I looked at my calendar this week, and was shocked to notice it’s already August. It seems it was only a few days ago we sat our school books aside for a much needed summer break.
As summer will soon fade to fall, I must face the final decisions on curriculum and plan school year activities. Unfortunately I’ve not experienced the usual excited anticipation as in years past. As I’ve taken my discouragement to prayer, I’ve found comfort in my own echoing words.
Regardless if I’m at the park, library, or even grocery store, I often bump into other homeschooling moms. Some have homeschooled for years, some for a short time, and some are just talking of beginning. The common concern I hear them voice is the same. Is homeschooling the right thing to do, and are their efforts enough.
During several encounters with other moms I’ve had the opportunity to share my first year experience as a homeschool mom. Columbo was to begin kindergarten and Magoo was an active preschooler. Columbo was an eager student, and clearly communicated his desire of learning to read, and his expectation that I make teaching him a priority.
I had no idea what homeschooling was supposed to look like and spent much time in prayer. I purchased Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and began kindergarten from where our efforts at preschool had ended.
Columbo devoured the reading lessons when I was able to do them. Only a couple short months into our school year, and a bundle of Little Bear joy arrived.
Babies arrive in families all the time, and always cause some change, shifting, and parental fatigue. It was no different for our household. That is until we noticed our little bundle of joy wasn’t very joyful. In fact she had turned into quite a growling little bear.
Through bouts of baby screams, I struggled with feelings of inadequacy. How could I call myself a homeschool mom when I wasn’t teaching my sons anything. I was able to brush off my guilt when it came to preschool, but not with my kindergartener. This was the first step after all. The foundation to the rest of his education, I told myself. My feeling of guilt was only exacerbated when during every outing I was asked to read aloud every sign and billboard we would pass.
It was several months before Little Bear was correctly diagnosed and treated for reflux. Although her cranky painful cries quickly turned to smiles and laughter, she continued to find the most comfort strapped to me in an Ergo Baby Carrier. Her desire that I be up and moving offered continued challenge for school lessons.
It wasn’t long after a refreshing calm settled on our days that I noticed something about my boys. They knew how to comfort their sister. They enjoyed helping care for her and often recognized and provided for her needs or desires. They delighted when she rewarded them with smiles and laughter after playing or talking to her.
One day as Columbo settled by his sister with a book, I was astonished to hear him reading her the story. I was in awe as I realized my kindergartener had learned phonics during inconsistent lessons, and he had learned sight words when we read signs while driving down the road. He had learned to share his love of books and reading while loving and building a relationship with the baby.
Regardless the season I am in, the Lord never fails. He is faithful to make my efforts more than adequate. When my priority is walking the path He has placed me on, I am overwhelmed by His love and provision. I am humbled by how He cares for every detail regardless of my awareness at the time.
Today I may not be excitedly anticipating the beginning of a new school year, but I am staying the course. I will walk the path before me, continually pointing my children to the One truly taking care of all the details.