Well, it's official. This past week was the grand opening of the Schmidt Academy for Boys (a borrowed, adapted title from a friend - thanks!). Yup. We did it. We took Will out of the school he was in and started homeschooling. Did I just write that? Now it's really official if it wasn't before. **Gulp.** Me. A teacher. Me. Ummmm...did we really think this through?
Truth is we've been praying a long time about Will's school situation. Public school? Private school? Home....school......? Me? A teacher? Me? What were the other options again?
Well, after a lot of praying and anxiety and considering Will and his needs (that I'm sure I've blogged about...check the archives), we decided to go with public school. With his special needs, we felt that would probably be best for him because of the access to services like speech and such. So after a lot of worrying...a lot...he started kindergarten and guess what...he did just fine. But as the year went on I started to recognize some things about both he and I. Things that weren't completely apparent before we started the year. Woah, woah. Wait. Let me back up a little bit. Back to the beginning...to the only parenting manual we have. Back to the Bible.
What does God tell us about how we are to raise our children? About how we are to teach our children? What is our role as "parent" supposed to look like? You don't have to do a deep and thorough study of the Bible to figure out that God thinks it's important to teach His Word to our children.
Proverbs 22:6 says: Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Or from the new testament: Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)
Okay, so teach the Word of the Lord to your children. When? Sunday morning? At Wednesday night Awana? Well, that would make things a whole lot easier, but I don't think that's really what He had in mind. Right after Moses finished presenting the Ten Commandments to the Israelites, he gives further instruction on what are to be done with them.
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 6: 6-7)
So not just Sunday morning, Lord? This looks like...well, all the time. Hmmmm. This is going to take some intentionality.
Intentionality. Do you know Gregg and I? We can be passive. Procrastinators. Uh....lazy. We've had to do a lot of backpedaling in the area of intentional parenting. Because of this, the significance of this role has weighed on our hearts with seemingly greater intensity. Our eyes were opened and we were given a burden for the hearts of our children. Sound stupid? Are you asking yourself, "How can you not have this burden the day you become a parent?" Did I also mention we're selfish?
So back to the present...Will...public school. Fine. We'll just continue to teach him the ways of the Lord around that time. No big deal. Or so I thought. Here's where I began to learn a little more about my first born. Will in all day kindergarten = mentally exhausted every evening. No time for math games. No time for reading, and that includes the Bible, folks. And here's where I begin to learn a little more about me. Martha with a wiped kid who doesn't want to do anything at night = okay, we don't do anything at night. The Bible is saved for Sunday and Wednesday.
Over the past few months, the Lord has laid this on my heart with increasing measure to the point where there wasn't a day that went by without me thinking about it. In fact it was coming to mind several times a day. Lord, what do I do? The answer seemed so clear...homeschool. This was such a foreign thought to me because anytime it had ever come up before I immediately dismissed the notion. Me? A teacher? Me? Uh, no. But nonetheless, here I was considering it. I brought this to Gregg really without knowing what he'd think about it. We'd never been die-hard homeschool-minded. Both of us went to public school...there's nothing wrong with us. (Keep your comments to yourselves.) To my slight surprise he wasn't outright opposed. So we prayed about it and decided at this point in time we should give it a try.
So that's where we're at. Me. A teacher. Me. We have one week under our belts and we haven't killed each other yet. We did come close the other night when he told me I was a bad teacher because I made him write his "4's" over and over to get the correct formation down (I wrote it like 10 times...geesh, mom!!!). One thing I've learned this past week is you ask for patience before your feet hit the floor in the morning, and then several (hundred?) times throughout the day. But we're also learning about Jesus and how He's the center of our lives. And not only of our lives, but of all of history. We're learning that "Bible Time" isn't the only time you can learn about God. He's all around you and everything can be used to point back to Him. Take it from this girl who always said "never" when it came to homeschooling, it's pretty stinkin' cool to see the lightbulb come on in your kid's head. It's even cooler when that lightbulb reflects him learning a truth about Jesus. And I get to be there for that! I'm completely overwhelmed with gratitude (that's another post)!
|The nice thing about homeschooling is little bro can get in on some of the fun. The other nice thing? You don't have to wear pants.|