I don’t homeschool because I hate the government. Nor do I homeschool because I think the public school system is all evil. Nor do I homeschool because I want my kids to be smarter than yours. In fact, raising super smart kids isn’t even my main goal of education.
I homeschool because I want to spend the time with my kids. That’s it, in a nut shell.
But, if I may be honest and come clean with you, it’s hard. In my head I have this picture of me sitting round the table with my four children dutifully working on their studies… a quiet calm in the air.
yea… stop laughing….
And every once in a blue moon, such a solitary moment will occur and I’ll snap a picture because it makes me smile and I want to remember it forever. (or on those days when I am crying in the living room amid piles of dirty dishes and laundry and children screaming that they hate spelling) And sometimes I’ll post these pictures to face book because I am so overjoyed to finally have one of those moments… one of those moments that as I mom I thrive off of. And some one will inadvertently get the wrong idea and assume that’s what school looks like every day at my house.
It’s not. School at my house almost always looks like mom in her pjs with the two older working on their studies. There’s almost always a fight over who gets to sit by the window. My 4 year old stays at the table to color for a few minutes then she’s off singing at the top of her lungs or playing with her baby brother. Meanwhile my son will complain that he can’t do math/spelling/history/whatever it is I want him to do, b/c he can’t concentrate. I’ll send him to another room but that too will result in a excuse of some sort being made for why this task is too unreasonable. Meanwhile my 5 year old will complain b/c she wanted to do math first, but I’d rather start with reading b/c she needs me for reading and I am free at the moment….
See, my homeschool room is full of sinners. Me, being the chief one of them. Some days we start late b/c I got distracted by face book. I’m usually in my pjs b/c I hit snooze when my alarm when off and I didn’t shower yet. This typically has me wishing today could have been the day that I rose a different person, a chipper morning person who got up before my family, took care of my self and was ready to begin the day on a great foot? But no, that’s not me.
And I am teaching/raising a brood of sinners as well. And sin is messy. And it has to be addressed. Selfishness, disrespect, meanness… it all must be addressed, discussed, confessed, given consequences for, forgiven… and this takes time. Lots of time. Time which could be spent round that table angelically working on those assignments.
And most days when I am in the midst of battling sin, I think of that clock ticking in the background and those assignments waiting for me… assignments which will get done but since it now took twice as long as necessary, the house work won’t get done before it’s time to head out for evening of activities. This frustrates me b/c I hate having a messy house, I hate having to let it go for tomorrow when I know tomorrow won’t be any different.
And as I battle this sin… in myself and in my children, I am more and more aware of the fact that I can’t change myself nor can I change my kids. I can’t change their hearts. Only God can. And so I plead with tears in my eyes as I sit on the hallway floor, begging God to please work in their hearts, please work through me.
It’s a daily battle.
And this spring, I found myself growing a little weary. A little battle worn. A little fearful that maybe things weren’t going to get better. That I didn’t know what I was doing. Sure we were learning our history time lines and phonics rules… but where was that heart change?
But, the past few weeks, I’ve seen some growth which fills this Momma’s heart with hope. God is working in my kids hearts. I see it. I see a genuine desire to show love to each other. Not all the time, not every day… they are still human in fact. But I see God changing my child’s heart. I see love where before I saw selfishness. I see HIM at WORK! And I praise Him. Because I can think of nothing, not one thing more exciting than to see the Lord at work in the hearts of my children.
This morning I posted this picture on face book. And I was kinda afraid to post it b/c I didn’t want people to get the wrong idea. To think I was bragging or to think that I had these perfect kids who angelically sit at the table and help each other with their studies. I posted it b/c when I saw this scene… when I saw a sister accepting help and correction from her brother… when I saw a brother lovingly helping, not being bossy or showing off that he was right, but gently correcting and encouraging…I saw God at work in their lives and I couldn’t help but smile and rejoice. We had tears of frustration later over noisy sisters and people using their crayons… but in this moment I saw that all those heart to heart talks this past year, those tearful pleadings for God to soften hearts and mold us to be like him… I saw them being answered…and I couldn’t help but rejoice!