Friday, September 12,2008
I just returned from being in Lilo's 2nd grade class all morning.
That was fun. I'm really loving this. It's going so great. I feel like a new person. I've been wanting to talk about how things have been and wrote a whole post about what had caused my slump last week, but once I wrote a bunch of it, I felt it was not edifying. The Lord convicted me that if I am confident in Him, and remember the way he has called me, I don't need to be dwelling on discouragement that came my way. So, I won't be posting that story....I'll be moving on joyfully.
I have been blessed by some affirmations for being in the schools in the past week. The first was a greater sense of how wonderful each of the teachers are for the kids. Superkid's kindergarten teacher is a perfect balance of sweet and expectant. She has expectations but is appropriately patient with her audience of 4-6 year olds. The other day I asked him what sound he learned today and he proceeded to tell me five different sounds. His handwriting is looking excellent and his numbers are near perfection. I am so relieved as I was worried about his writing being that he is left handed.
Lilo's teacher, who I just spent the morning with, is quiet, mellow, and extremely patient. She is creative and colorful. Lilo is doing so well in her class, and blooming amazingly. When I was schooling her it was like pulling teeth to get her to read to me. If she did read it would be a request to only read a chapter of one of those reader chapter books. Now, she comes to me and asks to read to me. She seeks me out to show all her work to me. Something changed there and it's for the better. She hugs and kisses me spontaneously all the time. It was like she just needed me to be mommy. She needed that haven to come home to in our relationship. Her homeschool mommy was always so tired to be mommy after the homeschool day. She is amazingly motivated by an outside teacher and is relieved to be out from the shadow of her sister.
That is another HUGE difference I have noticed. The younger two are blooming because they don't feel the pressure to be their older sister. Their sister has been reading since before school ever started. She read Narnia in Kindergarten on her own. No one ever "taught" her to read. That is a hard one to live up to as a little sibling. I never pressured them in homeschooling, quite the opposite. But sometimes things are sensed even if they are not spoken. Lilo seemed to be discouraged that she could not do what her sister did, so she dreaded it. Now, she is in a class of kids her age and is at the top of the class so she realized she is bright after all. She can read well after all, and so she is coming out of the shell.
Princess who has had most things come easy her whole life, has been challenged. Her teacher is just what she needs. One who is kind, but tough. When it's due, it's due. Pay attention to the directions because you won't be hearing them twice. If you loose your paper, you get a zero, so learn to be responsible. I am thankful that she is getting this at this time in her life because the world does not wait for you. I did a lot of a relaxed approach for her in homeschooling so that is why I'm saying these things are tough. It's hard to create that level of expectation at home because the world revolved around them more. This is so good for her and she is doing really well learning how to keep up.
Today I was in Lilo's class for the morning. They come in, and do a short exercise of writing a sentence from the board that needs to be corrected, and one set of fact families. From there they did handwriting and then went to their reading groups. Here Lilo leaves to go to another class that has a higher reading level and joins them for reading. Today they talked about the story they had been reading for the week and different things from the story they remembered. It was a narration form of comprehension which I was glad to see instead of paper quizzes or answering questions. Then, they broke into pairs and practiced reading the story to each other. This was proceeded by a lesson on manners in answering the phone politely and safely. Recess was at 10 and I turned the rope for Lilo and some of her friends to jump. When we came back in she was in her regular class and her teacher taught a fact families lesson. They folded their papers in eighths and picked 8 dominoes from the bucket and made them into fact families on their papers. I got to help a little and look over papers. Lilo was done first. If you get done early, you get to do a puzzle. About then, it was time for me to go get Superkid from kindergarten.
I love being able to sit in and see what they do. I love being able to meet the kids around them and learn their names. They are very eager to know you, especially the social girls.
As far as me at home, it has been so great to be wife, mommy, and housekeeper. I feel like it's a load I can handle. It goes up and down of course in difficulty, and some mornings getting to school are tough. We are so use to doing things when we get to them! Being on time for five days in a row is different and a good challenge for me. Amazingly, we have been up early just fine. It's been more of the things like loosing shoes at the last minute, or forgetting to brush your teeth when we are headed out the door all ready. Our lives before, that would be no big deal, you just wait, but now we have to be responsible, imagine that. :* I feel much more focused on the needs of my family and our relationships. More on that later.
Rick and I had a wonderful time home together yesterday morning while the kids were in school. We tackled some projects together for the kindergarten hours. In the afternoon, we had babysitting and went to lunch and then to see "The Dark Knight" which was really a great ride. I have more thoughts on that later if I can get to it.
During lunch I was sharing with Rick about something the Lord has been revealing to me. I had a big question on my heart the past two weeks that I wanted answers to.
What was it that made the difference with how kids turn out (along with God's sovereign plan). How is it that you can have families with kids in all different forms of education, exposure to the world, seclusion from the world, legalistic upbringing, laid back upbringing and so on and yet some kids turn out great and close to their parents, and others have no desire not only for the things of God, but for picking up the values of their parents. What was that differing element? I have seen all scenarios. The hardest for me to see is the families who's parents are very godly people, very driven to live lives for the Lord, and yet their children all are uncomfortable around them and don't feel convicted to carry on their parents convictions. They have been guarded from the world through homeschooling, given a great education and everything. Yet, the homeschooling element could not be the reason either because I know another family who has only homeschooled and yet their children love and truly respect their parents deeply. What is the difference? What is the key? Whether we take one method road or the other, what is the greatest goal to achieve the winning of our children's hearts to ourselves and to God? That is what I was asking God. He showed me some answers through the book of first Corinthians.