Friday, October 5, 2012

Homeschool Struggles—What Will They Remember?

My article From Barking to Fluency, Helping you Focus While Your Struggling Reader Figures It Out just came out in the new FREE October digital issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. In it I share a bit of our personal story with a few of my reflections regarding our reading struggles along with some reassurance that you might find helpful, some of which I learned in retrospect. If you have unanswered questions in this area, or are seeking help or guidance, I urge you to read my article and the many other inspiring articles in this issue.

No one wants their child to  hurt or suffer. It's tough to see your children struggle, and seeing them distressed and frustrated with learning (to any degree) can test your patience. And your emotions. Often, we lack understanding.

I think Jim Hensen had it right: 
 [Kids] don't remember what you try to teach them. 
They remember what you are.”  

Or who you are. 

Regardless of my child's particular need or situation, I have to ask myself: How did I present lessons? What were my priorities? How did I react? Did I show respect to them and others? Did I encourage? Was I truthful? Loving?

What will they remember? 
  • Yelling? 
  • Crying? 
  • Laughing 'til their guts hurt? 
  • Letting them have a say? 
  • Disagreeing with them?
  • Thanking God? 
  • Joking around?
  • Eating late dinners?
  • Unjust punishment?
  • Losing my cool?
  • Apologies?
  • Trying alternatives until something works?
  • Smiles and praises for a job well done?
  • Ignoring them?
  • Spending too much time on the computer?
  • Explaining things to them?
  • Making nourishing meals and yummy snacks?
  • Pushing too hard? 
  • Standing up for them?
  • Rejoicing and praying with them?

I don't know exactly . . .

They still speak to me, and sometimes want to be around me, and give me hugs. I think they know that my heart has always been in the right place, and though we've had our moments, love shines through and it lasts. 

We all make mistakes and hopefully learn something constructive along the way. Sometimes I've pondered . . .

Has homeschooling been the best thing for us?  

My husband and I think so, that's why we did it for so many years. And as much as I love homeschooling, and I'm missing it, there is also a relief in knowing that those formal homeschooling years are behind us now. There is a freedom that is exciting yet restful, but at the same time, as the home nest empties, I find myself worrying more about each of my sons—much more than I ever used to. 

The anxiety level has risen and I pray a lot these days.

 Hey, I used to be in charge! Me—the Momma Bear, and I had a pretty good eye on my cubs at almost every minute of the day. I no longer have that option, and let me tell you (or maybe I don't have to) it's HARD sometimes! That's where faith comes in and trust in God to keep them close to Him and help them (and me) through the rough spots.

I'm thankful for each of my sons and the ups and downs and the good and bad and all that we have shared over the years and I look toward the moments in the future where we'll link our hearts and minds together just like in the old days. And I hope they each have memories—of who I was—my character—and if it was good—that some has rubbed off—and most of what is remembered, will be worth remembering.

I don't know where you are in your homeschool walk of faith. Amid any struggles, I hope you are leaving good memories behind you.
"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life."
                                                       —Psalm 143:8 NIV
 Thanks for visiting me here today! Make each day count as the blessing it is!

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