Reflections of a Mom's Life

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


warning: this is long. :) and it's our story. our family. not yours and i wouldn't want anyone to ever think that i am suggesting this should be your family story. want to get that out there before you keep reading... :)

i haven't posted on homeschooling in a long time. not on our year and how it's been. but i want to get my thoughts down here. some people have asked and i also want to remember this year. what it's been like and where we go from here...

i have loved homeschooling Harrison this year. i have also hated it at times. nothing wrong with brutal honesty, right? :)

but i love it more than i hate it. so that's good.

i believe it's been a success and it HAS set us on the right path.

i'll start with why it's been hard. he was in school for 2 years. he loved the idea of going to school. so much of being AT school is FUN!!! it truly is. i think if school was just about going to see friends and hanging out with your buddies he would have been set! :) so the transition hasn't always been easy. there have been days that we have both longed for "what used to be."

another reason it's been hard, is i am daily sacrificing all of my time and giving it to my children. this has been a huge struggle for me. all mom's do this, so i know you who aren't homeschooling aren't giving any less of your time but it IS different - i've experienced it both ways now. i have very little time to myself and i crave it. i crave a quiet home. i don't function well with the level of noise or level of chaos i feel around me. i can't keep my house as clean as i like to. well, i probably could but i'm just too tired. i have had to daily accept that there are sacrifices our family has chosen to make for Harrison (the others too, but mostly him at this point) that make some of my life more difficult. i'm not always understood by people who see us, meet us, know us. that is hard for me. everyone can't relate to me. see??? i struggle with ME. i am learning that there are more important things right now than my house being clean, laundry being caught up, errands being completed or even started, etc... this has been hard for me. :) i knew all along that all of my hang-ups to committing to what i KNEW God was calling me to do were selfish. i'd like to think i'm selfless when it comes to my children. but i'm not. i want to be. i'm learning to be. God is refining me. in SO many ways these days. in SO many different situations and relationships. it's hard. good. but hard too.

because so much of my time is literally spent with three children with me every second of the day i have accepted two new priorities. now, EVERY girl needs some time to herself. alone. with her husband. with friends. i understand the importance of that and Anthony does too. we are more intentional in this area. exercise is also a top priority right now. not because i have loads of time but because it's sanity for me - to go to the gym. the kids love it and it's good to have that time to myself.

on to the GOOD...and why it's working and why we're gonna keep going...

first, i have learned why some things weren't clicking in school. i understand him. i know his learning style. i'm better able to help him. i know what subjects are more difficult for him. he won't slip through the cracks. he won't be so well behaved and conversational that i look over his needs. that was happening at school. there was one subject where he was not getting the attention he needed and i am confident he will get that here.

second, i have tremendous support. from Anthony. from family. from friends. from homeschooling friends. from co-op. i don't feel alone.

but most important is the third GOOD thing that has come out of all of this...


there is this new parenting book that we've been reading (not pro-homeschooling but pro CONNECTION) that sums this up better than i can and why i now know the importance of connecting with your children. it's why i chose to homeschool Harrison but i didn't know how to express that at the time. Connection is what was broken in our relationship and while i knew that, i had NO IDEA where to begin or how to overcome this hurdle. in case you are quick to assume things here, i am NOT saying that homeschooling is how you establish a connection with your children. but, for our family, it has been the avenue by which reestablishing the connection has been possible. i didn't understand how deeply important connection is for your children. i wanted to be connected. i didn't know that it won't just develop on it's own. i didn't realize i was the reason why it may never develop at all.

we have reestablished the connection with Harrison.

last year, when i read back on those posts and think back on some of the things that were going on in Harrison's heart i just can't believe how far we have far GOD has brought both of us. He is doing a miracle work. homeschooling has opened that door for us. we have had more time to work on that connection.

so it's been worth it. SO worth it!

the homeschooling itself has not been that difficult. when he stays on task we are finished in a few hours...some days that is harder than it sounds. :)

we are pushing forward next year. Jackson will join us. He works with us now but it will be much more official. :)

i don't regret this decision. sometimes i wish i didn't have to. sometimes i wish i could send them both to school next year and have my whole day with only Addison at home. some days that sounds like heaven.

