This year marks year five home educating my children. I was reminiscing the other day of Journey being in pigtails snuggling up to me while reading Christian Liberty Press Nature Reader 1. She loved to then go draw a picture and narrate back to me. She was a natural word girl. The reading started at 4.5 years and took off shortly after five. You would find this little petite five year old curled up in the corner with a book far beyond her years. I remember her reading Homer Price at just 6 years old and laughing while reading. She totally got the humor. These are precious memories and what fun we had and still do. She continues to be my word girl, running for the dictionary when we can't spell something or know the meaning. She has on her own initiative created a vocabulary book and personal animal encyclopedia compiling all the different things she reads about animals.
I used to think it was the method I used or maybe that I was just smart (ha!). Though I think different methods do help different children, ultimately she is this way because she was wired and created this way. She loves words, language, writing and reading with a passion. It's beautiful to me because I am the same way. I also love it because personality wise she is so much like my husband and she look likes him too. It's such a treasure that we have in common.
Well, along comes child number two. All my grandiose ideas about my homeschooling capabilities went out the window. Isaac is the polar opposite of Journey. All boy, of coarse! Isaac needs to see it, touch it and feel it or it just doesn't compute. This is how he was wired and created to be. I am still on a learning curve to teach him the basics. Added to all this is the ADHD and struggle to pay attention, and to auditorily process his world. Words are strange to him, though he loves stories it's not the words he grasps but the pictures he forms in his head. I anticipate reading fluently is a ways off for him. Part of his struggle is simply coming to the table of learning willingly. The ADHD makes even trying to focus frustrating which then he compensates for by acting out. So much of teaching him right now is to manage himself, not mastering language. As long as this is his greatest need it is where we will strive to grow. Reading will come but self control and character are built from the foundation. They are the building blocks to learning and education in my opinion.
So I embark on year five of teaching my children at home. It is mixed with joy and intimidation. On many levels I am clueless. I am not the crafty, spontaneous hands on mom who loves a good messy craft. I don't think along the lines of hands on and pictures. I think in words for the most part. This is stretching for me. If I am honest, I am not going into this year gung-ho. I think the big yellow school bus looks appealing. This week my kids are in a soccer camp for 3 hours everyday. I keep thinking, this must be what it feels like to send your kids to school everyday. I get to think, process without one hundred questions....without TONS of noise. The baby and I get to hang out and do baby stuff. The laundry is caught up, the dishes are done, I read a book......and on goes the mental gymnastics. The temptation is HUGE for me to throw in the towel and pursue this ease in my life. This up coming year will not be easy as we learn how to learn together, all being so different. It might even get down right ugly some days.
Fortunately my assurance isn't in my method or Susan Wise Bauer's (though I love her method!). It is in the fact that God has called us to teach our children, on every level, in our home. So though I feel intimidated and completely out of my comfort zone, I know that the path I am on is the right path for our family. I am fully convinced this is where he has placed me for His glory and my good.
God will supply all that I need for life and godliness. He is faithful and able when I am not.
And homeschooling is life on hyper drive some days, especially around here!
(Want to be clear that I don't think putting a child in public or private school is wrong...simply not what we are called to do with our kids at this time)