Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Oh What a Feeling!

Click here to visit Blogger School Friend Assignment: Take time this week to write about YOU and your feelings of trials and triumphs with homeschooling. Touch on when you first heard about the concept of home schooling and whether you tip-toed into the idea or just jumped in and never looked back. Share your schooling as a child and how you compare it to what your goals are for your children.

This September marks the beginning of our 13th official year of homeschooling. One would think that 12 years of experience would have eliminated the "first-day-of-school-jitters", but I haven't found that to be true! One thing that those 12 years have done, though, is replaced the horrible, nauseous feeling I used to associate with the first day of school with a sense of happy anticipation. I may still be a little anxious as a new school year approaches, but no longer am I debilitated by fear. Educating my kids at home has repaired a lot of the damage from my childhood public school experience. At least it's been a healing thing in my life -- and I don't have to worry about one of my kids being in the same horrific situation.

During the summer months of June and July, I usually take inventory of the previous year's studies, successes, failures and make plans for the next year. One June, a couple of years back, I took Sarah out to lunch and we laid out her "Four-Year-Plan" for highschool. I really like to take that time to put my ideas on paper, simply because once school gets going in the fall, I don't have much time for reflection! My hope is that the time I spend planning in June will reduce the false-starts and stumbling blocks in September.

We didn't "do" June this year. School ended on a Friday near the end of June and our first mission team arrived on Tuesday. They left the next Wednesday and we headed north for a furlough on Monday. A month later we returned home. We unpacked and did some deep-cleaning around the house and's September. Not only did we not do June, but July and August whooshed right on past, too!
Time to brush off the dust and cobwebs!
It appears that we'll be starting school next Monday with little preparation. How do I feel about that? Well, Freud would say that since I just typo-ed the word "feel" by typing "reel" I'm pretty nervous. Maybe a bit. One really nice thing is that 3 of the classes we're doing are just "pick up where you left off" classes. History, math and English from the Roots Up...check, check and check. Science still has me puzzled, but looking at where we live, I think we'll come up with something. Why do we really need to "do" a science class when we have 8 foot long pythons catching rabbits in our front yard? (I didn't post about that? No. My camera batteries were dead.) Or kamakazi barn swallows swimming in our pool? ( I did post about that!) And then of course there are the rattlesnakes, pelicans, frogs, get the picture. I think we'll be ok with science.

I think I'm a lot more relaxed about my kids' education now than I was a few years ago. With Sarah being a junior this year (and doing really well, too) I feel like we've proven that homeschooling works for us. Any family members who wondered or questioned our decision can rest assured (as can we) that we chose correctly.

Most of my "major" decisions as far as curriculum have already been made. Reading, math, history, language, music -- all of those are automatic now. I am relieved to not feel like I need to keep researching to find "just the right curriculum"! That is stressful!!! I still remember frantically trying to pick the brains of every "experienced" homeschool mom I met -- asking opinions and recomendations -- constantly worried that I would make a bad choice. Guess what! I made a few bad choices! Guess what else! The kids have all forgiven me!!! ;^) (I don't think most of them even noticed!)

A few "schooly" things still worry me a little: finding time to spend with the "little ones" so that they get the solid foundation that the older ones got; making time to focus on the kids' music lessons; keeping Sarah challenged but not frustrated. These are things I'm constantly covering in prayer.

There are some things I don't worry about though. The main thing I'm not worrying about right now is Sarah's future education. Strange? From what I've learned by talking to a few homeschool moms (via internet) I think that it is a little strange for me to not be worried about college/careers for my children; but I'm not. Why? Because Sarah has chosen to follow God's plan for her life completely.

Why should I worry, when God knows way better than I do what she really needs? As long as Sarah's heart is where it should be, I won't worry about her future. I'll most certainly be praying for her future, and I'm very excited to see where God will lead her, but I won't worry. The same goes for Caleb, the twins and the little ones. As long as they are putting God's will first in their lives, I won't worry about their futures; but I will be praying!!!

Edited to add my Bible verse. Can you believe that I forgot to include it? Ack. Talk about the absentminded professora! ;^)

To gain the context, you really should begin reading at verse 25, but I'll focus on Matthew 6:33-34 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is its own evil!"


Marina said...

praying is the best thing you can do as a mom ") marina

Sheri said...

It is good see another lifer on here. I have been doing this 14 or so years...and have or had all the same feelings. I used to fret over whether the kids could even get into college, but not anymore. My heart is at peace, and my kids have sailed thru it very well.
Now about those critters you have in your yard-that would make me very nervous...but my youngest son would totally dig visiting your house!
Have a wonderful new school year (and we also just pick up where we left off for most of it...I still have to order stuff I need and am not really too upset about not having it yet... so, guess experience does mellow one a bit).

Nancy said...

I have to agree with what Sheri wrote, I used to worry and fret over whether or not I'm doing the 'right' things for my daughter too, but now I just want to make sure her heart is in the palm of God's hands! She's doing well, so far in her first year of high school and I really don't worry about her academics, I pray about it often and leave it in God's hands. By the way, Thanks for participating in the BFS, I'm sure it's going to be a great year and we're planning a few extras that we've not had before. God speaks!

Mrs. Nancy
BFS Teacher

Anonymous said...

We always excitedly anticipate the new year as well. I am so glad you have joined us at BFS!!

MeritK said...

LOL! I still fret after 9 years! Thanks for encouraging me to relax a little. I liked reading about your family and all your science! Great job on your "homework"! MeritK - your friend at Blogger Friend School!

Lisa said...

thanks for stopping by my blog. I completely agree with you on the shaping of our children and the live and learn.

Nancy said...

Hey Rebecca~ I'm so glad you liked the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier history and pictures. It's even more amazing in person! I love your feet picture in the header...except I love the actual feet and not just the shoes...I have a picture of mine and my husband's feet, our toes touching, that I took after gardening one day. I used to use it on my bloglines but I deleted my account, so now I need to find somewhere else to put it.


Sherrie said...

I really enjoyed reading your story. May God continue to bless you in your homeschooling and in your missionary work. I look forward to "reading" more about you during the Blogger Friend School year!

Margie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog with BFS. I really look forward to meeting lots of other families on the same journey.

It is really silly how excited I get about the new school year. My daughters are not quiet as enthusiastic. Once we get the new supplies: clean fresh notebooks and some fun markers and pens or pencils they perk up.

May this year be a blessing to you and your students!