Hello all! Yes, I am still alive!
It has been a long summer already with many trips, many weddings, and not much free time. Not sure how, but I am still determined to get my one big project for the summer done before we start back to school. This last trip to the homeschool conference got me motivated especially after hearing the talks on organization and scheduling. Call it the “inner organizational nut” in me, but it really gears me up to get my rear in gear and get things ready for next year. I LOVE the beginning of a new school year! All new books, new hopes, new plans, new strategies, new things to learn…. I just wished that excitement lasted for more than 4 hours. 😦 LOL!
Anyway, I learned one good tip at this conference that I truly plan to implement. One of the speakers talked about a talk she heard a few years ago that really helped her with her schooling. BEFORE the school year began, she would go to the adoration chapel and just spend time with the Lord and, one at a time, put each of her kids into God’s hands. Then, she would have a talk with Him about what this child needed spiritually, educationally, virtues-wise, physically, etc. Then, she would ask God what she needed to change-up for this child. Afterwards, she would jot some notes for that child before proceeding to the next child and on down the list.
I LOVE this idea. I have gone to prayer so many times during our homeschool journey and will willingly give all of the credit for the graces that we have received to Him. But, I haven’t looked at it as a totally new journey each and every year. So far, it has been one long 8 1/2 year path where we are hopefully on the journey to Emmaus learning more about Jesus Christ along the way. But, I was challenged at this conference to look at it differently. Instead of looking at it as one long journey, I need to look at each year as its own journey. As much as the kids grown and change each year, so do I. I am not even close to being the same person I was when we started homeschooling in January of 2004. So, by recognizing the changes in myself, I need to also recognize the changes in my children. Not only their academic changes. But, their individual interests and individual personalities which have been gradually emerging over the years.
One of the things that brought this to mind was meeting a woman at the conference who could have been me 9 years ago. She is still considering homeschooling and is pretty sure she is going to jump in with both feet, but hasn’t even told her kids yet. SO much of her story was so similar to my own that it was a slightly uncanny experience. It also helped me to remember the good times and the benefits I have seen within our family from homeschooling and especially with one of the girls. It brought to my memory who that little girl was when we started homeschooling. She was in 3rd grade at the time, had a very rough 1st half of the school year, was a very quiet, shy child who did not trust many people. She had eyes that seemed to draw you into their deep depths, very much like a Precious Moments figures eyes. In fact, my mom used to call this little one “My precious moment’s baby”. This little girl drew me into herself through her eyes and I remember seeing such pain and fear in those eyes back then. Only later, did I realize just how true this ‘insight’ into my daughter’s life that really was. Her life was one of pain and fear from being bullied and always feeling like such an outsider due to her speech disability and her learning issues. Instead of knowing that she was a beautiful gift from God to us, she felt like she was always holding everyone else back.
Remembering her like she used to be, REALLY opened my eyes to the changes that have occurred in the last 8 1/2 years. She is no longer that little shy girl with the huge eyes staring at you. Instead, she is a slightly sassy 17-year-old with a mind of her own and with a heart full of love for her God. She is a go-getter who doesn’t always speak of her dreams and goals, but who grins so largely when she achieves them that it is like a 1000 watt flash just went off in your face!
Homeschooling and a LOT of grace from God helped get her to where she is today. Out of all the girls, her changes have been the most.
So, I have found my purpose. I have once again found the desire to start a new year full of anticipation for what this year will mean for all of us. A lot of changes will take place. This year will bring about 2 graduations at the end and one First Communion. But, change is good. Change through prayer and grace brings us that much closer to God’s plan for us. Aren’t homeschool conferences great?? 🙂