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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Did I mention I will soon be a Home-Schooling Mother!

Wow, so we made the decision months ago but I haven't written about it once. We will be home-schooling next year. This means I will be teaching 1st grade and Kindergarten to my two oldest kids while wrangling my 3 year old. Am I scared? OH YEA!! Do I feel absolutely convinced that this is what the Lord is calling our family to do at this season? Yes. Is it going to be hard? I would bet the farm on it!

I considered Home-schooling briefly when Rienne was an infant (hahaha I laugh to think of myself) before Rory came along 16 months later and rocked our world. As soon as I had spent a solid two years in confinement with my adorable droolers I thought better of the idea of locking myself up with them for the remainder of the next 16 years. By the time Ally came 23 months later I was sure I had my mind made up.

This year Rienne began Private Kindergarten at a school which has been wonderful. I have enjoyed the experience so much! Her teacher is a great lady who, God bless her, manages those 13 kids wonderfully. Rienne learned to read quite quickly and is a little bundle of awakening brain mass and a burgeoning genius. Dustin and I both agreed that it was only too easy to write a check every month (a big check, but more on that later) and have our precious girl come home reading like a champ!

I can hear you asking, "Why then jump ship and cross over to the home-school side?"

It's all God's fault! He is good though. He warmed me up to the idea of HS-ing first by introducing me to some awesome HS mom's and their kids, who impressed me a ton before I ever had a hint that the Lord was heading me in that direction. They weren't anti social freaks who dressed really badly and had horrible haircuts. Not kids who used Olde English words like forsooth every other sentence and certainly not kids who were without friends. I had previously pictured Napoleon Dynamite as the poster boy for HS kids which is so wrong I know (and yes I know, you ND fans, he went to public school, but it just fit in my mind)! Even a dear friend of mine and an avid opponent to ever HS-ing her kids went over to the HS camp! If she could do it, I could.

Next, almost too sad to admit, was MONEY. Money began what I call the "negotiation talks" with the Lord. It all started with the building campaign at church. We kept thinking that we'd have lots of money to contribute if we didn't have to pay tuition. Yes, those checks were big ones, as I said, and with Rory enrolling for Kindergarten for the '07-'08 school year tuition would have cost us nearly $11,000.00. Two years later with Ally joining the ranks we'd near $17,000.00 annually.

I heard you gasp!! I know, isn't that insane! I mean to tell you!!!! We have three kids and we'd like to have more, God willing. We have college to think about here! Estimates are that it will cost approximately $1,000,000.00 per student by the time they enter college. We sure wouldn't make any headway saving for college if we continued to dole out that kind of cash!

The "negotiation talks" began with me telling the Lord I would look into the whole HS thing for Him and get back with Him on it. I read everything I could find. I mean BIG, FAT books on the subject. I did online research which gave me data to lay to rest the argument that HS kids are socially defunct and ill-equipped to handle the real world when the enter the work force.

"Ok Lord, I will consider..... that is consider, HS-ing the girls BUT you have to be with me and bless me because I feel a nervous breakdown coming on!"

Then He pulled out the big guns! The reminder of how at around the beginning of the New Year He spoke to me about learning to serve my children in a greater way. About how I have failed, at times, to value my mission field as a mommy, always looking outside of my home for a way to make a lasting impact, instead of grasping that I hold the keys to impacting the future in my developing girls' brains.

"Oh, really? Are you sure that this is the way we gotta do it Lord?"

He assured my that "Oh yes! it is."

There are some serious character deficiencies in myself which I am beginning to feel the Lord zeroing in on. As He takes aim I feel almost at a panic. Like the apple I wrote about yesterday I sense this is gonna be a messy operation. Being a perfectionist I tremble at the thought of not getting everything absolutely perfect when we begin school. I know this is going to test my commitment to excellence as I will have to WORK HARD. No throwing in the towel if the first lesson goes terribly wrong.

This is Jen being a (gulp) Home-school mom. This is Jen trying to: Be BOLD Jen


Stacey said...

I think it's awesome Jen! What program are you going to use? Remember, I was Home-schooled for 4 years and look how I turned out. Well, maybe I'm not the best example you could use :-)

I think it's just great!!

Brooke said...

I think I have never heard someone have such a terrific thought process to turn to homeschooling. I plan on doing the same for my kids, and the older they get, the more nervous I am. But I look at many that homeschool, and my hats are off to them. It is hard, but the reason that you choose to do it, is the reason that will keep you going. It is an unselfish act that calls for much more of us as parents that sometimes we don't expect. I think about my kids' hearts and how much God wants' their hearts. Wes and I have decided that we will measure our success as parents by how our children choose to walk with the Lord. I am as nervous as I am excited! God Bless You!