Wednesday, September 16, 2015

In which I regain my Sanity

School started over a month ago.  The teens are immersed in the crazy busyness of their new school (They love it but, y'all...the homework.  Yes, I have asked more than once "Are you SURE this is what you wanted???")  My younger ones are home with me and we are having an AMAZING homeschool year.  I am in love with our new curriculum and they are progressing well, thank the Lord!  But there is one teensy problem:
I have had ZERO alone time.
Homeschooling all day, helping with homework at night, and teens who think sleep is for sissies have turned this happy extrovert into a girl in desperate need of NO ONE TALKING TO ME FOR JUST FIVE MINUTES.
Ok, maybe an hour.

Enter...the enrichment program.
This, my friends, is the golden child of all homeschooling inventions.  You see, on Wednesdays, I have from 9am until 2pm ALL BY MYSELF.
Can you say recharge?  Because that is EXACTLY what I am doing!
I am writing a book.  A BOOK!  It feels so good to settle into a comfy chair at our local coffee shop with my computer and type away.  This is the best therapy in the world for me!
Now don't misunderstand the sentiment here...I by no means want to be alone every day.  I love my children more than life and teaching them brings such joy and satisfaction to my heart.  But every mama needs a break and, by the grace of God I am getting it every Wednesday.
Praise the Lord and pass the creamer!


I wanted to share with you what we are using this year.  It is our sixth year of homeschooling but my first time to use a "boxed" curriculum.  We are using Heart of Dakota Preparing Hearts for His Glory with the extension pack for my 10 year old to make sure she is appropriately challenged.  It is truly a wonderful curriculum with each day's lessons clearly laid out and scripted (read: idiot-proof) and it ties history in beautifully with Scripture, helping the kids see the Word of God in context with the culture in which it was written.  It also covers science, art, poetry, vocabulary and Bible and gives them lots of practice with narration and copywork.  I honestly wish I had started using it years ago, but I kept listening to the "boxed curriculum" naysayers.  Lesson learned.
My 10 year old uses Teaching Textbooks for Math, supplemented with Life of Fred and Timez Attack math drills.  (Go to for more info on the Timez Attack game.  It is amazing!)  For English she uses Rod and Staff and is practicing her cursive with Handwriting without Tears.
For my 3rd graders, along with Heart of Dakota, they are doing both Language Arts and Math using Time 4 Learning.  (  This has been a godsend because both of them have different learning struggles (auditory/visual processing) and Time 4 Learning address the topics from so many different angles that they are both GETTING it. I am also supplementing their math with Life of Fred and Timez Attack drills. They do Spelling U See lessons after lunch and are learning cursive using Handwriting Without Tears.  For my guy who struggles with spacial reasoning and letter reversals, cursive is proving to be a JOY.  His Occupational Therapist had told me it might help him and it truly has.  Even though we are only a handful of letters into cursive, he already wants to write EVERYTHING in cursive!  Yay for enthusiasm!

So here I am, organized.  What the heck?  When the year began, I felt like I was flying by the seat of my pants.  Adjusting to school drop-off and pick-up along with all the busy things that teens want to do while homeschooling three kids has had me feeling like my head was spinning.  I think I am just now beginning to come up for air.  But even though it might be only for a day here and there, it sure feels good to breathe.  Do I miss homeschooling them all?  Yes and no.  The older ones did not like it, did not want it, and our relationship depended on me being able to let go and let them go to school.  Yes, it is much harder than they thought it would be and their organizational skills apparently did not get well-honed during their homeschooling years.
But the blessing is that they are smart and able and the struggles they have now, my sweet husband reminds me, are part of God's refining process in their lives.  (And, to be perfectly blunt, in ours!)   It is a lot to navigate and I too easily let the important things (like time in God's Word) slide when life gets too busy.  But today, on this Wednesday that I have alone, the Lord whispered to me to come away with Him.
So I did.
And it is here that He reminds me that He is my children's Heavenly Father. He is the one who gives them knowledge and wisdom.  They are being molded by Him and their success and/or failures are not a reflection on me or my parenting.  I can neither take responsibility nor credit for the adults they will become. I can only point them to Jesus and try my best to model a healthy walk with Him while falling on my knees in prayer to the One who IS responsible for who they will become.
That is freeing, folks.  Look what God says:

Isaiah 26: 3-4...You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.

Daniel 1:17-As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had an understanding in all visions and dreams.

It is all on Him.  I am just one of many tools the Lord will use in the lives of my children.  May He be glorified in their lives.