Tuesday, January 16, 2007

He restores my soul

I want to thank those who waded through yesterday’s extremely long and somber post. I also want to apologize if I sounded anti-homeschooling, because I’m not. I am so proud of you who are in the trenches, and pray God’s blessing on your efforts. And for those of you who are seeking help - in whatever form that may be - I commend you.

God honors even the most broken vessels uplifted to Him. I am living proof of that. He is restoring my relationship with my oldest daughter, which was characterized by antagonism not helped (as I´d hoped) by being together 24/7. She hugs me regularly and tells me she´s glad I´m her mom, and I sense her heart, slowly, being drawn to seek Christ (in fact, she´s the one child who regularly asks when we will be homeschooling again, ¨Because I just like being with you, Mom.¨). He has kept my marriage safe. My children (amazingly) are not illiterate, and in fact, are all very responsible students. He took the best of the homeschooling years, and let that be what they remember most - the readalouds, the snuggling, and the special times we shared. They don´t remember my prolonged periods of angst, and I´m thankful.

My heart is heavy as I´ve read and re-read through the comments. I know there are others with unspoken regrets about the past, and fears about the future.

And yet I know He is faithful, even when we are not. He is ready to forgive, ready to restore, ready to offer hope, even when it seems hopeless.

Won´t you reach out to Him?

So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the LORD your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.

Joel 2:25-26, NKJV

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Katherine, As a mom who has always sent her kids to public school, I don't understand why anyone would feel guilty about transitioning from homeschool to public.
Although our 2 went to all public, we knew before kindergarten that our school district used the dreaded "whole language" method. We bought a homeschool reading program from Calvert School and did it at home. So, at least for reading our kids were home and public schooled.
They both learned to read, at home, at age 4. We also had them write and illustrate self-created story books for the first few years of school at home on the weekends. Math seemed to come easily for both.
Now they are 6 and 8th grade, and we check all homework each night. We make up quizes on math or anything where they need extra help. Both are straight A students in the advanced groupings.
I think you have to access your public schools and your kids to determine what they need. From our experience I definitely think one on one teaching from a parent is really valuable in the youngest age groups as the pace is really fast at public schools where we live (Annapolis, MD).
I have a co-worker who lives in NC, and his wife has homeschooled exclusively 2 kids. He told me the public schools where he lives are terrible, and private school would be $20,000 per year for the two kids. His kids get tested each year to ensure they are on grade level. He also said that in the higher grades there are classes that can be taken on line.
I don't see why anyone would feel bad about either choice as long as it is the best choice for the child at that time in their life.

TaunaLen said...

So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the LORD your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.

Joel 2:25-26, NKJV

I needed to hear this scripture today. We raise our children in reverence to God, and teach them to choose life (and the things that bring life.) What do we do, when as (barely) adults, they don't choose to obey God. I am praying, and praying, and loving and communicating that love, and praying some more. I am hopeful that God's mercy will protect my child until she decides to come to herself and choose the things that bring life. This passage of scripture reminds me of His restoration power after repentance. I can hope now that she will experience this restoration, too.

I am new, but really enjoy reading your site. Thanks for being an encouragement to me, today.

~TaunaLen

Katherine@Raising Five said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beck said...

Oh Katherine! What a gracious post! I don't think you sounded anti-homeschooling at all yesterday.

Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

I have no idea what we are agoing to do when we get there...

marian said...

Thanks for this post. Restoration... homeschooling... this is where I am. My eldest has autism and learning disabilities, and in this past year has sunken into no longer wanting to live, violent episodes at school, and big anxiety issues, along with some very aggressive spiritual attacks coming at him. In November, it became apparent that school was no longer an option. Now I am homeschooling this extremely needy child, while my 2 and 3 year olds are also at home, and my other child is at school. He is at home to *heal and be restored*. And he is here so that he can form a stronger attachment with his mom who loves him... and yet, from the sheer stress of my days with all that I'm dealing with, some days the best I can say is that they are over. I fear at times that instead of being an instrument of God's healing I will, in my sinful humanity, end up tearing him apart with my own hands!

Grafted Branch said...

I love that verse..I named by blog for it!

I'm off to read what all the "angst" was about...

Deborah and Sally said...

Great post, very encouraging !!
Deborah

Anonymous said...

Well, you may not choose to post this, but I don't look at homeschooling as being "in the trenches". I cannot imagine spending my day any other way than teaching, enjoying, and talking with my children.

I beleve if you look at the verses in Deut. 6 you can't choose any other way. I believe that it is God's plan for the family for the parents to be teaching their children and spending their days together. As for the moms that are "burnout", I would encourage them to go to the source of our strength. he who calls us to something will equip us as well. We have been homeschooling our 8 children since the beginning. At first it WAS hard, but when I tried to do it my self without seeking God's help, it became even harder. Once I turned it over to Him, I found that it was easy. His yolk is easy and His burden is light. I think there are moms out there who want it all and you just can't do it all. That's when they get burned out. It really doesn't have anything to do with homeschooling. It is laying down our wants to meet the needs of others and to do what is right for our family.

I have read your blog for a few months now and your life looks really hard. I cannot imagine doing what you are doing. You seem to be "in the trenches" with all of the shuttling of children and keeping up with their activities and school. I would encourage you to re evaluate your decision and pray and ask God if this is really the life He has for you and your precious children.

I mean no disrespect, but I felt that I had to give my opinion here. It saddens me to see anyone quit homeschooling.

Cindy

Anonymous said...

I forgot to say that if there is anyone out there that is thinking about quitting homeschooling or thinking about starting, I would love to help you in anyway I can. I consider it a priviledge to help any moms that are struggling and share with them what God has shown and done for me and my family. Feel free to email me anytime.

Cindy
colearmy@yahoo.com

Katherine@Raising Five said...

Hi Cindy,

Thanks for your comment today. I really appreciate it and I hope there will be some other moms out there who will contact you for help in what can be a fruitful and rewarding journey.

Again, my intention is not to debate methods of schooling, which I like to differentiate from the Deuteronomy call to raise our children to love God and obey His commands. I went to traditional, non-Christian schools, and there was no doubt in my mind growing up that God was real and that I wanted to live my life to serve Him. My sister's kids have been exclusively public schooled, two of whom are in college now, and are wholly devoted Christ-followers. My children have experienced both, and so far they seem to be turning out alright!

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the method is not a guarantee, nor a substitute for a relationship toward our children that reflects Christ.

My point in sharing my experience is to let others know they are not alone, and that help sometimes comes in a form different from what we expect. I also feel we need to support each other's decisions, which are incredibly complex. To take circumstances (the "dirty word" in Christian circles), desires, support systems, personalities, and children's, Mom's, and even a dad's needs into consideration when choosing an option may not sound spiritual, but it is a fact of life. It is also a fact of life that we are not all at the same place, spiritually or in any other way. That's what I love about God. He takes us where we are and can be glorified in spite of our frailties.

Thanks again for your insight. As I suspected when I thought about posting my experience, there would be some who would disagree, and that's okay.

However, since the purpose of my blog is not debate, I will close the comments, although you are free to email me privately, as long as you understand debate is not an option!!

Blessings on your sweet family.

Chris said...

Katherine,
As usual, your graciousness shines through! And again my heart resonates with this post as well. I would love to sit and talk over tea if that were possible. I appreciate your honesty in everything.
Thank you for sharing for those who need this most!
Blessings,
Chris