Reflections of a Mom's Life

Friday, May 15, 2009

homeschooling

i guess i mentioned in one of my posts recently about our decision to home school. it's not a secret. but i hadn't made a public announcement on the blog. i'm sure it surprised some of you so let me give you the background on this big decision and big change for our family...

i never planned to home school. it had crossed my mind but it was never our plan. public school was our decision. we had considered Christian school but at the time Harrison entered Kindergarten, it was not an option for us financially and knowing that we had 2 children and planned to have another...it would not be a long term option for our family unless i worked. having me home is our priority.

Harrison's kindergarten year in public school was GREAT. we loved his teacher. he thrived at school. it was a wonderful experience and we felt very blessed. we love the year round schedule and never had a second thought about sending him back for 1st grade.

it's been a tough year for Harrison. i could have never predicted or expected all that has occurred with our little man. i feel like things really started around the time he broke his arm. before Christmas his behavior was really struggling. he was starting to have trouble focusing at school and just lost his desire to be there and ability to ENJOY it all together.

i kept feeling the Lord tug on my heart. i kept praying for Harrison and kept feeling like the Lord was asking me to pray about homeschooling. Anthony and i talked about it and we prayed a TON. i didn't tell anyone. i didn't want to hear opinions for or against homeschooling. i knew enough about all of that. i needed the Lord to tell me what he wanted US to do for OUR family. it's different for every family and i didn't want to be influenced by what other families had chosen. i struggled with it. i was very fearful. i didn't want to do it. i felt like it would make my life more complicated and difficult. i felt like it would take away all my free time. everything that i had against it (for me) seemed to be self centered. i was scared to death.

i finally confided in a dear friend and asked for prayer. she encouraged me to confess my fear. it was standing in the way of my knowing what the Lord had for us. so I did. it seemed almost immediate but within a few days Anthony and i truly felt a peace about this terrifying decision! :) i was worried at first what some might think. i have felt very supported though. i recognize this decision is not for every family. i actually never really thought i'd be making this decision either. :) each family has to ask the Lord to direct them when it comes to school. it's a hard decision to know what to do with your precious babies! i do believe God has allowed circumstances to bring us to this point. and i know He does that for each family whether it be public, private, or home school. He's made clear to us what we need to do for Harrison next year.

i say it that way because it's truly how i feel. i don't know about 3rd grade, 4th grade, 7th Grade, Jackson, Addison, etc... all i know is that we are going to home school Harrison next year for 2nd grade and i have a peace that it is what is best for him.

i want him to get back to a love of learning. i want him to feel less stress and pressure...to be less overwhelmed. we need to really work on his heart and some behavior stuff. so much of our time is spent "reacting" and there is so little time to be "proactive" with him...he's away from us most of the week. he leaves us at 8:30am and doesn't return until 4:00pm. he's physically and emotionally exhausted. we want what's best for him and we can honestly say right now the situation he's in is just not best. there are SO many things that have confirmed this decision for us. behavioral, social, issues with classmates, tension with his teacher and teacher's assistant, his feelings of failure and frustrations of being good enough or being able to do a good job. my heart gets heavy when i think of the emotions this little guy is dealing with right now. he is SO SMART! he is SO SWEET! he is SO LOVED...and yet he's having a hard time believing all those things.

we are going to stop. take a break. slow things down. love on him. give him our time and our attention. he's 7. he's too young for this kind of stress and pressure.

i know we've made the right decision. even when i start to fear, the Lord somehow confirms to us our decision.

like i said...i don't know how long. we're gonna take things one year at a time and see where the Lord takes us. He may direct us differently down the road and that is OK.

we've turned Anthony's old home office into a school room. it looks GREAT...pictures to come. we're gonna make it as fun as possible. we'll have school Mon.-Thurs. and take Friday's off. we'll follow a modified year-round schedule because we liked it so much. we hope to join a co-op for parties/fun activities. we won't join a co-op that we will meet with weekly. we want to keep things simple. we have lots of things we're involved in at church that will keep us busy and "social". :) God has put a few wonderful, godly, ladies in my life who have and are homeschooling. they are a wonderful resource and encouragement to me as i prepare for the coming year! isn't it WONDERFUL that He knows who to bring into your life and when!

i feel like i've rambled on here. it was good to get this all down.

i wanted to share my heart as well as fill you all in on this big step of faith for the Williams family! i know it's a shocker for some of you! :)

15 comments:

Heather Marie said...

