Saturday, September 19, 2015

Yet again, I realize my Cup Overflows

This week we had our first homeschool community day.  We'll go once a week to kick off the work for the week ahead.  We have a short devotional time and then the kids split into smaller groups to get their memory work, do a science experiment, and an art project; we all gather back together to have lunch and recess.  In the afternoon, Ava and I attend a pretty intensive writing program.  Those are the facts in a brief overview.  I am having a more difficult time finding words to express the feels.
 Morning Meeting

 (just so you can see what they are staring at- I know you were a wonderin' ;)
 Phin putting his timeline cards in order
Little miss lovin' her class;)

I wrote in a previous post about the angst I had in making the decision to homeschool.  I shed tears; I lost a good deal of sleep.  It felt like God was asking too much.  I argued with God that I already give and give and give- why was he asking me for more?  Once the decision became clear, I did have a peace that this was what God had planned for us this year, but I also was daily having to give him my fears of the unknowns, my insecurities, my selfishness, and fears.  Now that we are in it- I feel like I am overwhelmed with a joy that is hard to articulate.  I am overwhelmed with God's provision in meeting needs that I didn't even know to express- needs I didn't necessarily know were needs at all.

We started math and reading three weeks before our community started.  We've had a great deal of fun and I have had so many moments of wondering what I was so afraid of?!!  Indeed, as I felt God telling my heart in the decision process, he has been restoring a joy to my motherhood that I have struggled to reclaim since adding a fourth kid and a autoimmune disorder;P  It's been lovely.  I have pondered many a thing in my heart over those three weeks:  I am more capable that I gave myself credit for.  I have really amazing friends, who know me and my kids well, that have given me really good advice in structuring our day and our curriculum in ways that flow with who we are as a family, with who I am as a mom.  I know I avoided many a pitfall because of their experience and loving advice.  God really does give us strength in our weakness, and help us embrace the way he's uniquely crafted us!  I have gotten the best of my kids each day instead of exhaustion.  I've been able to rejoice in seeing my kids learn new things! 

I was terrified of teaching Chloe to read.  What a cool thing to see her going from frustration to mastery with each phonetic sound.  We've done really fun art with our letters and we shook the heck out of a pint of cream while saying, "b-b-b-b-butter" til we were giddy with laughter and had sore arm muscles.

Phineas is sharp as a tack and loves to show off.  I've been able to get him excited about math using Skylander guys instead of counting bears.  We've added, subtracted, and sorted Skylanders and I love that he looks so forward to our one on one time.

Ava has performed just as I expected.  She is driven and self motivated and loves to learn.  She really wanted to study Revelation.  I thought it was crazy, but then I found a Kay Arthur precept study for kids and I LOVE that she is really learning to study the bible and we get to look up questions together.  I love reading aloud with her and finding out how much she already knows about so many things from her insatiable desire for books. 

Christian in going to preschool three days a week, but the other two days, we get to work on his sorely lacking fine motor skills and incorporate him into our learning time.  Instead of being a distraction, he is (on MOST days anyway) a delight to have along on the journey.

I am so pleased with our homeschooling decision;  the joy of the first three weeks felt like gift enough.  Truly the way I am wired, lends to stressful moments trying to get kids to school and keep up with each teachers requirements.   The reprieve really has released me of much of that stress and is therefore beneficial to my littles!  All of that would have been MORE than enough, but God loves to show off.  We had community day and I left in tears- joyful tears.  It was so much fun.  A few moms are paid tutors to kick of the weeks memory work and I was so humbled by how much work they put into it.  Phin is in a class of ALL boys and his tutor had them learn while doing obstacle courses.  They were engaged and had a great time. Chloe was glowing.  What really set my heart aflame, however, was the afternoon of writing class with Ava.  First, it's really special to have a room of mamas and daughters working together.   Second, I have NEVER seen Ava so comfortable with a group of people in a school setting since preschool and it was DAY ONE.  She just fits.  They girls all get along so well.  There is kindness and laughter and joy.  I could see clearly see God putting her in a place that takes away the anxiety she is naturally prone to.  She is an overachiever and she already over achieves.  This is a one room school philosophy and they went over that with the girls, so it's just about working together and embracing strengths and that they are each at different level and it is OKAY.  There is no competition.  She had a hard time shaking the "new girl" label when we moved here- NOT because of other children (at all!) but because she labeled herself as "new" and "outside".  It took a year and other new kids coming to work through it;)  It was lovely to see her growth and rejection of that label.  Instead she labeled herself "friend" and made plenty. 

Ava's new compadres

And you guys!  Can I tell you about the other mamas?  I LIKE them..a lot.  I totally have a gazillion friendship crushes.  I think they are some lifelong friends in this group.  I cannot wait to get to know them better!

I am not obtuse to hard days ahead.  Yet,I am challenged by unconscious ways I define God when he asks me to step out of my comfort zone.  Why do I automatically assume it is going to be horrible?  There are times he calls us to hard things, but he also grows us for our GOOD.  He is my father who wants GOOD things for me...and yet in moments of change, I realize I have some room to grow in the area of TRUST.  He is always faithful.  He carries me when it's hard.  Why is it so hard to trust?!  Once again, he has blown my mind.  His ways are so much higher than mine.  Yes, on the surface, I have almost zero "me" time (I do have some- don't worry;), but he's restored a part of my spirit that means infinitely more than a couple extra hours of reading or rest.  I feel like I opened a gift of more time with my children in these really fleeting years.  Ava daily asks me to please not just homeschool for a year but forever (I always tell her we will do each year what God leads us to do:).  Phin says he loves homeschool but can we have more boys (the answer is "no").  Chloe doesn't know much different but is just blossoming.

*I just want to reiterate again in this blog post, that this is more about being where God wants us than homeschool itself.  I do not believe homeschooling is the only way.  I know mamas in public school, private school, and homeschool whose families are just where God wants them!


  1. Your words just vibrate... So happy for you and this good news. xoxox

  2. Your words just vibrate... So happy for you and this good news. xoxox