Blog Post, Uncategorized

Diary of A (New) Homeschooling Mama

While I have set forth into this motherhood thing with homeschooling on my heart since the beginning, I will say that I am a novice. I get a little overwhelmed when peers reach out for advice, or I am allowed to moderate groups of homeschooling families. I often cannot see how or why I am qualified to share anything on this topic at all. And then I realize that I should not shy away from the opportunity to encourage and edify. That so long as I am humble and uplifting, I can share what I am learning, even as I am learning it. So here we go, friends! Some thoughts and reflections as we enter our first formal year of Charlotte Mason style home education.

First, it’s like when your children were infants. Remember your first born? How every milestone was waited upon with bated breath? How you watched your friends’ children and saw them doing things and held out and worried and wondered until your baby did those things too? In his or her own time? Apart from atypical development, all children will roll over, crawl, walk, and talk at some point. You just set up the right environment for them to have the opportunity. Tummy time, singing to your baby, toys to engage with, a lovely outdoor walk…..that’s all you could do! Then, it was all up to them to seize the moment when they were ready!

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It’s the same way with home education. As I carefully pour over literary choices, curriculums, and resources, as I read and study, as I spend day in and day out reading aloud, providing great material, praying, singing….I am setting up the stage. I am creating the best possible environment for each of my children to develop in their time. I have a four year old who narrates life as he goes. His vocabulary is through the roof and he can tell a story with exceptional detail as we walk for an hour. Sometimes I wonder when he will take a breath! Then I have a six year old who narrates simply and only shares what he is very passionate about. He struggles to narrate books regularly and would prefer to be climbing a waterfall. They will do these things, and even do them correctly, in their own time.

I encourage myself with these thoughts. It is a struggle in our modern situation, to see the children in public school who read chapter books in Kindergarten. I cannot find research that indicates this is beneficial. I am an avid reader myself. One of my greatest goals is to have voracious readers. However, I realize that a love for reading is greater than early reading. I will just be over here putting out amazing books, reading aloud wonderful, living books, and creating an environment for my children to thrive. So, in their own time, when they are ready, they can take their own first steps into the adventure that is a life long love of learning!

Self education is the only possible education; the rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of a child’s nature.

– Charlotte Mason

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Blog Post, New Year, Uncategorized

The Journey Begins

So….a new year, a new blog, a new adventure.

The other afternoon, one of my boys came into the kitchen while I cleaned and proudly showed me the “food” he had created and placed inside the expensive wooden doll house refrigerator he just received at Christmas. As he explained in great detail the tacos, vegetables, soups he had stored inside, I became increasingly irritated and voiced my frustration with a quick scolding for not caring better for his new toy. His eyes dulled and his demeanor shifted. Immediately, I saw the error of my ways. I bent down on one knee and connected with his little heart. I apologized and told him I thought his food was creative and witty. He smiled and I hugged him.

For several weeks, I have been praying for a “word”. Looking for one word to define 2019. Mother culture and Christian culture indicate I am to have one. Just one. Except God chose differently for us. He saw my need. Our need as a family. He graciously gave me two words. I asked Him to change them. Give me one, I pleaded. It works better. It posts better. One word is what everyone else gets. I whined and He kept giving me the same beautiful two words. Finally, I conceded. As I let the words settle down in my soul, I felt the beauty and fit of them. Like new clothes carefully chosen for their quality and appropriateness for the occasion, these two words fit perfectly.

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Joyful connection – a daily reminder to speak to those around me with joy and love and patience and kindness. A daily reminder to be purposeful in my relationships. I have three sons given to me for a short season. I already find life is flying by at a startling pace. This will be the beginning of a new year, a new season, a new adventure. One that I will do my best to honor with these two words. Will you join me?