Just a couple of years ago if you would have asked me my thoughts on homeschooling I would have said, I thought it was nuts and that ALL children should be in school. I shouldn't be surprised that in the past two weeks when we have been out in public, I have had to field the question of why Luke isn't in school, but it has caught me off guard. I have been asked countless questions with varying intentions I am certain. I have had grocery store clerks ask why the boys aren't in school and then roll her eyes when I tell her we were done with school for the day because we are schooling at home.
Now, here is the thing...I am by nature people pleaser...all my life I have worried so much about what everyone else thinks, and this season in life is not allowing for that. We have had to stand firm on what we believe to be right for our family and just hold fast. We have had to think and rethink our position on things and we still believe without a shadow of a doubt that this is what is best for our family in this season. That is not to say that they won't return to public school and it isn't to say that they will. We have chosen to revisit the decision yearly and do what is best for each individual child. That is all we can do as parents right?
As a former teacher I was sure I would be a stellar teacher for my children and oh how they have humbled me. This homeschool stuff is not for wimps. It is constant and beyond exhausting. I have learned this week that I don't have to make "our school" look just like public school...in fact that kind of defeats what we are doing here. We have loosened up and though we re following the curriculum we are also focusing on experiences and not so many worksheets. :) I am learning more about my own kids and about myself than I imagined I would. I am finding that the Lord is refining me and pushing me beyond my limits in this and He is stepping in to fill the gap when I allow Him full reign.
This week has been such an improvement from last week. It is still hard. I am still barely awake by the end of the evening as I plan the next day's activities, but I can't describe the overwhelming sense of accomplishment and joy when I see progress with the kids. I have found that if I start my own day with asking Him to fill the inadequacies that are so glaringly obvious in me, and hitting my knees and asking for help the moment things start to get hairy, He is there, He steps in and He makes it right. Keeping God focused has helped my attitude go from, oh my word, "I feel like a pinball bouncing between three children barely having time to pee or have a moment's peace" to "Thank you Lord, for allowing me the opportunity to do this, to pour into their lives as you pour into mine. Thank you for your peace that is able to overcome all of the chaos and fill my heart with joy."
So, I wont lie and tell you the "Bolte School" is perfect, that tears aren't shed or that frustrations don't ever run high, but I will tell you that we are working on it...together, with Him and that He is refining and making beauty from a complete and utter mess...and for that...I am so VERY grateful.
I might also add that I am also so very grateful for the new friends He has brought into my life gradually over the past couple of years for this very season. While many are critical, I am so thankful for a group of friends who are right here in the trenches with us.