I couldn't be more excited for your family! Any time you'd like to chat, feel free to let me know. I have free long distance, so I can call.

This will be our third year. We'll have a first grader and second grader! It is not always an easy task, but my boys are worth more than my own life! I'd do ANYTHING for them!

Courtney said...

that is so exciting!!! and your heart behind it is so GOOD and TRUE and PURE. so many come at it from the wrong perspective...and i love your perspective! i'll be praying for you...what a big step! but God will provide (as He has already!) the strength and wisdom and patience you need. what an absolutely amazing act of love for your son. wow.

Jen said...

I know we'll all face those tough decisions on our road of parenthood and you do have to do what the Lord tells you is best for each child. I pray that your preparation for this next year will go smoothly and you'll see the fruit of your obedience quickly. I know God will bless your heart.

Vonda said...

Beth, I am so proud of you that you and Anthony are seeking God on what's best for your family re schooling. I know God is going to bless your willingness to follow Him completely regarding all of this. I know it was a tough decision for you but we will continue to pray for Harrison daily and that you will know exactly how to reach him and that y'all will have a great 2nd grade year for him.

Adam and Nat said...

You're such a good mom Beth. :)

Bridgette said...

I am proud of you Beth!I could have never have seen you doing this in the past, but that is a testament to how much you have grown as a person! Even just to try schooling.:) What a big decision to make, but putting Harrison's needs above your own will definitely make this worthwhile. I am anxious to hear how things work out for you! Keep me updated and thanks for the carrot cake recipe, I'm going to try it this weekend. Love you!

Linda Williams said...

I am so thankful that the mother of our grandchildren love them so much that she would even venture to try to homeschool these precious little men! I am praying daily that this will be the key to everything that you have seen in Harrison and Jackson that needs to be worked on. I like the 4 day work week. This seems to be a real incentive to meet goals on a weekly basis. I cannot wait to see the "school room"! I know they will be so happy to show us when we come for Addison's birthday.

Love,
Mimi and Papa

Katy said...

i'm glad you finally posted about this so you have it down for your "book" - you know, the one we keep saying that "one day we'll sit down and actually do!" :) What a journey it's been, right? God is faithful - and you know that when He calls us to something, He will equip us to do it!! So I can't WAIT to see what He's going to do with ALL of you next year! (Plus, it will free you up to take a field trip to SC right?) Love you my friend!

Tucker Family said...

I am thankful to hear that the Lord has given you and Anthony a peace about this situation. We will continue to remember you all in our prayers! :)

Amanda said...

Beth, I think it is wonderful! You and Anthony doing what is best for your family is all that matters. My sister in law is going to be homeschooling next year as well, and I thought she was crazy at first, but now I COMPLETELY get it! It is going to be hard I am sure, but the payoff will be AMAZING! We will be praying for you in this awesome adventure!

sarah said...

That is exciting Beth! God will give you the grace to do it- There are days I have to remind myself that He called me to homeschool and pray and ask for His help...and He always does!! It is a joy to have them at home- you will love it!

Christy said...

That's awesome Beth! I know you'll do a great job and Harrison will enjoy it so much. I'll be praying for you guys!!

Andy and Jen said...

You're a great mom Beth. And I know you'll do a great job homeschooling Harrison.

Jennifer said...

You're going to do GREAT!!

Little known fact - I was homeschooled up until high school. It was a great time in my life! It enabled my family to go on some awesome trips and have so much fun while learning. Transitioning to public school wasn't a problem and academically I did great so will Harrison! Good luck and have a blast making learning fun!

Megan Penner said...

I just now read this, Beth, and it really blessed me. I love you, my dear friend.