A while ago (June), I was playing my guitar and worshipping the Lord when I felt he laid something on my heart. I felt as though our homeschool group should have a women’s retreat. We’re all believers and followers of Jesus, though we do not all attend the same church. The goal of RRHOME this year is to build and cultivate community outside of our bond of homeschooling. What better way to get to know one another than to worship alongside one another! Leadership was gracious enough to let me lead the discussion time as well as a little worship. It was such great time to get together with lovely ladies to relax, refresh, and get to know one another better before starting the school year.
I was so very stressed out planning it. I didn’t want to offend anyone. I didn’t want to look like a fool. I prayed and asked the Lord what He would like to speak to us about. A few days before the retreat, I still didn’t have a topic to discuss. I was browsing YouTube and came across this video and I knew the instant I watched it; this was what we were to talk about.
How often do you feel this way? I feel like this a lot. I feel like no one hears me. No one cares. No one sees. I remember making pancakes for my kids early one morning. I remember thinking “I’m such an awesome mom (pride! yuck!). I’m doing such a good job! Way to go, Melody!”. When I put those pancakes down in front of my children, they complained. They didn’t want pancakes. Pancakes are gross. I remember taking it so personally. I can see now that my ego was hurt as well as my feelings. But how many times do we serve out of a sincere and humble heart only to have it go ignored or unappreciated.
Everyone likes to be acknowledged. It makes us feel good to be told “Thank You” and “You’re Awesome”. But what about the heart? If all we’re doing is fulfilling a function (cook, clean, chauffeur, teach) then why does the heart matter? It doesn’t. But if we’re serving the Lord and answering a call He has placed, it does.
God is so sweet. He sees when we feel invisible. He knows our hearts. It really changed my perspective. I no longer try to do the laundry, cook or homeschool our children with the expectation of gratitude or immediate result. I do it because the Lord has called me to. I understand that I am helping to build something that I may never see finished. I try do it with joy in my heart because it is pleasing to Him. And He sees it.
We started our homeschool year last week. We were pretty excited about 1st grade and Kindergarten.
This will be our first year to homeschool the entire year. We schooled Lakyn at home for part of her kindergarten year. I was so excited to get started. I planned our calendar year, made a daily schedule, and planned our first week. We’re using Sonlight curriculum for our Bible, History, Science, Language Arts, and Reading. We using Alphabet Island for our phonics program and Handwriting without Tears for handwriting (obviously). I selected Saxon for our math program because of it’s heavy use of manipulatives in the early years. I haven’t gotten these manipulatives yet, but soon. Really soon.
Holden is four years old and will turn five in February. Technically, he’s got a year before he should start Kindergarten. But he’s totally ready. He knows all of his letters (both visually and phonetically), numbers, colors, days of the week, and shapes. He can recognize rhyming words and words that “sound alike”. I figure we’ll take our time with it. No rush.
The kids were really excited to start school. They kept asking me when we were going to start all summer but I wasn’t ready. It takes a lot of preparation and honestly, I was a tad overwhelmed with all that needed to be done to prepare. On Monday, they awoke with a mixture of anticipation, excitement, and anxiousness of the unknown.
This week we learned about creation, the earth and its rotation on its on axis as well as around the sun, the continents, and hemispheres. We spent time learning about the Nomads, where they lived, what they wore, how they hunted and what they ate. Lakyn read a book about Pat the fat rat. It’s mostly three letter words but she’s getting so much better and sounding the words out and she’s thrilled to be reading. We spent time writing our names and practicing our grips. We learned about Noah’s ark, Abram and Lot, and the tower of Babel. Of course, there was a lot of coloring, cutting, and pasting!! TJ has been reading a chapter a night of “The Boxcar Children” to the kids at bedtime. They love it and always ask him to keep reading! It was a pretty full week.
Monday went really well. The kids were very attentive and excited about learning. Tuesday…..sucked. I actually called TJ in tears because it was going so badly. I lost my temper, the kids would not sit still long enough to let me even blink! Somehow we muddled through the day but it was rough. I spent most of the evening seeking the Lord and asking him to reveal things to me to make this process easier. I got up early Wednesday morning and prayed for our day. It’s a hard realization when you see that your children are given to you to edify you and make you more like Christ. Through them, I see how flawed I am everyday. I’m thankful for my kids and feel so blessed to be able to educate them and spend time with them. The Lord revealed to me that I need to “lighten up” a little and not be so rigid about everything. I need to have fun and remember the benefits of being able to educate at home. Jesus was so sweet and comforting to me. Needless to say, the rest of the week was much better. Friday, our homeschool group RRHOME had it’s annual “Not Back to School Party”. It was a swim party and the kids had a blast! I’m so thankful to have these lovely ladies in my life to influence and encourage me.
All in all, I’m excited about this school year and the many memories and blessings that will come from it. And I think they are too.
*Note – Lakyn keeps holding up one finger for 1st grade.