Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Joys of Homeschooling

There are many things I love about homeschooling. One advantage is having more time to work on each child's individual needs. Homeschooling allows you to think outside of the school room box when it comes to education. For example boys tend to be movers and do better when they are allowed to move around a little.

Recently, I was reminded of this lesson. After eight years of homeschooling you think I'd know everything about how to home school. But I don't! At the beginning of this school year I was dreading getting back to the books a little. Why? For one thing, I love summer and hate to see it come to an end. I enjoy the free time to do the things that I don't get to do during the school year. And well... honestly, homeschooling can be quite tiresome sometimes.

As a home school mom, you tend to be very critical of your ability to teach your child well. So inevitably when your child struggles to get a concept and you've tried everything you know to do, but they still are not quite getting it, you can start to panic. Then fear creeps in and you start having thoughts like, "I don't know what I'm doing... I'm not qualified to do this... I'm ruining my child's future!".

It's in those moments that I have to regroup, refocus, and reflect. I need to get alone, have some mommy time and reflect on the Lords calling for us to home school. Usually, what I find is that I have been relying on my own strength too much. I have let doubt and/or fear creep in and steal my peace. So I get into the word and readjust my focus back to the Lord and His calling on my life. That doesn't mean we still won't have struggles, but I can have peace knowing that He is there to guide our steps in this adventure called homeschooling.

Sometimes a solution can be as simple as a hammock! For a while now our youngest has struggled with learning to read well. He could read, but not to my liking. The other two boys took off with their reading, but for Noah it has been a constant thorn. It was a nightmare to have him sit for 15mins to read aloud to me. He was constantly squirming in his seat. I was at my whits end. Until one day I was talking to another mom about our struggles and she told me her sons story. He too did not enjoy sitting still to read until... they bought him a hammock and now he does his reading in his hammock. Later I repeated the story to Noah and asked him what he thought about having a hammock in his bedroom. He went nuts! His begging for a hammock was nonstop!

So guess what Noah got for Christmas?... You guessed it A HAMMOCK! A few months before Christmas we set up an incentive reading plan. When he read 5 books (that I approved of for school) then we would be rewarded with a trip to the bookstore to get a fun book of his choice.(he loves Calvin and Hobbes) Noah is very competitive and likes rewards, so for him this plan was working well...

But after installing the hammock we have seen his reading level soar! He absolutely loves his hammock. He sleeps there. He does his math there. And the best thing about having a hammock for a bed, as he would tell you, is you can make up your bed in about 10 secs flat! Unhook it from one side of the wall and fold it to the other side. DONE!

Although there are struggles there are also many victories. And for that I am thankful and can press on knowing that He who is faithful will equip me for whatever He calls me to do. Lord, thank you for struggles. For without them I would not see my need for you!... And thank you for HAMMOCKS!

Nowadays, you never know where you will find Noah doing his school work. I had a good chuckle the other day when I went downstairs to do laundry and found Noah standing in the corner... reading!

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