Saturday, July 28, 2012

Requiring the Best

I saw this post today when I was browsing my RSS feed. It's from Devotions for Moms. I often skim over those blog posts without reading them, but I'm glad that I read it today. She briefly discusses some of her own feelings in dealing with her strong willed child, and they resounded with me because I feel that way too! The part about her heart feeling tired lately was one I could really relate to! I often feel just completely mentally and emotionally spent as I struggle through the days with one of my children in particular. I too 'tip-toe' around trying not to "set off" another meltdown or tantrum simply because I don't feel "up" to dealing with it at that moment. But reading this has encouraged me to stop doing that. To start expecting and requiring the best from my children. Even if they are strong willed and even if it means we will be "going rounds" for some time. Which it inevitably will. I know it. I also know that if I don't start now and make these difficult changes that when it comes to the hard days in homeschool it will be that much harder to stick with it and push through.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Dream Big

The second day of the convention opened with a keynote by Todd Wilson called Dream Big. It's apparently one of his "signature" speeches. I really appreciated his humor. He is one of those speakers who has the ability to stomp really hard on your toes, but then make you laugh right after. :) Much of what he said really sunk in for me. I'm glad I made it to that session. I had contemplated not going. Todd's point is that in this homeschool journey DREAM BIG!! :) Homeschooling is a dream, and it's okay to dream big. His subtitle was "But watch out for dream killers." I realized as he was talking that I have a serious "dream killer" bent, and I need to be that mom who fans the flames of my kids' dreams. I NEED to be that wife who fans my Hurb's dreams rather than try to throw the "cold water" of reality or "realistic thinking" on his dreams. Not only that, but it encouraged me to keep dreaming even when faced with dream killers in my own life. Trying to shed that dream killer cold water like a duck is difficult, but it's easier for me now that I realize I'm talking to a dream killer. Ya know how yesterday I mentioned that this homeschool journey is one that my Hurb and I believe God wants us to take? I'm going to keep coming back to that because I know that I would NEVER be able to do this or stick with it if I did not have that thought constantly in my head. Heidi St. John did a great job of reminding all of us that God is the one that is going to make this homeschooling thing happen, and I find a LOT of comfort in that. But back to the dream killers. I realize now that they come in all shapes and sizes, and that their dream killing speeches are often disguised as "helpful" comments, or something. ;) I know (because I've been one remember?) that the dream killers aren't trying to be hurtful or to tear down your great ambitions, or burst your bubble, but the fact is, that's exactly what they are doing. In fact I had someone who I don't know tell someone who is close to me for me to "call them for support." I was touched by this other homeschool mom's desire to be a help to me since she's been there and done that for quite awhile now. The fact that she would reach out to someone that she doesn't even know just because she heard that I'd be a newbie homeschooling mom was very sweet. BUT she followed up that statement with a "Oh she's using THAT curriculum?" "I wonder how THAT will work out for her?" then "You'll have to have her call me after she's used it for a few weeks." !!!DREAM KILLER ALLERT!!! Do you think I'll be calling that lady? When I heard the first statement, I had half a mind to actually call her. I know I'm going to need moral support! But when I heard the dream-killing statement. (You saw it right?) I totally mentally distanced myself from that lady. And that's what Todd's point was. We distance ourselves from dream killers, so if anything that is a good reason NOT to be one. If we really want our kids or spouse or even friends to open up to us and be real, then we should fan the flames of their dreams even if they seem crazy to us. Todd reminded us that God is big enough to squelch the dumb dreams, it's our job to fan the flames.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Conventioning