but, for us...

for me and Harrison...

our connection would suffer. and i just can't have that. we need that before i can send him out into the big, big world again. i don't know when that will be. i'm taking things one year at a time. praying that God will continue to help me die to myself and trust Him.

i can't imagine going back to the days of having him arrive home at 4:15pm. exhausted. frustrated. battling through homework. having to choose whether he can even be involved in extra curricular activities because it may be too much for him. wondering if AWANA should be cut out because it gets him home late and then he suffers the next day at school. i can't imagine not being able to talk to him, about everything, all throughout the exhausting as that is sometimes...only to have him come home too tired to tell me anything about his day. i can't go back to that. i can't send him back and honestly say that is what's best for him...for any of these three blessings God has entrusted to us. so what is to come? i just don't know. i don't have to know and that is OK.

i sure would have some nice days at home. my whole house organized and neat as a pin. plenty of me time and peaceful silence. i won't lie and say i don't envy it just a bit. can't say i don't dream of it just a little. :)

but there would be a consequence and it would come at a high price.

our connection.


Erin said...

WOW Beth I LOVED reading this! Thank you so much for sharing your heart in this - believe me when I say I know EXACTLY what you have gone through this year. I have felt the same way in my last year and a half, and you've expressed yourself so well in how God has used this in your lives. What a blessing! I'm with you - no matter how hard some days are and how much we have to die to self every day, the sacrifice is worth it and the fruit we see in our children has been worth it. And I agree - this is not for everyone, and we are putting our kids back in school next year (we're going to see how it goes) but I wouldn't trade my two years of home schooling here for ANYTHING. Well done, Beth!

Bridgette said...

great post beth. your kiddoes are lucky to have you as a mom.

Anonymous said...

Beth - you really took the words right out of my mouth in most of this post. It could've been me (or most any homeschool mom) writing it! It's hard to not be envious of friends and family who have tons of time to work on the projects they want to work on right now. I am often reminded that my current "projects" are eternal beings who count on me to raise them to be Godly men. This is hard work!!! It takes a tremendous amount of commitment and it's hard when people don't understand or support me. I SO UNDERSTAND what you've been through from this perspective.

I could write a whole update here in your comments section, but I have a little boy waiting for me to play "army men" with him before AWANA. Because of your post, I'm absolutely sure you understand!

Before I go, I'd like to tell you what my mom told me just today. Your house will be clean some day when it's empty of children. I'll add to that - right now, you must take care of schooling them and work on keeping your heart and their hearts clean first! You wont regret it!!!

I'd love to read that book, too! And speaking of books, I'm so excited to place my first curriculum order today! :-) We are going to work through the summer, a little each day, so I can take some more time out during the year for sanity sake! :-)

with love,
heather marie

Sheila said...

I loved reading this post and I am so glad you took the time to articulate how you feel and how far you have come with connecting with Harrison. Good Job.....
Love, Mom

Janet said...

I LOVED the word you used: "connection". So happy for you in your journey as a home school Mom and the fruits you have seen in Harrison this year. Sometimes I want to just pinch myself at the unbelief that God would have chosen me for this 'home school journey'. I loved what your friend said about her current 'projects' being eternal beings.

love being on this road with you!

Vonda said...

Beth, I am so proud of you and I loved reading your heart on homeschooling. I don't even have children in school yet and I feel like I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to keep my house clean and projects done. I have felt like I need to much more INTENTIONAL about spending time with my girls in a way that will effect them for eternity because that's what it's all about!

I am so encouraged watching your first year of homeschooling with Harrison and I know my precious nephew has been blessed beyond words to have YOU as his teacher and Jackson will be blessed next year too! Beth, you're doing a great job being a Mama to your 3 children.

Katy said...

beth, you have done SUCH A wonderful job this year. I KNOW it's been hard. and exhausting. but also more rewarding than perhaps you even thought it would be. harrison is a different boy than he was last spring. when we were counting the days when he would be done for the year so you could get him out of there! your relationship has grown so much with him over this last year. you truly have given him a gift! and i am so proud of you for listening to the Lord and following His direction to you and Anthony on this one!!!