Monday, August 17, 2009
Ready For School
My emotions keep swinging back and forth. One minute I'm excited about starting school and learning all that we have set before us for this school year. I think we have got a great curriculum chosen and I have tweaked it here and there to add activities and projects and books that I think will really make this an exciting learning adventure for Noah.
But, then, I think about all of the things I haven't got done this summer that I wanted to, and how much busier life will become, and how little patience I have in view of how much I need to homeschool, and I feel overwhelmed and so NOT ready to start.
So, I was especially blessed when Noah brought me this letter on Saturday. It thrills me to know that he is excited about another year of schooling with Mommy. (Looks like the decision to really make a focus on vocabulary and spelling was a good idea, though!)
For me, this school year is a training and teaching process, too. Here are my educational goals for the year:
1. To homeschool enthusiastically, doing the job that God has given me for this period of my life with my whole heart as unto the Lord.
2. To concern myself only with ensuring that I am being obedient to God and to my husband.
Last year was a miserable year for me. I never managed to get past the fact that the decision to homeschool turned out to be such a controversial one. I was isolated from the homeschool community where I might have found support, because I didn't join them in an attempt to not offend friends and acquaintances who dislike homeschooling. I was offended by family and friends who questioned whether I was capable of teaching my child. I was isolated from homeschoolers who didn't like it that I was emphatic about the fact that I do not believe that homeschooling is the only educational choice you can make for your child if you truly love them and isolated from others who believe that choosing to home educate your child is a choice to not be a light and witness to the world around you. I was frustrated by the frequent attempts to get me to choose to "unschool" or to "unit study" or to "Charlotte Mason method" my educational style. The decision to homeschool meant that I lost a few "friends", lost a mentor, lost sleep, lost much of my joy, and spent many afternoons and evenings trying to hide my tears from Gareth and the boys.
And so, this year, I am making a choice. I will not apologize for doing what Gareth and I believe is what God wants for us in regards to Noah's education at this time. I will seek to do my very best to provide Noah a top-notch education, and I will do it with humility and grace towards those who don't agree with our choices, but I will not hide or make apologies for the choices we are making. The choice to home educate wasn't easy and got lots of opinions from lots of sources. The choice to put Nathan and Rosie in half-day pre-school wasn't easy, and it has also garnered criticism from some arenas. But, I am confident that those choices are God's best for us at this time, and as such I need to not worry about man's opinion but to focus on ensuring that I am serving God whole-heartedly in the job He has given me for now, seeking only His approval.