It’s very interesting to me that sometimes home-schooling seems to be one of the most challenging choices we could have made. It’s the very challenges, I think, that can really weigh us down on a day to day basis. Having said this, I realise that putting our children into school would then have its own very real set of trials and blessings too. Today I am just commenting on home education.
It can take a great deal of effort to plan out the weeks and terms of education that our children will do at home. It takes a great deal of self will to “plug in” and consistently facilitate our child’s learning each day, especially if we are having adult issues of our own. It takes creativity to think up activities that will benefit each of our children in our home school program. Each child is so different to the other. We teach different ages at the same time, and different times, sometimes with toddlers that need help and training, or a baby on our lap. We try to facilitate social occasions that will be fun and will help our children to find friends. And what about when we feel like we are just not getting it right, or a child is struggling to behave in a positive way to our efforts. Really, the hurdles we jump each day are so many at times.
As I think on this though, I come to realise that the very challenges we feel concerned about, can be the things that grow us into smarter, stronger and more intelligent people. They demand that we become good at problem solving. They lead us to pray. They give us wisdom to offer help to others, and the struggles we go through make us more able to relate to and help others on their home schooling journey. We are not alone, we can reach out and be reached out to, and this will be good for us as a family and others. This sense of community and giving is important and it gives life and new energy to ourselves and to others.
With three children now graduated and studying in different fields, completely unique to them and their calling from the Lord, and all different to each other, we feel thankful that our sometimes-bumbling efforts at educating them at home have had major rewards. I am so proud of each of them, doing their different things. We are thankful that we struggled along together as a family at home to create a full and fun learning environment that has certainly made them lifelong learners.
They all know how to facilitate their own learning now and they all read widely. They all have the ingenuity, frugality and hands on skills needed to be able to live lightly and carefully in God’s creation. They all have the creative lifeblood in them and a strong faith in the Lord to make an interesting, diverse and beautiful life for themselves and others. They all feel passionate about serving the Lord. They may have their own trials and hurdles along the way, but they will always have a solid foundation of faith and learning to return to when things get tough.
It’s this that gives us the very energy to face the inconveniences that we encounter as we educate the next three at home, who have not yet graduated. Thinking on the rewards of the older ones gives us strength to teach another one to read, and to go through the basics of the maths yet again.
The thankfulness for our wins, and the recognition of our losses gives us the ability as a couple to shape a strong foundation for these three still studying at home. Each challenge helps me go back to what I know, and helps me to revisit what I need to, to create the change needed from year to year to help us succeed.
This journey, though somewhat humbling, is something I am very thankful for. I am thankful that my husband and I have made this choice. Within the folds of each day I find blessing upon blessing in amongst those challenges, and praise be to God for that! In those blessings I can find energy for each new home-schooling day.
We encourage mums in a geographical area to gather together and build relationship and support with each other. If you meet monthly you may find these reflective questions helpful to guide your discussion.
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Jacinta is a home-schooling mother of six. Along with her husband Clinton, they have been raising and home-educating their children for twenty years. Jacinta also enjoys working on their small permaculture farm, milking goats, spinning yarn and knitting. She enjoys teaching children drawing and craft, and loves to cook for her family and others. Jacinta is passionate about “intentional parenting”, along with getting children outside in nature and giving them activities to do with their hands. As a family, their intention is to live simply in order to share more with those in need. She loves being a home-educating mother, and enjoys helping other home-schooling Mums find time in their lives to discover who they are, and how to express this in their daily life with their families. She is interested in helping others find time in their busy lives to keep learning, keep growing, and time to just be themselves.