So the convention. Wow! It was HUGE! There were SO many people there I was totally blown away. In a way it was so cool to see that there were so many people in Arizona dedicated to homeschooling their kids! The convention gave me a lot of information, and some time to myself to really figure out what in the world is wrong with me and this whole homeschool mental block I have. ;) Okay, so maybe just the homeschool mental block. I may never know what's 'wrong' with me, ha ha! Boiled down to bare facts, I've just been rebellious. Pretty simple. I know that this is the path that I need to walk. Hurb and I have made this decision together because we BELIEVE it is the best thing for our family. And even though I know all of that I've still been rebellious in my spirit because I don't "want" to homeschool. For various reasons. I'm lazy, parenting is overwhelming enough with out that, I don't want to be "weird" (oops... well weirder, I guess). The first day's keynote speaker was a lady named Heidi St. John aka The Busy Homeschool Mom. And she should be because she has 7 kids! Her speech was exactly what I needed to hear. Because she did not 'start out' a homeschool mom, and when she felt God's tug on her heart to go that route, she too had some of the same reactions as I did. "I don't know how to sew, we can't all wear matching jumpers!" "We don't own any chickens!" Ha ha! Her humorous way of looking at things through the eyes of someone who also had some of those "homeschoolers are strange" notions was refreshing. She was realistic about how difficult some days will be, but also reminding us that God is the one who is doing this through us, and He will be the one to make it happen. I needed to hear all of that. Then of course, I melted into a puddle of blubbering tears when my friend and I were talking about things afterward. :) She was such an encouragement to me even just by standing there and letting me cry about "how in the world am I going to add ONE MORE HAT to what I'm doing already?!" Thank you Jenny! I'm not always so unhinged! Promise!! ;) Later that day I went to a session by a lady who has 14 children and has been homeschooling for, get this... let it sink in, 32 years!!! As I sat there listening to her wisdom and fantastic ideas, and they really were, I felt my heart sinking again. I can't do this. Really! The very thought of homeschooling for 32 years makes me feel like crawling into a cave right now and never coming out! But then I kinda shook myself a bit and chatted with Jenny again. :) That was the path God has for that amazing lady and her family. Mine may not look like that... in fact I'm pretty sure the 14 kids part is out, but I guess I should never say never. ;) My friend is in a unique situation as well because in her God ordained path she had 2 children then a span of years where God did not bring other children into the home and now she had a beautiful 3rd child just ready to start K5 after her other 2 have graduated. So she reminded me that by the time she's done she'll have homeschooled for 27 years! That's a huge accomplishment, and had she known that was before her when she started, she may never have started. So all of that to say, that just because my rebellious heart doesn't want to tread THAT path, doesn't mean it's not the one I should be on. Honestly I probably won't homeschool for that long. At this point even if I take all 3 kids through to graduation, I'd only be looking at 15 years. And I've been reminding myself as well that this may just be for a season. Just because God has set homeschooling in my path for now, doesn't mean that it will be that way in 5 or 10 years. I can't see ahead in the way, but God knows what's going to come along. It's my responsibility to trust him and do the best job I can. STOP rebelling against this and embrace it as a fantastic opportunity to really train my kids. There was SO MUCH MORE that I got out of the convention. I'll share a bit in future posts, but over all I'm glad I went, even if I was reluctant, and I'm glad that I was able to do a little growing while I was there, even if my toes are a bit bruised. :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Convention coming up

I've been thinking about blogging much more than I actually have been blogging... obviously. ;) I'm cutting ties with facebook though so I should be able to actually get my thoughts out in blog form a little more often... maybe. Anyway, the huge state homeschool convention is coming up in a week. I'm not sure what I'm in for in that regard, but have been told by those who know, that it's a great encouraging experience. I hope so! I could use some encouragement when it comes to homeschooling. And I confess that the thought that pops into my head when I think of a "homeschool convention" is women in large denim jumpers with books and pencils appliqu├ęd on them, culottes and big homemade book bags. I and my purple hair and capri pants will stand out like a sore thumb. ;) Fortunately I know that it will NOT be that way. I happen to personally know quite a few homeschool families who will be attending or represented there, and none of them are that way. I really have no idea why I have such a warped view of homeschoolers in my head. I was one... and don't think our family was "that way." But I did rub elbows with quite a few who kinda were that way in college. I guess I have an irrational fear that ,like a plague, once we officially start homeschooling we'll be come infected with some "strangeness" disease. Our kids will be sequestered away from everything and everyone and we'll live life in our own little compound becoming weirder by the day. Not knowing how to dress normal, or have normal conversations and interact with society. Ha ha ha!! How silly! Really, I'm just being ridiculous with all these silly ramblings. I hope you can see through it all and realize that I don't have anything against homeschooling or homeschoolers. I was one remember? My kids will be some too! And really, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness that I have this opportunity to educate my kiddos at home. Yes, I'm nervous about how it will all end up working within our family dynamics, yes I have fears of the unknown in it all, yes I'm not outwardly "gung ho" about the process, but yes, I am SO thankful for the opportunity. And the other night as my hubby and I were rubbing each other's feet and talking, I was again reminded of how hard he works for our family! He works hard so that I can stay home and raise our kids. So that I can be our children's first teacher. So I can make our home a haven. And remember that helped me make an even more determined decision to make this homeschooling journey a good one! So I'm looking forward to the convention and the tips/tricks/ideas that it will bring, and hoping to find the encouragement that others have spoken of to really start to "feel" what I know, that homeschooling is a good thing!