David and I decided a long long time ago...long before we had children, that we would be homeschooling whatever children God gave us. We both feel very strongly about this and we both believe that God has called us to this task for our family. Okay...so gone is the dream of dropping the kids off at school while I hurry to meet up with other Moms for coffee or shopping. Or run to the gym or to some other ME project...my project is Alyson and then Lili is right behind her. My job for the next 17 or so years will be to raise two wonderful women of God who will be productive members of society...ready to meet the task that God has waiting for them. I have no idea what God had planned for our two little miracles, but I want to be a part of it!!!
So, how do I accomplish it without burning them or me out??EASY...I don't!!! God will be in charge of this Little School House in the Sunshine State! I have prayed for God to show me, teach me, guide me, drag me, kick me...whatever he has to do to make sure these girls get what HE wants them to have from their education!!
God has shown me and continues to show me all the details a little bit along, but suffice it to say that we will not be "officially" starting until the fall. Aly will still be four and the state of Florida says that she doesn't have to be in school until she is 6, but she is more than ready. We are going to be spending the next few months getting everything ready to start. That includes gathering materials & curriculum, setting up our schooling area, and spending time one on one with Aly getting to know her learning style so we don't kill each other...um...I mean so we can get the most out our learning experience!! :-)
It was good that God layed that little gem on my heart, because I would have already lost my mind had we jumped on in like I orginally thought we would do!!
If you know anything about me, you know that I am quite the stubborn, hardheaded one. Well, Miss Alyson pulls out all the stops when it comes to being hardheaded...she is worse than me if that is possible!
I have learned something very interesting about how her little mind works...if she is working on something that she doesn't feel confident about or doesn't want to do, then she has this little game she plays. For instance, she is not very good at writing her "s's" or her "5's" yet. Well, she is better than she thinks, but she doesn't feel like she can do it well yet. So, when she is working on her own and she WANTS to write either an S or a 5, then she does it and that is the end of it. It isn't perfect, but it is darn good for a 4 year old!!! But, when WE are working on our "s's" or our "5's", then the game starts. "Mom, I'm not good at writing my s's yet." I tell her that she is getting better every day and that it takes practice and that I think she is doing a fine job!!! Well, she tries that one a few times and if I still make her do it, then we move on to the fun part. She suddenly, without warning is attacked by an Alien that makes her take all leave of her senses and she is utterly unable to hold a pencil in any remote way resembling a human who has any ability to write...whatsoever!!! It is hysterical!!! At first it threw me and I got very impatient with her and I kept persisting and drove myself nuts and got more impatient with her and ...well...David had to call me in the other room and rake me over the coals!!! "Um...dear...she is only 4...you can't act like that!!!" I was reminded of the scene in Night at the Museum when Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams) is talking to Larry (Ben Stiller...the nightwatchman) about the Monkey who is driving him crazy. Teddy says to him, "Who's evolved?! Who's evolved?!" Larry finally realizes that he is indeed the one in charge, not the monkey and he has to act like it.
So....I am the Mommy and the teacher...Aly is the one who is learning. I don't get to lose it, I don't get to act like an idiot...I get the honor of teaching my daughter and helping her to learn how to not be manipulative when she comes up against something she doesn't want to do...or doesn't understand ...or isn't good at yet. I get to teach her so many many life lessons through all of this...and learn a lot myself!!!
David and I get to raise more than just two well-trained minds, we get to raise two well-trained souls who are committed to the eternal work of their Heavenly Father!!
I have begun to understand it is not just about the facts and figures that I can pour into my children's brain, but it is about teaching them, daily, about how to worship their Heavenly Father!!
English is important, but the language of God is more important.
Communication is important, but communion with God is more important.
Life skills are important, but Eternal Life with Jesus is MUCH more important.
History is important, but their future in Christ is more important.
Math is important, but ...um...well ...anyway! Oh yeah...a cubit is 18 inches. I'm glad Noah knew math!!
I could go on, but suffice it to say that Homeschooling is taking a very important turn for us here at the Swindler household!!!
I am excited to see how God will lead us. As Aly and I sat and worked on her reading a little while ago, I was starting to dance in my seat thinking about how wonderful it will be for her to be able to sit and read her own bible and discover more of Jesus on her own!!! I want to look at everything subject we tackle that way!!!
~Father God...as we go through the next few months getting our homeschooling feet wet, please show us how to turn it all back around to how it effects our relationship to you!!!!! Show us how to make an investment in our children that will count for more than a college degree or a good job, but for a divine appointment with you in their life. So that they will be ready to meet the challenge you have set in motion for their lives!!! -Amen
Thank you God for the blessings that we WILL ALL get out of this experience!!!