because of that we will homeschool.

I want my girls to lose their innocence later and mature earlier and that is opposite of what the world teaches our children.  I see 8th graders that look like grown women but rarely do I see kids being kids.  The world says that we should lose our innocence immediately... like now... and it makes sure that we do by shoving shattering thoughts, words, and images down our children's throats as soon as they are old enough to see.  But the irony in that is our kids are maturing later...some never at all.  It seems that adolescence just never goes away.   I want my children to be as innocent as they can be for as long as I can keep them that way and I want to protect them from the world's opinion on that as best I can.  And that is why we will homeschool our children.

I believe that learning is a lifestyle without constraint.  For the last 4 years my girls have been in a private school.  It is the school that I graduated from and it is the best school around in my opinion.  But, I can see that my daughters are beginning to catch on to the world's learning style and its not their fault, nor is it the fault of the school, but when you only have 7 hours to teach 20 kids and half of that is spent doing other things it becomes a push and shove learning process and it sure didn't take my kids long to figure out that they only needed to do enough to get by... if the teacher couldn't see it they didn't have to do it ... if the test was Friday, only think about it on Thursday, right before bed.  There is no real learning in that and the saddest part of it all is that subjects like reading, history, and science are what gets pushed to the back worksheets to turn in for those subjects, we'll just skim the page for the highlights and take the test.  I cannot sit back and watch my children's love of learning go down the drain with this way of thinking.  No, I will not just forget about that childhood curiosity and the fact that you can teach anybody anything as long as they want to learn.  That is a profound statement and it speaks volumes about education but its just Education 101 people, I took it I know, but nobody else seems to remember that semester so I will teach my children at home because I know that wanting to learn is the key to learning.

My goals are bigger than this world, my goals are eternal.  This journey is the one that God Almighty has chosen for our family, I know that because I know that He is in the driver's seat of my life and so I go where He leads and He really couldn't make this any more clear.  He has impressed on my heart that my goal in child raising is not to get my kids into the best college.  No, No, goal and sole responsibility of raising my girls is to teach them how to know and love Jesus so that they too may one day teach their own about His love for us.  I cannot let Him down.  I cannot disappoint Him.  He has given me two beautiful girls that are a complete joy and the only time I can give back to Him with them is Sunday morning??  Guess what, God is not interested in the amount of homework or that project that was due that kept me from leading my children to Him, no He is a jealous God and He wants us to focus on Him and Him alone.  As I said before, I know that there are millions of people all over this country that can get it all done, but we are not those people.  I can't wait until Christmas to teach my children about their need for a Savior and I can't just throw in bits and pieces of how God has commanded us to live five minutes before bed time.  Our relationship with the Lord is more than that, God requires more of us than that and homeschooling is going to give us the time and setting we need to raise our daughters up in the way of the Lord so that when they are old they will not depart from it.  And that is why we will homeschool our children.

Well, if you are not bored to tears with my ramblings, let me just add one thing before you X me out.  I understand that homeschooling is not going to protect my children from this fallen world, nor is it going to make everything peachy in life.  But, I gotta believe that it sure is going to connect us and its going to give us time to do things that are important, to learn things that aren't taught, and to focus ourselves to be the light in the darkness.  I am very excited about this journey and the new lifestyle we are taking on.  But for now I am grieving the loss of my school friends and life as I know it.  But, I'll get over it because its summer and we leave for the beach in two weeks...YEEHAW!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

She Paints the Piano...She Paints the Piano Not...

I've got a design dilemma for all of you...  

I am completely and totally smitten by this

Photo courtesy of designmom

And this

Photo courtesy of desire to inspire

But I am an absolute chicken.  I desperately want to branch out and paint my piano, but don't know if I have what it takes to go with grass green as much as I love it and want to.  So, I need your I paint the piano or not???  And if you think I painting it black just being a plain ole chicken because that very well may be as far as I can go????  Help me blog friends.  To paint or not to paint.  That is the question!!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

My children absolutely make my heart sing...but more times than I would like to admit, LIFE (aka things that we probably shouldn't even be worried about and that actually don't amount to a hill of beans) gets in the way.  Time goes by too fast, the sun sets too soon, the alarm clock goes off too early.  Today I am purposing my Mother's Day.  I will spend my Mother's Day intentionally remembering why I love to be these girls' mom.

I will slow down...time is never going to slow on its own...that is our job.  Today I will slow down.  I will enjoy the day that the Lord has made and I will make sure that every second of it adds to the legacy that I am leaving for my that will come to their minds when they are enjoying their own Mother's Days years down the road.  Just like my mom's legacy runs through my spirit today.

I will remember the rocking chairs, both the one that I rocked my babies in as well as the one in which my mom rocked me.  I can still smell the air as I remember those special moments with my mom.  I want my kids to remember those special times as well.

I will remember the picnics that I love so much, both as a little girl with my mom and as a mom myself with my own girls today.  There is just something about a crisp spring day that begs for a picnic blanket and a peanut butter and jelly.

I hope that today you can slow down and remember how blessed we truly are to live out our childhood dreams of being mothers.  I know that I will.  Lets celebrate that today.

I leave you with a excerpt from my latest read...its actually my moms Mother's Day present from me, but really, you know I buy "gift" books early so that I can get a sneak peak.  This one seems to be great.  It is former first lady, Mrs. Laura Bush's brand new book entitled Spoken From the Heart.

Our lives in those years (when their girls were young) in Midland were centered around 
family and friends.  Often, Mother and Daddy would come for dinner.  I would call Mother 
late in the afternoon to see what she was cooking and we would put our meals together 
around our little table.  I remember one summer evening, working in the flower beds 
in our yard after the girls had gone to sleep, while the sun still hung low in the sky.  
George was sitting on the steps with the newspaper, and I thought to myself, This is the life.  
And it was.

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