This post is for me.
I want to remember this post when the school days get hard, the crafts get messy, and the time between waking up and going to sleep are a blur. This will be a good reminder of the Lord's faithfulness to me when I asked, "What's next?" and 'Lord, are You sure??" ;)
Savannah asked me several, several months ago to teach her how to read. We competed in our local library's reading contest last summer and read over 110 books together. She continually asked me to read another book and after we read them, over and over again, and I would beg for a break, Savannah would keep flipping through the pages, looking at the pictures, and making up her own story. That's when the first thought of teaching Savannah myself crossed my mind.
I really just wanted to teach Van how to read, maybe do a few math problems together with the toys that were already out on the floor. Nothing major. Definitely not in place of public school..
And then, I began to pray.
First, I met a friend at story time who was currently homeschooling her 4 small children. She generously offered to show me her books, her supplies, her methods. There was also a woman in our lifegroup that had homeschooled her 3 children and was eager to show me how she did it! It was the jump start I needed to seriously consider homeschooling and I began researching different curriculums. Wade, surprisingly, was immediately on board. He wants our children to know and love Jesus more than anything and if this was where the Lord was leading, then what were we waiting for? I also talked to my mom, sisters, and closest friends, all of whom were so supportive and encouraging! Finally, I had this strange unrest in my spirit. I longed to be a teacher again. I missed it! I had a horrible first year of teaching so you would think I would never want to go back.. and I don't! But the thought of getting to read children's books and add cookies together and make leprechaun pudding with my own children while learning about colors and shapes and animals.. well, the idea was intriguing, to say the least!
Still, I was nervous. Was I qualified?? Did I know enough to teach my daughter everything she needed to know for kindergarten?? I have 3 babies who all still need a lot of Mommy time! How would I find the time to homeschool?! Turning it over to the Lord one night, I prayed this prayer, "God, if homeschooling is what you would have me do, make it so obvious, so clear. I want to explicitly know this desire is from You! If you want me to homeschool, you will have to put it in my hands. Literally. In my hands."
Three days later, at lifegroup, the same woman who had talked to me about what it was like to homeschool her 3 children came to me with a stack of papers and while placing them into my hands, she said, "I just thought you might be interested in seeing this... I printed out for you the Top 2013 Homeschooling Curriculums." Ahhhhhhh!! Without anyone knowing the prayer of my heart, the Lord had answered.
I immediately nailed down my favorite curriuculums and after researching for days, I picked one that was quite repetitive on the Top Curriculums list... the Alpha Omegas publication, Horizons. Not only was it a best-seller, but it had won several awards for its advanced lessons. I was excited and eagerly awaited for it to arrive. As soon as the box got to the door, I tore into it! Seriously, it was like Christmas at our house! Everyone was screaming and jumping and squealing... you know how we do! :)) However, our excitement quickly turned to dismay when I looked through the workbooks. This wasn't for kindergarten... this looked like my third grade curriculum in public school!!! I started to panic. Like Peter, I took my eyes off of Jesus and what He had clearly asked me to do, and became overwhelmed by the waves, pages after pages of hard concepts. Telling time, making change, regrouping.. and that was just in the first workbook. How in the world was I supposed to do this with my four year old?!
Again, I cried out to God, this time with a little more doubt in my heart than before. "God, are You sure? Did I miss something?? There is no way.. Please, please help me! Whatever way You choose, whatever that looks like, help me.. and help me to recognize that help when it comes!!" You know what happened, right?? Within 24 hours of that prayer, my precious neighbor, who is a first and second grade teacher (!) was at lifegroup and I mentioned to her how some of the workbook concepts were so very difficult and I just didn't know if Savannah was ready for them. Kelli asked to see the workbooks and immediately began saying, "Oh! Here is a game you can play to teach that!", "Here is a song to teach this!", "Here's an idea to teach that... this really works well for my students!" It was like a breath of fresh air! A peace that surpasses all understanding! She encouraged me, counselled me, and advised me in different methods of teaching the content, making the whole curriculum seem so much more do-able, so much more approachable to me. It was confirmation of the clearest kind.
Lastly, I read the most amazing book called, "When You Rise Up," by R. C. Sproul, Jr. If there was any doubt left in my heart, it was completely erased after reading this book. I know that I am qualified to teach my kids, because God gave me kids. I'm a parent; therefore, I am a teacher. I want my children to know, recognize, and love the enemy without becoming the enemy. I will render unto Caesar what is Ceaser's... but my children are not his. They are God's and I will render my children unto Him. I don't know what the future holds for us but I look forward to documenting this new road the Lord has called me on. I can say with absolute certainty that I have been called to homeschool Savannah for kindergarten and I'm thankful that the Lord already knows the plan He has for us, plans to give us hope and a future.
My God has called me to this. My God will see me through.