Saturday, April 24, 2010

My last post was 2 weeks in review:

This one seems to be covering an entire month!

It has been a busy month...our month off from swim practice. It took a lot of patience and explaining that the month off from swimming was MY vacation...not the kids vacation. It's funny how when you are in a routine and it is interrupted your entire schedule is topsy turvy.

So, we basically stayed focused on catching up our schoolwork, planning our garden, playing a bit in the beautiful weather...before the bug invasions of May, and figuring out how to get our seatwork finished by noon (just the younger ones) so we could have the afternoons for free time.

Passover Sedars, Easter dinners, Nanny's birthday....

Our highlight this month was a trip to West Point Military Academy for a free swim clinic. We all piled into my van...little guys in tow and had an awesome day. we had just finished learning about the Revolutionary War, so the cannons were a big hit!!! Cannons to the right of us! Cannons to the left of us!!! BANG!!! BANG>>>

The Hudson was so beautiful and the mountains were bursting with SPRING!

I took a ton of pictures on my phone, but getting them on my lappy is another story completely!

Of course April is an awesome month for Nature Study. Flowers are popping up all over the place (So, is my hayfever...aaaahhhhchooooo....)

Newts, salamanders and efts abound...the deer are eating my garden ALREADY!

So this week swim season (long course) begins...and Elvis comes down with a nasty cold! It seems the swim card is just going against him. He is discouraged...he lost yet another week of practice. I am discouraged for him.

This is the time of year when all my homeschooling buddies feel like they haven;t accomplished a thing ALL year and the public school starts looking
Are my kids all I had dreamed they would be...well...not yet..LOl...but I am not sure anyone could live up to those dreams. Somehow I thought (even though this thinking was very skewed) that homeschooling was going to be some kind of magic bullet. My kids would be protected from all the hurts and harms in the world. I could watch over their little heads and hearts and put only good things into them. (Very Buddah-like) The thing I didn't think of at the time, was that they were not perfect and I am not Jesus. I am sinful...have good days and bad days. I don't know it all...I can't carry the burden of perfection and therefore could not expect my kids to be somehow perfect as well. I made lots of mistakes in schooling that older crew....and I am sure I will make plenty schooling this younger bunch. BUT GIVE UP??? NEVER!!!!! I my heart believe ...that homeschooling is better for MY kids than any other avenue of education.

My original ideas and reasons still hold true...even if my method and my realization that the is no silver bullet...have changed me.

1: God told me to do this....audibly....and I was not a Christian at the time. "Get those children and raise them separate and Holy unto Me. "

2: I wanted my children to love each be best friends. The school system has a way of dividing and conquering the family unit. It remakes the unit....and then tears it apart and remakes it...over and over for 12 straight years.

3: I wanted my children to be able to discern right from wrong and choose to do the right thing...

4: I wanted my children to be educated whether they pursued degrees or became skilled technicians. For their own self and their own needs, I wanted their brains to be fully developed to love beauty of art, music, literature etc.

4: I wanted my children to find peace in their own relationship with God. I did not want them to have a shallow understanding of the Bible or who they are as God's children. I wanted them to love other people, respect other cultures, to walk with wisdom. I did not want them to be whitewashed tombs. I did not want them to be haughty in their belief.

5. I wanted to have a relationship with my kids...a real one...based on mutual admiration and respect. I wanted to know them for the people they are...not as little clones or cookie cutter kids. I wanted them to have the freedom to pursue their own personage, to be comfortable in their own skin, to love who God made them to be, to be strong and of good courage.

As you can see, most of my reasons were not academic. Academics are very important to us. I use much more rigorous curriculum than most of the homeschoolers in our area...but my reason for homeschooling were, and have remained, focused on so much more than just books and knowledge. It has been focused on raising independent, hard working, honest, loving, creative individuals who are someday going to go out and make a difference in this world.

It has been a bumpy road...and my road is still quite a long one to travel....but, lately, I have been feeling up to the challenge again. I am coming out of the burnout and indecision, overwhelmed feeling of the last few years...and triumph feels GOOD!

I found that I can only do my best and remember that I am going forward in love, choosing the best I can day by day....and hopefully walking in love with my children and husband toward a higher goal...making a little difference or impact for the future generations....and being loving and forgiving toward myself and my shortcomings...modeling to my kids that we can work hard and still fail an endeavor....and then pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and carry on, becoming stronger as we go.

WOW! That was a bit of a mind ramble...and I apologize....April has always been an introspective month for me.....Spring....and new beginnings and all.