Thursday, September 29, 2011

Homeschool Time Management and Attitude

One thing I've come to realize with having four littles is that time management is key. When it comes to us (Rob and I) schooing our children, gardening, raising chickens, selling eggs/produce/vegetable seedlings on the side, participating in homeschool co-op, field trips, baking/cooking, keeping a house clean (or attempting to anyway...not my strong point in this particular season of life [smile]), finding alone time with my incredible husband of 10 years and keeping our marriage alive, kissing boo-boos, training children how to do chores and be diligent workers, cloth diapering (b/c is saves us A LOT of money not having to buy diapers, especially with two in them!), making runs for fresh, outta-this-world milk, time with Jesus, time training our children how to talk to and have a relationship with Jesus, family time and just time to kick back {whew!}...


I don't have much time to blog. I don't have much time to garden (I have a lot of catching up to do this weekend!). I have to prioritize and time manage more than I ever have before in my life (even when I was teaching in a traditional school, full time). I still find time for me though. (I'll be working more on my quilt excited about that.) I have to schedule it. I also have to remember that ATTITUDE is so important.

I wake up thankful for the day, thankful that my husband has a good job, my kids are healthy and happy. I wake up thankful that I have the best job in the world, parenting, training and guiding my children in the Lord. I wake up expecting some spilled milk, a few sibling quarrells, a missing bunny, some boo-boos, some time-outs/discipline, a to-do list that may not get done, etc. and if I expect that, then when those things happen, we roll with it. If these things don't happen and our day runs a bit more smoothly (as all days are different just like any other job in the world), I thank God for the blessing of it.

If I'm being raw and honest, there are days. There are days when I've thought, "That's it! I'm shipping everyone off to a school building and day care centers tomorrow morning {knowing that I really won't}". There are days when I wonder if God will truly grant me enough patience for the day to be consistent in discipline with a toddler who is in love with the word "no!". There are days when I wonder if other families go through the same feelings and emotions that I do {knowing that they surely do}. Truth is, I know that every other homeschooling family goes through these feelings and emotions. Some more than others. It's a journey. It's growing our children the very BEST way we know how. It's not having the "mommy guilt" of wondering if I made the right choice. It's knowing that I'll never look back and regret taking the time to instill these values and character into our kiddos. It's hard work! It's praying with them throughout the day. It's the nature walks, the fun art, the snuggle time reading books {WE heart BOOKS!}. It's the baking {oh, the math you can learn through making a loaf of bread or some yummy cookies!}

When Rob and I started out on this crazy adventure, we had no one that we personally knew who did this. I felt very alone, but KNEW this was right. This was how God wanted us to raise our children. As months went by and I researched local groups, we found SO much {too much} to do and so many families we could connect with. People often wonder if our children are "social". {lol} There are times we have to restrain our children from continuing a conversation with an adult or friend. (That's one thing I've noticed about the difference between homeschooled children and traditionally schooled children. A homeschooler can have a comfortable, respectful conversation with an adult.) Although I didn't have a lot of personal friends who homeschooled, we soon found some. I also found comfort in some awesome websites and blogger friends who helped me organize our day, carefully choose curriculums, point us in the right direction as far as electives were concerned, show us how to implement character and consistent discipline into our children (not that we're perfect at it, by all means, still learning!!) and how to BALANCE and TIME MANAGE.

The reason for this post isn't to say that if you don't homeschool, you're "wrong". I simply wanted to share some of our joys, struggles and thankfulness for the help along the way. The Lord is our constant source of encouragement for everyday. At times of frustration, I merely remember that these are not truly our children. They are God's "on loan" to us to raise until the day we are all called home. There is a reason He specifically gave us Avonlea, Lincoln, Norah and Isaac. He knew that Rob and Kelli would be the best at raising these four specific children.
So, for all the homeschooling mamas (and daddys) out there, I wanted to be an encouragement to you today. I can only hope that as others have been there for us, we want to be there for others. We're still learning. We're still growing. We're making mistakes and learning from them. We struggle just like the rest of you and WE ARE BLESSED.

Galations 6:7..."Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."


Rachel E. said...

Kelli, this was a wonderful post. You are correct about how we all go through the same things. There are days I have also said, "That's it, you are all going to public school!" And deep inside, I know I wouldn't.

Thanks for the encouragement you give to me and the countless others out there.

Jess said...

Thank you for the encouragement. I really needed this right now.

Gina said...

Wow! You and I think alike! So very very true that homeschooling, despite it's many challenges, is such a blessing!