Friday, February 24, 2017

Why Homeschool?

Why Homeschool?

When asked "why" we homeschool, a flood of reasons come to heart and they have been shaped in time through a conviction and the experience of graduating 3 of our 5 children thus far.  It's a tugging on our  hearts and hard to summarize into a simple explanation, but I will attempt to put this feeling into words.

1.  Because we felt a "need" to homeschool - 

This didn't come easily to us.  We had a child in school and the struggle was real.  She didn't fit the mold of the classroom dynamics.  She was gifted, bored, and sadly we watched a child hate the learning process.  Books were no longer exciting adventures, but tormented homework.  Playtime was lost. Over time, this "need" to homeschool has grown into a conviction.  We believe that it is our responsibility as parents to educate beyond just reading, writing, and arithmetic.  There is the heart that needs faith, hope, love, and grace.

2.  Because our children are teaching us!

It's an amazing concept, but they have the ability to gift us a special way to see life through the eyes of a child.  A child-like faith, wholeheartedly, is part of the gift they show us each day and backed by Scripture.
"...unless you change and
 become like little children,
you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 18:3

I'm trying to see the world through a child's eyes and it is amazing when we slow down enough to see all the sweet lessons of life unfolding through our children.

3.  Because application of what is taught is vital to remember and needs to be used.

There is no point in learning something if you don't know how to apply it.  While memorization is a excellent tool, the ability to learn how to learn and use what you learn is something I value more than the rote ability to quote something.   Hands on!  Hearts on!  Apply the lessons in real life together as a family.

4.  Because the world is our classroom.

School gets labeled as basically the only place of learning that is supposed to be - suggesting that a specific age is grouped together and that learning only takes place in this structured environment with desks and chairs and teacher up front.  I believe that learning takes place everywhere, all the time.  Opening the heart and mind to a love of learning brings wisdom beyond what can be taught in a building.  Learning can take place on a nature walk, visiting a neighbor,  snuggled under a blanket reading books, in the kitchen measuring out ingredients, listening to a grandparent's history, or just having a conversation together over tea.  Children should also be taught how to learn and not just told what to learn.  They are naturally curious and will often learn more if we step back a little and allow this curiosity to grow.  Wander beyond the building and let them step out and explore.

"An observant child should be put in the way of things worth observing."  ~Charlotte Mason

5.  Because it is our responsibility to know what/when our children learn

Over the years there is a lot of conflict among materials taught in school that inherently are contradicting our beliefs.  For us, the concept such as creation vs. that over evolution was one area, but this is actually minor in the whole scope of morals/lifestyles and oftentimes the outside influences presented by teachers or peers are with the absence of any faith.  Our purpose in life is completely stripped without the Biblical Truths.  Something that was once important in founding the educational system and recited daily in pledge as "one nation under God" is sadly gone.  Non existent.  We personally feel that we are held accountable in raising our children.  How could we send them away for hours a day and give up this responsibility and not know exactly what is being taught to mold their young impressionable minds, let alone the greater burden of their precious hearts.  We can't.

6.  Because learning is not rushed.

The knowledge that comes from slowing down and mastering a concept is undeniably important.  Home Education gives us the time we need to assure that our child has a true understanding behind the lessons.  We can slow down when needed and work on a area that is a struggle or get lost in a really good book reading for hours together.

7.  Because we want to instill a love to keep learning!

Learning shouldn't stop just because a diploma is issued.  It should continue and with a burning desire to learn more because one wants to learn more.  Love it and don't lose it!  Embrace creativity and imagination.  Enable them to dream!

My heart wants to guide my children in the ways of the Lord. It’s the place I silently whisper my prayers and seek advice to stay focused. My heart is filled with love, creative juices, and gentle learning. I store the Scriptures deep within the crevices and hope they pump outwardly in every action as an example for my children to see.  My heart is their schoolroom.

We call our schooling method “HeartSchooling“.

What is HeartSchooling?

In the words of our dearly loved and greatly missed Missey Gray*:
It is more than just “schooling” — more than imparting academic knowledge to our children. It is so much more.

