Every year I’ve started my school year with “This is going to be the best year ever!” Then somehow, by the end of our 30th week, looking to the final stretch of 6 more weeks…I want to mourn. Did they learn anything? Are they going to make it? What if I had to put them back in school, where would they go, how would they fare?
I have 3 middle school boys this year. Even today I can reflect back to those elementary years and think…”Darn, why didn’t I have more fun, do more crafts, learn outside more?” I can easily get discouraged because well… “Now we’re so close to high school that we can’t have fun and goof off! – Oh well, I missed my chance to really rock this homeschool gig!”
Wow, we can really sabotage ourselves as homeschool Moms! I have to remind myself (or have other homeschool moms remind me) that what we do every day counts.
When I took my first boy out of school in first grade, I was a former high school teacher, and sadly I put that child through college that year! We were very academic, with a few fun moments (like reading The Family Under the Bridge – under a bridge in the winter). Fortunately for both he and I, he is very academic in his nature anyway…so he enjoyed sitting next to me doing all of his work and having me read to him!
Then I kept my little one out from even going into kindergarten the following year. Homeschooling him made me stretch a little and add a bit of fun to my year. We saw some plays, learned outside a bit, and I used M&Ms for math. Woohoo!
Finally, my oldest (twin) was the last to come home. He is on the autism spectrum; I really didn’t think I could help him overcome his obstacles. I removed him that following year in 2nd grade. I saw signs of him regressing in behaviors that we had already conquered. It was time for him to come home. Bringing him home was the best decision I made for him. However, I did (and still do) think, “Why did I wait so long? Could things have been different if I had brought him home earlier? Did I make a mistake by bringing him home? (that is a question I ask when he is having a rough day!) Sad isn’t’ it? How we second guess ourselves all the time? Maybe I’m the only one who does that.
If I calm my heart when I come to those dialogues with myself, and if I just sit and listen to my boys when they are building Legos, playing at the park or are engaged in a serious game of monopoly – I find hope.
I hear laughter. I see them being helpful. They truly care about each other and look out for one another. I’m reminded that I’m raising men, husbands, and fathers. So when I glance back and evaluate my year, if I didn’t hit my 36 weeks of lessons, if we didn’t read every read aloud or do every science experiment or even complete the math curriculum…there are the things I must remember:
- The times we sat on the couch with popcorn at 8:15 am watching Chariots of Fire together,
- The times we woke up at 4:30am to watch the “blood moon” or the sunrise,
- Times when I was sick and my boys made me breakfast and lunch, and took care of me,
- The time my boys stood by their grandmother and said goodbye and laid hands on her and prayed for her as she passed into Heaven’s gates,
- Trips to Disney World when everyone else is stuck behind a desk at school, we rode the ride in Epcot’s Mexico,
- The time we counted all the parks we could visit in one day,
- Baking cookies, and pies, and getting little handy man jobs and working on their entrepreneurial spirit,
- Being home for Dad the day he got laid off, how those boys wrapped loved around their Dad…
These are the things we must use to measure success.
Lisa has been blogging since 2006 and her blog entitled: The Journey of Superhero Mom was chosen to be featured in a Mom’s Who Blog article a few years back. Lisa has authored a workbook for middle school children to accompany an adventure series and is in the process of editing a devotional that she has written. She is a passionate lover of Jesus and has used the gifts God has given her by serving in women’s ministry for over 20 years. She also loves to bake, especially cookies, and has another blog where she shares her recipes – Krypton’s Kitchen. Be sure to follow her on Twitter and Facebook too!
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