Life Updates & Homeschooling!

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We’ve had a lot going on since school started!  We decided to start homeschooling with our oldest, to give him more freedom and a better environment to learn through adventure and doing.  His grades were excellent, all A’s and one 89 this last 9 weeks, but only getting to have 20 minutes for recess (which was sometimes not even outside if it was a little wet or cold), 25 for lunch, and sitting there for hours and hours just wasn’t working, he was starting to strongly dislike school – even though he was good at it!

I spent some time looking online to find if there were other boy moms who had solved this issue of their boys needing more time to play and learn through movement (and less teacher criticism), and found this woman’s amazing blog Building Boys!

Having 3 boys herself, Jennifer Fink intimately understands that being in the typical school environment, with all-female staff who sometimes don’t understand themselves how hard it is for boys and label them “problem children,” can break a boy’s spirit and make him not even want to try at academics in the later years.

Perhaps needless to say, spending seven hours in a day an environment that squelches his natural instincts and disrespects his interests has not exactly engendered a love of education in my lad.

Two years ago, his re-entry after winter break was so tough for him – and so heart-breaking for me – that I wrote a Washington Post essay worrying about the effects of school on his spirit. I wrote:

Re-entry after winter break has not been easy for him. The rules and restrictions of school – Sit Still. Be Quiet. Do What You Are Told, Nothing More, Nothing Less. – have been grating on him, and it shows. His teacher recently emailed me; she’d noticed a change in his behavior (more belligerent, less likely to cooperate) and wanted to know if there was anything going on at home.

My guess, I said, was that he was upset about having to be back in school after break. I was right.

The lack of movement and rigid restrictions associated with modern schooling are killing my son’s soul. (Read More Here)

On that note, switching to homeschooling has been AMAZING.  It’s like a night and day difference, too, with his attitude and emotions at night (he was starting to cry a lot, not wanting to go back the next day – just heartbreaking for us as parents not knowing what to do)!

But now his classes only last until lunch!  He gets to do a woodworking class that’s part of the curriculum I chose in which his OWN DAD is his teacher (he’s so stoked)!  He gets to actually learn an instrument in music class, instead of having to stand there for 45 minutes listening to a lecture and singing what he called “baby songs” (they really were nursery rhymes).  We even went on our first field trip this week as a family to the planetarium since we were studying about the earth, sun, and moon in our sciences classes this week!

And the best part???  Absolutely NO HOMEWORK!!!!!  No more having to do an hour of homework after he’s already been in school for 7 hours.  That hour, having to help him and sometimes re-teach him what they learned during the day so he could do it, was sooooo hard for our family.  The baby would often be screaming and wanting to be picked up or play with her oldest bubba, and our 2nd son would also be trying to play and distract him.  They love him so much, and just wanted to play with him a little before dinner.  Now, they get to play with him so much more, and it’s beautiful to see the creative games they’re coming up with that incorporates all of them together.

It’s also solved our problems with my husband’s schedule in that he was only getting to see our oldest for 1 hour in the mornings (he works afternoons through evenings and comes home after their bedtimes).  NOW our son gets to see him for 6-7 hours a day, and have him as a teacher!  The flexible and relaxed feel of teaching my own son is just incredible, how different from feeling pressured and anxious in having to force 20+ students to understand math concepts and move all at the same pace – I’m not sure how teachers handle that.

If anyone reading this has experience with homeschooling, please let me know!  I’m currently reading a couple of good books that are teaching me how to make it the best experience I’m able to, but I’d LOVE to hear from other families how it’s been (or even not) worked for them.  The good and the bad issues, what to expect in the future, etc.

Thank you for reading!

Stephanie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Praying Over Our Children

With the school year about to start, and so many little ones (and big ones) returning to school for another year, I found a list our church gave us for praying over our children when we dedicate them – our baby’s dedication was about a month ago.

Our oldest is going to school for the first time, and with all the evil in the world, with all the strange things he may encounter, I feel like its our responsibility to pray over our children.

I’m praying specifically for my sons’:

Salvation –

Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.  Isaiah 45:8; 2 Timothy 2:10

Growth in Grace –

I pray that my children may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  2 Peter 3:18

Love –

Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to live a life of love, through the Spirit who dwells in them.  Galations 5:25; Ephesians 5:2

Honesty & Integrity –

May integrity and honest be my children’s virtue and their protection.  Psalm 25:21

Self-Control –

Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be alert and self-controlled in all they do.  Psalm 19:10

Justice –

God, help my children to love justice as You do and act justly in all they do.  Psalm 11:7; Micah 6:8

Mercy –

May my children always be merciful, just as their Father is merciful.  Luke 6:36

Respect –

Father, grant that my children may show proper respect for their selves, others, and for authority figures, as Your Word commands.  1 Peter 2:17

Biblical Self Esteem –

Help my children to develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.  Ephesians 2:10

Faithfulness –

Let love and faithfulness never leave my children, but bind these two virtues around their necks like necklaces and write them on the tablet of their hearts.  Proverbs 3:3

Courage –

May my children always be strong and courageous in their character and in their actions at school.  Deut. 31:6

Purity –

Create in my children a pure heart, O God, and let that purity of heart be shown through their actions.  Psalm 51:10

Kindness –

Lord, may my children always try to be kind to each other and to other children at school, as well as show kindness to their teachers.  1 Thessalonians 5:15

Generosity –

Grant that my children may be generous and willing to share, and so lay-up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age.  1 Timothy 6:18-19

Peace-loving

Father, let my children make every effort to do what leads to peace, and to live a life of peace with others, as much as it depends on them.  Romans 14:19

Joy –

May my children be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit, may their joyfulness be catching, and may I as their mother create a home where joy abounds.  1 Thessalonians 1:6

Perseverance –

Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to run with perseverance the race You have marked out for them, without giving up, and with confidence that they can do all things through Your strength.  Hebrews 12:1; Philippians 4:13

Humility –

God, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all by displaying a gentle, peace-loving attitude.  Titus 3:2

Compassion –

Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion.  Colossians 3:12

Responsibility –

Grant that my children may learn responsibility, for each one should carry his own load.  Help them to become mature adults.  Galatians 6:5

Contentment –

Father, teach my children the secret of being content in any and every situation, through You who gives them strength.  Philippians 4:12-13

Faith

I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children’s hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them. Luke 17:5-6; Hebrews 11:1-40

A Servant’s Heart –

God, please help my children develop servant’s hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly, as if they were serving the Lord, not men.  Ephesians 6:7

Hope –

May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

Willingness & Ability to Work –

Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work at it with all their heart, as they are working for You and not just for men or their teacher.  Colossians 3:23

Passion for God

Lord, please instill in my children a soul that “followeth hard after thee,” one that clings passionately to You.  Psalm 63:8

Self-Discipline –

Father, I pray that my children may acquire a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right, just, and fair.  Proverbs 1:3

Prayerfulness –

Grant, Lord, that my children’s lives may be marked by prayerfulness that they may learn to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers.  1 Thessalonians 5:17

Gratitude –

Help my children to live lives that are always overflowing with thankfulness and always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Ephesians 5:20; Colossians 2:7

A Heart for Reaching Out to Others –

Lord, please help my children to develop a desire to see Your glory declared among the nations, Your marvelous deeds among the peoples.  Psalm 96:3