In all our homeschooling efforts, let us not forget our children’s hearts. Let us tie many heart-strings — the more the better — through daily interaction, creating special memories, binding our children to us through love and caring. And let us not forget to guide their hearts toward the Lord, to set their hearts and minds on things above.

The academics are important, but the heart-set is even more so. That’s why I like to say that we are “HeartSchooling” — it puts my focus back where it ought to be and helps me keep my priorities straight.

I hope you will come to enjoy my little blog. I will post more as I can. 
 Keep loving on your little people!
*Unfortunately HomeschoolBlogger took down their site and Missey's words are gone in writing, but have been etched upon my heart forever.

~I'm loving on my little people!

Friday, February 17, 2017

One Word 2017 - {Restore}

For many years, I've chosen a Word of the Year that I try to study and embrace.  In December, I usually start my quest to find "the" word.  I received a special package and in it had a book called The Year of Cozy.   I jumped at the the thought of the word cozy.  I imagined warm blankets and flickering candles and the warmth that this word would bring.  But as I pondered it more, it didn't feel like this was the right year.  After so many years of trials, I knew I wasn't in the place to find cozy without some things being restored first.  

The word restore kept coming to heart in the following days and weeks.  I always do a Scripture search while I am choosing my word and when I came across 1 Peter 5:10 it really spoke to my heart.  It spoke of suffering, the gift of grace and the restoration to Him - the confirmation, the strengthening, and the establishment.

I knew that restore was my one word for the upcoming year!

I've already been applying the word in my life.  I am deep in thought and seeking this path of restoration - not only for my health, but in so many areas of my life that have suffered - health, homeschool, our home, our fellowship and worship, and so much more.  I see I not only want the word restore to permeate deeply,  but I need the word restore to be active and productive in my life.  

I never know where my word of the year will take me, but I am looking forward, with excitement, to what restore will bring this year.

My past words are often still part of my life.

2009 ~ Compassion ::we've been sponsoring through Compassion ever since!::
2010 ~ Yearn ::I wanted more of God's guidance in so many areas -- still do!::
2011 ~ Tomorrow ::it always holds the memories of today!::
2012 ~ BeLoved  ::I needed to accept things as they were::
2013 ~ Abundance  ::I saw so much abundance and saw areas having too much::
2014 ~ Be still  ::I needed patience -- oh a struggle to embrace at times::
2015 ~ Nourish ::"I" had good intentions for this word, but God had better plans to nourish me differently ... spiritually.  This required SLOW -- exactly where He wants me to be now.::
2016 ~  Slow ::a year + unfolded with so many "beauty full" moments::
2017 ~  Restore

Pouring out my heart . . . like water

Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord!

New beginnings to familiar rhythms.   A blank slate, but with remnants of erased chalk dust.  I begin here now, with what has been placed heavily on my heart.  A small hidden blogging cove full of the inner pieces of my heart and days.  A place to leave a legacy of memories for those I love.  Our stories.  My letters of love.

I begin by kneeling and lifting my hands in prayer . . .

Dear Heavenly Father,

I lift my hands and heart to You.  I am so grateful for the gift of being able to write these words for my family.  May I pour out my heart like water before Your presence and lift my hands for the lives of my children.  I seek Your guidance to keep me grounded and trusting You with my days.  Please help me be the wife that honors my husband.  I'm weary; physically, spiritually, and emotionally.  I know that only by Your strength, I can endure.  Sometimes, I'm scared.  It's hard being a wife, mama, homeschool teacher, and grandma.  And even harder to wear all these hats and transition between them often.  I humbly ask for You to be gentle with me because I know I need to improve in all my roles.  

I thought as I got older and wiser things would get easier, but life is constantly changing.  I can feel my own pain, but also the pain of others close to me.  I can only imagine the pain You felt as You hung on that cross.  Thank you for carrying that cross for the undeserving - me.  I reverently accept Your gift of eternal life and want to instill this in the hearts of my children.

The gifts you've given me are only little for so long and I yearn to do the best that You have called me to do.  I know that Your plans are always better than mine.  Help me trust this.  Help me trust You more.  

Most importantly, help me seek You every day and pour out my heart like water. 

~In Your presence,


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