We’re getting ready to start the homeschooling season again. We have taken the longest break ever from directed teaching due to the boys arrival being mashed in with summer. We moved from more focused academics to more play and discovery. But I have to be honest, I’m really excited to start back into a more directed study time.
Big Guy started school last week so that forced us to become more regulated and routined. Honestly, I am really happy about that. I love Big Guy, but the entire dynamic and hyperactivity level of this household takes a shift back into our discovery norms when he’s at school. Our days kind of slow down and become more natural feeling to me. It becomes less about burning a kid out and more about discovering our world together. I feel more calm because there are more opportunities for quiet in our household and for this introvert that is really important to me. Odd that four kids can feel quiet, but it really is true – especially during the babies’ morning naps. Things allot themselves more naturally to sit-down teaching in the morning and hands-on learning in the afternoon.
But one of the things I look most forward to during this school year is returning to reading. Reading a book on my own. Our missions reading before nap times. Oh our snuggling reading on the couch has stayed consistent throughout the summer, but just the calm of enjoying a good read – that I look forward to so much.
It was nearly impossible to instill missions reading over the summer, sadly. Big Guy’s attention span is very, very short. And reading to the girls before nap time always left Big Guy out since sitting in the hallway between the boys and girls’ rooms rocking my nurser created a very fussy nurser that I nearly had to yell over to read. Yeah… less calming.
Rachael actually leapt for joy when I returned to my rocking chair with a missions book in hand at nap time. “YEAH! Mommy’s going to read missions novels to us again!” She couldn’t contain herself. I love that she remembers that about me. I love that she, at such a young age, is already enjoying longer chapter books. And I have noticed that since I stopped reading to the girls at nap time, my Abi’s vocabulary hasn’t built as quickly… and her annunciation just flat-out needs work. Funny but reading aloud to her will help a lot with those things as she is more accustomed to broad vocabulary and listens to my sounding out foreign city names.
But really, even if it had no educational piece to it…. I just love sharing that time with them. I love talking about what God has done in and through people. I love learning, myself! And it’s also a helpful gauge for telling if Rachael is ready to transition from naps. If she can stay awake for the full chapter, then she may not need a nap that day. See, reading has MANY benefits. 😉
I’ve decided to begin homeschooling after Hannah’s first birthday. Summer has been a little hectic and draining, quite honestly, despite the large amount of fun as well. So I’d like to feel ready. I’d like to include Rachael and Abi in decorating the homeschool wall. I’d like to solicit their ownership of their portfolios this year, decorating the cover and putting the dividers in. I’d like to settle into a routine of reading and more consistent morning naps for the babies and in many ways healing from a wonderful, but long summer of greater demands on me for the enjoyment of the kids. I’d like to read ahead in our curriculum, get hyped up and have everything settled really nicely before day 1. And the beauty of homeschooling is… we can do that. We can afford to start our school year whenever we’re ready. Truly ready.
I love homeschooling. It’s a passion of mine. No it’s not for everyone. Yes, it’s draining, but the investment is really an utter delight. I LOVE sitting beside my children and soaking in their worlds. I love discovering life with them. I love hearing the Scriptures return without void. I love praying over their math problems, piano lessons, and puzzle play. I just love doing life with them. And I love knowing precisely what they are learning, from the books to the social interactions to the Scripture. No, it’s not for the purpose of controlling them. It’s for the purpose of training a child in the way they should go… that God would bless their paths to be more straight. I just love being a missionary to my kids. Oh and I pray that light would overcome their darkness, in turn allowing them to be light to the world and sisters in Christ.
So thanks be to God, for this season of preparation. Preparation of our minds and our hearts and our souls for all that He will teach us this year
through the medium of homeschooling.