Saturday, August 28, 2010

Life Changes, Homeschool Changes... Part 1

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord.
"As the heavens are higher then the earth so are my ways higher then your ways and my thoughts then your thoughts" Isaiah 55:8-9

Before we started homeschooling I did a lot of research, I mean a lot of research. So much research that I am familiar with most homeschool curriculum's out there. I decided that Charlotte Mason was the methodology we would follow because it was going to provide my little ones with the best education and they deserve it!
So I ran off headlong into Charlotte Mason Curriculum and quickly began bouncing around like a little bouncy ball in the hands of a small child. Charlotte Mason is a hard method to do well because it takes so much planning and there are really only two true pre-planned CM Curriculum out there Ambleside Online and Living Books Curriculum. Living Books was too expensive for my family so we began working on Ambleside. My oldest daughter has mild autism and she can only now (4 years later) just barely narrate a recognizable story to me. This made the curriculum and the method both frustrating and disappointing. I was quickly losing the picture of me and the kiddos curled up on our bed reading wonderful twaddle free books. It was being replaced with a frustrated
child and an irritated  mom.

Now don't get me wrong because it didn't work for me does not mean it will not work for you. You may find this to be the perfect method of schooling for your family. You may enjoy the hours it takes to put the lessons together. It just wasn't right for us. But then I thought My Father's World was the answer to this dilemma because it is a well planned high quality literature based curriculum.

So this year I had planned to do My Father's World Exploring Countries & Cultures. We had a great time
working on MFW Adventures last year and I planned to continue using MFW for this year. I like using the Charlotte Mason method and really feel like it is the best method for educating children. So I thought MFW was a good compromise as it uses a Unit study, Classical & Charlotte Mason Methods that was completely planned out for me. Additionally, to prepare for this school year I read Teri Maxwell's Managers of Their School & Mangers of Their Homes to make sure every thing would run smoothly.

 Now here is where the catch comes in...we have a heart for adoption and we were approved and licensed foster/adopt parents in May so at any time a baby or young toddler could arrive on our door step. Well the day after Parker's Birthday July 29th we became foster to adopt parents..... But not to one bouncing baby but of  2 month old boy/girl twins! What an enormous blessing our God is so good he is the God that gives abundantly.

So I delayed the start of school which was suppose to be in two weeks after their arrival but we are still trying to get these two little bundles of joy settled into their new homes and routines. As the days kept rolling by and I set the new start date of the first week of September. I kept thinking about how was I going to pull  off MFW with these two little people and their demanding schedule especially since squirt has reflux and feedings can be involved. As I thought more about it I became more anxious about school.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

Finally, when I sat down to do assignment sheets that was the straw that broke the camel back because I could not figure out how I was going to schedule MFW to be as independent as possible. It's just not set up like that
the intention of MFW is for there to be family discussion. And frankly, I could not find another hour in my day to spend on school, I had completed my Managers of their homes wall chart and I knew with certainty it is not there!

Doesn't that sound horrible, and I know it's not going to win me the Mama of the year award. But I'm sorry the current pace of the day is so demanding that it simply isn't there. I have even moved our piano lessons to the house blessedly all the sports the girls play are in the spring because it is season to be at home.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, Ecc 3:1-3

So now what? I discussed my thoughts with my dear husband and we were in agreement that a change in curricullum was in order. I really need my 5th/6th, 2nd grader to be as independent as possible. Additionally, I want  both of the older students to do some tutoring of our Kindergartner.Managers of their schools showed me how to implement the children tutoring each other and in the process solidifying their knowledge of a subject. Also in Managers of their schools Teri Maxwell talks about how Textbooks saved her sanity and her school. She was schooling 6 children. I had toyed with the idea of switching to textbooks at the beginning of the summer after reading her book. But we had already purchased the bulk of our curriculum at that point. I had another hurdle to overcome, I really bought the idea that textbooks were basically a way to suck the joy out of school and that they represent school at home. I did not want my children to miss the 'homeschool' experience, I thought we were "better homeschoolers then that." Then I began to ask some of the successful joyful Mama's what they were doing and they were running the gambit from work texts, textbooks, classical etc....But many of the Mama's I really connected with were using textbooks for most or nearly all of their schooling. Still I was really wary of 'doing school at home'. Because that is not what homeschooling is all about. Right?

Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up 1Cor 8:1b

Truly for me it came down to two things, I was puffed up about my homeschooling and what I thought worked best and I had not been content to rest in the knowledge that wisdom comes from the Lord.

"To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his" Job 12:13

How freeing is that! 

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, Duet 11:18-20

So I am to teach them about His word all day long, so freeing. My interpretation of that I need to remain focused on the Lord throughout their school day. So we choose a Christian curriculum in which the word of God is interwoven. Additionally, the author tells me I should be diligently teaching through out the day and then its up to the Lord to impart wisdom and understand if he so wills.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My daughter is only 15-months-old, and I'm already struggling with the "one right way" attitude towards schooling. Just like with feeding and schedules and disciple, it is so tempting to thing that I can figure it all out and not make any mistakes or even second-best decisions. I am so grateful that God pours out His grace on my sometimes pitiful attempts to do the right thing!

I am praying for your family as you transition!

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