Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Intimidation mounts gradually as the grades tick by for homeschoolers. For some reason people don't question much that we can teach a child to read or master basic math. With middle school comes a new set of questions -- how do you know enough to teach your kids?
Are you really smarter than a 5th grader?
High school pounds this home with explosive intensity. Really? You really think you can teach Latin or Spanish, and Calculus, and Physics, and Government, and science labs, and research papers? You really think your child can go to college having never stepped foot in a traditional classroom? All with YOU as the primary teacher?
Well, yes, in fact, I think so. Maybe.
Although my passion for homeschooling doesn't waiver, my confidence in myself took a serious nose-dive.
After much prayer, we decided to press on. The benefits of enrolling in a traditional school were nearly non-existent in comparison to homeschooling, so we tried our hand at freshman year.
Honestly, that was a hard year. Really hard in some ways. This man-child inches past me in height, and in some academic subjects as well. We communicate differently, learn differently, and excel in different areas. I had to learn to capitalize on the weaknesses that hovered between us.
At the end of freshmen year I had almost had it. I felt like we were driving a hundred miles an hour -- in opposite directions. Then, something snapped.
It came right after I decided to just give up on really trying and just coast to graduation. My husband caught me in that one. A godly, loving parent could never push that ejector seat button and just bail out.
So, I pulled back and prayed. and prayed. and prayed.
On a calmish day I sat down for a real heart-to-heart with my newly 15 year old. I dug in, searching for the deep waters that Proverbs says the heart holds. I found them. God met us there and everything changed directions.
I saw his respect for me visibly improve. I felt my love for him surge. We could carry on in a productive, God-honoring way. And I almost missed it.
I almost gave up, put him on the bus, sent him off somewhere, anywhere. But God. God spoke through my wise husband and pulled us all back together again.
Now, a year later, I cannot tell you the gratitude that I have for this past year. He asks for advice. We discuss college and courses of study. Such an exciting time! First job, college applications, placement exams, seeing the fruit of all these years, and even the pressing through those tough days and seasons.
Don't miss this time in your teen's life, or even another 6-8 hours a day of it. They'll already have work and volunteer opportunities likely pulling them away now and then, we don't need them gone for school on top of that.
Dream together. college, jobs, careers, relationships.
Discuss it all. I treasure the real life conversations we have now. No more imaginary, if I could fly or why is the sky blue talk. Now we talk about real things. The nightly news, deep biblical doctrines, international politics, church government issues, caring for orphans, and all kinds of other meaty topics that come up because we live life together.Yeah, there's still board games and laughing through Balderdash and family movie night, and so many other fun moments, too, but life is still full of teachable moments.
I had no idea I would enjoy this season as much as I do. And, I get to go through this five more times. :)