Verse of the Day

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

School's In!

While I have been working with the new kids since they've been home, this week was the first official week that EVERYONE was doing REGULAR, FULL TIME school. And what a week it's been....

First, my two oldest are in high school. This year is actually easier for me, as I don't have to drive the oldest to a science class in Timbuktu. All of their classes are done either online or via computer software, other than some Biblical education. For those of you who have known me for a long time, this transition was really difficult for me to make. I always prided myself in spending so much "quality time" with my kids in school (read "spoon-fed learning") that divorcing myself somewhat from the process was scary. Now, they are alone responsible for getting through a wealth of information, studying it, and producing projects or passing tests. And what is interesting is this:  they like the new way of doing school! Perhaps this is because they know exactly what is expected of them and when; but perhaps it's because I'm not constantly breathing down their necks, expecting them to do more and do it faster!

Yes, I have struggled throughout life with "moments" (years) of perfectionism. I remember thinking before our first adoption that I could still do most of life in the same way.  I could just work a little harder and get up a little earlier to get everything done. But then when the Lord put it on our hearts to adopt three more, I realized about the moment we tried to crack a book that "school as usual" was absolutely gone... not just temporarily changed, but destroyed. The Lord saw fit to show me my pride regarding home schooling, and freed me to understand that He was their teacher.  He was ultimately the one to ensure that the kids would learn exactly what they needed and when. Yes, I'm to be proactive and plan and do everything that is necessary, of course. But their success or failure did not rest alone on my tired shoulders. I had to give the burden of teaching to Him.

My sweet seventh grader does get more time with mommy the teacher.  I make extra time for him, both because he needs the personal instruction in math, and because I want to talk with him about what he reads. His first book this year is "Chosen By God," by R.C. Sproul.  I absolutely love the discussions about the sovereignty of God and predestination.  What a special treat to carve time out in the day to talk about life's "big picture."  Seventh grade is certainly one of my favorite years, as children begin to comprehend and appreciate huge spiritual truths.

And then, my elementary bunch.  I feel more like a drill sergeant than a teacher sometimes!  We do lots of oral work, but have now added "Touchphonics" from EPS School Speciality.  This is an incredible program that actually has the kids beginning to read the very first day!  The program is an alternative to regular phonics systems in that it teaches phonics, word structure, and spelling in a multi sensory way.  So rather than simply looking at letters and trying to remember what sounds they make, the kids are actually building words with real foam-like letters.  The letters are color-coded; letter combinations that make certain sounds are joined.  Thus, they utilize tactile, kinesthetic, visual, and auditory modalities to learn the language. The kids build a word, trace the word with their fingers, write the word, and hear the word in a story. Then we do it all over again the next day, using different techniques. I am delighted with their progress in just a few days!

The kids are also taking Saxon 1 Math; Miss B. is in Math 2.  They are all working on handwriting, art, spelling, vocabulary, phonics, reading, and Bible.  We also do quite a few learning games and puzzles still.  Working with four little ones is actually easier than I thought it would be. Except, of course, if I have to leave the classroom area... then all you-know-what breaks loose!

So if you think that you simply can't add more children because you want to home school, think again! If the Lord desires you to home educate many, you may just have to adjust your idea of perfect or normal or necessary. He will always give you the time you need to do the things He's called you to do. Just the way His world works.


    1. It sounds to me like you're still doing an AMAZING job even with the help of computers :). But, I will admit that I am surprised. Isn't it strange what God will do to get us to the point of letting go of our "perfectionism"? Your kids will thrive. Mine have been forced to work more on their own for quite some time now and they seem to be doing ok. But I can always, always find areas I'd like to improve on!!

      Love you,

    2. May I be adopted too?! Carolyn

    3. This post is so encouraging to me! This is our first year homeschooling--my oldest is 1st grade. We are in the process of adoption #1 (YAY!) and hope there will be at least one more in our future. I love to see how BIG families still make HS work. You have a beautiful family!!