"We are all handmade people created by a God who is not safe or small." Rend Collective Experiment

Friday, September 20, 2013

Lessons for the Teacher~

We started school a few weeks ago and someone was a little excited to do his new Pre-K book.

Could we bottle this exuberance and excitement for the next 13 years?

It seems like just yesterday that I was starting our schooling journey with this guy . Now he is in his second year of college. I am not sure how time goes by so very quickly, but it surely does.

I hope I am a little wiser than I was in those early days of homeschooling. I am so very far from knowing it all, but there are some lessons I have learned along the way.

1. God is faithful.
-He is so very faithful to provide what we need for each and every day. I have spent too many days worrying about tomorrow and it's needs instead of being thankful for the provisions He has provided for this day. I need to rest and trust in Him. He is faithful to provide "Daily bread".

2. I am not patient.

-If you are a homeschooler you have no doubt heard the phrase from someone else, "I could never do that, I just don't have the patience." Well, the truth is I don't have the patience either. In my flesh, I am not a patient person. That is why each day I must walk in the Spirit. In the Spirit I have patience. When I am walking with Him and He is working through me He gives me all the equipping I need to do the task He has called me to do. That is why each day I must be in His Word, in prayer, and worship.

3. Some days are hard.

-There are many, many glorious homeschooling moments. Seeing a child take off in reading is one of my very favorite things about teaching. It's wonderful. There are days when the science experiments are fun and educational, and the multiplication tables roll off the third grader's lips effortlessly. There are days where you read aloud outside, and the sun is shining, and the wind is blowing, and all is right in the world.

There ARE days however when learning and teaching are just hard. There are days when you and your child put your nose to the grindstone and "Just Do It". That is o.k. That does not make you or your child a failure. I know I always felt horrible when learning became hard for a child. However, I have learned that learning hard things is a part of schooling. Learning to push through is a skill that your child needs to learn. There is a sense of satisfaction when you learn to master that which once seemed impossible.

4. Some of the greatest lessons are not taught from schoolbooks.

-There are days and moments when the greatest thing you can do is to close the books. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight" Proverbs 3:5-6. These verses are so well known to me that I don't even have to think about saying them. They roll off my lips, and I can finish them without thinking. I have taught them to our children. Do I really know them and believe them and what they are? They are me asking God to write my schedule. There are days when friends and family are going to need me to rearrange my life to serve them, pray with them, sit with them at the hospital, bring them a meal, get on my knees for them. I must be open to the fact that some days God has another plan than my neat little schedule, and I need to embrace it.

5. The Homeschool Catalog(Pinterest) Family has their moments too.

-When we started homeschooling the internet was not all that it is now. We relied mainly on homeschool catalogs for information. Inevitably, those shiny catalogs would come in the mail and there would be pictures of happy families, dressed in matching outfits, gathered around the kitchen table, in an oh so immaculate kitchen..Oh, homeschooling looked so neat and tidy.

Today we have Pinterest, and other social media, where people share pictures of their finer homeschooling moments. I love this! It's great to see people enjoying their lives and their days, and their children. However, I must keep in mind it is a brief snapshot of their day. They also have moments where there are books and papers strewn about, and where one child can't find a pencil, and another is daydreaming out the window instead of doing his schoolwork.

6. I have to be careful of the people I let speak into my life.

-In the early years of homeschooling I spent a lot of time listening to convention speakers, and reading books by homeschooling experts.

-I would have told you that I was an "Eat the watermelon and spit out the seeds" kind of a reader. However, I will confess that some of those seeds that I thought I spit out actually got lodged, and took root. There are a lot of people with ideas and concepts that they feel should embody the lives of all Believers, especially homeschoolers. I need to follow the Holy Spirit and not another person.

7. I am thankful. I am so glad God has allowed me on this journey. It is a blessing each and every day. I am thankful He is still teaching me, because I have so much left to learn.

I will be your God throughout your lifetime—
until your hair is white with age.
I made you, and I will care for you.
I will carry you along and save you. Isaiah 46:4


Robin's Reports said...

Beautiful Renee. Thank you for sharing all that.

Mama of 5 said...

I LOVE this!! I don't homeschool but I think these same bits of wisdom apply to being a mama. Beautifully said.


Mama Ds Dozen said...

LOVE this post! My thoughts exactly . . .

Thanks for the encouragement, as we have actually picked up our school books for the first time today (after an educational month long cross country road trip last month).

This is my 23rd year of homeschooling. (There was no such thing as the internet when we began.) Whew! My youngest is in 6th grade this year, so I am "on the home stretch". :)

Blessings to you and the family!


Lisa H. said...

Not sure if you'll see this now, but could you tell me what handwriting curriculum your little guy is using in the top photo? It looks like something that might be good for my little girlie!

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this, Renee. I'm wondering, too, what Pre-K book your little guy is using. I'm needing something different for our girlie.